The mobile market is one of the most lucrative in the video game industry. If a company, established or start-up, can create a game that is the right mix of fun and addictive, consumers will spend money in droves to continue playing it. Of course, these games have to make money, but that doesn’t restrict the game from being worth your time. CrushMon is the latest outing from Nexon, a mobile and online focused developer located in Korea. CGMagazine got to speak with Young Jun Son, Lead Game Designer of Concom, to get some more details on the game and the process involved in making it stand out in a saturated marketplace.

CGMagazine: Can you describe the basics of the game for us?

Young Jun Son: CrushMon is a 3D Action RPG in which players can enjoy an exhilarating hack & slash action with stimulating effects. There are 4 character classes you can choose from – Swordsman, Archer, Mage, Hammer-er. The game also provides 140 dungeons, Infinite Tower, Asynchronous PVP, Boss Relay, and Party Play, which can all be selected within ‘Sky Island’ (a lobby screen in which you can move around freely with other players).

We use a Collection system, in which you collect equipment/materials acquired through Chests that are obtained after clearing the Dungeons. When the collections are complete, characters can level-up and their equipment can be upgraded. Not only do the collections give EXP, but they also provide many other enjoyables within the game, such as Skills, Pets, and Soul Stones (items that engraves extraordinary powers on your weapons). Through a Rune system, you can also differentiate your character from everyone else’s. With Boss monsters and other cute-but-evil creatures as enemies, CrushMon provides an action-packed role-playing ‘Hack & Slash’ experience.

CGM: What makes CrushMon stand out against similar games?

YJS: It’s really a fun hack-and-slash, 3D Action RPG! With console-like graphics, it provides an touch screen game mechanic that attracts mobile gamers. With the ‘roll’ skill, you can dodge the skills of enemies to whichever direction, and use skills freely during the attack motions of characters. Console-like controls and fancy effects give CrushMon an edge over its competitors.

CrushMon differs from other RPGs in terms of character development. It uses a ‘Collection’ system, which greatly simplifies the growth of your heroes. No more synthesizing and enhancing of equipment! Our Collections provides users an easy method of taking care of an inventory.

Collecting a set amount of the same equipment allows you to strengthen your equipment. Or, you can exchange your equipment through the ‘Chest Exchange’ to acquire a higher grade item. This allows you to experience first-hand the basics of character growth through dungeon play.

CGM: What unique features does it offer players that allows it to stand out from the competition?

YJS: Its content, with having 140 Dungeon stages, Infinite Tower, interactive contents (Party Play, Asynchronous PVP), Boss Relay, and ‘Sky Island’.

Later on, we are planning to add more functions that elevates the competition aspect within the game. Which means, not only more stages will be added on to the already existing 140 dungeons, but guild systems will also thrive and be one of the main additions in CrushMon.

Heroes in an endless battle of Good vs. Evil, and their brave adventures will enrich the story that awaits. Join the 4 heroes in a storybook adventure!

In addition, there will be various events in Sky Island, which you can find out more by joining the battle!

CGM: All free-to-play games require some form of monetization. How does CrushMon tackle this issue?

YJS: In a macro perspective, the gameplay is somewhat organized to require users of a little ‘grinding’, and users with less time on their hands can surpass that with purchases. However, the requirement level is low. With its Collection system and the absence of ‘stamina’, CrushMon allows its players to enjoy their gameplay without hard restrictions.

And as stated above, players who want to quickly reach high levels can attain their goals by purchasing Chests and in-game currency. Not only that, several sales packages allow them to enjoy the diversity of purchasable items.

CGM: What kind of balance needs to be struck for the game to be both entertaining and a viable source of income for the company?

YJS: Our first and foremost goal is to create an environment in which users can easily understand the gameplay of CrushMon. The next step is to let the users feel its top-of-the-class action.

We have prepared a long time to reach the full potential of these two elements, and we now can say that they have come to their final stages.

By adding various equipment and action that relieves you of all your stress, we’ll guide you to the perfect balance that emphasizes the simplicity of character growth and the ‘fun’ of the gameplay. We believe that this is what makes a game truly successful.

CGM: What lessons have the team learned over the years about what makes a good mobile game?

YJS: There have been countless number of ARPG games that have been introduced in the market. But similar styles and growth strategies made them difficult to have a new impact. We wanted to stay away from the repeated tactics. We wanted to take on the challenge of being original, and therefore went through countless R&D processes to come up with the current infrastructure.

Since we could empathize with the players of wanting to play more but not being able to, we decided to discard the ‘stamina’ which restricted the gameplay. We went with a simpler approach, a growth cycle that revolved around a collection system. Focusing on the enjoyable competition that allowed a long-term ‘fun’ was our number one priority.

CGM: How was working with Unity?

 YJS: When developing a prototype of CrushMon, the game had low specifications and requirements. The needs of users however, called for an opposite direction of development, which was to a high-quality game. At first, we looked towards the Unreal engine, but then we were reluctant because of its inability to be compatible with mobile devices at the time. So, we turned towards Unity.

Our developers were used to the Unreal engine, and therefore had trouble adjusting at first. Now, however, we have fully submerged in the new system. The library and technical support of Unity was very helpful at the time. Looking through Unity 5 and Unreal engines, we are currently continuing with the research of finding out what engine most satisfies our gamers’ needs.