Lost Ark - Creating a Continent

Author
Smilegate RPG
Date
6/21/2024
In Short
The Smilegate RPG development team discusses the process of creating a new continent for the game in the June update and their approach to designing the new land.
South Kurzan

What is Smilegate’s general approach when creating a new continent in Lost Ark? Did this approach change at all when it came to making South Kurzan?

All of the development teams, including Scenario, Art, Tech, Sound, Design, QA, and more, took part in creating the new continent of South Kurzan, and it’s one of the major pieces of content in Lost Ark.

In order to make it the best possible quality, all the teams go through multiple meetings so that we’re all on the same page regarding the concept of the new continent, so that we can come up with consistent graphics, cutscenes, quests, combat, and all the other details that go into creating the entire continent. This way, we hope that we’re able to present an all-new experience for the adventurers of Arkesia!

 

When localizing South Kurzan for the West, were there any changes that were made that differed from the Korean version? What does the process of localizing for the West look like from the developer’s perspective?

In terms of content, there are no differences in the South Kurzan content between the Korean and Western versions. The two are identical in that regard. However, South Kurzan is a very important part of the story and lore for Lost Ark, so localizing it into different languages in the West is very important. We know there are many fans who are very invested in the lore of Arkesia, and this update has a lot of new content to add to the story. Our wish is that all Lost Ark players around the world get the best possible experience possible, and for those players who love the lore of the game, we want them to get the best version of the story in a way that resonates with their unique language and culture.

To that end, we are very glad to have Amazon Games as a partner as they do excellent work in localizing all of this content for players outside of Korea in the West. We work closely with their localization team, answering their questions about the lore and story for things like character and location names, and meanings of certain phrases. Something said in one way in one language may come across entirely differently when translated word-for-word into another language, so we work closely with Amazon Games’ localization teams to ensure that not only the language is translated for different languages, but the meaning and intention of what is being said. When we have a major story update, like with the South Kurzan continent, we see how important this process is and we enjoy working with Amazon Games to make the game’s lore as accessible as possible to players around the world.

 

What do you hope Western players will gain from exploring South Kurzan? Is there anything they would need to know before jumping in?

Kurzan is the climax of Chapter One of Lost Ark. While Elgacia was the highlight, Kurzan is where the final climactic scenes take place, and the continent will be introduced separately as South Kurzan and North Kurzan.

To begin with, players will notice foreboding omens of Kazeros’ resurrection in Arkesia. Once realizing that the source of these omens is coming from Kurzan, they will embark on a journey to investigate these strange phenomena.

Once in Kurzan, players will be facing the most epic battle against the demon forces yet, as the war will be even bigger and more epic than that of South Vern. Friends and allies from multiple continents will reunite to face the legions of demons who wish to see the resurrection of Kazeros.

 

What inspirations or resources did the team draw upon to create the upcoming South Kurzan continent?

We referred to many diverse resources when creating the Kurzan continent, both South and North. We reviewed various landform pictures, and satellite pictures from Google Earth and the NASA web site, looking for things that would go well together with the volcanic landscape we aimed to create in this new Lost Ark content. Specifically, the natural landscapes from Iceland, Scotland, and the deserts of mid-Australia were quite helpful in sparking inspiration. We also referred to the ancient ruins of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Rome.

 

What are the challenges of creating a new location, especially one that is mostly barren and volcanic?

Overall, the Kurzan continent was difficult to create due to its harsh and heavy concept. We couldn’t decorate the background too much with different objects and colors, while trying to create a new land with this bleak atmosphere in-game.

Due to this, there were limitations as to utilizing various environmental objects that can help flourish the background with the right amount of variety and composition. We had to emphasize the volcanic themes with lava, which can be wearing to the eyes, and too identical with its bright red colors. To prevent this, we balanced the fiery volcanic landscape with a dark, barren landscape.

 

Does the lore of the region influence its environmental traits in the game?

Kurzan is the barren land under the most dangerous mountain in all of Arkesia, Mount Antares. Lore-wise, Antares’ volcano is a crucial place as the Sidereals sealed Kazeros’ body here 500 years ago. They chose this very place specifically due to their belief that the land would be difficult to traverse due to its harsh, unforgiving environment. Not only that, but because as mentioned earlier, Kurzan is the climax of Chapter One and we wanted to make the location look very serious and heavy with a dreamlike sense to it. Well, more of a nightmare than a dream given who is sealed away here. After many lengthy discussions with our internal teams, we were able to create the image we wanted.

 

How does South Kurzan differ from the rest of Kurzan? What new items, titles, cards, emotes, etc. are unique to South Kurzan that players can look forward to? Which ones are the team the most excited about?

As mentioned earlier, players are being introduced to Kurzan in two parts. The South Kurzan continent is playable now in the June update, while North Kurzan will be coming to players in September.

In South Kurzan, players will face the former true Covetous Legion Commander, Echidna, who is concocting a plan to resurrect Kazeros. She is the focal point of the new Raid, known as the Kazeros Raid Prelude, that will lead into a series of Kazeros Raids. These will provide players with an epic combat journey that will ultimately lead to Kazeros himself.

Finally, it’s important to note that the lore will pick up its pace once players reach North Kurzan in September, as the most epic battle yet will be awaiting them.


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Transmitted: 7/19/2024 9:53:19 AM