“Legacy Quest” is a F2P dungeon crawler for iOS and Android, created for Nexon. Players hack and slash their way through spooky crypts and icy viking fortresses, with dozens of different monsters, epic loot and a powerful crafting and trait system to build heroes tailored to their individual play style.
Through most of 2015, I worked as a programmer on the game’s client: Among other things, I was solely responsible for performance optimization, the game’s controls, parts of the UI (including ensuring the UI was displayed correctly from small phones to full size tablets), and shader-based visual effects.
When the game soft-launched in late 2015, we received feedback that its dungeon crawling parts were not exciting enough. While the rest of the team worked on simplifying the meta-game, I proposed a list of major changes to the core gameplay, and implemented all of them with a budget of just three months. During this time, I completely overhauled all aspects of “Legacy Quest”’s combat…
Major combat design changes
- I rewrote the combat system from scratch, changing our old setup of randomly spawning monsters to encounters with manually placed formations of enemies. I created dozens of different behaviours for our enemies, from golems telegraphing their powerful attacks that knock back the player, to spiders leaving behind poisonous trails. I also added swarm AI to make enemy hordes spread out and surround the player, and with a budget of just four days, I designed and implemented six multi-stage boss fights.
- I redesigned the weapons system, giving each of the 11 weapons in the game unique characteristics, such as knockback, splash damage and powerful combo attacks.
- I reworked the game’s controls, adding a dodge roll to evade enemy attacks, and I rewrote the auto-aiming system so that players can automatically get in range and strike nearby enemies, or prioritize specific enemies in their attacks.
- I also redesigned the camera system to be much more dynamic than the original setup: the camera now subtly zooms in and out depending on the player’s speed and nearby enemies. Weapon-based attacks add tiny offsets to the camera, following the character’s motions as they draw and shoot an arrow or strike with a giant mace. Special skills such as magic whirlwinds employ these zooms and offsets to add extra oomph. Critical hits add short freeze-frames, and killing an enemy comes with a subtle and satisfying screenshake.