Kingdom Conquest II is always running awesome events, and part of those events is adding new Monsters. With tons of new Monsters, Monster Races, and new Skills being added, an obvious question arises: Who determines which Monsters appear in these Packs, and how do they decide? The KC Community Team is happy to inform you that we’ve been able to get in touch with Tomoyuki Hoshino, Operations Director and Takeshi Hoshino, Assistant Producer, the guys in charge of Events and Campaigns in Kingdom Conquest II. Read on to hear what they have to say.
Takeshi Hoshino, Assistant Producer
Tomoyuki Hoshino, Operations Director
1. What inspired you to get into the gaming industry?
I majored in Sociology and Communications and thus, I was very interested in communicating with people on a global scale. I loved games since I was young, and I was especially into online games, so I decided to join the gaming industry.
My story started when I bought a PC for college. (This was back when Windows 95 was popular.)
I was curious what my PC was capable of, so I bought a PC magazine and inside it was a CD-ROM with an online game.
This may sound obvious now, but I was amazed at the ability to communicate and play games with people you don't know [over the Internet]. I was hooked and played non-stop. During those times I thought, "I can think of better events than this!"
I only knew about offline games back then, and I too was amazed when I played an online game for the first time! I spent many sleepless nights playing and making friends. We ended up meeting each other in real life at an offline event. You can say that the appeal of online games is that it offers the opportunity to meet other people.
2. Like you said, one of the appeals of online games is the chance to meet other people. You two are currently involved in developing those kinds of games. How did you get into managing events for games?
I was planning in-game events in the original Kingdom Conquest, so that's probably why I am here today. I was also creating new in-game events for the Japanese-only title "Yakuza Mobile" on a weekly basis. I joined the Kingdom Conquest II team to continue making in-game events.
I was more involved in the operational side of things, rather than development. I had firsthand experience in managing MMORPGs, Online Dating Sim games, PC games, browser games, and even mobile games. One of the biggest challenges is to make sure that any new events are not game-breaking, and do not affect the KCII battlefield too much.
3. What influences the creation of in-game events?
The events are based on what people want of course, and any feedback we get is really appreciated.
Still, just doing this won't keep the game alive so we do make plans based on available data, too. We always try to keep player enjoyment in mind for these events.
4. How do you determine what kinds of Monster Cards to include in a campaign?
We take a look at how far the players are progressing in the game, and we look into what kinds of races and monsters can be featured during those times. As an example, there was not much resource production in the opening stages of the game. We decided to introduce new Bug monsters because they were cheap to produce, and Beast monsters for their cost effectiveness. Thanks to these plans, more players were involved in wars and we were also able to introduce the Giant Race with their high Siege capabilities.
In the end, players who regularly play the game and follow the campaigns can get monsters that are naturally in line with the ongoing wars happening in Magna. Even then, everyone has their own favorite monsters with different tastes, so the situation can change for each world. So the task isn’t as easy as it appears.
If the ongoing campaign doesn't have any monsters that you want, the Gold Packs are made so that each race can be equally drawn. I highly recommend taking down unoccupied Towers with your alliance so that you can collect Gold Tickets for said packs.
5. What kinds of events and campaigns would you like to make in the future? Where do you get ideas for new events?
We're looking into more campaigns that are alliance focused. Unlike other mobile titles, players can play with others around the world on one server. Competing and cooperating with players around the world is a key aspect of KCII.
It’s designed so that players from different countries can play without language barriers. We want to take full advantage of this feature by creating events and campaigns that involve meeting new people. With the recently added Arena, players can now check the rankings to see which alliances are on top, who is the best arena fighter, and root for their favorite players.
A lot of ideas for events come from other PC, smartphone, and online games. I also ask myself on a daily basis, “How can I turn this idea into a fun campaign for KCII?”
6. With so many different Monsters (and the number constantly increasing), what are some of the challenges of creating the lineup for a campaign?
The progression changes for each world, and therefore the demand for certain monsters vary by person. We try to be very careful when creating a lineup due to this. We also make sure that any monsters that are featured in campaigns make people say, "I want this!"
7. To what extent do you try to balance the races in a campaign? If it’s, say, a Giants campaign, how do you determine which Monsters from other races get included?
As an example from the Giant Race campaign, we wanted to make sure that everyone had a chance to get at least one newly featured monster. For the other monsters that were not Giants, they were designed to support or give valuable skills to featured monsters to achieve some balance.
The Troll Chemist was intended to be used with Humbaba's "Stalwart" skill attached to the Giant. Players were then able to make a powerful support monster, but with reasonable balance. It would be great if players can take a look at what's inside the campaign and try to mix and match monsters to make their personally ideal units.
8. It's probably a tough job to keep up with the day to day changes. Still, there are probably fun things about the job as well. What’s the most exciting part of your role?
The fact that players can immediately participate in events, and we can get constructive feedback is very satisfying. Players are very creative as well, so they come up with new ways to enjoy the game that we never conceived.
During one phase of the game, a top ranking alliance leader and aide had Defense Bases filling up the entire screen. It looked like a Debris Tower and we got a good laugh out of that. (laughs)
It’s exciting to see fun ideas come to life in the game. Of course, you can't do everything from a logistical and resource point of view, but seeing your ideas reflected in the game and continuously having to think of new ideas can be taxing. This was also the same reason I wanted to be part of the industry. Reminds me of back in the day I first started this job...