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Interview: How French Dev Ekimsho Is Adapting Korea’s Signature Locations and Sounds for PSVR2’s Tiger Blade



Interview: How French dev Ekimshow is adapting Korea's signature locations and sounds for PSVR2's Tiger Blade 1

With its high-octane arcade gameplay and strong Korean influences, Tiger Blade caught our attention when it was announced. PSVR2 Recently. Developed by Parisian outfit Ikimasho, the game sees you slash and blast your way through waves of hoodlums as you’re tasked with stealing a mysterious package believed to be missing for hundreds of years from a mythical tiger cub. . We were curious to learn a little more about the project, including its catchy K-hip-hop soundtrack, so we caught up with co-founder Yan Suket and CTO Sherif Younis to learn a little more about its influences, its nighttime exploration in Seoul. travels, and the musicians it is collaborating with.

You’re a Parisian studio, so what did you like about Korea and specifically its style of cinema that made you want to design Tiger Blade around it?

Yan Suket: The atmosphere of Korean neo-noir cinema is very powerful. The combination of physical brutality — in sword and gun battles — with the darkness of tales of betrayal and revenge is what we love about it. Some of our main inspirations were A bitter sweet life, Man on high heels, the villain, A Man From NowhereAnd my name.

At Ikimasho, we make action games and pay special attention to the immersion of the setting, so it was inevitable for us to make a tribute to that genre.

You say that the setting of Tiger Blade has been meticulously recreated. Can you talk a little bit about what kind of research went into making the locations look and feel real?

Suket: Tiger Blade presents an original story in a fictional setting that draws heavily from Korea. It looks the part, but the rules are different, viewed through the lens of the game’s creative excitement. To best deliver immersion, we took the entire art and design team on a location-scouting trip to Korea to immerse ourselves in all the environments that would then inspire Tiger Blade’s settings.

We approached it like you would when making a movie: we approached Film Korea and the Seoul Film Commission and presented them with the settings we wanted in the game: a container port, a maze of dark, narrow streets. , a financial district… They put us in touch with an amazing team of local location scouts with whom we narrowed down various locations around the country that fit our needs: the labyrinth behind Sewoon Sanga, the port of Gwangyang , Hyundai Seoul. And then they took us there at night as the game’s story unfolds on a terrible night (and that really helped with the jet-lag). We shot 150GB+ of picture, video, and sound footage that served as reference for 90 percent of the assets in the game.

One thing we couldn’t take as is Storefront Sun, being the largest bakery chain in Korea, our favorite: Paris Baguette. We had a fun time spinning these brands into new, sometimes weird ones.

We also wanted the fight to feel real, so we visited the Korea Hadong Kumdo Association at their brand new facility that was opening the next day. Hadong Kumdo literally translates to the Korean Way of the Sword and is a martial art of a certain level of sophistication. Although we couldn’t reproduce the Hedong Kumdo movements 1:1 because their speed and legibility are not suited to VR gameplay, they were a great source of inspiration for our sword fighting animation.

Interview: How French dev Ekimshow is adapting Korea's signature locations and sounds for PSVR2's Tiger Blade 12
Ikimasho got first-hand experience with the Korean martial art Hadong Kumdo, a fighting style that has directly influenced the animations in the game.

Throughout this research process, we were contacted by the Korean Cultural Center in Paris, the Paris office of the Korean Creative Content Agency (their aim is to promote Korean content overseas, but they really liked Tiger Blade, which they helped us with. .connection in Korea), and the cultural services of the French Embassy in Seoul.

We hope our players enjoy immersing themselves in the world of Tiger Blade as much as we enjoyed creating it.

High scores are a big part of Tiger Blade’s appeal. Can you explain how the scoring system works and what you think is the essence of what makes an arcade game so addictive?

Suket: I think the addiction of an arcade game comes from a combination of two elements: immediate fun and depth. Tiger Blade’s core features of slashing, dashing and shooting are immediately useful. And because they’re built in super dynamic moment-to-moment situations, you just want that rush again and again. After 18 months of development, we’re still excited to pick up the headset.

That constant thrill is supported by an interesting ramp-up in difficulty that’s challenging while never feeling unfair, and our scoring system. We created different iterations of the scoring system, and during our playtests, we noticed that the only thing players cared about was beating their time. So our score is your time and penalties for each hit. Combined with local and global leaderboards, this is very interesting.

In addition, we have complete objectives like “Collect all the medals in the level” that encourages players to explore every nook and cranny of the environment and discover amazing sights that they might encounter in their first run. will have lost in Combined, these elements make Tiger Blade a truly addictive game.

I am a big fan of Korean hip-hop and was really familiar with it INC, so was excited to see his music included in the announcement trailer. Can you tease any other artists involved? CAMO…?

Suket: That’s great to hear! We wanted a dark, yet energetic beat to support the gameplay and immersion. We started a Spotify playlist of about 15,000 K-Hip-Hop tracks and when Tang by SINCE came out, we knew immediately that Tiger Blade needed it. We reached out to SINCE and, in parallel, worked with the French K-Hip-Hop expert K. Vir To expand our horizon in case of falling by the lead.

Regarding CAMO, the cultural services of the French Embassy in Seoul actually recommended him to us because they recently brokered a collaboration between him and a French hip-hop artist. I personally like him a lot but his style is a bit too R&B for Tiger Blade.

Interview: How French dev Ekimshow is adapting Korea's signature locations and sounds for PSVR2's Tiger Blade 13

Fast forward a few months and we’re working with Culture Think, SINCE’s management company (and organizer of the biggest K-Hip-Hop festivals in Korea and Asia) to produce our original soundtrack.

We have four absolutely amazing artists – INC, Brian, industrialistAnd Bruno Champman – who each composed two songs in their own unique style. And Tiger Blade’s theme song is a collaboration between the four. We hope to unveil our tracks before the game’s release!

What do you think about PSVR2 that makes it a suitable platform for Tiger Blade? How have you found working on the headset, and what do you think its future looks like?

Sheriff Eunice: I’ll spare you the technical specs of the headset and controllers, you probably already know them! PSVR2 is a system in a class of its own and Tiger Blade takes advantage of every feature available to enhance the overall gaming experience: high resolution, eye-tracked focus, texture optimization, haptics and trigger effects — all elements that help immerse the player. Do keep the most responsive, fastest gameplay on the headset. I should add that you should experience the 3D soundscape we’ve created for our players – it’s truly a living world.

Looking ahead, the future of PSVR2 looks bright: developer support is great, and the speed at which Sony expands SDKs, tools, and adds cutting-edge performance optimizations makes the experience of developing for the platform a real one. creates happiness The growing catalog of games created by the VR dev community showcases amazing, creative uses of the hardware and we can’t wait to see what’s to come. This ecosystem will likely make PSVR2 the place to experience the most premium VR experiences and as long-time Sony fans, becoming part of the PlayStation developer community is a special milestone for us!

We’d like to thank Yan and Sheriff for taking time out of their busy schedules at Ikimasho to share a little more insight into Tiger Blade’s creative process, even sharing reference photos from its trip to Korea. Do you think this awesome, high-octane arcade shooter/slasher is going to end up on your PSVR2 wishlist? Hit us up in the comments section below.


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