Free fishing games aren’t very common, but definitely there’s a segment for them. Redbana is working on Gran Mer, an evocative french title which translates to ‘Big Sea’. Besides fishing with some attractive characters, Grand Mer offers more.
FreeMMOStation spoke with Dong-man Lee, Gran Mer’s producer and unearthed a lot of information.
Can you introduce yourself and your role on Grand Mer?
Hello everyone. My name is Dong-man Lee, and you can just call me “Charles”. I am currently in charge of Grand Mer’s development as Grand Mer’s producer. I have been working as a game developer for the last 15 years, and I very much enjoy playing games. I was born in one of the seaside towns in Korea, so fishing has been part of my life since my childhood. I am fond of fish, and people here in Korea call me ‘Fish Daddy’. Haha!As a matter of fact, this is not my first time meeting American gamers. I am not sure if many players in America remember a game called ‘Angling the Giant’, which was published by Interplay, but I was part of that fishing game’s development. At that time, I had the pleasure to introduce very real-looking fish graphics to users as the art director. I am very happy to have this chance to meet American players again.
Angling the Giant 2
How did you come up with the idea to create a game focused on fishing?
To be honest, I almost feel it was destined. I started working for a game company when computer games were not so popular in Korea. The CEO of that company was such a fan of fishing, and he thought it would be great to create a fishing game that people can enjoy all the time regardless of weather conditions outside. That was how a fishing game for DoS, ‘Angling the Giant’ was developed. I still think about those days when I played the initial version of ‘Angling the Giant’, staying up several nights after its development was completed. I realized the true charm of a fishing game then, and I was in love with the game for a long time. It was also great to see my imagination coming alive in the game.
Ever since then, I have worked on developing many fishing games such as ‘Angling the Giant 1’, ‘Angling the Giant 2’, ‘Angling the Giant 3’, ‘Fishing On’, ‘Styl Fish’, ‘Community Fishing Game’, ‘Angling the Giant, Fresh Water 3D’, and finally ‘Grand Mer’.
Currently, Korean users who play many of the popular games including PC, online, and console games are greatly exposed to in-game violence, and many games are about killing, hitting, and destroying things. It could be seen as undesirable for our future generation’s education. Thus, I believe a fishing game can provide users with a bit different and good fun, and that’s why I keep pushing myself in developing fine fishing games. If students and children can enjoy a non-violent fishing game, and if users can explore a grand ocean while riding a colorful boat and fishing in a beautiful and fantastic island environment, that’s what I want to pursue in turning my passion of fishing into a game. An ideal fishing game in my mind helps both developers and users live more enriched lives.
How did you manage to inject excitement in an activity often seen as solitary and requiring great patience?
People who have no idea about trolling fishing can enjoy playing Grand Mer while being immersed in the thrill of fishing, since Grand Mer is made to be easy to understand and control. Grand Mer broke the limit of ‘Level up grinding’ and ‘fishing grinding’, which are common in fishing games, and provides challenges, purposes, and motivations through various systems and tournaments besides level-up. In Grand Mer, it is not the end of the game to catch the biggest fish, so players can enjoy playing the game according to their preference and playing styles by setting their own motivations. Unlike existing fishing games, Grand Mer provides different angled camera views, various attractions such as dynamic swimming, jumping, and glow of fish, and reveals true charm of trolling fishing. Realistic oceanic environment such as rocking waves helps maximize users’ fun experience, and players can tell the weather changes, water color changes, and sunrise/sunset. With realistic motion patterns and AI of fish and though a situation when a shark bites a fish that the user was struggling to catch, players can feel how realistic the game experience is.
Grand Mer is a trolling tournament game, which means anyone can hold a competition and participate in already-started competitions without having to wait. There are three tournament types, which are Big game, Star game, and Super game. You have to qualify yourself in lower level tournaments to advance to higher level tournaments. Players are encouraged to compete to achieve honor, fun, and challenging goals as leisure sport far beyond just enjoying fishing.
Grand Mer presents a very dynamic fishing experience while riding a speedy boat and struggling to catch a fish, not static fishing style such as boring fresh water fishing where people just stand and only move their rod up and down. Fish size is based on its actual size, and characters use an exclusive crane to land a giant fish that are several meters long, instead of the character itself trying to pick up that huge fish alone, which provides users with more satisfaction and fun.
Grand Mer has moved away from general mmorpg’s balancing system that restricts each level’s ability to catch certain types or sizes of fish. Grand Mer does not have an obvious system where a lower level user struggles a lot to catch a fish smaller than the palm of your hand and a higher level user can catch a relatively big fish with ease. Rather than in-game level, utilizing Grand Mer fishing skills and information and trying various fishing patterns and strategies will enable users to catch more diverse and unique fish.
Even though it is a fishing game, Grand Mer is not all about fishing. It has many game functions that are related to the fishing system. Many unexpected fun episodes will take place while fishing such as bonus system, food chain system, showing-off system, lucky prize reward system, and others. Grand Mer has a creative game system where all these game elements are well-mixed with fishing features. Lucky users will enjoy special pleasure and fun, and anyone can be that lucky user.
Grand Mer has its exclusive controller that is equipped with a vibration motor and a motion sensor. This fishing controller is a revolutionary control interface for online games, which provides a new experience of a wholly different dimension to users, compared to keyboard and mouth control.
How many characters are there in Grand Mer, and how different are they? And what about the fish variety?
In Grand Mer, there are Characters, which play the game directly, and Guide NPCs, which provide help about fishing. Guide NPCs are two types, which are Human Guide NPCs and Animal Guide NPCs.
Age: 21 years old
Height: 177 cm
Background: He was born in a very isolated remote island in Neocean. His father was killed by a huge man-eating shark. He wants to take revenge for his father’s death to become the greatest angler of Newterra. His goal is to catch the biggest man-eating shark in Neocean.
Personality: He is young and agile, and has confidence in everything. However, he is impetuous, and depends on his physical strength more than skills while fishing. If he loses a fish that was almost caught, it will hurt his pride and upset him very much.
Age: 25 years old
Height: 170 cm
Background: Once her father led a powerful club in Neocean, but now a new club is dominating Neocean. To follow her father’s glorious footsteps, she continuously participates in saltwater trolling/fishing competitions.
Personality: She is active and full of positive energy. She is a bit weak physical strength wise, but due to her father’s teaching her fishing skills are great.
Age: 29 years old
Height: 185 cm
Background: He is recognized as one of the best experienced anglers in Neocean. He knows about the sea well. He leads one of the most influential clubs in Neocean, and he spreads fishing skills and his know-how to people around him.
Personality: He is a man of few words, and very strong. He is sincere and diligent in everything. He is strong physically, yet flexible, and he hardly misses a fish once it is hooked.
Age: 17 years old
Height: 163 cm
Background: Although young, she has been called to be a genius in fishing. Many clubs in Neocean want to have her as their member. She has the faith that someday she will become the best angler ‘Lordan’ in Neocean.
Personality: She is cheerful and outgoing. Her physical strength isn’t too great, but she has a good sense of fishing. She is delicate and patient, which makes her excel at catching a fish with perfect timing.
Age: 22 years old
Height: 173 cm
Background: She is more like a big fan of fishing than a great angler. She enjoys fishing in itself. She usually wants to boast about her fishing skills to the accompanied guide. However, she gradually falls into the fascinating saltwater trolling competition in Neocean.
Personality: She is full of conceit, and likes to brag about herself. She is all about glamour, and always seeks attention by posing. But, because of the imprudence, she faces dangerous moments from time to time, which she enjoys occasionally.
Age: 55 years old
Height: 167 cm
Background: He used to be a club leader when he was young, and challenged himself to become the best angler of Neocean. But, his attempts failed every time. Even in his old age, he wants to pursue his dream again. He has attained a good sense of fishing that came with his age.
Personality: Considering his old age, he is still strong, and he has extensive knowledge about the ocean. However, due to his timid nature that he never got over since young, he keeps on making mistakes at critical moments.
Introducing Guide NPC:
Introducing Fish Variety:
What game modes can we expect?
Grand Mer is an online trolling fishing game in the world oceans. Trolling fishing is a fishing leisure sport where people struggle hard to catch all kinds of giant fish including tunas, marlins, and sharks while exploring vast oceans on a boat. Through Grand Mer, you can experience trolling fishing that any angler dreams about challenging. You can feel the complete pleasure of fishing with passion while experiencing dynamic trolling fishing to catch huge saltwater fish by yourself.Grand Mer Game’s Features
1) The world’s first online trolling leisure sport game
Grand Mer is the world’s first mmo saltwater trolling game where users struggle hard to catch a giant saltwater fish that can be 8 meters long.
2) As lively as sailing on a real sea
Grand Mer has the best online game ocean graphics. You can experience all sea conditions from a calm sea to a big wave that rocks your boat up and down. Sailing on a boat looking at the setting sun over the horizon will make you feel as lively as it gets. The sea colors are carefully selected and nicely illustrated according to each sea’s geographical conditions. It is exciting to see fish swimming under your boat and at times bouncing to the surface.
3) Nibbling that keeps you focused
Grand Mer provides a special nibbling food chain system that heightens users’ expectations and excitement. To be precise, a player who started struggling with a small fish for the first round of nibbling can get an opportunity to catch a bigger fish when a bigger fish nibbles on a small fish as its prey that the player is struggling to catch. This food chain sytem is enabled to accommodate up to 5 rounds of nibbling in total. Mostly carnivorous and bigger sized fish can be found in the food chain system. Moreover, many incidents can take place while struggling to catch a fish such as appearance of a flock of flying fish or dolphins. If this happens, the fish can grow bigger than when it first nibbled.
4) Beauty of reversal, a continuous battle game
Grand Mer is a Solo Fishing game where you play by yourself without engaging with other users. However, users can easily participate in Battle Fishing game where users have fishing competitions from any map available in the game. Battle game is a fishing competition to find a winner with various rules set in a battle map. Besides Battle game, regular fishing competitions are held where large users partcipate together and compete against one another.
5) Fishing-game-exclusive social network support
Grand Mer has a fishing-game-exclusive networking system where users can exchange information, communicate, and boast to other users, as well as a general community system for a messenger, clubs, and chatting. You can show off your catches in front of other users, and this exclusive system provides a function where all the users can appreciate your catch at an important check point such as a delivery spot. You can invite other players to your aquarium, and your visitors can leave a note at your aquarium. On top of that, when you catch a certain fish, the system provides you real time info of the caught fish’s maximum size at that particular time, so that users feel proud when they catch the biggest size.
6) A fishing game that has the most variety of fish
Grand Mer has the most fish species of any fishing game, and players can catch various and special fish species around the world. Each species are designed based on its actual shape and color, and each fish has its own motion that shows its realistic and dynamic energy. Grand Mer will introduce many different fish species aroud the world, and your knowledge about species will be enhanced through Grand Mer’s fish book.
7) ‘Relax mode’
Grand Mer provides another fishing mode called ‘Relax mode’ other than dynamic saltwater trolling. In this mode, players enter a certain island on a solo game map, and sit on their personal pedestal in a lagoon. Players can appreciate the nature and beautiful sceneries while fishing all relaxed. Fresh water fish are available to catch here. You can enjoy fishing in a very calm environment with nice background music and poem.
8 ) Another fun item system
Grand Mer has a very diverse item system. Items are attained by collecting, combining, trading, reinforcement,dropped box items, and fishing rod system. Instead of a passive way of purchasing items that have certain fuctions, users can proactively craft desired items and functions.
Grand Mer tour system is uniquely designed to provide users with much more fun from a fishing game. Special challenging missions, which are not part of the solo game or battle game, will help players enjoy Grand Mer as a game itself. Players complete misisons by following dolphins and cooperating with friends. Upon completing the same mission, players get different rewards depending on their rankings.
10) Fantastic aquarium containing the ocean
Fantastic underwater environment has been re-created in Grand Mer’s aquarium. Players can put their catch in it, and a fish book is available, too. Each player’s catch record for each fish and the biggst fish will be updated and provided here. Club aquarium can be managed as a communal aquarium, and other players can visit and appreciate the aquarium together through invitations.
Anything else you would like to say to our readers?
I hope to meet American users soon. Get ready to catch a shark!