Ubisoft is the first AAA publisher to venture into old school RPGs. What motivated this move?
Ubisoft creative director, Erwan le Breton (EB): To be honest, this title was in our minds for a long time. It was hard for us to be sure there was an audience for such titles, but many Kickstarter successes in all those old-school IPs and genres, and also the great interest aroused by old school games, have proved the audience is there.
What didn’t make the cut?
EB: There are a couple of things we didn’t keep from the Xeen games. First gems aren’t needed to cast spells, a system that was not present in later games, and second, party characters don’t age. It felt inconsistent that your characters could age and die while the world around them did not change. However, we kept the food/resting mechanic.
How do you keep the balance between “old school” sensibilities and today’s “state of the art” standards?
EB: For Might & Magic X: Legacy, we tried to maintain this tradition of accessibility. Accessibility, by the way, is not to be confused with simplification. Accessibility is not about making the game less complex, but making it easier to use and understand. So Might & Magic X has detailed tooltips, clear signs and feedback, drag-and-drop interface, quick-action bar, and so on. Nothing extraordinary, but important features players are used to finding in modern RPGs. One thing we didn’t keep from the older games is the need to “validate” your level-up by spending gold in a training center. This seemed a little too old-school and in a grid-based game would have meant a tedious amount of backtracking.