Mira: The Legend of the Djinns – Discovering a Broken World
Mira: The Legend of the Djinns is a metroidvania based on Amazigh culture that’s now on Kickstarter. Designer Evan Todd-McCoy tells us more.
Evan Todd-McCoy – Narrative & Level Designer on Mira: The Legend of the Djinns
Mira: The Legend of the Djinns is a story-driven metroidvania in an exciting new world based on Amazigh and North African culture and mythology. If I could sum up our game’s main theme, I’d say it’s about discovery. Of the past, of ourselves, and of what really matters. Introducing our game to you is also about discovery – of a really kick-ass fantasy metroidvania!
What is Amazgesh?
Amazgesh is the fictional world of Mira and is deeply informed by the traditional folklore and storytelling of the Amazigh people as well as Moroccan culture in general.
A lot of games use the cultural and mythological traditions of Europe or Asia for aesthetic and narrative reasons, and we hope to do the same with a part of the world that is less often represented. Our two Moroccan-Amazigh team members (Rachid Hassani, Project Lead and Shergath, Art Director) came up with the core concept, a rough story outline, and several of our main characters.
My role is narrative and level design with some project management duties. My work has been to build on theirs, which includes fleshing out the story, characters, writing scripts for cut-scenes and dialogue, world-building, and helping the team develop the underlying concepts for art, music, and mechanics.
Designing the World
The first step to world and level design is to create a master document that includes detailed conceptual, mechanical, and narrative planning. To create this document, I start by breaking the game down into levels and then to organizational categories that define where and when things like cut-scenes, environmental hazards, and even shifts in our color schemes will occur.
From there, we work through it as a team. We add details, debate ideas, and create references for the art and music. We emphasize working together as much as possible and this is especially important in level design, as all of our skills and input are most fully realized when we fire up the engine and see it all come together. This is what makes Amazgesh real!
As developers, we want to participate in the creation of exciting independent video games that both break ground and reflect our own inspirations. All of us are old enough to have grown up with the classics on the SNES, SEGA consoles, and beyond.
Our love of retro game mechanics and aesthetics merge with what is possible in contemporary game design. That love helps guide us in creating a game that we hope honors those influences and our dream to represent a part of our world rarely seen in games.
Come with Us
We think we’ve made a game that is both familiar and fresh, not only because of its aesthetic and lore but because it includes our own takes on classic metroidvania mechanics. We want our players to feel like they are both coming home and setting off on a new adventure in a world they don’t yet know.
And so, we’re inviting you to grab your pickaxe, your ghambri, and your mother’s sword (it’s dangerous to go alone!) and follow us out into the world of Amazgesh where we know you’ll find some treasure!