Interview with Łukasz Szczepański

The producer of Furry Legends

Posted on May 26 2009 at 13:14 pm by Zentendo Staff

1) Can you please discuss what your role in the development of Furry Legends is and how you got involved in this innovative project?

My name is Łukasz Szczepański and I am the producer of Furry Legends. As for my involvement, I was very eager to make console game, and the higher management decided to throw me a bone. My duties are taking care of the project. I look after the tasks being done, graphics being drawn, these two combined together and revamped if there is something wrong. I take care of ordering hardware and making sure that no one bothers the team. I also handle all external communication, such as this interview.

2) When watching the trailer for Furry Legends, it strongly reminds me of LostWinds in terms of how light and intuitive it looks. Have you taken inspiration from LostWinds and where else have you taken inspiration from?

Lost Winds was certainly inspiring for us in terms of graphics quality. We knew that we wanted to make something looking as good as Lost Winds, but not quite exactly the same. We have taken some inspiration from Furry of the Furries, in terms of character design. The rest is pretty much our original design.

3) Speaking of which, who or what was the driving force behind this creative direction?

It was a collaboration of the whole team, really. We had a lot of discussion between me, the designer, the artist and the art director. It took us a while before we got the final design, but we're still iterating on that, because there's always something that can be done better.

4) Throughout it's always been said that Furry Legends will be a fun and enjoyable game. How do you think these fun and humours elements will translate between the various countries of Europe and America?

We're aiming at universal humor and references, stuff that's pretty common knowledge in the games space, and I believe that people across the world won't have much problem with understanding the humor.

5) From what we can tell Furry Legends has a strong focus on physics and gravity in the same line as Boom Blox and Super Mario Galaxy. This has recently become a very popular and interesting way of adding to a game. Is it difficult to get the balance right when developing this system?

Physics systems have their odds and ends, sometimes things don't work as we would expect them them to, or they work exactly like they're supposed to, but we're lost in the abundance of parameters and physical properties required to achieve what we want. It does take time before one is proficient with such a tool, sadly it's not all click and play.

6) Have you found working for the WiiWare limiting due to the size limit of the games?

Yes, the size limit is looming over us like a bad omen. We constantly have to think about it and figure out ways to reuse as many materials as possible to fit within the limit. It's not Bluray, you know.

7) As such, WiiWare games are quickly becoming known for being short, quick games. How are you planning on avoiding these pitfalls?

I don't really think it is a pitfall. I mean, look at Portal, it's almost 3 hours of gameplay, sharp. And people loved it. It provides a certain experience, and doesn't drag it ad infinitum. I think that WiiWare games are the same, short and fun experiences, just like book novels. Story driven games will always provide shorter gameplay than games with infinite replay value - like puzzlers. We aim to provide the right experience for the right price, and I'm sure that players will appreciate it.

As you've developed a lot of games, what is the key differences between developing for the WiiWare and a physical release (aside from the fact that one actually has a DVD!) ?

It's hard to say for me, really, as we never worked with CD/DVD releases. All our games have always been electronic delivery only. I guess there's less work with localization, and creating all the marketing and box art.

9) How many people are working on this project at the moment?

There are 3 coders, 3 artists, designer, art director, QA lead and me. So that would be ten people total.

10) Throughout all of the development blogs there's been an emphasis on humour, how do you think Polish humour will translate across to the rest of Europe and especially America?

As I have mentioned above, we're aiming at universal values that will be easy to grasp across the world. Including some region specific elements wouldn't benefit the game at all.

11) Are you planning on releasing this game in multiple languages, or are you just writing this game in English at the moment?

Currently we're planning to have English only. We might add Polish localization, as it's pretty easy for us to do so. The game's manual will be in EFIGS standard, however.

12) The plot of Furry Legends seems to be somewhat expanded for one game on it's own, are you planning on releasing more Furry Legends in the future and if so will they remain on the WiiWare or will you move into physical distribution?

Indeed, the plot is pretty big and we certainly would like to release more games from this series. Everything, including physical release depends on the success of this first installment. The more people get the game, the higher chance we'll create more chapters.

13) Any chance of downloadable extras?

I'm afraid not. It requires a branch of technology we didn't have the time to get into.

14) Multiplayer?

We have planned for it originally, but due to time constraints we had to remove it from the current game.

15) Finally, if you have to compare Furry Legends to any game currently available (on all platforms) what would it be and why?

I think it's a blend of Sonic gameplay with active elements from LittleBigPlanet. Sonic had all these speed elements, rolling around, jumping and collecting stuff, while LBP has all these quirky mechanisms and physics. We've just added some fur into the mix.