Heroes of Legionwood Devblog#1: New Beginnings

Originally posted here.

Hey, look at that – it’s 2015 already! The holiday season is finally starting to wind down and, being all partied out, I’m buckling down to resume development on Legionwood 3.

So, what’s new? The first thing you’ll probably have noticed is the name change. What was called Legionwood 3 in 2014 has been reborn as Heroes of Legionwood. I’ve already received a couple of emails asking about the change – why has the number been removed? Is this game still a sequel to Legionwood 2? Have I decided to reboot the series?

Well, the answer is both yes and no. Allow me to explain.

Heroes of Legionwood is still very much a Legionwood game and yes, it does continue the story of the previous title, but as the core mechanics and concepts of the game have started to come together, I’ve noticed that it’s undergoing what TV Tropes helpfully calls a Mid Development Genre Shift. The core of a Legionwood game is there (as in it’s set in the same world, references the same events and locations and all of the nomenclature for spells and classes is unchanged), but where the first two Legionwood games were Final Fantasy inspired J-RPGs, Heroes of Legionwood is more of a casual cRPG that pulls from everything from D&D to Mass Effect.

There are a lot of things in Heroes of Legionwood that stray from the J-RPG structure of Legionwood and Legionwood 2. There’s a day and night cycle and a need for your characters to eat and rest regularly. The stat and equipment systems have been entirely rewritten and the numbers are much smaller. There are dialogue trees during conversations, and NPCs that can react to your past choices, your class and the way your attitude towards them. It’s not so much an evolution from Legionwood 2 as a reboot in terms of gameplay mechanics, and as such I don’t think putting a number 3 in the game’s title does it justice.

Ultimately, I’ve realised that Heroes of Legionwood is its own thing. This is a game that’s designed to be a new beginning which takes the series in a brand new direction, but it’s also a love letter for long time fans as well. I want to restore the light hearted sense of wonder and adventure that people loved in Legionwood 1 and overhauling the gameplay mechanics is just one way to do that. I want to shift away from J-RPGs into a genre more reflecting of my changing tastes since when I first discovered RPG Maker, and Heroes of Legionwood is that transition.

What would you like to see in the game?

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