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Interviews

LEGO Harry Potter

Traveller's Tales discusses its new title - and the future of the series...

Traveller's Tales seem to have discovered a pretty successful formula when it comes to giving some of Hollywood's biggest titles a blocky makeover.

From Star Wars to Batman to Indiana Jones, the world of Lego has offered light-hearted relief and great gameplay to boot.

Now the focus is on Harry Potter and CVG sat down with Traveller's Tales to talk about the young wizard, the magic of Lego videogames and what they could conjure up in the future.

What lessons have you learnt from the LEGO Indy games?
So with each new game, we really pour our heart and soul into creating new experiences. For LEGO Indiana Jones 2 we put a lot of quite radical things in - the dynamic split screen has been universally adored, and that's something we're bringing into LEGO Harry Potter.

Also new in LEGO Indiana Jones 2 was a much more encompassing structure, based around the movies. That speaks to our desire to make experience which are more immersive - to use a fairly overused word - more connected to each other other.

LEGO |Harry Potter] shares some of those aspirations, based on the idea of Hogwarts being somewhere you want to discover all of the secrets of. The experience of Hogwarts unfolding in LEGO will be different to LEGO Indiana Jones 2 - where each of the hub areas is pretty suddenly found yourself with a lot of options that were quite diversely spread in location.

Hogwarts unfolds in a much more measured way which players - particularly young players, will find much more signposted. But still live with the same level of depth and scope you saw in LEGO Indiana Jones 2.

When you look back over the Traveller's Tales LEGO canon, which games are you most proud of?
We're incredibly proud of every game. That sounds glib, but it isn't - as I said before, we put our heart and soul into these games... Where the games are different form each other, we enjoy very different things.

And there is a common thread as well. LEGO Star Wars was the first game we made [in the series] so it has a special place for us. I think we were very glad we could make more of that game in LEGO Star Wars The Complete Saga. The statistics presented by Nintendo in Wii for game rated by length of time people play them for, they rank LEGO Star Wars consistently in the top ten with average play time coming in at 40 hours-plus. That I think has to be one of our proudest achievements.

LEGO Harry Potter is coming out across platforms. PS3 is perhaps the best example of a system that's more aimed at mature gamers at this point in its lifecycle. Do you think Harry Potter could appeal to adult gamers - not playing it with his or her family?
So we're all adult gamers [at Traveller's Tales]. We all play with our family as well, but we are all just as critical of new games as anyone, perhaps even more so.

We know what we like to play, and the games we make we play all the time as we're making them. We have to be satisfying ourselves as we go along. LEGO Harry Potter is a game we enjoy playing and we enjoy playing between ourselves. I'm sure there are other people who will share that.

What did you make of the Harry Potter games that have gone before, and did you take any inspiration from them?
I'll be honest that the other Harry Potter games are not well known to me. When we're creating a Lego game, our starting point is a blend of LEGO-ness with the IP. As a secondary expression for the IP, taking influence from other video games would take us down a different path.

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