We're making profound changes to the Shhhudoku Kingdom in Update 1.70. This devblog takes what the team would like to share about it with you and presents it in the form of an interview.

New zones, new dungeons, new monsters, new quests, and more… The Shhhudoku Kingdom is being treated to a host of changes in the upcoming update. Find out what it's all about with members of the WAKFU team!

Interview with BenK, Inooni and Siu

Q1. Can you introduce yourself and briefly explain what your job is regarding WAKFU?

I'm a level designer for WAKFU. I lay the scenery and the visual atmosphere. I kind of organize how players wander around, and I try to guide them as best as possible so their experience isn't too unpleasant. I work with three pieces of software, namely Animate and two other tools created in-house. Animate is the basic software for creating the pictograms that make up the scenery; I then assemble these pictograms to create maps in our editor. The third tool is an obscure and temperamental piece of software for managing various technical aspects of the game, including the integration of particles into maps.

[Inooni]: Hi, I'm the lead artist for WAKFU. My role in the project is to create and frame most of the graphic things you can see in the game: characters, monsters, equipment, interface, etc.

[Siu]: I'm a game designer, and for this update, I took care of designing the content. My job is to imagine, integrate, document, and balance monsters' gameplay. I created the items to get, their characteristics, and I wrote and implemented the narrative quests, including character dialogue, validation of objectives, and cinematic scripts.

I also took care of the teleporters, quantities of resources in zones, items in machines, the configuration of dungeons, and more, while coming to an agreement with BenK and Inooni for each stage!

Q2. Update 1.70 will include an in-depth revamp of the game's Shhhudoku Kingdom. What did you think should be reworked in this zone? Why this zone?

[BenK]: The old version was perhaps the least accomplished zone in the game. In any case, I thought reworking it should take priority. In recent years, we've worked hard to improve the scenery in WAKFU as a whole. It was time to make this island a little nicer and enhance it with other zones. 

[Inooni]: The Shhhudoku Kingdom needed to be revitalized like other zones that have already been revamped. The Whisperers hadn't been sufficiently developed the first time, and there were still quite a few things to do regarding them. Now we've fixed that.

[Siu]: I felt that we needed to rework the four Whisperer dungeons. I think the zone is more consistent and accessible with a single fine-tuned Whisperer dungeon, rather than having it compete with three other mini-dungeons.

Q3. With this revamp, several new zones are being added (mountain, ice floe, sleeping Crackler, etc.). What was your approach to building this in-game content consistently?

[BenK]: The big Crackler already existed in the old version but this time we wanted to make it monumental. So why not build part of the map right on top of it? This also made it possible to develop the environment where it splashed down, as well as inside it. 

[Inooni]: For the record, it was while we were looking into the Osamodas dimension that we thought about the new Shhhudoku Kingdom. At that meeting, lots of ideas were flying around, and we imagined a fallen Crackler lying in the water – since the Whisperers live interdependently with the Cracklers, what could be more logical for them? Once the idea had taken root and the Crackler had been thought up, the rest happened pretty fast because the team already had a few monster families in mind that they wanted to use.

[Siu]: Each zone must have a history and a past, both of which must be understandable. The WAKFU universe is very much alive, and we wanted to bring this life to the Shhhudoku Kingdom.
Unlike for a zone such as Osamosa – which is supported by its overall concept of the divine dimension serving as a giant laboratory – we had to find a wealth of details so that it wouldn't just be a mere expanse full of monsters.

As is often the case, some parts are inspired by real-life events. They can be references to current events, or more diverse, even personal references.

Q4. Three new monster families are being introduced. Can you explain how you integrated them into the game?

[BenK]: Since three new families are being added, it seemed wise to make the scenery more diverse. So that's what we did, moving from hot to cold in line with the character design: Whisperers and Scramshells in the temperate to hot zones of the giant Crackler; Plantiguards and Pingwins in the cool to frozen zones of the island. 

[Inooni]: We have several ways of creating new monsters. Either a proposed zone has been defined and we graft creatures into it, or the monsters have already been chosen and we create their environment.

During production, we often adapted a bit of both (environment and creatures) because there were always ideas that came along and others that went away.

The Whisperers have their giant Crackler as a zone, the Plantiguards and Pingwins have their ice floe, and finally, the Scramshells keep warm inside the giant Crackler.

The Plantiguards are cousins of the Bearbarians from DOFUS, so that's why there's honey in their environment.

The Pingwins also comes partly from DOFUS (mainly for inspiration), which is to be expected since the games are set in the same world but at different times.

For the Scramshells, we wanted creatures that could live in the heat and humidity while being sufficiently protected to live in an area surrounded by rock.

[Siu]: There was much discussion between BenK, Inooni, and myself to set the theme for the different zones. The main issue was getting a consistent finish with the different aspects we wanted to integrate into the game. I think moving from imagination to something concrete is one of the most interesting parts of the job.

The Whisperer Family
The Pingwin Family
The Plantiguard Family 
The Scramshell Family

Q5. Many mysteries surround the new Shhhudoku Kingdom: new quests, secrets, and much more! What would you like to share about it that's out of the ordinary?

[BenK]: I don't really have any anecdotes, except that with the big Crackler and the mountain, I had my fair share of cliffs to build! That isn't the easiest to do in the editor. I'm glad I was able to bring them to life and that they give it a nice finish. 

[Inooni]: As mentioned earlier, quite a few new creatures have been integrated into a unique environment that tells a story. I think that's what gives each of them its own unique charm.

[Siu]: Believe it or not, the clan member concepts are unique and offbeat.

Q6. What advice would you give players who will set foot in the new Shhhudoku Kingdom?

[BenK]: Watch out for the Pingwins! I get the feeling they're cunning… And don't forget to enjoy the game! 

[Inooni]: Go easy, and make sure you look everywhere. There are always visual references that can be found in the zones.

[Siu]: I pushed for a Morse boss, because I wanted him to speak in Morse code (literally). You'll have fun decoding the names of his spells and states – they each have a real meaning!

What's more, you can learn to speak in Morse code. You'll learn many morse-ls of info, so you certainly won't feel re-morse-ful!

Valuable clues about the boss's strategy are hidden behind this coded language…


You can now test the content of the new Shhhudoku Kingdom on the beta server to give us your impressions. For more info, click here.

Otherwise, see you in December when Update 1.70 is released on the servers!

Have fun in WAKFU, everyone :)

Category: Game design - Graphisme