the Junkyard: Please introduce yourself to the community
Jason Kim: My name is Jason Kim. As a general manager of JC Entertainment’s U.S. operation, I am coordinating all marketing issues in the USA. I am very pleased to introduce me and NetSphere to Axis communities and other prospective gamers. I hope they may find NetSphere interesting enough for continued patronage.
tJY: For those of us new to the NetSphere scene, can you describe what exactly NetSphere is?
Jason: NetSphere is a full-3D FPS online action game where players can connect to the gaming world and control customized Mechs to battle each other as well as conquer enterprises. NetSphere’s advanced multiplayer option supports players with various gameplay needs.
tJY: How is NetSphere different from the other mecha games out there?
Jason: The Mechs in NetSphere have high-speed flying capabilities and squadron type massive battles, which look similar to popular Japanese animation scenes. With the introduction of an arcade-like sword-fighting system and simulation acceleration system to the existing FPS game, NetSphere is an FPS game like no other.
tJY: Can you describe in-depth how NetSphere improves upon its predecessor, Axis?
Jason: NetSphere will focus on real-time strategy and RTS-like multi team play to allow players to better experience the role of a Mech pilot.
tJY: How is online gameplay handled in NetSphere and what improvements have been made to decrease game latency and increase game stability?
Jason: In Axis, players would use Peer to Peer connections using TCP/IP. With NetSphere, we will support a Server to Client and optimize the TCP/IP and UDP, a control that depends on network situation. We believe these methods will be very fast and stable.
tJY: Taking a look at the system recommendations, which include a Pentium III 800 MHz, 256MB RAM and 500MB HDD space... what technological advancements have been made to NetSphere that demand such high system recommendations?
Jason: The environment of NetSphere is very visual and we want players capable to get the fullest experience from the hard work and details that were put into it. Along with the visuals, effects, maps, Mechs and weaponry, we want players to be capable to assist their team to their best ability, which would require a higher end system for better team participation and gameplay.
tJY: How is the publishing of the game going to be held? Shipping overseas is quite expensive, so the export of the game alone will be rather pricey in comparison to games developed and published in North America. Can we expect to see the game available in a compressed downloadable form from a publisher like RealNetworks as Axis was handled, or can we expect to have a CD in our hand in North America?
Jason: Nothing fixed yet, but we will be considering the use of both a packaged and downloadable form. We will be looking for a reliable publisher for CD delivery in North America.
tJY: One of the coolest features in Axis was the ability to build and customize your own Mecha as you earned parts and weapons through the single player campaign. How is this feature going to be handled in NetSphere?
Jason: The Mechs in NetSphere won’t be individual designs and customizable, however, they will have the ability to customize the appearance and weaponry used.
tJY: Any avid Axis gamer will know that the KSM-01 Sniper Rifle was one of the most favored weapons in the game, however, this also led to the decline of weapon variation as matches were led to a "whoever has the sharpest shot" or "fastest connection". What steps are being taken to further balance play in NetSphere?
Jason: There won’t be any favored weapons in NetSphere. Each weapon will have its own unique characteristics and features allowing them to be used with a variety of strategies and team based roles.
tJY: Can we expect to see a demo available any time soon and do you have an ETA for the game's release?
Jason: We have not decided whether or not to release a demo version, however, if we do, it will be sometime around October 2002.
tJY: On behalf of the Junkyard, I'd like to thank you for your time, Jason!
Jason: Many thanks for the opportunity to introduce NetSphere.