When you think of high-end graphics, a few names immediately come to mind: Epic, DICE, CryEngine. But as the technology continues to spread around the world, more and more game studios in various global technology centers are starting to attract attention with their advances in video game graphics.

One of these companies is Pearl Abyss, a South Korean video game company best known for the MMORPG Black Desert Online. Recently, the studio caught our attention with a stunning presentation of DokeV, created using a proprietary engine that Pearl Abyss is developing with the future of the studio in mind.

IGN was able to speak to Pearl Abyss’ Head of Game Engine Division and Lead Engine Programmer, Kwaghyeon Go, to speak more about this new engine, the name IGN may suggest as “Blackspace Engine”.

DokeV – New screenshots and graphics

Pearl Abyss’ biggest game at the moment is the MMORPG Black Desert Online, which Pearl Abyss developed with an earlier proprietary engine. But new projects require new technologies.

“When developing new projects after Black Desert, we felt the need for a new engine with the latest technology for even better quality and performance. In addition, it had to be able to cover several projects, ”says Go.

Enter Blackspace Engine, Pearl Abyss’ new next-gen engine currently used for developing upcoming projects such as Crimson Desert, PLAN 8 and DokeV, an open-world adventure where players can adventure with monsters based on Korean Being able to experience folklore.

“With your own engine it is possible to set up an efficient development process and to react actively to changes on different platforms”

Take, for example, the GamesCom trailer for DokeV, which has already garnered over 7 million views. Soaked in K-pop, the trailer is filled with highly detailed environments, stunning particle effects, and rich textures, and much of the commentary is devoted to discussing DokeV’s visuals.

“We believe that amazing graphics and attention to detail determine the core quality of a game,” says Go. “After all, it is these details that help create such an immersive experience.”

Go says its next-gen engine “allows for a more detailed representation of visual depth and increases character spacing”. In addition, “improvements in atmospheric scattering and global lighting technologies ensure more accurate lighting that takes temporal and spatial changes into account”.

Pearl Abyss developer slideshow

Pearl Abyss also has an advanced motion capture and 3D scanning studio, and the company plans to open its own art studio in 2022.

“The Pearl Abyss Art Center will be the largest art studio in the entire Korean games industry and will be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for gaming technology and design research,” said Go. It will also feature a new, nearly 11,000-square-foot motion capture studio designed to capture wire-action sequences, bulky objects, and even animals.

In addition to PC, DokeV was announced for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S. South Korean game developers have largely focused on PC and mobile devices, so IGN asked if DokeV was part of a new strategy targeting the global console market.

Go cited Black Desert on the console, which was released in 2019 and has helped serve a large overseas console market. According to Go, Pearl Abyss is one of the first South Korean companies to actively pursue the “challenging console market”.

Despite the competition, Pearl Abyss plans to expand its console offering by supporting crossplay between platforms as well as console versions of its next-generation games.

As for Pearl Abyss’ decision to develop a proprietary engine rather than license an engine from another company, Go says it is about “internalizing the core game development technologies” by using an engine with the “advanced technology of the Company “is developed. He added that Pearl Abyss is committed to eliminating the long-term risks associated with reliance on outside development platforms.

“With your own engine, you can set up an efficient development process and actively react to changes on different platforms,” says Go.

Crimson Desert – New screenshots

Aside from developing an engine that is good for high-end graphics, Go says the BlackSpace engine has other features that will help in the development of open world games. “With the Pearl Abyss engine, many aspects can be automated, procedurally generated and adapted,” says Go. Coupled with realistic audio expression and smooth transitions between cutscenes and gameplay that Go says make for an even more immersive experience, he says, “Possibly the greatest benefit of having an internal engine is the freedom to quickly add features as needed and change the direction we want . “

“We believe that amazing graphics and attention to detail determine the core quality of a game”

While there are currently no plans to license the BlackSpace engine to partner developers a la Epic or Unity, Go says the Pearl Abyss next-gen engine can be used to create a “like in real life” virtual space The latest technology can be combined “with the” in order to create a more realistic metaverse. “Therefore, Pearl Abyss is considering the possibilities of using the engine” in the most varied of areas “.

As games like DokeV continue to impress the world with their graphics, according to Go, Pearl Abyss will continue to focus on games like Black Desert while pursuing high quality graphics and attention to detail, “while also focusing on the gameplay itself” for the graphics. “

Matt TM Kim is the news editor for IGN. You can reach him @lawoffd.

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