Legena: noun: A legend that spans an era: the legend of the Narrator
Have you seen the red sky? And the green lightning? Rumour has it whenever the sky turns red and the land is struck by green, the Narrator appears. A time traveller I hear. You best be a good boy. You best be a good girl. Otherwise the legend will come true. The Narrator will get you.
Legena : Union Tides is a single-player turn-based role playing game for Windows, Android and Ouya. Take the role of Tetiro Aceus and Atesan Turwin to explore the open seas, stop the pirate lords and discover the dark side of the Legena universe. And how their roles turn the gears of a legena that spans countless eras.
Legena features a traditional JRPG combat system with a dynamic turn system, a variety of characters, monsters and dungeons, along with new features such as the weather which effects the battles, feathers that allow the heroes to equip a variety of skills as well as a morale feature that rewards player choice. And a difficulty grid to allow anyone from beginners to pros to play the game. Choose your challenge and power on through!
Legena is being developed by a group of three. There is Greg who does our sound effects, SkittleGirl who has provided our entire 16-Bit soundtrack and me, the programmer artist and designer.
Legena started out as a 8-Bit inspired prototype which I developed during university for Android. A few years later I decided to return to the series knowing I could have done much better. And thus the Legena series was reborn as a trilogy. Whilst the prototype was developed in Game Maker 8.0/8.1, I have decided to use Game Maker Studio as it will allow me to port the series to the GameStick, Android, Ouya and many other platforms!
Right now, we are looking for feedback on everything up to the first dungeon. With previous RPG experience, I prefer to get the gameplay feedback before we get very deep into the game's progress. It also will allow us to know if this project will be worth our time. Which I hope it will because I plan to take bolder steps in terms of stories.
Being an indie team, we can take risks. And one of them is being able to tackle real life scenarios. In the prototype, Atesan Turwin's background was about being a gay man in a land where it is illegal to be gay. Whilst returning to this story to do it justice, I plan to bring up many more stories. Including one very personal to me, living with a learning disability. I never had an easy education. And I hope to portray this with one of the many characters you will meet.
Over the course of the game, you will control a variety of characters. Each with a story. And each with a past.
Tetiro Aceus : The king of Orenna. Living a sheltered life with his father, it took leaving his county to see the world in a new way and to bring Orenna into a new golden era. He is now travelling to Dynol and Vesira to seek peace in the name of Orenna. However he is obsessed with the Narrator. Meeting him during his rise to power, he pursues the Narrator frantically to take him down. Though in turn, is becoming a lot like his father.
Atesan Turwin : The king's advisor. During the reign of King Uritan, Atesan led a rough life being hunted like an animal. He was an outcast. Suffering years of torture, punishment and humiliation, Atesan became mentally scarred. He rarely trusts people and originally despised Tetiro Aceus. Over the last few years, the scars Atesan gained have started to heal. With the mental scars gone, he now wears the physical scars with pride.
Nathaar Curi : One of the Pirate Lords. Being stranded at Marin Port, Nathaar and his best mate Martic planned to steal a ship and sail to Dynol. Cocky, arrogant and ruthless, he doesn't seem the type to take pity on people. Especially those who are far weaker than him. There may be more to him than meets the eye. Very few pirates in Dynol have a sense of kindness in them.
Martic Razmi : Nathaar's best mate. Being his second in command, Nathaar trusts Martic and seeks his guidance in their plunders and crimes. With his quick wit and his channel cannons, there is no situation that Martic can't get out of. He keeps his cool and powers through. Though with his wit and calm personality comes a gleam in his eye. He has a plan to make him and Nathaar the greatest pirates of them all.
Malina Petafin : An old friend of Tetiro Aceus and Atesan Turwin. After helping them on their adventure to overthrow King Uritan, Malina has now set out to Dynol to find new adventures with guarantees from a source that there is a crime lord worthy of a huge bounty. And with her obsession for being a heroine, she set out to the land of Dynol to make a heroine of herself. But she finds more than she can take.
Lenaki : Not much is known about Lenaki. In fact, she doesn't know much about herself. Waking up at the Red Shore, she has a lot work out. Why is she different? Why is she a toy reptile? Perhaps she will be enlightened by these answers. Or perhaps ignorance is bliss.
Below is the first demo of the game. You have access to everything up until the first boss. The demo is still in progress as a good number of the sound effects aren't implemented yet. And please note it is intended to be a 15+ game. So please respect the age rating.
As I hope you guys know, I am an RPG developer and I'm working on the Legena trilogy (the prototype got enough feedback to warrant a trilogy) And one of the things we're striving to do in the RPGs we develop is make them real. I don't mean in the sense of gorey bloody graphics. I mean in the sense of the issues the characters face.
Look at television less than 50 years, having a gay character on a tv show would have caused outrage and sparked a mass anger from the audience. But once one television show stuck its ground over time it became less controversial and accepted as part of real life.
However, the gaming industry has yet to reach that spark on some topics. That spark that acts as a domino in which eventually it becomes a normal factor.
If you look at all the following, you rarely see anything like this
Slavery and the bravery the slaves had
Victims of racism and their story
Victims of violent attacks because of who they are or what they believe in
You see my point. Whilst we know these issues (or in the 1st example, characters) exist in real life. But why don't they? Well I think it's down to developers wanting to play it safe. But as indie developers, we are already playing with fire by trying to be indie developers and so we can add more fire to the burn. But for mainstream, it seems they do not want to risk it.
Even when the community looks bright on such things, the developers play it safe. And in turn end up scorching people. In this case, gay gamers. (Though I don't know how this example is going to end as it's recent news)
Where's the risk that influenced great games and these great characters?
Psycho Mantis from Metal Gear
Giygas from Earthbound
Flea from Chrono Trigger
These are 3 perfect examples where the developers went beyond the safe zone and produced fantastic characters. Well done to them! Heck me and my team are going ballsy with risk. Do you know that the only thing that I've seen in a decade get risky was the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who? And that's not even a game!
So what do you think? Does the gaming industry play it too safe these days regarding controversy? Are there any boundries where crossing them is too far? (like the Tomb Raider "rape") What would you want to see finally get covered?
And finally, would you like to see games that risked controversy to produce a story?
Let's hear your thoughts!
And just so you know, I am looking at the controversy from a developer's perspective, so please take no offense.