When it decided to turn Minecraft into a strategy game, Mojang had a couple of specific goals, as creative director Magnus Nedfors explained. during an interview at the Xbox booth at Gamescom this week. minecraft legends it had to retain a somewhat indescribable “Minecraft feel” and also work well with a controller for console gamers. Mojang and development partner Blackbird Interactive managed both, Nedfors explained, turning it into a action strategy game: a mix of genres that really doesn’t have many successful examples to draw from.
“Another aspect of Minecraft is that we always have a hero character,” Nedfors said. Mojang and Blackbird ended up with a game that was partly hero-centric and partly army control. It became an action-strategy game where you traverse the battlefield on horseback, commanding armies from the ground, not a typical RTS played from high above the battlefields. “That’s not common in strategy games,” he notes.
“We started realizing that ‘hey, this is pretty new,’ and as game makers, when you find something [and] You feel like there aren’t ten games like this, you feel like you’re in for something special.”
Admittedly, there aren’t many examples of character action games that also involve unit command strategy. Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord is one of the most similar successful comparisons. It also reminds me of Kingdom Under Fire 2, which was a bit messy when I played it in its eventual western release in 2019, but the combination of the action style of Dynasty Warriors and an RTS was really cool.
I doubt that’s the specific example Nedfors had in mind, but he went on to mention that “I think you should take inspiration from things you don’t think are that great either,” explaining that knowing when a game isn’t working helps identify how to make it better. “It’s a little weird to be inspired by bad things, but that’s true for me.”
Being told by unsuccessful competitors is, I think, more common in game development than most big studios like to say out loud. Nedfors continued with his refreshingly candid take on the iterative development process of turning Minecraft into a strategy game.
“The pace of play in a strategy game is usually higher than in an action game because you move very fast, you maneuver with the cursor, etc. You perform a lot of actions in a very, very short time in a strategy game normally Having a hero in the center that can not be there Y there Y theresurprisingly, it brings down the tempo of a strategy game, which is well suited to play well on consoles with a controller.
“It was kind of a surprise. I wish I could be smart and say ‘yeah, we thought about that from the beginning,’ but sometimes you need to be honest and say ‘that’s something we discovered while we were prototyping and developing the game.'”
During the same interview, Nedfors and executive producer Dennis Ries also discussed some of the different types of units and new mobs that are added in Legends. It ended up being a more insightful interview than I expected from his live stream on the Gamescom show floor. I was hoping to hear a bit about how fort building works, as I’ve only seen snippets of players building structures in gameplay videos so far, but Nedfors’ immersion in experimentation in the strategy space suggests that Minecraft Legends may be over. as something more than another. Minecraft spinoff.