What is drawn in black and white, with colored cardboard decorations, which will have required sixteen years of design (including ten of development), overflows with passion, and will know how to vibrate the souls of children (young and old ) adventurers? But yes, but yes, RPG Time: The Legend of Wright is over, and it is. The result of a small team of dedicated developers, grouped under the banner of the DeskWorks studio, this game is the culmination of a graduation project.
You guessed it, its schoolgirl atmosphere will have moved us, but behind its childish aesthetic triturating our nostalgic strings, will this ode to the imagination have been able to amuse us to the end?
The Silver Pencil School
Impossible not to be charmed by the graphic style of RPG Time : his pencil strokes are simple, and yet the sets are full of details that we like to take the time to observe, to discover an unusual element. Such a snub to the race for realism can only be appreciated, far from Horizon Forbidden West or The Callisto Protocol.
The game does not touch so much for the emotions aroused by the story of the game (as cute as they are), but rather by the accuracy of what the work offers, namely a return to childhood through the prism of a subject. universal and effective, the school, and at the same time, the unbridled imagination of children.
It is also a student, Kenta, who will be the Game Master of your adventures. Calling out to you at the end of the lesson, he is both the personification of the creator and the real driving force behind the story, giving himself body and soul to make you experience this drawn epic. What a pity that young French audiences don’t have the right to a local translation, as this game is a wonderful introduction to role-playing. It will be necessary for the time being to be satisfied with English, Chinese (curious choice…) or Japanese for multilinguals.
From the first notes of the main theme, just as simple and successful as the rest of the game, Kenta’s voice breaks through its text bubbles to stimulate the student in us all. This constant double abyss – the player/game within the player/game – is a central mechanic of RPG Time: The Legend of Wright , which makes sense and works until the end of the game, despite the lightness of its gameplay. Or rather its gameplays…
Random Access Game Memories
Echoing its school context, fun is at the heart of the game: whether it is that of the player, the game master, and (one imagines) that of the creators. To support this idea, The Legend of Wright hides under its announced RPG status a string of mini-games of various genres.
From shoot’em up to fighting game, passing by the board game, this intricacy of so simple games produces a marvelous result. First of all because they are well dosed, never too long for you to get tired of them. Then, because each mini-game is a perfectly mastered tribute to a genre, which plunges the oldest into their childhood memories, and proves to be a successful introduction for novices. RPG Time brings out beauty in the eye of the viewer, and entertainment in the soul of the player.
Impossible not to mention its finale in apotheosis, reappropriating materials from everyday school life to make it the site of an epic fight. For once the multiple forms of the end boss of an RPG do not offer similar gameplay, it would be a shame not to go to the end of this adventure.
If RPG Time has won its bet to make us dream throughout it, it’s probably because this game itself is the result of a long-time dream (and hard work).
Game Holes & Revelations
RPG Time: The legend of Wright will have taken its time before coming out, and this is both one of the keys to its success, and a lesson for the video game industry. It’s a bet to take your time to create such a work, a time that will necessarily limit the production of other potential games by the studio. But this often remains essential so that the result can be unique, striking, and encourage other creators to surpass themselves.
In addition to overflowing with good ideas, the game exudes a creative passion that it manages to share. He offers a reflection behind his decorations made in pencil, on a notebook and pieces of cardboard, with magnets and beads here and there. By putting familiar materials on screen, the game’s designers make people want to rediscover a taste for play in everything around us, especially in the trivial.
This passion is particularly felt in the various storyboards and cardboard prototypes of the game, subsequently integrated with Unity to obtain this rendering that is both realistic and wonderful.
We can only remain silent in front of the investment of the creators, admiring their drafts as much as the final result. It would be nice to have more behind-the-scenes photos of the making of the game, but you can already start with this recent making-of which gives us a good overview of the working atmosphere at DeskWorks.
It was with origami stars in our eyes that we arrived at the game’s end screen, soberly indicating on a black screen: “The End – Until the next RPG Time! “. And, like in another era, there was nothing left for us to do but to digest these last words, no more key allowing us to leave this box. Until next time, RPG Time! That’s all we want.