Honkai: Star Rail, a 3D role-playing video game developed by miHoYo, was originally set to be launched globally on April 26 at 10:00 am. However, the official opened the server earlier than planned. Despite this decision being made in good faith, many players expressed their dissatisfaction on Weibo, a Twitter-like platform, because they were unable to secure a desirable game account.
Honkai: Star Rail was approved in 2019 and received licenses for both PC and mobile platforms in January 2023. Multiple trademarks were registered that same month, and public testing began at the end of April. According to its producer, it took a team of 500 people four years to develop the game, with each planet featured requiring one year for copywriting and art design completion.
Prior to its official launch, Honkai: Star Rail received over 30 million pre-registrations worldwide. On April 23rd, the day of pre-downloads opening, it quickly rose to the top of free app store charts in more than 113 countries and regions, including the United States, Japan, and South Korea.
Honkai: Star Rail is currently the top-ranked game on TapTap’s popular list. Despite its initial rating of 8.5, it dropped to 8.1 after the server opened on April 26th. One player expressed frustration with the lengthy beginner tutorial and main storyline that cannot be skipped, as well as the need to update the game after completing the beginner plot.
Both Honkai: Star Rail and Genshin Impact are mobile role-playing games. However, while Genshin Impact features an open-world action-adventure mode, Honkai: Star Rail has opted for traditional turn-based gameplay.
Turn-based games have been around for several decades and involve players taking turns to make their moves. Players can only manipulate the game when it is their turn. In the early days, this gameplay was mostly adopted due to limited hardware processing capabilities and a focus on both enjoyable gameplay and ease of operation. As a result, these games typically require a lot of plot development.
To broaden miHoYo’s player base and make their products accessible to those who struggle with action games, Honkai: Star Rail has implemented turn-based gameplay. The team aims to create a “playable anime series” that doesn’t demand complex operations from players and has low barriers of entry.
MiHoYo and the Honkai: Star Rail team are now utilizing AI tools to aid in game development. Specifically, they have integrated AI technology into non-player character (NPC) behavior patterns to make their actions more realistic. Additionally, the team is leveraging AI tools alongside 3D modeling techniques to enhance the artistic effects of their models.