Hi, I’m Chandler Wood. I am a Slytherin and the community manager here at Avalanche Software. It’s been a while since we first revealed Hogwarts Legacy. At that time I still hadn’t joined the studio. I am now part of this amazing team that has gone to great lengths to make sure our game reveal would be worth the wait. We couldn’t be more excited that it’s finally here.
We’ve all dreamed of receiving our letters, attending Hogwarts, and forging a legacy of our own. As fans of the Wizarding World, we’ve wondered what it would be like to have our stories found between the pages of a book, because that world full of magic has always felt close to our own. Hogwarts Legacy is your story, firmly rooted in the lore of the wizarding world, and it begins with creating the witch or wizard you want to be.
A truly magical world
I joined Avalanche at the end of 2021, but the team had already been hard at work for many years. I am still in awe of being able to work on a project that captures the magic, spells, beasts, people, stories, and wonders of the wizarding world. As a community manager, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to a dev team full of fans making a true wizarding world adventure.
One of the first things I did was ask game director Alan Tew what fans love and expect from the wizarding world. Our resulting conversations could fill volumes, but when I asked him to break it down into two sentences, he told me: “The most pervasive part of the Wizarding World is its magic, and the playful nature and “reality” of its various rules should fuel a dark and surprising mystery that tests the combined resources of those who discover it. But just as important are the opportunities to experience hundreds of memorable moments, big and small, that fans have grown up with and know by heart: from being Sorted into the Great Hall, to exploring a new secret chamber at Hogwarts, to impersonating others. with Polyjuice Potion. ; to protect the innocent from a dangerous troll, dodge fireballs from a Hungarian Horntail, or soar into the sky on the back of a friendly hippogriff.”
All of these elements are essential to the experience, but at the center of it all is a fully explorable Hogwarts filled with secrets to discover and mysteries to unravel. To find out more about our version of Hogwarts, I had to go to an expert.
Hogwarts environmental leader Boston Madsen has lived the life of a huge Harry Potter fan. He knows the books inside and out, a crucial resource when it comes to designing a Hogwarts that can harbor feelings of both familiarity and discovery. “We built the Hogwarts that we ourselves, as fans, wanted to explore,” Boston said. “I think anyone who has read the books, artist or not, has built a version of Hogwarts in their head.”
Even though this is our version of Hogwarts, it’s a world you’ll instantly recognize. “There are familiar places like the Great Hall, the clock tower and the hospital wing, but also completely new places like the bustling kitchens,” Boston said. “Having felt like a student in these halls throughout the development of this game, I can honestly say that there are still areas I run into that I wasn’t aware of before.”
Beyond architecture and design, it has always amazed me how much our Hogwarts feel like the magic school I always wanted to attend, including extracurricular activities like avoiding Peeves while sneaking into the restricted section of the library. Life at Hogwarts is as much about finding secret chambers and sneaking into the prefects’ bathroom as it is about learning to cast spells and brew potions.
Depending on which Hogwarts house you’re in, you’ll be able to see different architecture, decor, and entrances to each common room. My fellow Slytherins will especially like that the entrance to our common room disappears into a wall behind the slithering body of a massive stone serpent. We’re also excited to show you our version of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff common rooms that you don’t see often, Ravenclaws rest high up in a tower while Hufflepuffs reside in a cozy basement. Expect a deeper look at the common rooms later this year.
I can hardly stop exploring the castle, but this game goes far beyond the walls of Hogwarts to explore the town of Hogsmeade and the surrounding countryside. Hogsmeade is home to charming new characters with rich histories and personalities of their own, as well as vendors who will supply you with the supplies you need for your studies and other adventures.
Part of the magic of Hogwarts Legacy is exploring familiar places in a new light, like how close Hogsmeade is to Hogwarts or seeing the Forbidden Forest in daylight. But to really offer a sense of freedom, we wanted to broaden the scope of what you know about the land around the castle. “We wanted it to have new locations to discover; to see what lies around and beyond the Black Loch, meet new witches and wizards in the dwellings that dot the landscape beyond Hogsmeade, and learn what other undiscovered chambers lie within Hogwarts or scattered throughout the Scottish Highlands.” Alan told me.
As game developers, we have striven to maintain authenticity while ensuring that the game remains a fun experience. “There were hundreds of choices to be made between lore and gameplay and even some of the differences between each movie and book,” Alan said. “Although we wanted to present a new interpretation of the wizarding world for gamers and we prioritized a fun game over the authenticity of a book or movie, describing it this way can never capture how thoroughly we strive for authenticity and immediate recognition in everything we do. we did”.
live the unwritten
In many ways, his legacy in the wizarding world of the late 19th century will be familiar to everything he loved about the Harry Potter series: discovering magic, making new friends, and being a hero. Narrative leader Moira Squier offered me insight into these parallels.
“Players will be able to experience what it was like for Harry to start at a new wizarding school and not know anyone at all. And, like Harry, the player character is a bit of a celebrity early on due to the fact that they’re starting fifth year and because they survived—” Sorry Moira, no spoilers! Let’s just say your arrival at Hogwarts is pretty eventful.
Your ties to ancient magic put you on a collision course with a goblin rebellion led by Ranrok, aided by his alliance with the dark wizard Victor Rookwood, who present formidable threats to the entire wizarding world.
“Ranrok has seen a glimpse of magic that mages tried to hide, even from themselves, and he wants that particular power. His worldview is skewed by his hatred of wizards, which makes his alliance with Victor Rookwood particularly tenuous,” Moira said. “Once Ranrok gets what he wants, no one can stop him and the wizarding world is doomed.”
To uncover the mysteries behind ancient magic and stop Ranrok’s rebellion, you’ll need a friend and a mentor to guide you along the way. Enter Professor Eleazar Fig, whose investigations into rumors of a goblin rebellion have earned him uneasy skepticism from the Ministry of Magic.
Fig is just one of many characters that will play a part in your journey. Whether it’s fellow students becoming peers, professors teaching you new spells, or even some help from those who reside outside Hogwarts’ walls, there’s no shortage of friendly faces to lend a helping hand or welcome distraction. You may even find some familiar names, like a Weasley or two.
Define your fighting style
Your studies at Hogwarts will help you overcome the mysteries and dangers that lurk beyond, and even within, the castle walls. As you learn from your teachers and classmates, you’ll gain new spells and abilities to use in battles and puzzles in Hogwarts Legacy.
A variety of spells provide different ways to approach combat. Do you dash with wands using Accio to get close to an enemy before shooting them with Incendio? Or do you cast the Disillusionment Charm to take a more stealthy approach, finishing off enemies with a silent takedown from Petrificus Totalus? Different techniques will be required to counter the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses which should make each encounter feel engaging.
As a player who likes a challenge, I’m pleased to say that we’ve been working hard to ensure that the combat in Hogwarts Legacy is deep and challenging for players who want it. Whether you just want to experience the story or make every wave of your wand count, a variety of difficulty options will be available to meet various skill levels allowing players to experience the game in the most enjoyable way for them.
Anyone familiar with the wizarding world knows that there is more to magic than just the use of wands. Magic plants and potions bring even more tools to each fight. You will be able to brew Wiggenweld potions to heal and use a mandrake seedling to incapacitate enemies with its scream. As he continues his studies at Hogwarts, he will learn more potion recipes and how to handle a variety of magical plants.
A single player action RPG
Our Hogwarts Legacy State of Play presentation showcased a few other things: The Room of Requirement, taming magical beasts, customizable gear you can loot and earn around the world, and much more. We will be diving into many of these topics in detail before launch. However, there is one more thing I wanted to make sure I clearly addressed:
Hogwarts Legacy is a single player open world action role-playing game. While you can have fellow NPCs accompany you on your adventures, the story is about your own legacy.
These are just pieces of the immense experience we are building at Hogwarts Legacy. Game director Alan Tew best sums up how it all comes together:
With Hogwarts Legacy, we had the incredible opportunity to tell any story we wanted within the wizarding world.. A fantasy stood out. Many Harry Potter fans imagined what it would be like to receive their own Hogwarts letter, be sorted, and attend Hogwarts. More than anything, we wanted to allow fans, after all these years, to finally tell their story, in their own way, at the most beloved school of witchcraft and wizardry. Only an open world action RPG could capture the breadth of our fantasies.
Your story deserves to be as exciting as that of other magical heroes. We started out as a fifth-year student, so you don’t need to dwell on the types of adventures (and themes) you might want to explore. We set you in the 19th century to make sure your legend is never outshone by any other hero. And we invented a dark new mystery so your conflict never feels like a repeat of something you’ve seen before. With your continued support, we look forward to exploring even more in the future!
We are honored to be entrusted with the freedom to create a new wizarding world experience for fans around the world. As a fan and player, I can’t wait to talk to you more throughout the year about the incredible experience Hogwarts Legacy will bring to Wizarding World fans and players alike. From all of us here at Avalanche Software, we hope you enjoyed this sneak peek at the game and can’t wait to show you more soon.