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The Untold Legacy: A Classic RPG With a Modern Twist

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Set in a distant fantasy kingdom, The Untold Legacy follows the adventures of a young boy who starts to uncover strange messages from an unknown source, drawing him deeper into a world of magic and darkness in his efforts to save his people. Heavily inspired by The Legend of Zelda, this open-world game features emotional storylines, problem-solving, and a unique atmosphere similar to those classic RPGs many of us grew up with.

I was lucky enough to get the chance to talk about the project with the lead artist and game developer Matt Vile about the project a few weeks ago

“Although this game has some obvious influences, it is not a clone or cookie cutter project – at every turn we are injecting our own flavor and unique ideas,” said Vile. “From the story, combat, items and puzzles we are finding ways to expand and enhance old ideas, as well as insert completely new concepts to create a unique experience for today’s players.”

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The Untold Legacy‘s development team currently consists of just three developers working together to produce the game on the Unity engine, and each team member contributes his or her own talents and specializations to the project. Coder Stefan Langeder takes care of the game engine and tools, while Daniele Zandara handles the game’s musical score and other sounds. Vile himself covers art, animations, story, development management and marketing.

Interestingly, Vile plans to release The Untold Legacy on platforms other than the PC, including the Wii U and mobile devices – an uncommon decision for today’s indie developers.

“For years, we have been really active in web/mobile game development. It’s been fun and rewarding but there is a lot of risk in regards to developing for those platforms,” said Vile. He also brought up several good points about getting a game published on mobile and web platforms.

“You have to make the game and hope that a publisher is willing to pay you what you think it’s worth or self release and often you couldn’t get the game in front of enough players to make a good return. Another reason [we’re branching away from PC] is we were catering to a casual audience of gamers we don’t often relate to. In today’s web/mobile market most publishers want short games that can be played for just a few minutes at a time and this is sort of counter intuitive for us. Although players would often enjoy our games, I think there is a noticeable divide. The team and I grew up playing console titles like Zelda, Mario, Castlevania and so on. Those games require people to really sit down for prolonged periods of time and play them. So for us, that is what’s most natural. When we come up game ideas, we imagine some long adventure that people will pour hours upon hours into – where they may be exploring, fighting monsters, saving princesses or doing quests.”

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I asked Vile to talk about his team’s development process, mainly regarding decisions and potential setbacks.

“For me, development usually starts on paper. I will jot down random ideas that I may think of during the day,” he explained. “A movie, literature, game or playing with my kids jog ideas in my head and I will scribble some ideas down that are normally accompanied by some sketches. After I feel like I have a solid idea on paper, I’ll normally move onto my computer. I tend to write a lot of drafts when it comes to story, and it will continue to grow and take shape as development goes on. I feel like this makes the game kind of take its own form organically and become its own thing naturally, as opposed to sitting down and making myself write something that is less inspired.”

When it comes to making decisions based on the game’s actual content, Vile admits that the biggest struggle is making sure things aren’t overly predictable, especially in a game that draws so much from classic genres and older games.

“Right now in the market a lot of games you see have twists or turns, and as a player you can see those plot twists coming from a mile away. Knowing what’s coming can often ruin an otherwise great game. I want players to be surprised and to keep them guessing as they play the The Untold Legacy. I want it to be something they can find themselves being excited about. In short, we want to be as unique as we can while staying true to our inspiration.”

Vile expects that the game will see a full release within eight to twelve months, although it could be released sooner. The Untold Legacy tells a story that’s familiar to most RPG enthusiasts, but Vile remains optimistic that his unique spin on the classic genre will draw in many potential players.

About Deborah Crocker

Deborah is a 22 year old semi-hermit currently plodding through her senior year of college and getting her feet wet in game journalism. She has a somewhat unhealthy obsession with high fantasy, video games, novels, and Elder Scrolls. When she's not in front of a screen, she enjoys singing and a bit of beading. She's also currently on the hunt for the restaurant with the best cheeseburger.

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