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Hypergryph, the developer of Arknights: Endfield, normally does not take interviews.
But with the Global Technical Test, 4Gamer recently managed to interview Hypergryph for the first time. But since 4Gamer is an exclusively Japanese news outlet, I've translated the entire interview from Japanese to English:
How did Arknights: Endfield came about? While it was first announced on March 2022, when did you guys first came up with its concepts and ideas?
Well when it comes to Endfield's story, we've always had a rough idea on how to play it off of Arknights's story. But around August 2021, that's when we finally got a concrete idea on how it should be and started making proper concept and gameplay prototypes. And after a lot of discussion and testing, we decided that it should be a cross-platform RPG with a highly strategic combat and auto-industrial system.
And also, whilst we were working on the gameplay prototype, we were simultaneously also working on Endfield's first ever worldbuilding-focused concept trailer. Then once that trailer was released, we started official development on Endfield while incorporating the critiques we got from everyone.
Could you please introduce the story of Arknights: Endfield?
The player is an Endministrator, who leads a construction company called Endfield exploring the planet Talos II.
In Talos II, while fending off the Aggeloi and Blight, you'll establish a new "homeland" for humanity.
But this isn't quite final yet, we're already planning changes to this story.
Are the story of Arknights and Arknights: Endfield related?
As everyone expects, they are related. But both of them have different themes and story directions, so we hope everyone can enjoy both games on their own merits.
Is there a possibility for characters from Arknights to show up in Arknights: Endfield?
Actually, we got a lot of requests from people asking for "familiar" characters to show up. We're still figuring out how to tackle this and we are actively considering it.
What are you guys most particular about when it comes to world building art and UI design?
Based off of Arknights's existing UI design, we hope to make a new UI design for Arknights: Endfield that's even more readable, yet also appealing.
As for the worldbuilding, I think its graphics are distinct from other media, yet also have a realistic style. I aim to make something that can express the beauty and ugliness of a dangerous world, and also lets you to experience both realism and fantasy at the same time.
Arknights: Endfield is billed as a "3D real time strategy RPG", but what differentiates it from other games in the genre?
The core of the combat is that its a real time battle where you can select characters to form a team. You can control one character on the team, but you can switch your point characters and defeat enemies by combining skills.
We've lowered the difficulty of its controls and focused on strategy and fun, and we hope you'll be able to have fun with the game.
How will the gameplay loop work?
You explore the map, progress through the main story, and upgrade your characters in order to explore more and more difficult areas. But in addition to upgrading your characters, you can also use the environment to help defeat enemies, by using the auto-industrial system to manufacture equipment and get materials for character training.
During battle, what things can the player do and what things can be automated?
Well, not only can you control your character in real time and activate their skills, but you can also switch point characters and use their skills. While using a skill, time temporarily stops, letting you precisely choose the timing and target of your skills. Therefore, there can be a lot of strategy when it comes to using skills.
Also, you can generate various effects depending on your character's skills and energy type.
While there's currently no auto battle, but in the future there might be systems to make combat easier.
How does base-building work? And why did you guys decided to implement it?
First of all, you'll need to supply electricity to your auto-industrial facility by placing down electrical pylons all over the map.
Then you can build machines who can not only automatically collect resources from all over the map, but even ship them into your auto-industrial facility so that it can craft you all the items you need.
In addition, once you've developed your electrical system enough, you can also build ziplines so you can move between areas more easily.
All these things are fun in of themselves, but the auto-industrial facility also lets you get a lot of materials for "free".
Furthermore, since you can place down auto-industrial machines anywhere on the map, you'll be forced to really think on where and how to place them, which will give you a better sense of immersion and accomplishment.
Most of the materials made by the auto-industrial facility can not only be used to construct the facility, but also to train characters, so you can train a lot of characters.
What about character growth and customization?
Characters can develop their levels and skills. Furthermore, depending on your equipment and weapons you may also find new strategies. It'll be necessary to combine all your character's abilities in order to create your preferred fighting style.
For example, if you want to better control enemies in battle you'll need equipment that reduces skill cooldown time, while if you just want more damage you'll need equipment that increases attack power.
Equipment can be obtained from exploration and from the auto-industrial facility. Different equipment give different effects, and its up to you to decide which equipment goes to which character, so there are endless possibilities for strategy.
So why did you guys decided to create Gryphline?
Gryphline aims to provide high quality games to people all over the world. With the gaming market on the rise, we can feel that there's a lot of potential.
We will continue to provide games that people all over the world can enjoy, optimize our working environment when it comes to handling overseas games, and also try to communicate better with overseas fans.
What's the future plans for Gryphline?
Gryphline will operate under three slogans:
- Pursuit of Creation and Innovation
We will focus on creating games that are more creative and incorporate even more innovative ideas, including the ones currently under development. We promise to deliver more enjoyable experiences and better services, including more storytelling and more immersive gameplay than ever before.
- User "First"
We would like to connect to the community and find more opportunities to listen to our users, so that we can work hard to grow together.
- Global Expansion
We will expand our reach to people all over the world. We strive to create content that appeals to various cultures, spread the appeal of games all over the world, and make them enjoyable to as many users as possible.
Finally, please give a word to your fans 🙂
Thank you so much to everyone who supports the Gryphline! Thanks to everyone's support, we're finally able to announce the launch of a new global brand and new developments.
First of all, we're starting worldwide technical test for Arknights: Endfield. This is a game that can be enjoyed by both people who've played Arknights and those who haven't. Please experience the world of Arknights: Endfield and share us your impressions and opinions.
We are also preparing Ex Astris, a turn-based RPG with an attractive world and character design; and Popucom, a 3D multiplayer adventure game that you can enjoy with friends and family.
We will keep working hard to provide games that meet the expectations of users. Thank you for your continued support of Gryphline!