We spoke with Destructive Creations CEO Jarosław Zieliński to find out a little more about the inspirations and motivations behind his studio’s creation of Ancestors Legacy:
It’s no secret that the RTS genre has been declining in popularity in recent years. In light of this how have you tried to adapt the genre to renew some of the interest in the format?
Jarosław: We put a lot of effort into making Ancestors Legacy beginner friendly - "Easy to learn and hard to master" and more accessible to the genere's newcomers. The main reason for that was the fact we wanted our game to be available on consoles, and all design choices were made having console controllers in mind. This is something that you need to adjust your game pacing to. Limiting micromanagement and throwing away APM-style gameplay - these were our most important goals. And I must say it kinda works. I feel much more relaxed playing AL than when playing some of my other favourite RTS games.
What were some of the challenges you faced in putting together a game with Ancestors Legacy’s type of hybrid genre?
J: I don't really see it as hybrid of some genres. Yes, we have RPG and adventure games elements, but they're pretty much overshadowed by the RTS core. The biggest challenge, though, was keeping the reliability of the setting. Early medieval times create a lot of boundaries for a game in terms of mechanics and yet - you have to keep it intense and interesting enough. It is difficult to come up with bright and fresh design ideas, while you can't use magic, machines, tanks or aliens. :)
The game clearly takes its cue from the medieval European setting, what steps did you take to try and recreate the period as accurately as possible?
J: Some of our guys are pretty much history-maniacs (me included, even if this particular period is not my favourite), so we spent a lot of time on research. We knew the game wouldn't be "accurate", not in terms of the real events, just in terms of the game's scope. But in terms of architecture, troop appearance and weaponry, we did what we could. Having in mind that these four nations should have their unique identity, we took what we could to make them at least credible. For example - slavic troops use sabres instead of swords. It isn't necessarily accurate, but there were some excavations which shown that sabres were actually used during this period and even if they weren't very common - we decided to give them to slavic troops, to make them different from the others.
Were you particularly inspired by any other games when making Ancestors Legacy?
J: This one is very simple. Since the beginning of the project I’ve been describing the game as "Company of Heroes + Medieval II: Total War" (both forever in my heart!). Of course we spent time on research playing many other games, especially looking for instances of good gamepad controls in RTS.
Have you had any surprises from your community since launching the game?
J: Each bug report is a surprise ;)
In your Opinion what’s been the biggest factor contributing to the game’s success so far?
J: It's own spirit! Find me another modern, medieval, non-cartoonish and brutal RTS game. There are none like these... but in case I'm wrong, I'd be glad to play one!