Kang "Hyoon" Hee Yoon likes to keep it simple. Involved in cosplay, streaming, game development, and several artistic mediums — that may seem hard to believe. Hyoon is only motivated when it's something she's passionate about, she just happens to have a lot of them. Recently it's been playing Lost Ark. Inven Global spoke with Hyoon, to discuss her thoughts on the game, OfflineTV, and her art.
You’ve expressed incredible enthusiasm for Lost Ark. What makes it a special game for you? How does it compare with WoW?
I remember seeing Lost Ark, and I thought it was visually very pretty, but I wasn't sure how the gameplay would be. Going into it without knowing anything: it was everything I wanted in a game, and more.
The last game I was into was WoW two years ago when the expansion came out. I think that's the last time I've been into a game like this: wake up, play the game, go to sleep, repeat. I just like games with progression and mechanics centered around working with others.
WoW is very fun with friends, but I feel like the solo content isn't that great. Compared to WoW, in Lost Ark you can run into your friends more often in the game, even if you're playing solo. I don't think you'll really find your friends in the WoW world. But when you play Lost Ark, there's usually a chance you'll see them on an island or something if you guys are doing the same event.
Mechanically — how the bosses work and stuff — there are a lot of similar concepts. But of course, they look different the way you attack, etc. I definitely think I enjoy Lost Ark's combat system much more than WoW.
Given your art background, what’s your opinion of the art style? Some people say it looks like a phone game — what do you think?
It really confuses me when people say it looks like a phone game, because I'm pretty sure my phone would blow up if I tried to run a game like this. If you play the game on the best graphics, it looks really, really pretty. My computer's a little old and I have to play on medium settings, so maybe that's why some people say that.
People have higher standards now because of things like VR. They like hyper-realistic styles for some reason, but I am more of a fan of things with a unique art style — something that sets them apart from other games. I think Lost Ark has a mix of realism, and style as well. It's very noticeable how your characters look, and they have a particular style over other MMOs.
How does it compare with something similar like FFXIV?
I think both are very visually nice. The reason I didn't play FFXIV is that I'm really prone to motion sickness, since it's in a typical third-person MMO camera angle. That's what some people don't like about Lost Ark: because it's isometric. But I'm thankful it's isometric, because I probably would have a hard time playing it if it weren't like that. I would probably get motion sickness playing it. I did sit in FFXIV's character customization for a very long time, because I felt the characters were very pretty. And they do have a lot to offer.
The game has seen incredible popularity from streamers — though mostly big WoW personalities. You’re one of the only big streamers that aren’t cut from that cloth. What’s the reception been like? Is it a new crowd, or do you think there’s a lot of interest from your regular audience?
It's been really nice. I'm new to the game. There are a lot of experienced players that have offered me advice and help. I definitely think it's more so people who want drops, for sure [laughs]. That's a very big incentive for them to leave the stream on. There are a lot of new names that I see in my chat, so it's definitely brought a different crowd of people who are interested in Lost Ark.
I do see a lot of my old chat, though. Because even before Lost Ark came out, and when I would talk about it, a majority of my chat was expressing enthusiasm about the game. There's been a game drought going on, and Lost Ark's been the only thing they've been looking forward to.
What do you think of the game’s longevity? Could it be a game for streamers for years and years?
Of course, a lot of the game's content will run out, but with Lost Ark, you have dailies and weeklies — though those don't take too much time. It depends on how they plan on releasing the content — which I think they said they plan on releasing every two months. I think that's a pretty good direction that they're trying to go for. Blizzard with WoW usually released expansions every two to three years. Instead of them releasing a lot of content in one go, releasing a raid or two occasionally would help keep the game fresh.
I don't know about years and years. But I could see it going on for quite some time if they keep up with updating. That's why Riot's games have longevity, is that they're always trying to keep it fresh — even if sometimes people don't like the changes.
You've experimented with several art forms. Which medium do you think you enjoy the most? What do you like about it?
I love drawing digitally. I know some people say, "Digital art isn't real art. Because you should draw with pen and paper in real life." Of course, it does feel a bit less natural than that. But you literally have on-screen tablets — you'd have a little tablet that you'd hook up to your PC and have to look at your monitor to see where your lines are going. It's amazing now. With digital art, there's no mess involved. If you make a mistake, you can just press Ctrl+Z, and it's gone. No eraser shavings, you don't have to waste a canvas. The only thing you might waste is time.
What gives you inspiration?
Just things that I like. I think that's how I've been all my life. I'm definitely not one to force myself to do things — even if it's something good. I just can't bring myself to do things if I don't feel drawn towards it. I know a lot of people have a lot of discipline to work toward things — even though it's not something that they're too interested in, but they'll benefit from it. For me, if I am not into it, I cannot spend my time doing so.
I'm inspired because I really like something at the moment. When I was little, I drew Pokémon all the time because I loved Pokémon. I still do throughout my life because I always will. Same thing for VALORANT recently. Whatever series I'm into at the moment, I usually end up drawing because it's how I express my action towards what I like.
You also do cosplay — how is that as a form of art?
Oh, yeah, it's really expressive. And honestly, even though it's of the same character, how people depict and portray them through how they pose or body language — it's very different. It's really interesting to see how many people can bring a character to life.
I wanted to ask about your relationship with OfflineTV. You make a lot of the same type of content, you play a lot of the same games, and you’re even friends with some of the people. Have you ever considered joining OTV, or making more contact with that crowd?
I am friends with people in that circle. The people I met first were Lily and Scarra. Lily was first — because she was a really big League of Legends content creator, and I was a fan of her. I drew fanart of her on Twitter and tagged her. I never had shown my face there, and she thought I was actually a guy at first [laughs] until she saw a picture of me and she's like, "Oh my god, it's a girl." That was one of my first interactions, and then I got to know Scarra as well. I was just drawing back then and always talking about anime. But yeah, sometimes we play games — it's more off-stream. But I think on stream, sometimes I'll play Apex with Scarra.
But I just feel that as a person — even though we're friends — I don't want to feel like I'm intruding in people's spaces and asking them to play. I've always been a shy person about asking people to do stuff. But also just on stream, I like doing things by myself. Because I think when I'm interacting with people or others on stream, I feel bad because I can't really interact with them much. It's hard for me to focus on like looking at chat and talking to someone else. Usually, when I do things with friends, it's offstream. I like having it kind of separated in a sense.
I don't think I'm very much of a "contenty" person. Whenever I stream, it's more whenever there's something I really like playing: then I'll stream.
What are your goals for the future? Will we see the Hyoon Museum of Digital Art?
I'm a pretty simplistic person. I don't really envision, or want my name to be embedded in something. I graduated in game development. One of my biggest goals is to just make a small, not very blown-out game. I've always liked small RPG games. I'm a fan of puzzle games and things with those types of mechanics. So I think it'd be fun if I could make a two to four-hour game.
But other than that, I'm a pretty simple person. I'm not too drawn to the spotlight. I think I'm incredibly lucky to be where I'm at. And honestly, I have no idea how it happened, but I am very grateful. All I really want in life is just to be comfortable and live in a nice small, cozy home. There's not anything grand that I envision.
Is that why the LA streamer/influencer life hasn't appealed to you?
Yeah, it's also because it's very stressful. I can see how it affects people and even thinking about it is stressful to me, because there's always a pressure that you'll have to keep up with things, or make it so that people are interested. And I think that is really taxing. So that's definitely not something that I find too appealing. But I really admire content creators and what they do. Having to interact with people all the time, it's just definitely very taxing.
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.