Pocket Legends was Spacetime Studios’ premier mobile massively multiplayer online game. It was pitched as a lightweight take on the MMO genre, with ease of accessibility and a detailed loot system delivered through campaigns that players could play through with their friends. The title was already fully developed when I joined Spacetime Studios. My responsibility was to create a new campaign that would be delivered to players.
- Developer: Spacetime Studios
- Release Date(s): 2010
- Platforms: IOS, Android, Chrome
Content within Pocket Legends was divided into social hubs and campaigns, with the latter acting as group based instances. Each campaign had roughly 4 to 5 different maps, with different creatures and bosses to kill. Designers were responsible for all aspects of a campaign, from itemization to world building and quest structure. Requests for assets were typically limited to bosses and key loot given to players. Given the robustness of the editor, I was able to really stretch the assets that were available to me and re-purpose them in several different ways.
Nuri’s Hallows was a campaign focused on a traveling circus that was new to town. The circus’ gypsy, Nuri, fell into a permanent sleep and players were tasked with figuring out how to awaken her in time for the circus’ upcoming performance. Players would go through 5 different levels of varying themes that were based around a circus performer. Typically, campaigns in Pocket Legends were aesthetically the same for each level with enemies shared in each, but I wanted to make each level feel unique to the player and feel like a new adventure as they progressed.
The release trailer for the campaign can be seen below.
TowneI constructed the town using existing forest assets. The tent, entrance art, strength machine, and pendants hanging in the air were requested from art, however, I re-purposed remaining assets to fit the theme as needed. For example, the hay blocks that the archers could practice on were existing stone cubes from earlier dungeons – only re-textured using hay piles that were made for one of the levels later on in the campaign. The bullseye were a series of discs created in the VFX editor.
The Haunted Symphony
The Haunted Symphony used assets from earlier forest campaigns. I changed tinting, introduced fog, and attempted to make it feel a bit more spooky. The mime boss at the end was a texture that happened accidentally when viewing textures on different humanoid models.
The boombox was a new asset but the headphones were a player wearable that I had placed on enemy characters. There were a lot of custom VFX that I created to help sell the overall ghost vibe as players progressed. Enemies were musically based, with the boombox causing area of effect damage on intervals of a “beat”.
The mime boss consisted of a large stage encounter that had a disco ball flashing down, with mime clones that danced in sequence alongside him. Until you killed them and exposed the original in the pack, he could not be damaged.
House of Pain
The House of Pain was based around the concept of the Strongman. I re-purposed existing hallways with a wooden texture, to make it feel like you were in a haunted house. I requested a weight asset that I could use to drop down as a “trap”, re-tinted them, and placed them as needed to fall on players as they navigated the corridors. The illusion was reinforced by taking a soft circular plane and scaling it larger to give context for where the weight would drop.
A broom prop was used on an invisible model to give the effect that the broom was alive on it’s own, attacking players as they approached. Finally, I created mimic chests by using chest assets, their open/close animation, and a custom bouncing AI behavior to make it look like it was chasing and attacking the player.
The final boss sequence had players fighting the Strongman himself. He would run up to his nearby strength machine, strike it with his hammer and cause weights to drop down that players would have to avoid.
The Lion's Den
In the Lion’s Den, the player would encounter the Lion Tamer and his fearless Lion pet. Enemies consisted of hunters with tranquilizing darts. Along the way, players would encounter three types of animal traps including ones that would slow the player (ice) as well as catch them on fire.
Some of the hunters would also lay traps as they would travel through the corridors. The final sequence involved the player fighting the tamer and his lion, avoiding any traps that came their way.
The Boggy Waters was a swamp land that was re-purposed from earlier forest tiles. The shamans and their minions were goblins from earlier campaigns, equipped with glowing eye VFX I made. For the blow dart, I used a re-textured flute that was affixed to the goblin’s mouth.
The water was re-colored to look bloody, since the entire swamp was based around fighting a snake charmer that struck the player that bit the player. Along the way, there were spike traps which I had constructed from fence spike posts. Holes were created by hand in the VFX editor and I then lined up the spikes into a composite object, allowing them to be retracted and triggered as needed.
The final sequence with the Snake Charmer, had players fighting him in a boss arena with obelisks. I built a system around ‘faking’ line of sight, where the player had to hide behind the obelisks to avoid an area attack that would cause a ‘Medusa’ like effect on them. When in this state, players had stone formations on their feet, slowing them down for the Snake Charmer’s subsequent attacks including one that can kill them instantly.
The final level had players returning to town and visiting the gypsy in her tent. Players would go into her mind, where they discovered that she was being tortured by the circus performer’s worst fears.
Along the way, players activated light shrines by clearing out surrounding enemies. This in turn gave access to Nuri’s boss chamber. There, they would have to fight an evil variant of Nuri.
Her moves consisted of a ground stomp as well as nearby mirrors that cast beams of light damage at the player. She would be shielded by these mirrors, preventing any damage from being applied to her until they were destroyed. Players had to disable mirrors as they charged up, while evading her attacks.
With the mirrors disabled, her force field would be taken down allowing the player to deal damage directly on her before the mirrors rematerialized and brought her shield back up.