Meet the Developer: Sungchul Park

For today’s blog, please meet Sungchul Park, CTO for the game projects at Ocean Drive Studio.

Quick Intro

Name: Sungchul Park
Your Role: CTO. Leader of tech group. Tech group is in charge of creating root tech systems and structures related to developing in-game graphics, game systems, game server/network, and database. Basically tech group takes role of realizing what creative group envisions! and during the process we create infrastructure for the all of our future game projects.

What Else?: I have a lovely wife, two kids and two cats! My main role for the family is making sure our home is clean and safe! Also, I love travelling… and current Covid 19 pandemic is giving me hard time… can’t wait to travel with my family once the pandemic gets resolved.

Games as a Gamer

Favorite Games:
One of my all time favorite is To the Moon by Freebird Games. To the Moon is not only fun, but also the game which provides me with feeling of comfort, joy and rest. I learned game can be a form of art, and game can provide many different values by playing this game. This is why I call To the Moon as my all time favorite game although this game has relatively short playing time.

Of course, another Sigmund Corp. Series Finding Paradise is another game that I have to discuss. When I first played the game, I had to agree that it is very hard to find the sequel better than the original.. until I have reached the ending of the game. It was more touching than To the Moon! I can’t wait to play Imposter Factory which is due end of the year.

Favorite Game Studios:
My favorite game studio is Blizzard Entertainment. There are exceptions, but most of their games provides the best possible gaming experience within the genre. Fans always wait for the new titles or sequels, and Blizzard always try to satisfy community’s expectation. Their craftsmanship making the game, and always trying to communicate with the community is something I admire and expect Ocean Drive to do.

What have you been playing lately?:
Assetto Corsa is the game I have been playing with passion. I have always loved cars, and after watching F1: Drive to Survive I couldn’t stop playing this game. Recently, I have been playing this game with my colleagues at the studio, changing tracks every week, competing the best lap records. Every time I watch YouTube video of real driving on the track I have been playing on the game, I feel amazed how accurate and realistic the game plays.

ASSETO CORSA – The Set Up in the Office

I have been also playing Animal Crossing with my kids! My 8 year-old daughter and 4 year-old son love playing this game. I am limiting game time to 30 mins only on weekends. My kids have been always waiting for the weekend to come only for this game. My kids have been loving Mario Kart, Mario Party, Kirby Star Allies and now Animal Crossing. Now, I can say I am a huge fan of both Kirby(enjoyed different types of fusion combinations) and Animal Crossing(what makes sandbox game so fun!)! Last time, my wife has told me to stop making excuse of kids playing these games!

The Island my family has been working together – Easter decoration is not my taste though!

 

Games as a Developer

Start of the Gaming Career:
My major at University was Nuclear Engineering. But after having chance to take computer programming class as part of my major, I was fascinated what computer programming can do. Especially the fact that I can create something from the scratch made me change my major. After changing my major I had to think of what industry would let me use my programming skill to create something very creative. One day, I had chance to play Starcraft Brood War and found myself playing the game 18 hours a day! This was a critical moment in my life, where I started to think maybe I can become a game dev.

Key Philosophy:
Key word for the game development for me is “Culture”. Most of the games I have played passionately always had elements of culture, meaning either online or offline, or sometimes both online and offline, I always formed community sharing the game experience with others. As other art does, game becomes something valuable in our lives when it becomes culture and connects people.

It applies for the game development process. When entire game development process involves many different people with different taste and expertise, the culture within the development team gets shared with the players. I always think the game developed by a team without culture cannot be attractive, and at Ocean Drive, one of our main focus is having a unique and attractive culture which can influence our game projects!

My Past Projects:
During my early gaming career at Nexon, I worked on Elancia, Asgard, Elemental Saga, and Crazy Arcade B&B. After I moved to Neowiz with Heejae Kim, I worked on FIFA Online 1 & 2, NBA Street Online 1 & 2. During my Thingsoft days, I had chance to work on various different genre of games on different platforms. After I came back to Nexon again, I had chance to work on Romance of Three Kingdoms: Legend of Cao Cao, Tango 5, and other unannounced title.

Among all the games that I have worked on, FIFA ONLINE 2 and Tango Five are two games I have thoroughly enjoyed!

FIFA ONILNE 2 was massively successful in Korea, and I was very happy to work on the online free to play port of the FIFA series which I have enjoyed throughout my college days! Also, because the game was super popular, had chance to face interesting technical issues which helped me expanding my technical skill sets. Co-developing the game with EA had led me to learn different game development approaches as well.

Tango Five was one of the most unique game I have worked on. It had elements of Xcom combined with real-time cool-down multiplayer elements. I had chance to release the game on both mobile, PC. The game was released on Steam under the name Tango Five Reloaded: Grid Action Heroes. Unfortunately game didn’t gain enough of popularity but I had great experience trying many different game design approaches and systems. If I can have another opportunity, I really want to re-work on the game in the future.

Tango 5 Reloaded: Grid Action Heroes on Steam

What made you Join Ocean Drive Studio?:
Same as others! It’s all about people. I have worked on 15+ game projects during my 18 years of career, and one thing I learned was that unless you can look at the game as players and understand what community for the genre of games really wants, you cannot have meaningful game projects. The team at Ocean Drive actually tried to find other game development studios which we could join but we couldn’t really find a studio with same mindset, and that’s why we decided to start our own studio. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have the team which shares same value and I am grateful that I have this opportunity to work for our own game studio!

 

FEW OTHER STUFF

As part time job, I am working on a building Photovoltaics power plant with 100kw capacity. Also… working hard on my golfing skills!

 

We are really working hard to build our game to the state where we can share details with the players! Please keep following our updates!

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