Heroes of Legionwood Devblog #6: The Phantom Pain
Hey everyone. It’s Devblog time again!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a development update for Heroes of Legionwood, basically because I’ve gotten stuck right into the next installment and there isn’t really a whole lot that’s different on a mechanical or design level from Age of Darkness. However, there are some major changes currently underway with regards to how the next installment will be structured, which I feel are worth talking about — most significantly that the game has slowly (over the last few months) changed from an episodic trilogy to an epic two-parter and we’ll be embracing this format moving forward.
Yes, you read right: Heroes of Legionwood is doing a Metal Gear Solid V. Basically, the plan at the moment is to combine what were originally going to be Episodes 2 and 3 into a single game, roughly twice the length of the currently released Age of Darkness. In this sense, Age of Darkness is something of a standalone prologue to a deeper “main game” which expands upon the concepts and story elements introduced in the first installment. If you remember way back to my early development updates, this is in line with my original vision for Heroes of Legionwood as a series of distinct games that connect to form a larger story arc, rather than mere “episodes”.
A concept, funnily enough, that is already established in the RPG genre:
There are a number of reasons why I’ve decided to do the next installment in this way. The first and foremost is that I feel that Age of Darkness kind of works as a game in its own right. It has a complete story arc (cleansing the Weave and laying the groundwork for removing the Darkness) and an ending that does provide closure, though obviously still leaves things open for a bigger conflict yet to come. Just as I originally intended, Age of Darkness doesn’t feel just feel like an “Episode 1” to something larger — and I want the next installment of the game to also feel like its own distinct entity, not simply a DLC. If I combine Episodes 2 and 3, I can really ramp up the stakes with the larger conflict that’s foreshadowed throughout Age of Darkness instead of watering it down in order to split it into two standalone games as originally intended. Ultimately, Heroes of Legionwood should feel like two separate games that just happen to combine to form a larger story, not three continuous acts artificially sliced up.
There is, of course, also the matter of the upcoming RPG Maker MV to consider, and the time that will be required to become comfortable enough with it to eventually begin working on a brand new project. According to the Dark Gaia Studios Facebook page, something a lot of people are holding out for is a mobile RPG set in the Legionwood universe, something that’s actually possible in the new engine. If I can minimise the time I have to spend dealing with the logistics of releasing two games by releasing just one game instead (and believe me, a lot of the stuff I have to do around release is actually very time consuming and tedious), I’ll be able to more evenly divide my time between Heroes of Legionwood and any future products that RPG Maker MV will bring to the table.
Ultimately, I just want to make Heroes of Legionwood: Age of Darkness and Heroes of Legionwood: Resurrection each a memorable experience in their own right, not just parts of a greater whole. I want this game to be less Taletale Games, and more Harebrained Schemes. If Age of Darkness is Shadowrun Returns, the next installment should be Shadowrun Dragonfall.
What do you think?