Interview: Amplitude Studios on Endless Legend, working at Ubisoft, and changing the 4X-strategy genre
GZ: What are the biggest differences between Endless Space and Endless Legend? How did the community influence those differences?
RDW: The biggest difference is that Endless Legend is one planet and Endless Space was all of the galaxy. The main reason we went from one to the other was because if we would have been working on Endless Space 2 after Endless Space, we would not have been able to be creative. It would've been a bit more of the same.
The biggest differences on top of the terrain, I would say, is the questing system and how we put the story of the world closer to it.
JS: That was definitely a community reaction. They felt that it was a great game but the universe was a bit empty and dry. We really wanted to bring more story, narrative, lore, and background. The quest system was something we wanted to do, but it was something the community felt very strongly about. I would also say redoing the tech tree was partially a reaction to what the community was saying about the design of Endless Space. We're also going to have a community-created faction in the game.
GZ: What are the features or even a few minor nuances you're proudest to have introduced in this game?
RDW: Terrain. I think we are the first ones to do that three-dimensional/hexagonal terrain.
JS: And have the battle map and the adventure map all be the same — the unity of time and space and the terrain.
RDW: Yeah, I think it's pretty unique and original. If not unique, it's definitely uncommon. It's not the common way of doing things. The marketplace, how the whole economy is linked together, the booster system — all are definitely unique.
JS: I would say the minor factions, too, because the way they actually change the traits of your empire [is unique]. Also, the one city per region [element].
RDW: The region system has been pointed out as being very unique and a very good addition to the 4X genre.
GZ: So this question is a bit more player-centric. Is playing Endless Space required to get the most out of Endless Legend?
RDW: Absolutely not. Not at all.
JS: I'd certainly recommend you buy it! (laughs) No, Amplitude games are so unique and different that you don't need to have played other Amplitude games to understand. If you've played another 4X, that would certainly make it easier, whether it's Endless Space or something else.
RDW: You definitely don't need to have played any of our other games to enjoy them, and we don't require that from the players. What we hope is that if you discover Endless Legend, that maybe you'll want to try out the other games.
GZ: Do you have any post-launch plans for Endless Legend that you can share?
RDW: No, we don't have definite plans. What we know is what we did with Endless Space, and that was six free DLCs and one paid expansion pack. We know that we want to go in that direction [again]. Shipping the game is just the beginning.
JS: For Amplitude, we're still developing afterwards — we're still adding things, improving it, we still want more feedback, we're still balancing it. We hope that the game stays out there a long time, and if we want that to happen, we have to keep supporting it, adding to it, and enriching it.
GZ: As far as the series as a whole, do you already have ideas for what you'd want to do with a future game?
RDW: Yes. Yes.
JS: I mean, yeah. We'd be working on Legend and we'd go, “Oh, man, if we could've done this for Endless Space it would've been great.” Ideas are coming up all the time. Halfway through development, you'd get an idea but you're too far along.
RDW: That's what happened with Dungeon of the Endless — it wasn't planned at first. We were so in love with the idea of having a dungeon that we had to work on it. We could not wait to ship Legend, so that's why we started working on it.
JS: I myself still think there's a lot we can do here between the 4X and the lore [of the Endless games]. I think there's still a lot of life in this thing. We hope it's going to be around for a long time.
GZ: You've shown off six factions thus far. There will be a total of eight factions, correct?
RDW: Yes. The last one was created by the community, and they were really ambitious. We may — may — have the eighth faction out shortly after release.
GZ: Well, thank you very much. Thanks for answering my questions with the depth that you did.
RDW: Thank you very much.
JS: Great! Thanks a lot!
Endless Legend is available in Early Access on Steam right now. You can purchase the Classic Pack for $31.49 (on sale from $34.99) or the Founder Pack for $40.49 (originally $44.99). A huge thanks to the dudes at Amplitude for answering my questions.
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