Late last year a small indie game went viral on Reddit, and from there took the internet by storm. Called "Zelda Maker", the title looked to be Super Mario Maker, but for Legend of Zelda...
The dream would come to an abrupt halt as early 20 something Justin Sink learned the hard way what happens when you give Nintendo fans something they actually want...
Nintendo tried to sue us! A lawyer contacted us and they said “for your sake we hope you take down what you have and don’t continue to do this...we have full legal action” So I just stopped.
Who wouldn't?! You're at the beginning of your promising career and one of your childhood heroes just threatened legal action against you! After a brief break, new sprites, and the creation of entirely new IP one man's passion project has become a team effort in Legend Maker...and it's better for it.
Dream Mix Games (which includes Justin, Tanner Eakin, Jackson Reed, Guillame Caruso, Matt Wargo, Miika and Motorroach) has been hard at work to bring you an experience that you'll likely NEVER see in a Nintendo game. Better yet, you don't have to be a programmer to make a great game. It's all about accessibility and helping you make the game YOU want...whether that's Zelda or not.
You could create an entire game world with villages, dungeons, items etc...and you could create your own adventure approximately 1,168x larger and more complex than Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past.
If someone wants to create they can do what they what. If you want to make a one dungeon...you could just a make a dungeon with no overworld. You could literally make the starting point inside the dungeon you create and the ending of the game inside that same dungeon.
If you want your game to be a 200 room tower with a boss battle every 10 levels...you can do that.
If you want to place weapons for the hero to find, or give them every one from the start that's entirely your prerogative.
You could be a young gentlemen equipped with nothing but a hook shot swinging from town to town trying to win the love of a harem of maidens and yeah that's weird but who's gonna tell you no it's YOUR DAMN GAME.
On that latter note, yeah you can create NPC's with dialogue trees. No excessive programming either. Just a click and add text deal!
About the coolest customization feature I'm excited about however is the bosses. As opposed to giving you larger versions of smaller enemies or a preset list of guys to choose from...you can basically Mr. Potato Head your own boss!
"You click to add body parts torso, legs, head...then give them a bomb and they will throw a bomb with their arm...or fire and they’ll shoot fire out of their mouth."
So let's get specific...what can this game do that Zelda can't? Other than what's already been mentioned Dream Mix promises some enhanced mechanics such as deflecting arrows with other arrows, and a much larger variety of puzzles!
Of course sharing and playing will be just as important as creating! On release, Dream Mix is planning to use Steam Workshop for users to upload their levels for others to try, but admittedly to my dismay...not requiring users to complete their games before upload...
"We talked about beating the game to play the game but then we worried with the length of some levels that it would be hard to complete...so we think we are going to be letting the rating system handle that. Then if someone saw something was messed up they could leave a comment so the uploader can see it...change it...or not and everyone knows the game is flawed before they go in."
Now it's easy to say this is essentially what you want it to be...but there's a big difference between making a side scrolling level based platformer and a full length adventure. The level of complexity is insurmountably higher. Luckily Dream Mix had the answers to some tough questions.
Say you put a treasure chest for your bow and arrow in a room...but then accidentally put it behind a door that requires a door to enter. No problem, in creation mode you can go from play test to edit in the touch of a button!
So far Dream Mix has an answer for every question/concern I had about Legend Maker, and that's a very good thing. So when can we get our hands on something? Justin in the team say a Kickstarter for the game is set to go in early May and a free dungeon creation demo will be available to anyone who visits the page regardless of whether or not they donate!