PopTag Interview: Pop Enemies and Tag Your Friends

PopTag Interview: Pop Enemies and Tag Your Friends
Questions by Bryan King (Bryan), OnRPG Journalist
Answered by Jaeho Hwang, PopTag! Producer


PopTag! is a fun, casual game developed by Nexon. PopTag! is a free 2D fast action multiplayer arcade game where  you you combat enemies and even other players using water balloons. PopTag! offers fast-paced game play in player-versus-player modes, or cooperative modes where you  can band together to take on unique and deadly boss monsters and their minions. A “co-play” function is also available to users, allowing two players to play using a single keyboard. Today, I got the chance to speak to Jaeho Hwang about the current status and the future of PopTag!



OnRPG: Hello! Please introduce yourself to readers?
My name is Jaeho Hwang, and I am the Producer of PopTag!.  I’m happy that I have the opportunity to bring this game to the North American market. 


OnRPG: Can you give readers a summary on the premise of PopTag!?
PopTag! is a fun online arcade-style multiplayer hyper puzzle action game that has players engaging in frenzied water balloon battles against each other or cooperatively against monsters. 


Crazy Arcade Game PopTag

PopTag is a crazy funny arcade game


OnRPG: How did you guys come up with such an interesting name?
The name describes the game’s competitive and cooperative aspect.  You “pop” your enemies trapped in a water bubble to defeat them and you “tag” your friends who are trapped to free them. 


OnRPG: How hard was it to integrate moving an originally eastern game to suit a western audience?
Of course there are challenges, but the game at its core level is fairly simple to pick up.  This is very helpful because you don’t have to repeatedly explain how to play the game.  Also, PopTag! is really fun and speaks to all audiences.


OnRPG: Introduce readers to some of the features in PopTag!
PopTag! currently has two main game modes: PvP And Monster.  In PvP, players compete against other players, alone or on teams, as they attempt to capture others in water balls.  Once captured, the player can pop the bubble his opponent is trapped in to eliminate him from the game.  Teammates can free allies as well by tagging them.  In Monster mode, players engage in combat against computer-controlled enemies on the way to facing off against a boss monster.  Again, water balloons are the primary weapon.


PopTag Adventure

Use water balloons as your weapons


OnRPG: Providing a casual experience to MMO gamers is rarely seen these days, and often MMOs require plenty of time… or money. How is PopTag! designed to suit casual gamers of all ages?
PopTag! matches are very quick.  There is the old marketing saying “easy to learn, difficult to master.”  This applies to PopTag!.  After just a match or two, the player has a very clear concept of the basics of gameplay.  However, once you throw in all the different equipment the player can use AND put them in a match with other players, you now have a bunch of variables that will satisfy players looking for a little depth.   But essentially, if you can move a character using the four-button directional pad and the space bar on your keyboard, you are ready to play and enjoy PopTag!.


OnRPG: Speaking of suit, will characters be able to enjoy some of the customization features they usually see in other MMOs?
That is one of the more fun aspects of PopTag!.  If you’re like me, you enjoy the part in games where you can personalize your appearance and customize yourself to stand out in a crowd.  PopTag! has an ever-growing amount of various avatar items that the player can use to decorate himself including outfits, ID labels and more.  Players can even customize what their water balloon looks like. 


OnRPG: There’s over 20 items in PopTag!, can you introduce readers to some of them, and how they can be utilized?
One of the key items many players use is the needle.  In the game, if you are caught in the splash of an exploding water balloon, you are pretty much doomed unless a teammate pops the bubble you are trapped in and frees you.  However, you won’t always have a teammate in a position to rescue you.  If you have a needle equipped, you can pop your way to freedom and hunt down the guy who put you in the water ball in the first place.


OnRPG:  How does gameplay work? Are the controls simple? Also, please introduce readers to the unique “co-play” function.
As I mentioned, the basic controls are confined to the directional pad and space bar on your keyboard.  It’s pretty simple.  The Co-Play function is a pretty clever feature where two players can enjoy PopTag! on the same computer using the same monitor and keyboard.  Nowadays, there is hardly any support for players to play PC titles with/against another player on the same system like you can with consoles.  PopTag!’s Co-Play system allows two people with two separate accounts to log onto the game and use keys assigned to the far ends of the same keyboard.   Given that many of the people who will be interested in PopTag! are younger players or family members, this further reduces the cost of entry by not requiring two systems to play with friends and family. 


OnRPG: How are the graphics in PopTag! used to further enhance enjoyment?
PopTag! features a variety of maps and environments, giving players the option of choosing the tone of gameplay.  Simple and colorful, the different environment options enhance a player’s enjoyment because they control where they play and what they’re seeing.  It’s all about fun and colorful settings.


PopTag Tricks

Clear puzzle adventures with tricks in colorful settings


OnRPG: There surely is much comparison between the classic game, Bomberman, and PopTag!. How would you differentiate between the two?
Many people like to compare PopTag! to Bomberman, but they are definitely not the same game.  In PopTag!, if you are caught in a blast, you are not instantly killed.  You are trapped, adding much more strategy to the game, which you feel once you play it.  Also, PopTag! has a whole assortment of game items and customization options that are unique to the game and make PopTag! its own game.


OnRPG: Will players who use the cash shop have a large advantage over those who don’t?
There is no advantage available for purchase that cannot be overcome by skill.  This is not like an RPG game where there is no way that an unarmed/unarmored player can even hurt a player with superior gear.  If a player has, say, a needle that may allow him to get out of one water ball, the limitation of being able to use only one needle per match keeps it fair.  You can’t purchase enough items to outdo all the techniques of a superior player.  Having said that, there are items in the Pop Shop that may make the playing field between players of dissimilar experience a little more even.   


OnRPG: Are there any events that players are able or will be able to enjoy?
There are always a number of quests and events available for the player to participate in.  There are always multiple quests running concurrently and on average every other week more quests are added.  The game tracks these quests with an in-game quest tracking system, which is a handy feature.  Also during certain prearranged times there are events where the player can earn more LUCCI and experience by logging in and playing.


OnRPG: What future updates does your development team plan to add?
The development team has a large number of ideas for additions to the game and is very responsive to the players’ suggestions.  Of course, we don’t want to announce every planned update right now as that would ruin some of the surprise. 


OnRPG: Give readers a quick summary on why they should go to poptag.nexon.net right now.
If players are looking for a fun, easy-to-learn game with a long, storied history, they should definately try PopTag!.  It has a colorful, animated look that appeals to many, but underneath all of that is a very balanced game with a lot of variety and even more to come.


OnRPG: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you very much for taking the time to learn about PopTag!.  The game is incredibly addictive, and we’d love for you to give it a try.


OnRPG: Thank you so much for your time! 

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