Game

Honkai Star Rail Developer Interview: Inside HoYoverse’s Turn-Based Game

What’s this round of the closed beta like compared to other tests? Is there anything in it that the team is excited to see players interact with?

Honkai Star Rail Team: In the previous beta, we collected feedback on our art styles and early-game experience. With the current beta, we’re more focusing on core gameplay including our combat system and puzzle-solving features to further optimize the turn-based and exploration experience.

Are there any gameplay elements in Honkai Star Rail you can talk about now that the team is really proud of? Why if so?

Honkai Star Rail Team: As a whole, Honkai: Star Rail hopes to add more thrill and immersion to turn-based strategy by incorporating 3D performance, maze exploration, as well as some action RPG elements.

First of all, in terms of storytelling, we’ve built an immersive experience through the use of 3D game graphics and cutscenes paired with a rich variety of environments, action sequences, character expressions, and camera design. In this Closed Beta, you will be able to see more details and dynamics through the actions, camera angles, special effects, on-hit feedback, and ultimates when characters unleash melee attacks.

Second, our experience in Action RPGs also helps to spice up the turn-based combat system. We’ve also put forth a lot of effort in creating dynamic experiences in the maze exploration and puzzle-solving features. Players can use path planning, enemy encounters, line of sight avoidance, and other actions to gain the upper hand. Meanwhile, each character has been given a different Technique with different exploration or combat effects. So for the maximum effect players will need to switch characters accordingly. With the above mechanics, players may develop different strategies prior to each fight.

Last but not least, interaction with the game world does not rely solely on the UI, nor does it rashly spread a large map with automatic pathfinding. Instead, we will let players interact with NPCs, scenes, mechanism of mazes, and so on through carefully-designed maps, so that players have a sense of exploration and participation.

Turn-based RPGs aren’t always the most popular choice among players these days. What was the appeal of choosing that genre for HoYoverse?

Honkai Star Rail Team: Though the experience of HoYoverse’s previous games allows us to feel players’ passion for action games, we still wish to provide gamers with more choices, so that eventually more people may try out our games.

Unlike the prompt on-hit feedback of real-time action games, the turn-based strategy has its own unique charm. The excitement comes from how players defeat enemies after careful planning and decision-making. Though it’s easy to get started, a turn-based game allows players to develop diverse and flexible playstyles. Different gamers may have completely different tactics in the same stage. Therefore, turn-based games can be not only friendly to players with slow hands, but also challenging for veteran gamers.

By and large, real-time action or turn-based strategy are just different approaches to shape the style and immersion of the game. We hope to better combine the turn-based gameplay with the lore and narrative of Honkai: Star Rail. And we will further improve that during the beta.

What’s Honkai Star Rail’s story like? Will the player have a big role, or will they mostly interact with other characters who are more important?

Honkai Star Rail Team: Accidentally carrying a Stellaron, our protagonist boarded the Astral Express. The passengers on the train are those who claim to have inherited the spirit of the Trailblaze, and they will become the protagonist’s most reliable partners during the journey.

The secret connection between the protagonist and the Stellaron will play a pivotal role throughout the main storyline. At the same time, the protagonist’s partners also have various background stories, such as March 7th, and their mysteries will be revealed as the story develops. Every adventure is accompanied by the unknown, and we hope to leave this part of the exploration to the players to discover.

Genshin Impact is obviously a massive title. Is there any extra pressure following that game’s success, or does it give the team more liberty to try new things, knowing that there’s a hugely popular title to rely on in HoYoverse’s portfolio already?

Honkai Star Rail Team: We have built an independent team of more than 400 people for Honkai: Star Rail to carry on the spiritual core of the Honkai franchise while exploring the turn-based gameplay that we have never tried before. The team will face more challenges for sure. But at the same time, the experience we have gained through previous games, including how to efficiently manage and produce resources across different platforms and how to better utilize hardware features of each platform, have been proved very helpful in developing Honkai: Star Rail.

Is there hope that Honkai Star Rail will get people who haven’t yet to try Honkai Impact 3rd, or do you think the game is more stand alone, with Easter Eggs for Honkai Impact 3rd players perhaps?

Honkai Star Rail Team: Although Honkai: Star Rail is the newest title of the Honkai series, it will introduce standalone stories and gameplay distinct to other Honkai titles. We hope Honkai: Star Rail to be easily accessible to new players, so they too can have some fun in the Honkai Universe. We’d like to consider Honkai: Star Rail to be the beginning of a new series. That’s also why this title is not numerical to the series.

At the same time, Honkai: Star Rail will carry on the consistent spiritual core of the Honkai series, showing the symbiosis and confrontation between human beings and destiny. Some characters from the Honkai series will show up in Star Rail, surprising players of this series. For example, Himeko and Seele will appear in new identities in the Closed Beta.

As a whole, the continuation of the spirit of the Honkai series and its standalone story allows all players to start a galactic adventure together and enjoy the fun of a brand new game. New players can enjoy the game without further knowledge of the previous Honkai games, and old players of the series can share a moment of nostalgia when they reunite with some “old friends” in Honkai: Star Rail

How far is the team along with Honkai Star Rail’s development?

Honkai Star Rail Team: The official launch date has yet to be determined. The Closed Beta is focusing on improving core gameplay, and we still have more to add to the game.

Will there be any crossover with Genshin Impact and Honkai Star Rail?

Honkai Star Rail Team: We really appreciate all the attention to Honkai: Star Rail and Genshin Impact. We’re still adjusting the core gameplay at this stage, so it’s a bit too early to discuss crossovers. We will share with you once we have more concrete plans.

What games has HoYoverse looked at as inspiration for Honkai Star Rail, whether it be its visuals or its gameplay?

Honkai Star Rail Team: “To venture towards the sea of stars” is a classic theme of the Sci-Fi genre. We hope to spark players’ desire to explore the universe and to introduce a grand adventure in the galaxy. At the same time, the turn-based genre is a classic game genre with a prolonged charm of its own. There have been so many great turn-based strategy titles in the past that are loved by players around the world, including many of our team members. And that’s why we want to try out different things in Honkai: Star Rail.

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Honkai Star Rail Developer Interview: Inside HoYoverse’s Turn-Based Game

What’s this round of the closed beta like compared to other tests? Is there anything in it that the team is excited to see players interact with?

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr2’); });

Honkai Star Rail Team: In the previous beta, we collected feedback on our art styles and early-game experience. With the current beta, we’re more focusing on core gameplay including our combat system and puzzle-solving features to further optimize the turn-based and exploration experience.

Are there any gameplay elements in Honkai Star Rail you can talk about now that the team is really proud of? Why if so?

Honkai Star Rail Team: As a whole, Honkai: Star Rail hopes to add more thrill and immersion to turn-based strategy by incorporating 3D performance, maze exploration, as well as some action RPG elements.
First of all, in terms of storytelling, we’ve built an immersive experience through the use of 3D game graphics and cutscenes paired with a rich variety of environments, action sequences, character expressions, and camera design. In this Closed Beta, you will be able to see more details and dynamics through the actions, camera angles, special effects, on-hit feedback, and ultimates when characters unleash melee attacks.
Second, our experience in Action RPGs also helps to spice up the turn-based combat system. We’ve also put forth a lot of effort in creating dynamic experiences in the maze exploration and puzzle-solving features. Players can use path planning, enemy encounters, line of sight avoidance, and other actions to gain the upper hand. Meanwhile, each character has been given a different Technique with different exploration or combat effects. So for the maximum effect players will need to switch characters accordingly. With the above mechanics, players may develop different strategies prior to each fight.
Last but not least, interaction with the game world does not rely solely on the UI, nor does it rashly spread a large map with automatic pathfinding. Instead, we will let players interact with NPCs, scenes, mechanism of mazes, and so on through carefully-designed maps, so that players have a sense of exploration and participation.

Turn-based RPGs aren’t always the most popular choice among players these days. What was the appeal of choosing that genre for HoYoverse?

Honkai Star Rail Team: Though the experience of HoYoverse’s previous games allows us to feel players’ passion for action games, we still wish to provide gamers with more choices, so that eventually more people may try out our games.
Unlike the prompt on-hit feedback of real-time action games, the turn-based strategy has its own unique charm. The excitement comes from how players defeat enemies after careful planning and decision-making. Though it’s easy to get started, a turn-based game allows players to develop diverse and flexible playstyles. Different gamers may have completely different tactics in the same stage. Therefore, turn-based games can be not only friendly to players with slow hands, but also challenging for veteran gamers.
By and large, real-time action or turn-based strategy are just different approaches to shape the style and immersion of the game. We hope to better combine the turn-based gameplay with the lore and narrative of Honkai: Star Rail. And we will further improve that during the beta.

What’s Honkai Star Rail’s story like? Will the player have a big role, or will they mostly interact with other characters who are more important?

Honkai Star Rail Team: Accidentally carrying a Stellaron, our protagonist boarded the Astral Express. The passengers on the train are those who claim to have inherited the spirit of the Trailblaze, and they will become the protagonist’s most reliable partners during the journey.
The secret connection between the protagonist and the Stellaron will play a pivotal role throughout the main storyline. At the same time, the protagonist’s partners also have various background stories, such as March 7th, and their mysteries will be revealed as the story develops. Every adventure is accompanied by the unknown, and we hope to leave this part of the exploration to the players to discover.

Genshin Impact is obviously a massive title. Is there any extra pressure following that game’s success, or does it give the team more liberty to try new things, knowing that there’s a hugely popular title to rely on in HoYoverse’s portfolio already?

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr3’); });

Honkai Star Rail Team: We have built an independent team of more than 400 people for Honkai: Star Rail to carry on the spiritual core of the Honkai franchise while exploring the turn-based gameplay that we have never tried before. The team will face more challenges for sure. But at the same time, the experience we have gained through previous games, including how to efficiently manage and produce resources across different platforms and how to better utilize hardware features of each platform, have been proved very helpful in developing Honkai: Star Rail.

Is there hope that Honkai Star Rail will get people who haven’t yet to try Honkai Impact 3rd, or do you think the game is more stand alone, with Easter Eggs for Honkai Impact 3rd players perhaps?

Honkai Star Rail Team: Although Honkai: Star Rail is the newest title of the Honkai series, it will introduce standalone stories and gameplay distinct to other Honkai titles. We hope Honkai: Star Rail to be easily accessible to new players, so they too can have some fun in the Honkai Universe. We’d like to consider Honkai: Star Rail to be the beginning of a new series. That’s also why this title is not numerical to the series.
At the same time, Honkai: Star Rail will carry on the consistent spiritual core of the Honkai series, showing the symbiosis and confrontation between human beings and destiny. Some characters from the Honkai series will show up in Star Rail, surprising players of this series. For example, Himeko and Seele will appear in new identities in the Closed Beta.
As a whole, the continuation of the spirit of the Honkai series and its standalone story allows all players to start a galactic adventure together and enjoy the fun of a brand new game. New players can enjoy the game without further knowledge of the previous Honkai games, and old players of the series can share a moment of nostalgia when they reunite with some “old friends” in Honkai: Star Rail

How far is the team along with Honkai Star Rail’s development?

Honkai Star Rail Team: The official launch date has yet to be determined. The Closed Beta is focusing on improving core gameplay, and we still have more to add to the game.

Will there be any crossover with Genshin Impact and Honkai Star Rail?

Honkai Star Rail Team: We really appreciate all the attention to Honkai: Star Rail and Genshin Impact. We’re still adjusting the core gameplay at this stage, so it’s a bit too early to discuss crossovers. We will share with you once we have more concrete plans.

What games has HoYoverse looked at as inspiration for Honkai Star Rail, whether it be its visuals or its gameplay?

Honkai Star Rail Team: “To venture towards the sea of stars” is a classic theme of the Sci-Fi genre. We hope to spark players’ desire to explore the universe and to introduce a grand adventure in the galaxy. At the same time, the turn-based genre is a classic game genre with a prolonged charm of its own. There have been so many great turn-based strategy titles in the past that are loved by players around the world, including many of our team members. And that’s why we want to try out different things in Honkai: Star Rail.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1550597677810-0’); });

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