Dev Log: Diversification and the Birth of Altis Gates

Welcome to the first installment of our Altis Gates ( http://ag.igg.com) Development Log. I’m David, one of the developers working on Altis Gates. I’m looking forward to giving people a glimpse into the development process behind Altis Gates. To start things off with a bang, I’d like to share some insights about IGG’s decision to introduce some groundbreaking diversification features to the game.

From the very beginning, we were determined to develop a game that could be both original and popular with gamers of various backgrounds and interests. There are a lot of MMORPGs on the market. What kind of game would stand out among so many others? The question puzzled us. One thing we realized was that most young gamers are tired of boring level grinding, unchangeable character graphics, stereotypical PvP and other unoriginal features that have become standard in the industry. To us, it seems young gamers want more freedom and a chance to showcase their personalities. They hate to be confined. To address all these concerns, we felt a highly diversified game would be very attractive to our target audience. As a result, we adopted the idea of diversification as the driving force behind everything we put into Altis Gates.

The first element of the game we wanted to make more diversified was a character’s appearance. Players will spend a lot of time to achieve a look that speaks to their personality, but because of the limitations of a 2.5D game, slight changes in appearance such as one’s figure, facial features or stature might not be all that noticeable. How could player characters be diversified and attractive? One day, we suddenly saw the light. If a slight change doesn’t work, why not let players change their characters dramatically? By letting players make bold changes to their character’s looks, we can give them many different options rather than slight variations on a few basic forms.

Once we made that decision, we designed 4 options for player character customization. The first is to change appearance using a shape-shifting card. While fighting computer-controlled enemies in the wilderness, players have the chance to loot shape-shifting cards that let them assume the appearance of the specified creature while also benefiting from a double experience bonus for 10 minutes. We currently have 60 types of shape-shifting cards, giving players 60 different creatures they can mimic.

The second option allows characters to assume the appearance of certain NPCs using shape-shifting potions. Among the many NPCs in the game is a cute duck-like character known as Tracy. After completing a particular Storyline Quest, players receive a vial of shape-shifting potion and one containing a reversion potion. Players can use these to copy Tracy’s shape and then revert to their normal form later. Our goal is to design and release many more shape-shifting potions in the future.

Since neither the first nor the second options are usable in combat, we wanted to add an option allowing players to enjoy shifting their shape in combat, too. The result was the Berserker, a special class that is able to take Tiger Form, Bear Form or Cheetah Form in combat.

The final shape-changing option is available to those who sell items from a stall. While running a stall, players can turn into a cute miniature snowman, which gives them the chance to add some fun to the activity of selling one’s spare items.

We don’t stop at characters when thinking about diversifying looks and abilities. Pets can also be customized using 60 different pet shapes, 42 character types, 9 talent types, plus stat points to create a unique pet unlike any other. Players can feed their pet an Evolution Crystal to alter its appearance, or accept a specific combat challenge to see their pet change before their eyes.

We want to make Altis Gates an original and diversified turn-based fantasy game that players will really enjoy. The player community will help define how the game evolves, so please post ideas and feedback on the official forum at http://forum.ag.igg.com to help us make it the best game it can possibly be.

An Alpha Test launch date will be announced very soon. Keep an eye on the game’s official site at http://ag.igg.com for the latest details and news about Altis Gates and the upcoming Alpha Test.


Games PressGames Press is the leading online resource for games journalists. Used daily by magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media and retailers worldwide, it offers a vast, constantly updated archive of press releases and assets, and is the simplest and most cost-effective way for PR professionals to reach the widest possible audience. Registration for the site and the Games Press email digest is available, to the trade only, at www.gamespress.com.