A short while back, a plucky group of people on decided that Zelda needed a Mario Maker esque level editor. So they developed Zelda Maker, an interesting tool that promised to let players build their own Zelda dungeons and overworlds. Bit like Zelda Classic, except with a much simpler UI and easier to use features.
Unfortunately, said editor was shot down very quickly, with Nintendo sending a DMCA notice to Mediafire about it. Fortunately, it’s back as Legend Maker! And what’s more, the team behind it are now running a Kickstarter campaign for the title!
Here’s the link for it:
As well as a video showing part of it in action:
The claims are impressive. You’ve got full overworld, character and boss creation. You can apparently make worlds 1000 times larger than Hyrule from A Link to the Past. Various puzzles can be implemented in these worlds. All the standard Zelda items are usable and work like expected. Basically, it looks like a dream editor for Zelda fans.
Unfortunately, there are a few issues here:
Firstly, the game doesn’t seem to be planned for a release on a Nintendo system. There’s no Wii U, NX or 3DS stretch goal, as there is for the PS4 and Xbox One.
Does it make sense? Sort of. For one thing, a stretch goal for a Nintendo console release might be a way to get interest back at a later date, like say, a week or so before the campaign closes and an extra few thousand dollars are needed. It’s also possible that with Nintendo shutting dwon the game as Zelda Maker, the team have decided they don’t want to work with the company at any point afterwards. Either way, it’s still disappointing for Wii U or 3DS owners.
The second (and more worrying) issue is that the team seems to have made a few questionable judgements in regards to copyright. For example, these graphics look awfully similar:
It’s only a minor thing, but it’s also not particularly wise on a legality level. Nor are comments like these:
Actually did redraw them, and they are similar. But pretty sure Nintendo doesn’t have a copyright on rocks and bushes, and I’m also pretty sure those bushes and rocks are used in 2323423234 indie games. lol
Generally, if the art is 10% different, it’s not seen as copyright infringing. We borrowed the art style, but an art style is not copyrighted. If it’s an obvious problem, which it seems like, we can go much further when we have money to hire a spriter, and leading up to the Kickstarter. But we took advice from Alttp because it got 16 bit art right. However, we didn’t just take sprites and trace over them. We created everything from scratch. We will take the complaints into consideration leading up to the kickstarter.
This shows some rather… laissez faire attitudes towards copyright law. Which is probably not a good thing in indie game development, and is perhaps evidence the team behind this title need to speak to a lawyer fast. Or at least realise that the ‘ten percent’ thing was in regards to school teachers and educational textbooks, not video games and copied tilesets. See this shoot down of the ‘10% = fair use myth’. Or maybe this one.
It also doesn’t help that the game uses a lot of Zelda concepts and basically just ‘files the serial numbers off’, so to speak. There are switch puzzles that cause blue blocks to move up and down from the ground. Enemies that look a bit too much like Hinoxes. All the Zelda standby items included and working like in the actual games. Tilesets that often look more than a tad like the ones from actual Zelda games like A Link to the Past. Again, this could all be fine, it’s hard to tell without being a lawyer. But the team should still perhaps seek legal advice here, since well, there have been cases where games were withdrawn from sale due to similarities, even if actual resources weren’t copied.
Still, it’s there on Kickstarter anyway, and if you want a Mario Maker esque tool for Zelda style action adventure games, then it might be woth contributing to. Who knows, maybe it’ll even inspire Nintendo to make one for the actual Zelda games somewhere along the line!
What do you think of this ‘Legend Maker’ thing?