The Three Musketeers: One For All!
WiiWare | Legendo Entertainment | 1 Player | Out Now | 900 Wii Points
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote and Nunchuck
Related Articles: See bottom of page
17th September 2009; By KnucklesSonic8
Hello! To start off, what's your role at Legendo?Greetings! My name is Bjorn Larsson and I am the Executive Producer here at Legendo. I am in charge of overseeing development and I also manage artists and repertoire, which means I handle most of the communications with Legendo contractors and team members around the world on a day-to-day basis.
The original PC version team at one point expanded to 15 staff, so the bulk of the game was already done when we started. The WiiWare port took 9 months and included myself and one programmer here in Sweden, one PR guy in the UK, two contractor musicians from Finland, a Wii certified test-labarotary in Eastern Europe and two artists from Australia.
Your site labels you as a publisher that develops projects based on "myths, legends, classic novels, and historical events". What motivated you to have this kind of focus?
It is always good to have a clear focus in the longer term. I am a fan of classic literary works by authors such as Alexandre Dumas, Jules Verne and Sir Walter Scott. In addition to old stories and mythological creatures such as Greek or Norse. For me the Legendo moniker pretty much summarizes that. I guess it is a games industry thing, growing up with Dungeons & Dragons, He-Man and 1980s Matinée movies and the lot – and last but not least, the 80s game company Cinemaware was always a huge inspiration for me.
To put it bluntly, it is the only stationary console service a small developer-publisher has access to. Truth to be told, if Sony or Microsoft were as liberal as Nintendo allowing small teams to self-publish on PS3 or Xbox 360, we would probably be doing games for their platforms as well.
What kinds of setbacks, if any, did you experience going into development, leading up to the end product?
We underestimated the technical certification process a little bit. The game was more or less done in March but we got stuck in Nintendo tech-cert for almost four months.
Dumas’ frequent mix of romanticism and humour in The Three Musketeers provided us a great slate of characters with an interesting and historical setting people could relate to – in our view, that is a perfect backdrop setting for any video game regardless of its mechanics.
Given the lack of platformers on this service, you'd think it would have had a lot more attention. Why do you think it hasn't been as popular as other games in the genre?
Traditional platformers are probably not very popular on WiiWare, from what I can tell. Notwithstanding Lost Winds, titles such as Adventure Island and Cocota Platform Jumper do not seem to have much of a following either.
Our ambition was to make the game feel like a full retail product on WiiWare (and that’s what it was on the PC) so we wanted to show that WiiWare can handle that even at its 40 megs limit.
Did you expect your game to be met with such mixed reactions from critics? How has the response been from other gamers?
We actually thought the game would score around 7/10 overall so we were a bit surprised to see such mixed reactions. To me it is clear that many of the reviewers has not played the game very far, probably not beyond the first couple of levels. In general games that look a little “kiddie” does not seem very popular with hardcore journalists (unless they have the word Mario in them).
What have you learned most about developing for this type of audience? Was there anything you would've done differently?
The WiiWare audience seem to be a fickle bunch. Many titles in the top 20 cost no more than 500 Points and are very casual (fishing, cards, aquarium anyone? J), so that’s one end of the audience. Then there are those retro remakes and popular brands and sequels such as Mario, Tetris, Final Fantasy and Monkey Island that does really well – let’s face it, big brands are hard to compete with. As for our little game The Three Musketeers, in hindsight, I think we should have offered the option to play with the Classic Controller or holding the Wii Remote horizontally in addition to swinging the Wii Remote.
Most definitely yes! We have not given up just yet.
By way of conclusion, is there anything you'd like to say to our readers?
We have no multi-million dollar marketing campaign or celebrity sponsors, but we do have something even better — you. We would be so happy if you supported us and bought a copy of The Three Musketeers or spread the word to friend and family if you like it. Thanks!