The company behind PUBG is trying to create the next big fantasy epic

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Krafton is best known as the company behind PUBG, taking the rambling battle royale and turning it into something much bigger through mobile versions, a surprisingly expansive lore, and soon even a horror spin-off. Now the company hopes to build the next great fantasy series after the Korean novel is licensed. The bird that drinks tears by Lee Yeong-do, with the goal of creating a multimedia franchise that spans games and beyond.

“Project Windless,” as it is currently known, is still in its infancy. Krafton art director Kwang Jae Son and acclaimed concept artist Iain McCaig, who have worked on artists like Star wars and Harry potter – are currently creating what is described as a “visual bible” for the series. “Essentially, it’s about laying the groundwork to bring the book to life,” says Son.

McCaig tells The edge that he was originally referred to the project by a friend in Korea. But once he looked at the book he was so excited that he put aside a number of personal projects to focus on. “The bird that drinks tears unlike any other fantasy story I’ve ever read, with new ways to explore human nature, which always attracts me the most, ”he says.

According to Son, part of what makes the book different from other fantasy series like the Lord of the Rings and Game Of Thrones is its emphasis on Korean folklore. Here is his job description:

The greatest charm of [Lee Yeong-do]works of, in particular The bird that drinks tearsis that everything is new. There are breeds where chickens and snakes are humanized, not to mention the monsters of Korean folklore. Lee Yeong-do’s stories introduce a diverse element of novelty, and each element organically interacts to create a unique world. It is difficult to visualize all of these elements, but I am still fascinated by the originality of the world he created.

The beauty of this world is that it tells stories with contradictions and paradoxes. The greatest beings leave their ugliest traces, and those you have truly loved betray you. These extreme pieces of history pose questions to readers, making the book’s themes more resonant and personal. It’s quite philosophical and can be analyzed and interpreted in various ways. You might find that these elements make the novel difficult, but I think that’s what makes it even bigger. Depending on a reader’s values, the theme is constantly changing.

According to McCaig, the process of visualizing the novel is similar to the work he has done in the past. “I’m always looking for guidelines – elements that connect and unfold throughout the saga – and visual themes that we can build on and pay for later as well,” he says. “It’s part detective work, part archeology, part treasure hunt.” The visual bible is still in development and the duo hope to complete it by the end of the year. “The visual bible for The bird that drinks tears will be provided to various artists, writers and directors who will develop this work, so our focus is on building the world based on the story, character and understanding of the original novel, ”Son said.

You can get a feel for the style in the concept art below.

“Project Windless” fits perfectly into Krafton’s stated plans to expand beyond video games. The company even recently announced an animated film PUBG project led by Adi Shankar. But “Project Windless” is something much more ambitious. PUBG only grew as a franchise because the original game was such a big hit. All subsequent versions – whether it be a game or something else – grew out of this. This new project goes in a different direction, with the hope that it will be a media series from the start. It’s new territory for Krafton, and Son says the company is looking at other blockbuster fantasy series for advice.

“Interestingly, the The witcher The video game series was based on the original novels, but ironically, the original novel became better known to the world thanks to the game. And since then, IP has been mass-produced and has become a global IP that is appreciated by many. . In this regard, The witcher is a good role model for us.

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