Interview: NEXON Games – Developer of VEILED EXPERTS

Interview: NEXON Games

NEXON Games is a Korean video game developer and publisher known for its multiple titles. Their most recent release is VEILED EXPERTS, and the developer is currently busy with the development of their upcoming titles The First Descendant and Warhaven. VEILED EXPERTS is a brand-new title by the developer, currently available in Early Access on PC via Steam, It is a third-person tactical shooter that combines various mechanics into one genre such as a shrinking magnetic ring, in-game store for guns, ammo, and a parkour-style movement system which is silky smooth. We recently had the opportunity to speak with the developer about VEILED EXPERTS and we discussed the inspiration behind the game, the development cycle, and the future of the title. This is our interview with NEXON Games, the developer behind VEILED EXPERTS, and answering our questions here is the head of game design at VEILED EXPERTS.

Question #1: Tell us a little about NEXON Games. Who is NEXON Games and what sort of games have you developed in the past?

NG: NEXON GAMES Co., Ltd. is a game developer of NEXON Company with a rich history of creating games in different genres. Games developed by NEXON GAMES have been introduced not only in Korea but also all around the world through various platforms such as PC, mobile, and console. It has been since growing into a global game company, attracting attention from around the world through various new projects and providing a unique experience to its global audience.

Our Vision: Creating Better Games
We work together to present a better game to the world.
We strive to be ahead of the global market and to provide experience to our players.
We aspire to create better games because that is the goal of NEXON GAMES.

Our History

  • HIT
  • AxE
  • V4
  • Blue Archive
  • HIT2
  • The First Descendant

Question #2: What was the main inspiration behind VEILED EXPERTS and launching the title in its Early Access phase?

NG: At VX, we highly value the feedback we receive from our players. In our recent tests, we were amazed by our players’ enthusiasm and dedication towards our game. As a token of appreciation, we have decided to make the game available for a more extended period so that players can enjoy it to its fullest. We are confident that the feedback we receive during Early Access will help us improve the game even further.

Question #3: VEILED EXPERTS brings some really cool mechanics and brings them together like the in-game store at the start of each match, agents with unique skills, bomb-defusal mode, destructible environments, and the magnetic field. How challenging was it for the developers to fit all of this into a single game and deliver an experience that feels natural?

NG: As you know, in VX, strategies and tactics are based on different mechanisms within the game. Making use of these mechanisms, building a team strategy upon these tactical elements, and competing with others based on the team’s strategy is the basis of VX’s core play style.

All these elements within the game can affect the game, each in their own way so changing and improving the game balance or adding new features have always been a challenging task. Hence, improving the game in its Early Access stage has become quite complicated as we had to adjust the balances and bring in new changes without significantly disrupting the core playstyle while considering the overall experience of the players.

The early versions of VX did not have as many features as it does now but as developers began to focus on a singular theme, vision, and direction, we began to build the game in detail, gradually incorporating different elements to enhance VX’s distinct gameplay. Through Early Access, we plan to improve further on the elements that make VX attractive as a game and even sever unnecessary elements if that’s what it takes to make a present a better game in its official release.

Question #4: While designing the concept for VEILED EXPERTS, was the Counter-Strike inspiration of the in-game store, bomb-defusal mode, and the magnetic field in the mix right from the start of the development, or were these elements added to the game later in the development?

NG: The 3rd-person view, in-game store, bomb-defusal, and its magnetic fields are the core elements of VX and have existed from the time of the prototype as essential elements from the beginning of development, even for sufficient verification. However, the in-game store system has undergone various tests to enhance sales tactics, acquire items, and factors that can affect team building, and when it comes to “Is the combination of bomb-defusal mode and magnetic field okay?” was a good choice from the start of the prototype, and we were confident that it could expand to dynamic strategies and playstyles.

Question #5: What was the biggest challenge during the development of VEILED EXPERTS?

NG: As you’ve mentioned in Q3, implementing new features and mechanisms is a challenging job when the system was organically woven like a spider’s web where everything was interconnected. Any sudden change or addition could significantly impact the pre-existing components of the game. As our development progressed, the overall workload of balancing the system and verifying new changes snowballed up and it became a very difficult task.

Question #6: The third-person shooter genre is one of the most saturated genres out there and it is really hard to establish yourself in this genre with a brand-new IP. How do you think VEILED EXPERTS differs from its competition and what makes this title really unique?

NG: During development, I realized that creating an appealing third-person game in the PVP shooter market, dominated by traditional shooter(first-person) games, would not be easy. Nevertheless, I believed that if we can put together a clear vision and focus our efforts on creating a high-quality third-person shooter game, we could achieve meaningful results.

Despite the shooting genre market being already quite saturated, the global market is quite a big place and encompasses many different variations of its kind. As a result, I believe it’s difficult for a few top games to satisfy the diverse needs of the entire market sector. VX possesses unique charms on its own that can cater to other needs: quick mobility, exhilarating quick action, unique and numerous strategic gadgets that can help combat and change team strategy, and the ability to destroy or change the terrain by blasting objects during gameplay. It is these elements that will highlight VX’s appeal as a result.

Question #7: One of my favorite features of VEILED EXPERTS is how the map reflects the demolition and destruction in later rounds and gradually rebuilds itself back as a match progresses. How challenging was this particular feature and how the current form of this feature reflects what NEXON Games has in mind for it?

NG: Indeed, a map with a terrain that can be demolished or altered is much more costly in terms of creation than regular maps which can be seen in other shooter games. We understand that this is due to the need for extensive testing and revisions to ensure that resources are balanced before and after the changes and that there is strategic balance in gameplay. While this process can be challenging, we believe it is a necessary and valuable step.

I’ve been playing shooting games for a while and noticed that only a few maps with good balance and gameplay experience survive in the market, despite the many maps available. It might be because some maps require a high level of mastery mentioned above, and it takes work to learn them all during the learning phase. Moreover, the fun of playing on a map depends on how much you know about it. The goal is to create new strategies and experiences by making only partial changes to the map structure learned through repeated play-in.

VEILED EXPERTS Early Access Steam

Question #8: A lot of fans are asking for AI players in the game to fill up the empty spaces in matches. Would that be a possibility for the game in the future or will VEILED EXPERTS remain a player-only title strictly?

NG: On August 3rd KST, AI bot features were added in the casual Bomb Defusal mode. Currently, bots will be limited to Casual Bomb Defusal mode until further polishing, but we plan to gradually introduce AI support to fill in users leaving during the match and in other various modes.

Question #9: What can fans look forward to in VEILED EXPERTS in the future? Can we expect a console release for the title?

NG: If VX, currently on PC, can induce some meaningful results in the market with sufficient consistency, I believe expanding to other platforms would naturally be our next effort.

Question #10: Is there any chance of a Battle Pass arriving in VEILED EXPERTS? Most shooting games are following this concept and is it something that NEXON has in mind as well?

NG: We are currently working on developing the Battle Pass system and its content. We will have some positive updates to share with you soon.

Question #11: Can we expect to see an in-game store in the future that would allow players to purchase skins that they missed in previous seasons?

NG: Some skins may only be available seasonally, but others can be purchased through a separate store.

Question #12: Is there a feature that was almost removed from the development of VEILED EXPERTS but was later added to the game and it sits perfectly in the game?

NG: There were several features that were discarded during development. One of those was called the Preemptive Defense System, an automated device that can intercept flying projectiles or grenades. However, it was deemed to encourage camping too much and made players hunker down in a specific location using this gadget, so it was excluded in the end. Nonetheless, a portion of these features was repurposed for use in the unique UPS gadget. Specifically, the system’s turret, intended to harass enemies within range, was integrated into the UPS design. This turret was originally a part of the Preemptive Defense System.

Question #13: When can we expect to see matchmaking improvements to arrive in the game? A lot of fans are currently waiting for the matchmaking timings to improve before jumping back into the game.

NG: In PVP games, matchmaking is a crucial component of ensuring fair matches as well as enjoying them. I strongly support the need to improve the system and make significant changes. Therefore, we are preparing for improvement along with AI advancement in the next large update. With this update, we will be able to improve matching time and matching quality. I would like to take this opportunity to express my apologies for not being able to provide an environment where matching is more frequent.

Question #14: What would you guys prefer for the future? Will we see more shooting or combat games from NEXON Games, or you would like to explore other genres such as action or adventure games?

NG: NEXON Games is servicing or developing games of various genres, but in the shooting genre area, we’ve had games like Sudden Attack which has been in service for 18 years in Korea, and we also have VX but we plan to steadily introduce more games such as The First Descendant that’s in the pipeline.
Creating new games is crucial, and we firmly believe that offering diverse modes based on the current VX can provide a steady stream of challenging and engaging genre content.

NEXON is currently working on VEILED EXPERTS to make it even better as development work continues in its Early Access phase. Make sure that you check out our early access preview of VEILED EXPERTS along with its Steam page if you wish to download the game and try it out for yourself.

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About the Author: Umair Khalid

Founder of GamesHedge, Umair enjoys a wide variety of video games ranging from RPGs to racing games. Currently busy with The Crew Motorfest and Way of the Hunter.

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