From Early Access to multi-console release, 2021 is shaping up to be a big year for the team over at Magnus Games Studio. We had a chat with Re:Legend creator DC Gan about the road to 1.0, as well as his hopes and dreams for the farming sim/monster collector.
With the most recent update, the team at Magnus Games Studio had implemented multiplayer into the game. This allowed other players to come into your game and help you with fights, as well as farming. While Multiplayer has been around before, Re:Legend’s new implementation locks it behind progression – you essentially have to finish the game’s tutorial quests before you can start engaging in jolly co-operation.
” Earlier this year before the Covid hits, we had multiplayer ready at the menu, and then we found out a lot of people are not familiar with the game. Just like how Dying Lights started, I think you have to go through certain tutorials and the basic fundamentals of the game, and then you unlock multiplayer with your friends”, he said.
He says while people hoping to jump straight into the multiplayer might be disappointed at the homework required of them, this was a decision made after considering all the feedback in the game.
So, alot of people say, I think theres is a very big group of people with different kind of voices that give us a lot of opinions, there where we talk to our partners, our fans, some wanted straight multiplayer, but when we do that they say hey the game doesn’t have tutorial, we dont know what to do, can you work on something,
“So it is not something we start off in multiplayer because you know it’s not an MMORPG, so it’s best to experience the game with a little knowledge with the fundamentals of the games”, he continues.
DC says that the decision to put the multiplayer behind a progression checkpoint was important to make sure the multiplayer experience was more than just a bunch of players running around asking how to do tasks.
“So, why we are trying to minimize this kind of thing, to make sure that player understand what they are doing and learned the basic fundamentals of how do the questlines work, how does the farming works, and then you are opening up a whole new world to play with your friends. That was the initial idea after we have taken a lot of feedbacks from the players” he notes.
The Road to 1.0
As developers of an Early Access game, the team at Magnus Games Studio have a tough balancing act- there’s implementing new features leading up to the game’s 1.0 release, as well as fixing issues from the last patch. On top of that, Re:Legend is also planning to launch on multiple consoles, so the team needs to allocate resources to making sure the game runs smoothly on those as well.
DC says that these expectations have created a unique working environment for him and the team.
“We have addressed with criticism and we have to make a new content, at the same time we are working on consoles coding. So there are more than those kinds of thing that is actually happening, so it is very important for the team to be more motivated because sometime as a service provider, as a game developer, people from all around the world will be awake when we sleeping right, so it is a very different kind of work environment”, DC says.
Early Access Expectations
However, DC also asks for understanding from the audience who might expect too much from an actively developing game like Re:Legend, instead comparing it to already-finished games.
“A lot of people are expecting early access to be a ready game, which mean its a bug free games which we understand that because a lot of developers are doing a great job out there, releasing an early access game”, he says. “The quality is as good as the full games, I think for a young team being positioned as game developers on par with matured developers is a very hard exercise, mentally and skill-wise”.
Rather than complain about the comparisons, however, Magnus Games Studio has taken the challenge in stride, simply taking every opportunity they can to learn and make the game the best it can be.
“There’s a lot of things that the team when developing it might have thought this might be the best practice, but you go along and you find ‘eh, maybe something like the code structure should be reframed and the whole back end side should be changed’ “, he says. “That the reason what we been overhauling the system so many times. And I think, the mindset of a developer is very important”.
Obviously the team at Magnus Games Studio has a lot to be proud of with Re:Legend, but DC notes it’s easy to take things personally, especially when it comes to criticism. He says that it’s important to keep the team motivated when this happens, as well as getting the team to commit to a better product.
“So, the whole development team is actually reading the comments and looking at all the problems we have”, DC explains. “And like, for example, you’re an artist when people are criticizing their work on an update and they will feel sad for sure, because it is their creation”.
“But we try to talk to them, let them understand, be motivated, cause there a lot of things that is not final and spend a lot of time motivating our self and stabilizing our emotions,” he adds. “Yeah, I think that’s the hardest part to do while developing new content, and patching and fixing”.
Ambitious Multi-Console Plans
As previously mentioned, the game is gunning for a multi-console release. Being a small studio, learning to port to different consoles wouldn’t exactly be easy for the team. However, DC says this is where their publisher pulled through, making sure they could learn the ropes.
“We work with our publisher on this because we have a very short time frame”, he says. “If we were to learn it ourselves, it will take a lot of time. So, we are getting guidance from our publisher and we have a whole team”,
“One person is definitely not going to be enough so we have a whole squad of programmers that’s working on the ports for switch because the requirements for switch is very different, and the experience is very different, and the optimization is crazy”, he says. “It is something that is very challenging to make sure that you know it runs smoothly without the fps drop and we have to revisit a lot of our artworks, our scene setups, and the mechanisms behind all the VFX and stuff so it was time consuming”.
“Yeah, I’m [very proud of the team]. I am always proud of the team and the team will always be the best thing we have in a Magnus Game Studio”.
The Moment Of Truth
However, DC says the team’s blood, sweat and tears all paid off when they finally got the game running on the Nintendo Switch.
“It was like, our tears almost rolled down when we saw it on different consoles, when the first version was out a couple months ago. So, we were really excited and looking at the game finally”, DC says.
“Because we are a new studio, and we are an indie studio so for us it’s very lucky to have our games on different consoles, and words couldn’t describe how thankful and grateful we are to be at our current stage”, DC continues. “People are playing our game, and although we are learning but we have the opportunity to work with some of the best developers in the world, you know, tech teams in the world to learn, to guide us, and to see where the game is at playing with different controllers on the console it is mind-blowing, it is hell of a roller coaster ride experience”.
“Yeah, I’m [very proud of the team]”, he adds on. “I am always proud of the team and the team will always be the best thing we have in a Magnus Game Studio. Without the team definitely there is no Re:Legend so it’s a very important thing to have the team and take care of the team”, he says.
Of Multiplayer And Community
Outside of the team making the game, DC also had plenty to say about the game’s community. Although the game’s not even officially out, many of their early access supporters have created a good environment to support each other as they play through the game.
” What our communities are doing so they are providing services for other players so when they are being rewarded with their open trade for now. But we have yet to come up with something that directly from developers to the players, because we want them to create their own economy, create their own services value, and to create a long-term kind of, relying on each other”, he said.
“Because we want it to be a lively economy not so much of a relying on the developers kind of economy, because once we stopped giving, which means that you know the services might be stopped and people might not get the reward they want. So, we are encouraging we are creating it together with the players, like we talk to our communities, we try to help them you know, hey when you are giving your services, whenever a player is requesting for certain things, know we’ll patch them up”, he explains.
He says that communicating with the community is a good way to build good will with them, which is important for small studios.
“So, we are still a very indie kind of studio where we will talk to our community, we try to give them advice or help. We’re not just patching out the game and we don’t care, we work on our next patch, or our next content so we try to talk to them, we make them feel that the experience is fun when we are there building up together with them, so they are happy to be part of that experience where rewards come mutually from players to a player”.
“So even when we are not around when we are sleeping you know, the kind of synchronization still goes along. So that is the kind of experience that we are trying to build and for now, we are seeing it quite happily so the community will be there ‘hey you know I’m offering these, can they help me with um a or b or or c’ So yeah currently this is what the community is working on, and we are happy to see the change”.
Communicating With Your Fans
“I mean even though our community is not huge, we can still see people helping each other, you know asking questions and people are you know as too happy when they’re encountering a very special Magnus. In fact, we have enabled boss taming in this patch so people are happy to share how they got the bosses, how to evolve it and yeah, we love reading how they’re helping each other”, he says.
“We have crafted it that way, and it was a very hard journey to start with because we have to reply everything ourselves and we have to help them until a certain stage where it’s matured and people are actually helping each other like how we started helping them so which I think it was a very good practice”
“In our Discord channel there are different players who are there ,and when you join the discord channel you know that who is basically working on which and who’s the tycoon who has the most gold, and who is always there to help players and stuff”, DC says.
As a result, DC says that this sense of community is much closer to what the game strives for, and they won’t be doing randomized multiplayer, instead only allowing people to join each other’s worlds by invitation.
“We are trying to keep the community small playing with the people you know so that people dont steal your crops, all your fishes and yeah that’s the reason why you only invite the people you know, that’s why we try to have the control over the open community where we have moderators, we have admins, to make sure we go through their games”.
According to DC, Discord’s various community-building tools really help the community grow with each other.
“We have specific channel to make sure that you post your services there, you post your thing that you do, and you are an RPG-ish player so you help out with boss fight you know, and people who looking in their team there just like a lot of RPG games, cause what we are trying to built here is a very organic kind of old school rpg experiences. Because we grow up playing those kind of game, so we definitely want our player to talk to people.
“Its not just a game you just click and playing with random people, just like it or not, you will have to stick with that experience. So that is a very cool experience, but for us we want it to be unique, we want you to talk to your friends about the game a lot, because when you guys are up together, in the game, livestreaming it, then like ‘I found something’ it’s that kind of experience what we want the player experience.
“So thats why we are making the circle close, play with people you know, and you can talk about that with friends over the phone call, or Discord, and in game just to make the experience a good want on like what we had when we were younger, we play quad game with friends, or with families, people we know, to make sure where we hang out in real life we’re still talking about the game”.
Keeping Things Wholesome
Of course, with the prospect of an all-ages community, DC says it’s important to keep things wholesome. While we were doing some freestyle work-shopping of ideas, he laughingly dismissed the idea of stealing romantic NPCs from other players.
“We just wanna make sure that the game is healthy, that the children, because a lot of parents are playing the game with their family, so their brothers are playing, their sisters are playing, so we want to give them a very good kind of education, experience as well”, he said, in defense of matrimonial piety.
“So we try to make the game as healthy as possible. That’s why you won’t see blood in the game, it’s all replaced with hearts and stars, and romance is gonna be, you know, when you’re committed to someone, you go all out:.
“That kind of thing, for some people, new age players, it might feel dull and straightforward. As a parent, as a grown-up, you do want to convey certain positive energies and positive messages towards the new generation of kids who are playing this type of game who missed the Digimon or Pokemon or even the Harvest Moon kind of franchise. So that is the reason we want to bring all those memories that we had, all the positive vibes that we had in the game, back in Re:Legend”, he says.
Release Windows And Next-Gen Plans
Of course, with the game’s release window ever-approaching, DC had considered fans would be expecting a next-gen release for the game. However, with the many challenges 2020 has brought, DC says it’s better to temper fan expectations than to over-promise.
While the game would have a simultaneous release for all its currently-announced platforms in Q1 of 2021, he says that ultimately the final date is out of his hands as it would be sorted out by the publisher. As for next-gen releases though, he says while it’s not out of the cards, it’s not being worked on just yet.
“[It’s] Because we don’t want to put in too much high hopes, or pressure on the current programming team. We wanna make sure they get a good time to rest, not throwing too much stuff to them”, DC says. “It is good to have all these kinds of things, as a game developer we want them to be healthy, at least have a balance between work and life so that when you’re working on a project there’s more productivity, and at the same time, they’re not burned out to the max”.
The Hopes For Crossplay
With the game still in development, there’s always a strong urge to ask about future plans for the game. And as more and more games adopt Cross-Play, it was inevitable that we’d bring it up in our talk with DC. Suffice to say, he also saw the question coming.
“We are getting that question almost every day, even from our emails, our inboxes, our DMs… We’ve seen a lot of success cases with bigger brands, bigger developers. We’ve discussed this with our publisher”, he says.
“For now we can’t really reveal any information on that, because it’s still under discussion. Because we do have that kind of mindset, and also that target, to have crossplay. But it all depends on our capabilities, and our possibilities, and our opportunities on the First Parties”, he continues.
“Because it’s going to be good to have, and it’s going to be really helpful to merge different communities from different consoles to work together towards a goal playing the game together from different backgrounds. But at the same time, reality-wise, we have to make sure that technically, our capability is there, which we are exploring and we are eager to make that work”, he ends.
Re:Legend The MMO?
When we asked DC for his blue-sky dream project, he was surprisingly quick to answer.
“To make it an MMO”, he says. “I think that’s something I definitely want to do for Re:Legend. If we have unlimited resources, and timeline, all those kind of things, I think bringing Re:Legend to be an MMO will be a great thing. We always joke around, with my brother, because we always want to see if we have the amount of resources that we have and timeline, having Re:Legend as Re:Legend online, seems fun.”.
“Yeah, we’ll have more dungeons, bossfights, raids, yeah it’s gonna be a very different kind of gameplay, where you have daily missions. We will have a lot of MMO aspects in it. Damn, that’s a game I wanna play now”, he laughs.
He also took this opportunity to weigh in on other issues, such as gacha mechanics. While he understands the appeal of them, he says he’s not fully on board with the idea, preferring microtransactions instead.
“Yeah, we wanna make sure that you get what you paid for. At least microtransactions is a way for you to show gratitude towards the dev team. But content wise we definitely want it to be fair”, he says.
DC says fans can expect to look forward to a special festive update for Re:Legend. He was mum on the details, though he did tease a little of what we can hope to expect.
“We are having a Christmas patch, a content update for Christmas, special Christmas only Magnus, and some new Magnus and some event islands, that is maybe going in to the game for Christmas which is coming in a couple of weeks” he teases.
“But something is definitely going to be a Christmas content patch which is a very certain thing, and Magnus, special Magnus those are the things that we have confirmed. But there’s too many things that are still going on and we have yet to bundle up all the contents so it’s very hard for us to give a full detail”, he says.
It’s pretty obvious from our talk that DC Gan has a really good idea of what he and his team are aiming for when Re:Legend makes its way to a full release next year.
Thanks again to DC for taking the time to talk with us, and readers can pick up Re:Legend on Steam now via Early Access.