Legrand Legacy is an extremely promising JRPG that aims to build on the successes of the genre with deeper character development, rich and unique settings, and a varied combat system. Its developers, SEMISOFT, have recently taken to Kickstarter to seek funding for the project, having received a massively positive reaction on their Steam Greenlight campaign.
We managed to get in contact with the team’s executive producer and lead game designer Henry William “Uwil” Winata, and discuss a few questions we had following our time with the playable demo (Available on the [Kickstarter page], or on [Steam]) and our observations from their trailer, below.
First of all, how did you all come together as a team, and how long have you been working towards Legrand Legacy as we see it today?
I (Uwil, executive producer and lead game designer for Legrand) was introduced to AJ (Producer and Creative Director) by a friend, and AJ was asked to be the project lead. We built the team from scratch and finally come together as we are today. All that started in August 2014.
Having played around half-an-hour of the demo before preparing these questions [shame on me] I was surprised to find the starting area -Tel Harran, the City of Slavers- feeling so heavily influenced by ancient Egyptian culture. I’ve also seen an image of the starkly contrasted Dumville Castle. How much research and effort has gone into varying the various cultures of Legrand?
The art team did the detailed extensive research on each different cultures in Legrand. We want to make sure that playing Legrand Legacy is an immersive experience.
Legrand Legacy has hand-drawn 2D backgrounds, 3D character models, board-game like pieces for the army command sections, and further artwork for talking heads; all in different styles. How important was the focus on visuals during the planning stages of the game, and can you tell me a little bit about your decisions around art style?
I can’t stress enough the importance of the visuals. Our biggest decision was whether to make them look more westernized or Japanese anime style. We decided on a more westernized approach as we realized that Japan is a really difficult market to penetrate. So, we decided that the Japanese market will be a goal in the future, and for now, our more immediate ones are USA and Europe.
I’ve seen that you’ll have elements of control over the operation of your army, and also seen a zone-based overview of a city – can you explain these in a little bit more depth?
(The) tactical war system is similar to the Suikoden war system where you deploy troops and achieve different objectives depending on the scenario. Players have to strategize which troops type they want to use and which terrain should the units be standing on as all that will affect the performance of each troops. For the city map system, think of Last Remnant city map system.
There’s talk of recruitable NPCs for Dumville Castle, which serves as base of operations for your forces – can you give some examples as to the role that developing the castle serves within the game?
General item store, blacksmith, alchemist, mini games, fast travel and more. We’ll reveal more in campaign updates!
I think you’re the first developers I’ve heard of to herald from Jakarta, is there much of an indie development scene over there that you’ve experienced?
There are a few, but none have ever ventured this far and deep into making such a big content. Some of the Indies here have been around for much longer than we have actually.
In a quick return back to the discussion of the starting area, I was wondering if the world of Legrand had different moreau-type animal species littered around the world?
Other than Ahrimans (the bipedal, talking, intelligent lions), none of the others are as tame and civilized. There are few other unique races, like the Norns (which is mentioned briefly but not explained in great details YET) in the pre-alpha prologue. We decided to be a little bit more creative instead of going with your usual run of the mill elves, dwarves, orcs, and trolls.
Can you tell me a little bit about the differences in combat and ability between the six party members of the game?
Each character has different roles, different maxed stats, different arcanas (limit breaks), different attack type, different elements. For example, Finn is a balanced warrior, a jack of all trades master of none. Aria is more agile, dishes out more crits and evasions but lacking defence.
The combat system features multiple different strength-and-weakness systems, including damage types, elemental types, and alignment types. Roughly how many abilities -for the character’s grimoires- do you plan to have implemented in the final version of the game – and how to you plan to balance this to keep the challenge consistent within the game?
Yes, the party combat system implements the weapons triangle (fire emblem) and the elements strengths and weaknesses. In terms of grimoire, there are quite a number of grimoire each character can progress and learn. I don’t remember the exact number at the top of my head planned for the final version. Balancing through Iteration… constant iteration… I have lost count how many times I have played the prologue chapter even before the pre alpha build…
Finally, based off your current plans, roughly how long would you say the main story would take versus a 100% completion time?”
(The) main story should take about 30 hours vs 100% completion should take about 50-60 hours.
Thank you for your time, and we wish you the best of luck in your campaign!
Legrand Legacy’s [Kickstarter] is live until December the 16th, with updates on the other party members and the base of operation features (and more) set to be revealed throughout the duration. The team are currently seeking £85’000 in funding.