Legends of Amberland II platforms and date decided
The next instalment of the Amberland series comes to Steam, GOG and Nintendo Switch in 2023!
In the last month I was signing papers, negotiating, discussing schedules and planning stuff. So, here it is, the release plan of Legends of Amberland II: The Song of Trees.
– The game comes to Steam (PC). Store link: https://store.steampowered.com/app/2110840/Legends_of_Amberland_II_The_Song_of_Trees/
– The game comes to GOG (PC). Store link: https://www.gog.com/game/legends_of_amberland_ii_the_song_of_trees
– The game is basically guaranteed to come to Nintendo Switch (console). I have signed the letter of intent with Pineapple Works, the guys behind the excellent port of the prequel, to port and publish the game on Nintendo Switch. So, based on my prior experience with them, I would say there will be no problems.
– The game might be ported to other consoles as well. It’s being examined if it’s feasible technically and financially, so maybe. In case the game were to be ported to additional consoles it would be done after the release.
The planned date of the release is 2023. It’s not decided yet if this will be a simultaneous launch on all platforms or maybe PC version would be done first. Not sure yet. Similarly, it’s not decided yet to which languages the game will be localized yet (but English, German and French localizations are guaranteed) and if the localization will be ready upon release or as a patch later. Still, all of those (Steam, GOG, Nintendo Switch in at least 3 languages) are planned to be concluded by the end of 2023.
Legends of Amberland II: The Song of Trees - All News
Friday - February 03, 2023
LoA II: The Song of Trees - Design Philosophy
Silver Lemur Games published a blog post about what to expect from Legends of Amberland II: The Song of Trees:
The design philosophy of sequel to Legends of Amberland
This is an overview of the design direction for Legends of Amberland II. It does not list exact features, but more like design principles on a more abstract level. Probably this would be most interesting to game designers and developers than regular players, but who knows.
Overall, it’s a direct sequel, like 90% code will be reused. If you liked the first game there are extremely high odds you will like that one too, if you hated the predecessor you will hate that one as well. But if you liked the first one but found it lacking there are decent odds the parts you did not like would be improved. As a principle, it’s an evolution, not a revolution. It will be basically a very similar game with various improvements, adjustments, slight changes in the design principles and other changes, but the nature and premise will stay the same.
Lessons learned from the first Legends of Amberland
While I was reading various articles, reviews and forum posts about Amberland I noticed an interesting thing. The things I had fun to make were valued very high by the players, while things that I did not enjoyed making were valued as poor or mediocre. Take as an example the overworld map (which I had blast making) vs underground levels (which I did not enjoy making that much). Overworld was evaluated as super fun to travel while dungeons were frequently evaluated as merely passable. It applies to other aspects of the game as well. Which lead me to a decision to alter the development process by adding an additional criteria, which is “do I have fun making it?”. Of course this would not apply to to UI, bug fixing, technical stuff, which obviously has to be done and it’s always tiresome and boring. But for the gameplay related things I would add such step and I feel it should result in a better game.
Another observation, all design goals I wanted to achieve were actually achieved, but… Sometimes, the cure was worse than the disease. For example “make shop items useful and make them decently priced so there is a decision to be made what should be bought” was achieved, everyone wants to buy the additional Girdle of Carrying and its price is far from trivial even in the late game. So, yes, I was able to “fix” the long lasting problems of basically any other RPG… but it resulted in side effects that negated the whole gain. Basically, a non trivial amount of players was simply sad they can not afford everything (which was the goal mind you, perfectly executed). Therefore, I decided to more carefully examine my design goals, especially if those were contrary to classic RPG design choices in other games. It made me realize that many, very stupid at a glance, limitations and cliches of RPGs are there for a reason, usually an important one and not visible at the surface. Definitely more care needs to be taken when it comes to innovation and wild ideas on this field.
Story of the first Amberland had two strong pillars (world lore and characters) and one weak pillar (plot). Lore was evaluated as super consistent, logical and with an excellent mood, not a single complain, a lot of praise, no alteration here needed at all. Characters (NPCs) were frequently valued highly for their lines and personality, no complains, can carry on with the same style. Plot was the part that many people evaluated as mediocre, some even as poor. While there were no terrible ratings of the plot there definitely is a problem with that aspect of the story. I was thinking about the reasons for a longer while, so I could made whole separate post about it, but the short analysis is this. The plot was too complex and too subtle (most people did not understood it, especially the relation between the spell of forgetfulness and the crown) and therefore it was classified as cliche (yes, not something one could guess is even possible). Next problem was related to lack of the final boss, which was confusing (yep, there was no final boss in first Amberland, the one you meet at the end is not the final boss), also environmental storytelling was lacking. The interesting thing is that when I inquired players and asked “what you think was the real story behind all those events” they did guess it right, despite at first claiming something else, so it’s not that it was too subtle or confusing… Anyway, definitely a different approach to plot is needed.
Many other small things. The list could go on much longer, there are other smaller observations like the Great Desert perceived unbalance, lack of magical staves, etc. These all were taken into consideration and many (maybe most?) of those are planned to be addressed in some form or another.
Thursday - November 24, 2022
LoA II: The Song of Trees - Platforms and Date Decided
Legends of Amberland II: The Song of Trees have announced that the game is intended for 2023 and will be releasing on Steam, GOG, and Nintendo Switch.
Monday - November 07, 2022
LoA II: The Song of Trees - Announced
The dungeon crawler Legends of Amberland II: The Song of Trees has been announced:
Legends of Amberland II: The Song of Trees
Legends of Amberland II: The Song of Trees is a classic western RPG inspired by the games from the 90s like Might & Magic, Wizardry, Ultima, the Gold Box series and others. Using the classic first-person perspective, over grid movement, turn-based system to travel in an open world with fast travel options and a quick combat.
You lead a party of 7 adventurers, manually assembled or pre-made, on an epic adventure to fight the evil which lurks in Amberland. It's light, fairy tale, epic, heroic and slightly humorous. It does not take tons of hours to complete or require an endless grind to progress. Basically, it's a love letter from the 90s, the golden era of RPGs.
- First person perspective, 90 degree rotation, over grid movement (like in the 90s).
- Turn-based (both combat and exploration).
- Party-based (7 heroes, either predefined or manually assembled upon new game).
- Fast paced combat, especially blazing fast against much weaker enemies.
- Quick travel to reduce backtracking.
- Easy inventory management with separate personal equipment encumbrance system and an infinite magic bag of carrying for items not equipped at the moment.
- Open world with a big overworld to explore.
- Quests (including both main storyline quests and side quests).
- Rich world lore (spanning between all games of the series, but no knowledge of prior games required).
The game was designed to look and feel like one of the old games while working flawlessly on modern machines, especially on very high resolutions. It has very low hardware requirements and should run on even very old machines.
About the relation to the prequel:
The Legends of Amberland titles can be played in any order you wish. They share the same world and lore (historical events) but each has a separate and self-contained story. There might be some mild references to events in the previous titles of the series, but more like a flavor, so it does not hinder the ability to play those in any order.
Information aboutLegends of Amberland II: The Song of Trees
Developer: Silver Lemur Games
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Expected: 2023-04-15
· Publisher: Silver Lemur Games