Behind The Scenes
Some Brief Highlights
This is an extremely brief account of the development of Legacy of Kain. There are many things left out. We would not want to bore you with 3 years of details.
The Original Concept
The original concept of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain was conceived by Denis Dyack, originally titled "The Pillars of Nosgoth". It's complex story was outlined in a document full of sketches and concepts. The details and twisted story of Kain were developed and finalized by Denis Dyack & Ken McCulloch. Ken went on to write the scripts for the screen play (cinematics), the in-game stuff and the weapons descriptions. We wanted to create a game where there was no ultimate weapon and armor. A game where you had to use your head as well as your reflexes.
The Vision of Kain
Kain was conceived to be a game which adults would want to play. The character Kain was modeled in part after Clint Eastwood's character in the movie "Unforgiven". In this movie, there were no "good" or "evil" characters, they were all "gray". The vision of Kain was to create a game where the player is put in the position where everyone believes you are evil, perhaps even yourself. We wanted to ask the questions of "What is evil? Perhaps it is merely a perspective". We wanted to create an "anti-hero". Other inspirations were the "Necroscope" series by Brain Lumly because of the great visceral nature, and "The Wheel of Time" series by Robert Jordan because of its rich world and finely woven story lines.
Crystal becomes the Publisher of Kain
Along with several other game Publishers, Crystal Dynamics was sent the "Pillars of Nosgoth" concept and several other proposals from Silicon Knights. Crystal and Silicon Knights decided to pursue Kain for the 32-bit market place. At this point, no platform was chosen and the Sony PlayStation had not been announced.
Sony Playstation is Announced
After looking at all the 32-bit systems Silicon Knights and Crystal Dynamics agreed to make the Sony the lead platform. Its streamlined architecture and excellent graphic abilities helped it to win out over the other platforms.
E3 - 1995
Being one of a handful of 2D games (as well as the only Adventure/RPG) Kain was named as the best overall game at E3 by Die Hard Game Fan. This excited and honored us. We thank Die Hard for this and many things. They were one of the few magazines to given Silicon Knights any credit. This means a lot to us and we are eternally grateful for all of those magazines who gave credit where credit was deserved.
Changing a House to a Mansion
After some serious discussions and analysis it was decided to substantially increase the size of the development team on Kain to make it even better than its original spec. At this point, Silicon Knights more than doubles in size and several designers from Crystal Dynamics aid the increased design and level layout. This resulted in 5 designers from Crystal flying up to Canada and spending over 6 months with us. We would like to thank those involved who helped us to hone our vision of Kain. Anyway, 40 in-game characters are increased to 190, 40 tiles sets are increased to over 600, etc...
E3 - 1996
Kain is still rated as 6th overall at the show by Game Fan. This is despite the hype of the new hardware platforms and 2nd generation of 32-bit games. Again we were very happy. The press and word of mouth for Kain is now beginning to increase.
The Credit Screen
Activision and Crystal Dynamics strike a deal where Activision does the manufacturing and distribution for Kain in North America. In order avoid any confusion on who actually created, conceived and developed this game the credit screen was added to the credits. This is a first in the industry. We hope we have established a trend for other developers.
Before the U.S. Thanksgiving. All parties involved are very pleased. Hopefully you are as well.