Legends of Amberland is a 90s-inspired, old-school, western RPG-esque dungeon crawler in which you command a party of up to seven characters! It has a great pixel art design, which certainly cannot be left without notice for those, who are nostalgic about games from the 90s’. Today I will talk with the developers of that game – Silver Lemur Games.
Pineapple Works 🍍: Hi! Legends of Amberland is very unique in its design and atmosphere. I liked a lot how many options the game gives, and how many strategies you can create. It was actually very engaging and at the same time simple to understand. What inspired you to do the game? Why did you decide to do it?
Silver Lemur Games: I have been making RPGs for several decades (starting the first one on Amiga using AMOS Basic). Yet, I never managed to finish one. You could imagine how frustrating it was, starting it so many times over the years yet never finishing any. To finally make an RPG, from start to finish, that was the primary motivation for me I guess.
PW 🍍: Is there anything you would do differently in the game if you would be doing it now again?
SLG: I don’t think my answer will shock you, but yes, I would do several things differently if I were to start now 🙂 As with every single game I made so far. I think that’s the fate of each game developer, the constant struggle between new and better ideas and the need to finish a game. Once you finish it, you look back and you think “I could do X differently”. And the list of what exactly you would do differently is endless. To list one, for Legends of Amberland I would do items using a partially pre-generated approach. I had a goal to handcraft every single item but in retrospect, it just meant a lot of work for me and not that great diversity of items for the player. Going a partial pre-generated route would be easier for me and more interesting to the players I think.
PW 🍍: What did you find most challenging when creating Legends of Amberland?
SLG: Interface. Definitely. To make it look like in the old games (where everything was made using a single, fixed resolution) but supporting all modern screen resolutions (and aspect ratios) and to do it all while retaining pixel-perfect aesthetic (no brute force scaling).
PW 🍍: What is your most favorite and less favorite fruit? 😏
SLG: Hmmm, a hard question. I think the most favorite fruit would be roast beef with a cherry on top and the least favorite would be a cherry without the roast beef. I also have fond thoughts of pineapples since the porting of my game to Nintendo Switch.
PW 🍍: What advice would you give to a game developer doing his first game?
SLG: Make a deadline. A short one, preferably something along the lines “make a game in one month”. Time management is all that really matters when you make your first game.
PW 🍍: What do you like the most about Legends of Amberland?
SLG: For me personally it would be the internal consistency of the game lore. Lack of zombies, skeletons, vampires. Quite a deep backstory (which the player is not told but exists and it makes the parts that are shown appear more consistent and real). It was quite a creative torment for me to write it this way (for example no Medusa since no Greek mythology references were allowed in the game legendarium) and I really fought sometimes to not add those but in the end, maintaining the creative discipline was worth it.
PW 🍍: Is there any game, that will never get boring for you, that you could recommend?
SLG: If there was such a game, I would uninstall it immediately since it would mean some heavy brainwash behavioral trickery used. All games are destined to get boring over time (except those designed with unhealthy psychological tricks) since playing is about learning new things and experiencing new stuff. There comes a natural point where you feel satisfied with a game and are ready to move on. I prefer games that do not try to exceed that point and do not overstay their welcome.
PW 🍍: Thanks a lot! Have a good day!
SLG: Thanks and let’s meet again after the inevitable Legends of Amberland II 🙂