Project Mugen Interview: Devs Plan To Release At Least One City Per Year

Players may meet new characters while investigating new locations.

Story Highlights

  • Project Mugen is an open-world urban RPG that was first shown to the world in August 2023.
  • The game has garnered much attention due to its similarities with other critically acclaimed titles.
  • We interviewed the devs at Naked Rain to discuss the title’s uniqueness, inspirations, and future plans.

Project Mugen is an anime-styled urban RPG that shot up in popularity soon after its reveal for its similarities with Insomniac’s Spider-Man. Over time, the developer, Naked Rain, has revealed snippets of the gameplay and other mechanics to highlight its uniqueness along those lines. The game not only contains swinging elements but also other forms of traversing the environment that seemingly set it apart from other open-world games.

From what has been revealed thus far, it is crystal clear that the studio has many ideas they want to implement in Project Mugen, which has naturally increased the title’s scope. With many things needing to be discussed and with no release date clearly in sight, we spoke with the developers at Naked Rain over an email interview to learn more about the game’s inspirations, the scale of the project, and future plans.

Read ahead for the full interview.

Project Mugen
Bansy And Mechanika From Project Mugen – via Naked Rain.

Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your work on Project Mugen?

Naked Rain: Hello, I am a member of the development team, mainly responsible for the urban ecology module and also involved in the planning of other modules. Our goal is to allow players to experience a modern urban city with an anime-style aesthetic in the game, creating an open world full of challenges and fun for the players.

Project Mugen does many things at once: Various travel mechanics, unique character abilities, using vehicles, and much more. Was it ever a concern that maybe having that many features could lead to a downgrade in quality?

Naked Rain: This will indeed increase the difficulty of our development to some extent. However, our team has many excellent programmers and designers, each with deep professional knowledge and rich experience in their respective fields. This enables us to innovate and adopt cutting-edge technologies and methods to solve the difficulties we encounter.

For example, in building the city scenes, we have utilized PCG (Procedural Content Generation) technology to create repetitive buildings within the city. This reduces the repetitive manual workload for designers, allowing them to focus on more creative work. We are committed to providing players with a sense of achievement beyond their expectations. At the same time, our team in Montreal has colleagues with extensive experience in Triple-A games development who will also provide us with technical support.

Project Mugen
Wall-Climbing Mechanic In Project Mugen – via Naked Rain.

The game has quite an interesting story and is expected to be expanded after each major update. How long do you think it will take before the studio releases the full story into the game?

Naked Rain: Our goal is to present a vast game world that can be explored. Therefore, after the game is launched, we will continuously update and expand the content, including city maps, characters, and stories, to ensure that players have new experiences constantly. We will refer to the update cycles of other free-to-play role-playing games on the market, but this has still not been confirmed.

Does the team have a post-launch roadmap for how often a new city or character may be released?

Naked Rain: As the main storyline progresses, new cities will also appear, with plans to update at least one new city per year. We are also planning for new characters, and players will encounter them in subsequent explorations, embarking on investigative journeys together.

Project Mugen
Vehicle Riding In Project Mugen – via Naked Rain.

In recent years, the gacha community has seen a lot of drama, both in the West and in the Chinese community. There has been a lot of criticism on how certain games treat their fanbase with the gacha elements and comparisons with other titles that are much more generous despite being in the same genre. Has that affected your strategy for tackling the gacha elements differently from other games?

Naked Rain: Our commercial team is working on establishing a new commercial gameplay for content-service games to ensure that more players can enjoy excellent content. We will inform the players of any new developments.

How much of a difficulty curve can players expect between the pay-to-win and free-to-play route?

Naked Rain: We believe that the most important and fundamental aspect is the game itself. Our players don’t have to pay to win, and their game experience does not need to be solely about winning. We want them to feel excited about the game and passionate about its content. We are still exploring specific commercialization models, so we cannot provide an accurate answer at this time.

Project Mugen
Character Throwing A Car At Enemies In Project Mugen – via Naked Rain.

In another interview, it was mentioned how the team was inspired by Jackie Chan's movies, which shaped some aspects of the combat. But are there any characters or their kits that take inspiration from another piece of media?

Naked Rain: In fact, our development team is widely influenced by various comics, animations, and movies. This is primarily reflected in our world-building. However, each specific character has their own unique personality traits and story backgrounds, and their skills correspondingly match. For example, the character Taffy wields a hammer as her weapon, but outside of combat, the hammer can also function as a motorcycle, serving as a high-speed transportation.

Fans have compared various elements of the game with specific titles, and while some do it in anticipation, many have been negative about it. Do you think these opinions will change close to launch, or are you concerned about how they might affect the game's sales?

Naked Rain: The answer to this question is also unknown to us. But we will persist in making the games we want to make. We have unique storytelling, unique art style, urban open world setting, and characters. We hope that when the game is released, everyone can see our differences, and we also hope that everyone will like it.

Project Mugen
Closeup Cinematic From Project Mugen – via Naked Rain.

Are you planning to have an open or closed beta test to get player feedback before a full release?

Naked Rain: We need the players’ feedback, and the arrangements for subsequent testing are also being planned. Interested players can also follow our official Discord community for further information.

Can we expect it to arrive later this year, or will it get pushed into 2025?

Naked Rain: Our game is planned for a global, cross-platform simultaneous release. There are some uncontrollable factors in the scheduling, and any new developments will be communicated to the players.

Project Mugen
Cinematic Screenshot From Project Mugen – via Naked Rain.

Could you tell us a bit about what graphics modes will be available across different platforms?

Naked Rain: Different devices have certain differences in experience, and our team strives to provide a better game quality for mid-range device players. Additionally, we have set up professional optimization teams for mobile, PC, and PlayStation platforms. Drawing from our extensive experience in previous projects such as “Naraka,” we are working hard to enhance the player’s gaming experience.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers? Something we haven't touched upon yet.

Naked Rain: We will definitely make every effort to perfect Project Mugen. Thank you for the support and love from all the players. We have prepared many surprises for this game, and more easter eggs await everyone’s exploration after the game goes online!

YouTube video

Project Mugen is an open-world urban RPG co-developed by NetEase Games and Thunder Fire Studio subsidiary Naked Rain. The game has no official release date yet, but it is confirmed to arrive on PlayStation 4 & 5, PC, iOS, and Android. There has been no information regarding Xbox consoles and Nintendo Switch ports. We extend our gratitude to the developers at Naked Raid for answering our questions.

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Mudassir is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the stories behind our favorite virtual worlds. Armed with a trusty notepad and a keen curiosity, he dives headfirst into the gaming industry's most exciting personalities. His knack for insightful questions and his ability to connect with developers and gamers alike makes his interviews a must-read. While on the lookout for the next person to interview, Mudassir keeps himself busy by writing news surrounding the gaming universe. Experience: 4+ Years || Senior Journalist || Education: Bachelor's in Psychology.

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