LEGO’s Next Game: LEGO Harry Potter

Warner Bros were kind enough to invite us to their lovely offices to check out their next LEGO game, LEGO Harry Potter. We not only saw and played the game itself but were also able to chat with the King of LEGO Video Games and Head of Production at Traveller’s Tales, Jonathan Smith. The game’s looking really great — especially if you’re a fan of LEGO or Harry Potter. If you enjoy both, it’s a definite must buy. Here’s the interview we conducted with Mr. Smith, once they finally persuaded us to put down the controllers. If you’re eager for some more info, check out PlayStation.com’s interview, too.

LEGO Harry Potter

How does Lego Harry Potter differ from previous Lego games?

With every new game we make we try to raise the bar and there are lots of technical innovations in Lego Harry Potter. The new layer of physics makes the world more realistic and enable us to build with Lego using magic in a way you’ve never been able to do before. And taking advantage of this wonderful setting of Hogwarts and the magical characters within it, we can use magic to create a new kind of lego gameplay as well, with characters that learn new spells over a long period of time, so that they’re always progressing over what is a very sizeable adventure and learning new things every step of the way.

How has game progression in particular changed in this Lego game?

So what’s radically and completely new in Lego Harry Potter from what we’ve done before is the effect that having Hogwarts as a massive explorable environment has on the game progression and the game structure. When you first start as a new student in Hogwarts, finding your way to your first lesson you’ll be pretty well directed by the teaches and the design of the environment to find your way, but as you play and progress further through the story, with each new spell you’ll gain access to new areas and trigger new story events that move on through the plot. So you’ll find more and more of Hogwarts accessible to you as a player, switching between different characters, until it becomes a really huge, immersive, explorable, open environment — to which you’ll return between story events to discover more secrets and learn more things.

So why did you choose to focus on the first four books?

We wanted to start at the beginning of the Harry Potter story with year 1 and we wanted to create a game that was a really substantial adventure. The end of the Triwizard Tournament at the end of The Goblet Of Fire is a really nice climax. Over those four years you get a real sense of development from a novice to becoming a very powerful wizard. It’s a period of time that’s rewarding to play through and get to the end of.

Would you say the game is based more on the books or the films, or a mixture of both?

Everything in the world of Harry Potter comes from the books. That’s where it was invented and where it has the greatest detail. We draw, where we can, upon the wonderfully vivid evocation of the story as represented by the film makers and you’ll see that in the representation of the characters and some of the action scenes.

LEGO Harry Potter

How much creative freedom were you given when creating objects, characters or environments for the Harry Potter Universe?

Everything that’s in Lego Harry Potter has to be fitting for the world of Harry Potter and the world of Lego Harry Potter is very accommodating of surprising objects. So, you’ll find tractors and washing machines and trampolines and all the surprising, fun, Lego things you’d expect to find in a Lego game — and yet at the same time it will still be perfectly fitting for the world of Harry Potter.

How have you dealt with character progression in the game? Do they get older and more powerful?

All the students, as you progress through the game, will learn new, more powerful spells.

Are there any plans to incorporate Move functionality

No. Because we’re coming out before the Move is releasing.

How much support have you had from JK Rowling and the people behind the films?

We’ve had tremendous support JK Rowling and all the team at Warner Bros who are responsible for the upkeep of the world of Harry Potter. Everyone appreciates that what Lego brings to Harry Potter is unique and I think everyone has come to trust the respect and love that everyone on the team has for the source material and that wonderful world that was created.

How much sidequest / secret content will there be in the game?

It’s a big game compared to other Lego games. The balance of directed, plot-orientated level action to fool-around bonus stuff is not dissimilar to previous games, but there is probably more of it because it’s a bigger game.

How do the PSP and PS3 games differ?

The PSP version of the game has a greater focus on adventure and questing. The PS3 version has a greater focus on action.

LEGO Harry Potter

How do you feel about the idea that Lego Harry Potter will be the first exposure to the series for some people?

We aspire to be the perfect introduction for new gamers and people who may not be intimately knowledgeable about Harry Potter already. Lego always gives people a way into new worlds of imagination and we feel very proud to be able to do that.

17 Comments
0 Author replies

I am soooo looking forward to this.

Lego Racers 2 please

3

Lego Racer 3 please

Looks like a very good game! Can’t wait to see more of it.

One of the few games I’m looking forward to, Harry Potter is great :D

6

can we make sure theres online play this time from release instead of 6 months later like lego indy 2 did :)

Carnivius_Prime 06 April, 2010 @ 14:13
7

I dunno about this one. I’ve enjoyed the previous Lego games but they’ve been based around franchises I actually like and this one really isn’t. Though if there ever happened to be a Lego Doctor Who I’d buy the game of that without hesitation.

8

As a massive Harry Potter fan and a big fan of the Star Wars lego games, I think this will be a great game. They’ve obviously left enough books out to make a sequel, but I have no problem with that!

Just to think Lego’s been around since the 40’s

why did they focus on the first four books? sequel featuring the rest of course. :)
i’ve always liked the lego games, there’s something i like about the fact just about anybody can finish them but there’s still tons of stuff to unlock even once you do.

11

MUST HAVE FOR PSP!

12

You removed my post with a very valid concern regarding packaging!!
So I guess censorship is here.

13

defiantly getting this game in may.

TheHappyTurtle 06 April, 2010 @ 18:53
14

Good lookin’ game. Maybe Harry can magic us up some Linux for the PS3

15

its really a shame that Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4, isn’t going to have Move Support, and it’s a shame that it wasn’t a PS3 Exclusive, because if it was, they would have EASILY fitted the entire TRILOGY IN, WITHOUT A DOUBT! And have Move Support, as Deathly Hallows Part 1, will be out this year, and Part 2 will be the next, so in 2 years, this game will have been finished, with trophies, 3D (im sure Sony would have convinced them enough), Move Support (it’s defo the future), HD 1080p (it’s at 720p I think, but if it were ps3 exclusive, it would’ve v been 1080p, and errrm, MUCH BETTER Graphics and Online-Multiplayer as well as Offline-Multiplayer =(

16

A great interview, though I would’ve liked more depth to the question on differences between ps3 and psp. The psp version sounds like id like it more.

For me since star wars the lego games has become a bit stale precisely because of just the focus on action.

joshua_132166 08 April, 2010 @ 21:14
17

this is my first time how to download this game?

We close the comments for posts after 30 days.

Edit history