nWay’s ChronoBlade takes advantage of Facebook’s evolution [Interview]
After a successful launch in open beta in late June, nWay’s ChronoBlade has introduced dark beat-em-up gameplay to Facebook. Developed by the minds behind Diablo, Grand Theft Auto and more, ChronoBlade has been created as a cross-platform action RPG for Facebook, iOS, Android, Smart TVs and even Ouya.
We had a chance to go hands-on with the unfinished version of ChronoBlade last September, and we recently caught up with nWay’s CEO Taehoon Kim to see what’s changed since then.
Inside Social Games: How has ChronoBlade changed since nWay spoke with Inside Social Games last September?
Taehoon Kim: We’ve made a lot of progress on the tech side. ChronoBlade now plays extremely well on both Flash and Unity (mobile) and I’m not aware of too many developers who have achieved that for a 3D game. We’ve also made a lot of progress on the back-end tech needed to make multiplayer work and we have synchronous multiplayer PvP coming next month. We believe we will be the first developer to make a game that requires more than 20 frames per second to be synchronously multi-playable over the web on the browser and on mobile devices.
We’ve also added a lot more content and features since last September as well. We have more maps, player levels, skills, items, enemies, bosses, challenge modes, crafting, and although not available to the public yet, a new character called Lucas who’s kick-ass awesome (he wields a big sword).
ISG: Can you tell us a bit more about the game’s cross-platform capabilities? Will a player be able to play ChronoBlade on iOS, and then come back to the same game on Facebook (or other platforms), or must players choose one platform over another?
TK: Yes, we want a unified player experience with one account, and multiple access points. We want players to be able to continue playing with the same account, and with the same characters regardless of which device is used to log-in. If players need to start from scratch to play on another platform, they’ll be tied to one platform so that they don’t waste their game progress, which is not an optimal user experience. Nowadays, people play games on multiple devices in various places so we want to create a game that accommodates this recent trend in player behavior. The three major entry points for ChronoBlade are computer, mobile/tablet, and TV. We’re happy with how well the game plays on the keyboard, touch screen, and analog game controllers.
ISG: What’s the current timeline for release on iOS, Android, Smart TVs and OUYA?
TK: Tentatively we’re aiming to expand beyond the browser platform in Q4 this year or Q1 next year.
ISG: Likewise, when will the multiplayer components of ChronoBlade come online?
TK: Multiplayer PvP will go into closed beta testing in late August next month.
ISG: Given the struggle that many “core” Facebook games go through to find footing, what makes ChronoBlade different, and therefore primed for success?
TK: Until recently the tech wasn’t available to make a high quality core gaming experience that was both hyper accessible (on the browser/Facebook) and high enough quality that would appeal to core gamers — we believe Chronoblade is going to change that perception for the first time. Secondly, we did not set out to build a core Facebook game as many social game companies have done in the past. Our primary goal was to build a core game that would be competitive against the client download online games first, and making it hyper accessible was second with Facebook being one of the access points. In other words, the benchmark was not other Facebook games, but other MMOs and PC games, particularly action RPGs. We set out to get the resources necessary to start on a project that would take at least two years of development to get to where we wanted and with a team of 30+ people. Lastly, Facebook’s gaming platform is evolving very fast right now. They’re developing features dedicated to making multiplayer core gaming a better experience on their platform, and will become more and more comparable to other core gaming platforms such as Steam.
The ChronoBlade open beta is now available on Facebook. You can dive right into it here.