[dropcap size=big]W[/dropcap]hen covering high profile indie projects we often forget that indie gaming is more than about big name ex-AAA staff members coming together to make indiegames. It also about the one and two men teams working from home as they try to invent and re-invent gaming genera. This is what I found when I came across Legends of Pixelia. Legends of Pixelia might be hitting the right notes, as in there are no one-hit KO button mashing through hordes of brainless enemies. The people behind Legends of Pixelia are promising random dungeons, precise controls via gamepad (or keyboard) and a strong fighting game AI. And for you party-animals out there local multiplayer co-op and balanced PvP combat for 1 to 4 players, all you got to do is hook up some extra gamepads and you’re good to go. For those of you curious enough there is a demo available over at their IndieGogo page to try out. I gave the demo a try and can summarize it in one sentence: “The binding of Issac set in an old school pixal art universe.” Being the curious cat that I am I fired an email to the folks behind Legend of Pixelia hopeing to get some more information about the game.
Cliqist : Can you tell us a little about yourself and your team?
Florian “Sima” Siemer : Hey there, my name is Florian Siemer, the nickname is Sima. I live, study and work in Berlin (Germany) and my one-man game studio is called SimaGames.
Cliqist : Tell us about how you decided to make a game like Legends of Pixelia.
Florian “Sima” Siemer : Legends of Pixelia started as a student project in April 2014. The main systems for procedural dungeon generation and the combat system worked at the end of the course and I decided to continue the development next to my studies. Legends of Pixelia supports local multiplayer by plugging in some gamepads. I presented the game to my friends, fellow students and the Berlin indie developer scene and got some great feedback while playing multiplayer with them.
Cliqist : Can you explain in your own words what kind of game is Legends of Pixelia?
Florian “Sima” Siemer : It’s basically an action RPG or “dungeon crawler”. I love that genre, but some games of it share one major flaw: It’s not at all about the player’s skill. You left-click through hordes of brainless enemies again and again until you find the next pieces of your overpowered equipment set to let you left-click through more brainless enemies on a higher difficulty.
This might be funny for a short time, but I wanted to make something different. So, to add a high player skill cap, I decided to implement arcade like controls and an interesting fighting system, inspired by the beat ’em up genre. This worked out quite well. At the current state of development you can evade nearly all of the incoming damage if you are skilled enough. That allows experienced players to choose full offensive stats — what do you need HP for if you won’t be hit at all? On the flip side: I highly recommend defensive stats for new players; you will be hit.
Cliqist : What video-game, film, literature or artwork do you believe influenced Legends of Pixelia?
Florian “Sima” Siemer : The biggest influence came from other video games. To name a few, Legends of Pixelia has some similarities with or was inspired by: The Legend of Zelda (NES), Final Fantasy Adventure (GameBoy), The Binding of Isaac (PC), Diablo (PC) and Lunia (PC).
Cliqist : Legends of Pixelia “…combines retro pixelart with modern gameplay mechanics “, please elaborate.
Florian “Sima” Siemer : The pixel art style of Legends of Pixelia is comparable to the NES/ C64 era. On the one hand, the games of that time were limited by the hardware of their consoles. I never saw ten or more moving objects on the NES without heavy stutter. On the other hand, game design and the knowledge of existing game mechanics evolved over time. Every game you play has some impact on future design decisions and there weren’t as many other games to learn from in the 80s. To name some examples, the combat system, the item system and the stats system were inspired by modern games.
Cliqist : What kind of difficulty level can gamers expect in Legends of Pixelia, would there be settings for both casual and hardcore Gamers?
Florian “Sima” Siemer : The difficulty level in Legends of Pixelia is designed to be moderate to hard and it’s no game for casual players at all. You need to take your time to build up your hero and you need to learn to master the combat system. So, Legends of Pixelia is not the best choice if you’re looking for some ten minutes time-waster while you’re on your way to work/ university/ school — but it’s a great choice if you love games, especially action RPGs and beat ’em ups.
Cliqist : What kind of game-engine will you be using for Legends of Pixelia and why?
Florian “Sima” Siemer : Unity3D (free). Well, it’s a great tool.
Cliqist : What kind of game length (hours of gameplay) has your team planned for Legends of Pixelia?
Florian “Sima” Siemer : Depends. The game’s development isn’t finished yet, but it should be around 4 to 8 hours if you just want to finish the main game once and never play it again.
For the players that seek a challenge, there will be some sort of “normal, nightmare, hell” or “new game+, new game++” system that allows players to continue the game on a higher difficulty. Also, when finishing a dungeon you get your results in terms of speed and evasion — try to clear a dungeon as fast as possible or with as few enemy hits as possible. Plug in some gamepads and play local coop or pvp with your friends. And last but not least, there are multiple hero classes to play with — experiment with different item-skill combos until you have your perfect hero. So all in all, if you are interested in every aspect of the game, there should be a lot to do.
Cliqist : Why should people fund the Legends of Pixelia Indiegogo project?
Florian “Sima” Siemer : There are two reasons. Firstly, if you want to buy the game, this is a great chance to get it cheap. The “Preorder” perk is the only way to get if for as cheap as $5 for a long time. Secondly, you directly support the quality of the game. Legends of Pixelia will be released anyway, but for every month that I’m able to work on it full time, there will be more content and the game will ship in a more polished state.
Cliqist : Anything you would like to add?
Florian “Sima” Siemer : Please vote for Legends of Pixelia on Steam Greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=389007672
Thanks to Florian “Sima” Siemer for taking the time to answer our interview questions. If you liked Legends of Pixelia be sure to visit their IndieGogo page, play their demo and consider supporting their project. This campaign started on Feb 16 and will close on March 23, 2015.