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Developer Diary: Birth of a Hero

by Gorath, 2007-04-24

Master Creating´s Creative Director Jan Beuck gives an insight into the development process of their upcoming action-RPG Legend - Hand of God.

Birth of a Hero

So far, every action RPG made the player pick one of several classes. Why? Because they tried to appeal to many different types of gamers. A big-breasted woman, a tough fighter, a somehow ‘innovative’ character... and so on. This approach may work rather well, but there is one big problem: the story often feels contrived. It has no connection to the ‘hero’ who is not visible in render videos, isn’t mentioned in the background story, happens to appear on the scene by pure chance, doesn’t know anybody, has no skills whatsoever… but wants to save the world from some impending doom in the typical, unselfish way of your average black magician, vampire or dark elf.

Sounds silly, huh? This is why we decided to have real roleplaying instead and introduce a certain protagonist with a place in the game world and comprehensible motivations – in short, a protagonist with a soul.

You like the concept but still don’t want to abandon the variety of classes? Well, you won’t have to: as a Keeper of the Sacred Flame, the young man, who will bear your name, will come from a certain background, but many options are open to him: he can specialize in fine swords or two-handed axes, learn how to use shields or crossbows, study ice magic or fire magic, and so on! Depending on which skill you upgrade, you’ll need certain items which come in thousand variants and will change your initial looks accordingly: depending on your preferences, you’ll become a fierce fighter, mysterious mage or adventurous archer. You won’t be able to become a big-breasted Amazon, though ;-).

So, why do I tell you about this? Because this was the starting point for the concept of our hero. He should be manly, neither too young nor too old… a youth on the hard-to-define brink of manhood as prescribed by the story. He also was supposed to look as good in a robe as in a set of worn leather armor or shining plate mail – and look unique at that. Not an easy task! And so the development of our hero took a whole year. From February 8, 2005 and the first design studies by our art director Andreas made with different clothes and haircuts …

to February 8, 2006 when Ivan, our Bulgarian lead artist, generated the final concept from Andreas’ sketches. Here it is:

When we saw this picture, we instantly knew – this was our hero! He looks determined, but not unfriendly, well-muscled, but not disproportionate, scarred, but not careworn. From there on, it still was a long, yet crystal-clear way to go, culminating in the picture you might have seen somewhere already…

A lot of work, but it was definitely worth it!

Box Art

Information about

Legend: Hand of God

Developer: Master Creating

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Combat: Real-time
Play-time: 10-20 hours
Voice-acting: Full

Regions & platforms
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2007-09-28
· Publisher: dtp

North America
· Legend - Hand of God
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2008-08-01
· Publisher: THQ

More information

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