Minecraft Legends ‘slows the pace’ of typical strategy games, says Mojang

When deciding to turn Minecraft into a strategy game, Mojang had a few specific goals, as creative director Magnus Nedfors explained. in an interview on the Xbox booth at Gamescom this week. Minecraft Legends had to retain a somewhat nondescript “Minecraft feel” and also work well with a controller for console players. Mojang and development partner Blackbird Interactive handled both, Nedfors explained, turning it into a stock strategy game – a genre combo that really doesn’t have a ton of successful examples to pull from.

“Another aspect of Minecraft is that we still have a hero character,” Nedfors said. Mojang and Blackbird ended up with a game that was partly about heroes and partly about controlling armies. It’s become an action-strategy game where you ride across the battlefield on horseback, commanding armies from the ground, not a typical RTS that’s played from far above the battlefields. “It’s not common in strategy games,” he points out.

“We started realizing that ‘hey, this is pretty new’ and as a game maker, when you find something [and] you feel like there aren’t ten games like that out there, you feel like you’re onto something special.”

It’s true that there aren’t many examples of character action games that also involve a unit command strategy. Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord is one of the most similar successful comparisons. I also remember Kingdom Under Fire 2, which was a bit of a mess when I played it at its eventual western launch in 2019, but the combination of Dynasty Warriors-style action and an RTS was pretty damn awesome.

I doubt this is the specific example Nedfors had in mind, but he later mentioned that “I think you should take inspiration from things that you don’t think are so good either”, explaining that knowing when a game doesn’t not work for helps you identify how best to do it. “It’s kind of strange to be inspired by bad things, but it’s actually true for me.”

Being informed by unsuccessful competitors is, I think, more common in game development than most major studios like to say out loud. Nedfors continued their refreshingly candid take on the iterative development process of turning Minecraft into a strategy game.

“The pace of play in a strategy game is often higher than an action game because you’re scrolling so quickly, maneuvering with your cursor, etc. You’re doing so many actions in a very, very short time in a strategy game normally.Having a hero in the center who cannot be the and the and thesurprisingly enough, brings down the tempo of a strategy game, which is very well suited to make it play well on consoles with a controller.

“It was kind of a surprise. I wish I could be smart and say ‘yes, we thought about it from the start’, but sometimes you have to be honest and say ‘it’s something we found out when we got prototyped and developed the game”.

During the same interview, Nedfors and executive producer Dennis Ries also talked about some of the different types of units and new mobs added in Legends. This ended up being a more enlightening interview than I expected from their Gamescom Showfloor live stream. I was hoping to learn a bit more about how fortification building works – having only seen chunks of players building structures in gameplay videos so far – but Nedfors’ dive into experimentation in the game. he strategic space suggests that Minecraft Legends could become more than just another Minecraft spinoff.

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