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H7: Would you prefer 2D or 3D townscreens?
2D
3D
I don't care.
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 → MMX Q&A #2

by Kalah

Might & Magic X: Legacy Q&A

April, 2013.

In our last Q&A with the MMX dev team, I gathered some quick questions from the fans and fired them off in rapid succession, getting short answers but also pretty quick ones. This time around, the team have been able to take some time away from their busy schedules, setting up a bit longer answers. So without further ado, let's turn our attention to our second Q&A, asked by you, the fans, and answered by by Stephan Winter (Limbic CEO), Julien Pirou (Writer & Designer) and Gary Paulini (Producer).


(click image to go to the official site)

CH: You call this game "Might & Magic X - Legacy". Why have you chosen this name?
Answer: When we started thinking about making a new Might & Magic game, we explored several ideas. One of them was to make a classic, old-school Might & Magic game in the spirit of World of Xeen. Since the aim was to be true to the legacy of the series, we codenamed it "Legacy".
Beyond the reference to the previous Might & Magic RPGs and the old-school positioning, the ideas of heritage and legacies - good or bad ones - are one of the central themes of the story.

CH: You also call it a "classic" RPG, properly old school. What is a classic RPG to you?
Answer: As you know, there have been many sorts of RPGs during the last 35 years. Dungeon crawlers, simulation RPGs (Ultima Underworld and its successors), action-RPGs, BioWare-style RPGs... For us, Might & Magic X - Legacy hails back to the foundations of the RPG genre. It is first-person, party-based, turn-based, with grid-based movement. It is not a cutscene-heavy, "cinematic" experience, but first and foremost a solid game system allowing the player to live his own story at his own pace.

CH: Does this look like any of the old M&M games and which ones do you think it resembles the most?

Answer: We are heavily inspired both by World of Xeen and Mandate of Heaven. Due to our grid-based movement we might be a little closer to the World of Xeen gameplay whereas for instance our skill system is closer to Mandate of Heaven.
In summary we tried to focus on the "must-have" ingredients and we asked ourselves "What's important for a Might & Magic RPG?". In a nutshell it's about adventuring and exploring a large world, controlling and advancing your party, meeting characters, visiting points of interest and the turn-based combat.

CH: Where does this game fit into the Ashan storyline? Is it a small "side plot" to the bigger story or will it play an important part?
Answer: The game takes place 10 years after the events of Heroes VI, but we wanted the story to stand on its own. So you don't need to have played Heroes VI to play Might & Magic X, however if you did play H6 and its adventure packs, you might recognize some characters and spot references to past events.

CH: What will the graphics be like? What kind of engine are you using?
Answer: The Unity engine is our tool of choice. The art direction is based on Heroes VI and Duel of Champions, to create a sense of consistency between the games.

CH: Will there be "paper dolls"?
Answer: Not in the MM6-8 sense (where all pieces of equipment are shown on the body), but there will definitely be a visual in the inventory showing the character (a bit like in MM9, but better!). We'll talk and reveal this later during the development.

CH: How many developers are actually working on the game?
Answer: At Limbic the Might & Magic X core team is 16 people. We are getting support from various partners including other Ubisoft studios and outsourcing partners. It's really hard to give a reliable estimations but in total we would guess we have around 25+ people working on the game right now.

CH: Since we are talking about old school fans here and not just an old school game, in what forms will the game be released?

Answer: We are currently discussing to release both a 5 1/4-inch and a 3 1/2- inch disc version for the ultimate old school feeling!
No kidding: So far the game has always been described as a digital title. But we are discussing about releasing a boxed collector edition. So far, we can't confirm it as it's too early. We'll keep you updated.

CH: M&M fans love modding. Will this be possible? What can you tell us about it?
Answer: Alright, about modding: We plan to release an editor for Might & Magic X. On top modders will get access to almost everything in the game from level building, adding objects, changing textures, adding monsters, modifying values, creating texts, etc.
Will it be super easy? No. Why? It's a tool, it takes time and it takes dedication. It's 90% the same tools we are using to create the game right now. We are optimizing to make it as accessible as we can but it's not a "one-button-create-fun" solution. Nevertheless, we are confident that we will see user created content for Legacy.We'll talk about and introduce to you this particular topic in more details later during the development.

CH: What about editors? Some fans have expressed concern about the short playing time you have outlined – will it be possible to extend this with user-made maps?
Answer: As said in the previous question we are aiming for user-generated content and want to empower the fan base to extend the game. To us it will be awesome to play user dungeons - and hell yeah, we will be critical.
Regarding the concerns about the "short playing time": We have a difficult time answering this. What we know is that we want to deliver a quality experience. It has to be fun and entertaining, simple as that.
We will have players who rush through it as fast as they can. They will optimize their efficiency and we would bet money on the fact that we will see players who finish Might & Magic X much faster than we ever will/could. On the other hand we will have players who want to solve every little riddle, visit every single square, read all dialogues twice and fulfill every task there is. Well, obviously their "play time" will be "more". But at the end of the day we think what really counts is if both player types are happy with the quality we delivered. If they finish the game feeling good and happy about Might & Magic X - then we did it.
Nevertheless, there are concerns and even we are dodging the "how many hours?" we want to explain the following: We have around 20+ dungeons, we have cities/villages to visit and we have the outdoor world. Dungeons vary in (grid) size and amount of overall levels (between 1 and 5 to be exact). Some are more combat focused, some are more riddle focused, and some are mixed. So there is the variety, the quantity and (hopefully) the quality to spend a good amount of time in the world of Might & Magic X.

That's all for this round of questions. Thanks to Stephan, Julien and Gary for taking the time. Stay tuned to Celestial Heavens for more questions and answers!
Comments
Noneotherthan at 2013-08-22 17:26 wrote:
Started with MM at 4 played through to 8, stopped halfway through 9. Never played any HoMMs (make gasping noise now). I agree with a few previous posts - i think turn based combat should be an option/toggle. But also I really miss free movement. I can appreciate the attention to earlier games in the series by making the movement tick based, but wasn't it created that way due to engine/pc limitations of the day back then? I absolutely loved the fly spell when it was introduced in Mandate, and severely disappointed when it disappeared in IX (among other things).

Also a fan of the "paper doll" interface, since you never actually get to see your characters in the main view.

jeff at 2013-04-10 00:13 wrote:
I would prefer the free movement system of MM6-8, but I realize they are taking a leap back into a genre (turn based rpg) that has been largely ignored by the gaming companies. I can live with tile based movement if it helps contribute to a financially successful game that leads to more of the same with innovations like free movement added in sequels. That makes the assumption that the product they deliver warrants our support. One question I have is there going to be a fly spell and/or water walk. I missed any references to those. My guess is fly will add cost to the project and may not be implemented.

hellegennes at 2013-04-09 21:31 wrote:
Well, currently we have polygons instead of squares (pixels).

GreatEmerald at 2013-04-09 20:54 wrote:
>I, for one, am sick of Real-Time RPGs. For that matter, I'm pretty sick of everything being measured in spheres instead of squares. :)

Triangles it is! :devious:

Bandobras Took at 2013-04-09 15:34 wrote:
I, for one, am sick of Real-Time RPGs. For that matter, I'm pretty sick of everything being measured in spheres instead of squares. :)

JustTimmY at 2013-04-09 12:28 wrote:
Everything sounds awesome except tile movement. I want to be free and move the hell I want.

But it's too much to ask from ~25 people to implement both types of combat, turn-based and real-time. Sigh.

Kalah at 2013-04-09 10:38 wrote:
Although Avonu's summary is not exactly what they said, ;) it has to do with simplicity, yes. This is not going to be a AAA game, so they have to save resources by making choices that allow them to make a quality game without taking "shortcuts".

Avonu at 2013-04-09 09:49 wrote:
Because it saves million dollars on hours of coding with real-time fights, movement and 3D environment walk paths (like climbing mountains for example)? And you have less chance to screw something in code?
Also with tile based movement game should be easier adaptable to tablets and this means more money. :devil:
japol at 2013-04-09 09:18 wrote:
The million dollar question:
Why did they go with tile based movement?

Kalah at 2013-04-08 23:50 wrote:
I have forwarded your questions along with a bunch of others. We want the devs to focus on making the game, obviously, but let's hope they'll have some more answers for us soonish. :)

jeff at 2013-04-08 22:32 wrote:
Put me down for the boxed collector edition please.

Me too IF they sell it in North America. ;|

Overall I liked the answers, gameplay time could be acceptable with 20+ dungeons. The mod capability is less important to me for a MM title as (based on my working with BDJ on the TCC project) it will probably be more than I could handle; but will look forward to it having a longer shelf with fan made products.

With that in mind, will there be some sort of initiative/turn order bar like there was in Heroes V? I like being able to plan my turn-based combat rather than guess who's going to attack me next. :)
I am with you on that point. :D

Ryder at 2013-04-08 22:30 wrote:
hellegennes - the spell system is H6 was without doubt the biggest disappointment for me in the game. Which is a big call considering how disappointing the game is. If MMX has spells as skills then I am going to get my obsidian broadsword and I'm going to go and crack some skulls. If there are no Mage Guilds or books in chests then I will never ever play a new MM game again.

Bandobras Took at 2013-04-08 18:57 wrote:
Very good news about the modding aspect of the game. We also have answers on how big the development team is and the number of available dungeons.
<br>
<br>Now, of course it also depends on their size, but MM6 had 40 dungeons, MM7 had 45 and MM8's dungeon number was around 35, but their were considerably smaller, on average. From what we have been told so far, MMX feels like it will be one of the shortest titles in the series, but I agree with the devs here; I really care more about the quality.

And a packaged editor will extend the lifespan of the game.

And a question: I read an earlier comment that said there was a goal to make the game accessible without making it simple. With that in mind, will there be some sort of initiative/turn order bar like there was in Heroes V? I like being able to plan my turn-based combat rather than guess who's going to attack me next. :)

OneHour at 2013-04-08 15:02 wrote:
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
I am a HUGE fan of the M&M games, even more so than the Heroes series. I have played 6 through 8 so many times that I don’t even need the auto map system anymore… and I don’t care!
I have only played 9 twice as I can’t seem to get it to work on my new system. (I have the “Platinum Edition” Box set and 6, 7, and 8 all work from it on my Windows 7 computer but 9 gets locked up while loading…Sigh!)
M&M 6 is my favorite. It has the best Story, and the biggest world, thought the advancement system for 7 is better. And I didn’t mind having to go to a “Training Center.” Once one of your characters advances enough to have “Town Portal” and/or “Lloyd’s Beacon” – travel is a snap.
So… I am more psyched about this game than I have been in years. (And yes, if the Boxed Set includes a Windows 7 compatible MM9 – sign me up! I don’t even care if the cost is a tad too high.)

hellegennes at 2013-04-08 13:51 wrote:
I'd like to ask the devs how will the spell system work. Will it be similar to MM6-8 or more akin to H6's system? If it's possible to answer, about how many magic schools and spells will the game contain?
jorgamesh at 2013-04-08 11:19 wrote:
I would really like to have paper dolls like those in M&M6-8. It is a pity they won't fully include this feature.

hellegennes at 2013-04-08 07:01 wrote:
Very good news about the modding aspect of the game. We also have answers on how big the development team is and the number of available dungeons.

Now, of course it also depends on their size, but MM6 had 40 dungeons, MM7 had 45 and MM8's dungeon number was around 35, but their were considerably smaller, on average. From what we have been told so far, MMX feels like it will be one of the shortest titles in the series, but I agree with the devs here; I really care more about the quality.

GreatEmerald at 2013-04-08 05:00 wrote:
They're using Unity? Huh. Now that makes me wonder if they are considering a Linux version, as in Unity that is a few clicks away.

Mod support also sounds interesting. If someone was to forwardport the sprites from MM6-8 there, and write a decent storyline, then I'd be quite interested.

mathfool at 2013-04-08 02:52 wrote:
I would also love a boxed collector's set. I still have my MM6 limited edition set.

Blake at 2013-04-08 02:42 wrote:
same.. loved that video!

Ryder at 2013-04-08 00:45 wrote:
Put me down for the boxed collector edition please.

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