I've had my hands full with transitioning into my new job as a Concept Artist and UI designer for Hashbang Games, which has been absolutely amazing, as I work with a great team of people so I've had less time to work on Sword 'N' Board but it's always in the back of my mind. I'm always writing things and mechanics down on paper to make sure I don't lose track of all the ideas.
It's amazing how much of a game really starts to come out when the mechanics are worked out.
While the game was obviously inspired by The Legend of Zelda I think people will be surprised in the long run by just how different it's going to be.
Sure, it's an adventure game, and you collect health and money and things like that, but it's the personality of the game and the new mechanics that the game is going to be using that I think will really make it stand out.
The Legend of Zelda was very much about taking itself pretty seriously, while there was still some humor here and there, you were still a boy on an epic quest which pretty much set the scene for the game in it's entirety.
In Sword 'N' Board its about a kid, having fun with his dad and going on an imaginary adventure that his dad has set him out on, and because of that I think it's only right to play up the humor and the fun of the game and really just focus on giving the game it's own personality.
With that said, I also want the game to be difficult.
I've talked about the "padding" in other Legend of Zelda games and that's really something I want to avoid, while also making the game a bit more puzzle oriented, and difficult. Games any more seem to spoon feed people what they need to know in order to reach a broader audience and get people playing the game but I don't think you necessarily need to make a game easy to reach a broad audience, and may games have already proven this.
Super Meat Boy by Team Meat is a great example of this. This game has sold more than a Million copies between Steam and X Box life and its notorious for it's difficulty. The thing about difficulty however, is when you finally do something, and you finally get the puzzle right and get to move on, it feels rewarding! I remember playing bosses on my old NES and SNES and playing them 10 - 20 times before I would finally get it right, and when I did I would run out of my room and go tell my parents. They didn't really care, but I did, and that's all that mattered. I felt accomplished at something in my young age.
But, I also want to make the game rewarding in other ways as well through items. It wouldn't be an Adventure game without items right?
Each of the items in the game can be used in useful ways that change their mechanics when used with the other items in your Inventory, and a large amount of the puzzles rely on you finding different ways to use the built in mechanics and different item combinations. All in all, I think it's going to make for a unique experience that is really going to set this game apart.