Genshin Impact has stood out to us over the course of its development through its sheer fantasy and unique approach at the action-adventure RPG genre. Up until now, developer miHoYo has larger released mobile experiences and then they jump out of the game with a full-on RPG experience with visuals that rivals many games available today.
With the game finally available and players discovering more about its world, we had the chance to interview miHoYo to learn more about the story and what the future holds for the series. The questions were answered by the developers at the studio.
Azario Lopez: Where did the concept of Genshin Impact’s story begin, and how did it evolve from the early stages of development?
miHoYo: The game takes plays in the fantasy world of Teyvat, where seven different elements converge. In this world, anyone can become a god. Someone who has been chosen by the gods is said to be granted a Vision, allowing them to use the power of the elements. You will take control of a Traveler who encounters many companions with different personalities and abilities. Together, you will defeat powerful enemies, find your lost family, and discover the truth behind the world of Genshin Impact.
The Genshin Impact story trailer hints at part of the game’s future story direction. The original story of Genshin Impact is one of its main selling points, and we invite players to experience it for themselves, to discover its many surprises and the truth of the world of Genshin.
AL: Was this game initially designed to be a mobile only title, or was it developed with PC and consoles in mind? I’d also like to know if the more powerful hardware of PC and consoles allowed you to do more with Genshin Impact?
M: Genshin Impact was envisioned as a cross-platform game from the get-go, with development for mobile, PC, and PlayStation 4 occurring simultaneously. Each platform has its own distinct characteristics and advantages, and we have strived to optimize the game to utilize the advantages of each platform.
The superior hardware capabilities of PC and PlayStation 4 allowed us to push the limits in order to deliver a truly immersive experience, for instance by leveraging the PS4’s powerful GPU to enable dynamic shadows for terrain, buildings and characters. High-quality ambient occlusion allows characters and objects to cast soft and realistic shadows in shadows, while SMAA and TAA minimalize aliasing and maximize screen detail. There are many more details waiting for players to discover, regardless of which platform they are playing on.
AL: Your game shares a resemblance to Zelda Breath of the Wild. Is this something that you set out to do, or do you take offense to those who won’t give your game a try based on its visuals?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the most popular and respected titles in the industry, and one which our staff hold in high regard. In a post that our team circulated to players last year, we mentioned that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of our inspirations for creating Genshin Impact as an open-world action RPG. That said, it is important to note that once you actually pick up the game, you will find the experience of Genshin Impact to be very different from that of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Genshin Impact features a fully original story and characters, and the core gameplay revolves around assembling a party of multiple characters and engaging in a combat system based on interactions between different elements. In the first few closed betas, we invited select players to experience the game and provide us with feedback. With the game launching on September 28, we are hoping that players can experience the uniqueness of the game first-hand, and of course that they will enjoy the experience.
AL: When it comes to the game’s gacha elements, how do you balance that with the gameplay? Can a player complete the game by only playing through the free-to-play offerings, or are will those who put money into the title have a better experience?
M: We have strived to make Genshin Impact a friendly and accessible F2P experience. Players will be able to choose whether and how they want to spend money. Players will be able to unlock 4 main characters to use for exploring the world by simply progressing through the storyline. Players may also obtain materials, equipment, weapons, and other characters by completing challenges and quests. Of course, the Wish system is also available for players who want to have access to more characters and equipment.
AL: Genshin Impact features English audio, which is rare to see. Why was this something that you wanted as an option in your game?
M: Our initial idea with Genshin Impact was to provide players with an immersive open world. As a multi-platform open-world adventure game intended for global release, we felt that providing English voice-over could give English native speakers an improved game experience by — among other things — making it more immersive.
AL: How committed are you to support the multiplayer aspects of Genshin Impact? Can players expect PVP events or guilds as a possible way to interact with others?
M: Our goal with Genshin Impact is to deliver an immersive open-world, combining both single-player and co-op modes to allow you to explore the massive game world with your friends. While players can choose to play solo or co-op based on their own preference, player versus player (PVP) is not a feature that Genshin Impact will focus on.
AL: On the other hand, can you play the entire game in single-player? And what does post-story content look like in the future?
M: Genshin Impact’s single-player mode allows players to experience the entire game on their own. As an open-world action RPG, the core aspect of the gameplay experience beyond the main storyline is exploring the open world. At the same time, the game also has in-depth side storylines for individual characters and random events to enrich the game experience. In the future, our plan is to expand the game further, with additions to the main storyline and side stories as well as new gameplay modes.
At the time of launch, Genshin Impact will feature only the first two of the seven major cities to appear in Teyvat, namely Mondstadt and Liyue. We are currently planning and creating the third major city. Genshin Impact will be a game for the long term, and we will be continually releasing new content for players— including the remaining cities, amongst other things — after it officially launches.
AL: Free-to-play games typically have limited time events with other IPs. Do you have plans for future collaborations, and is there a particular IP that you’d love to collaborate with?
M: We do not have anything to disclose at this time.
AL: With the PlayStation 5 coming soon, do you have plans to develop games for the next-generation hardware, and can fans expect Genshin Impact to take advantage of any PS5 upgrades in terms of better loading times or graphics?
M: We have some plans regarding next-gen consoles, and we will be announcing them as these plans take shape.
AL: Is there anything you’d like to say to fans awaiting the release of Genshin Impact?
M: Thank you all for your continued support. We are rapidly approaching the game’s official launch, and players will soon be able to experience the game for themselves first-hand. We are always actively collecting players’ feedback and suggestions in order to continue improving the Genshin Impact experience.
In case you missed it, check out our preview of the game’s final closed beta.
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.