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Law & Order: Legacies Lead Designer Ryan Kaufman Speaks Out

posted by TelltaleGames on - last edited - Viewed by 342 users

Law & Order: Legacies Episodes 1 and 2 launched for iOS late last month and fans of the series have been enjoying solving cases with the all-star cast of characters from the Law & Order franchise! I asked Law & Order: Legacies lead designer Ryan Kaufman to give a little insight into the concept of the game in general and the characters from the long-running franchise you'll meet in the seven episode series and he was kind enough to oblige.

Without further ado, Law & Order: Legacies lead designer Ryan Kaufman.

"When you work on a licensed game, it’s really great to have a license you truly love.  And I’m a big Law & Order fan, so diving into a game based on the tv series was an absolute blast.   I watched the show mainly during the Briscoe/Logan/Curtis era, so it was natural to include that time period as part of our overall story arc.  But the great thing about L&O is that you can dip in almost anywhere-- any year, any era-- and immediately know what’s going on.  I have a huge amount of respect for the show creators and writers that they were able to keep it interesting within a standard format … for 20 years!
 
We knew right away the most important thing to do was capture the distinctive feel of the show.   Law & Order has an incredibly quick rhythm to it; the dialog is clipped and tight, and the scenes rarely last more than 2 minutes.  It was a challenge to offer a game experience with a similar full gallop pace.  We also knew we had to really make you feel the moral choices and compromises being made in court.  Law & Order is always great at sparking debate about how justice was (or wasn’t) done in any particular case.
 
Characterization is sharp and quick, and they don’t spend a lot of time on backstory.   With Rey Curtis, we looked at his history on the show and the quirks and facets of his personality that might come back in some small comments.  For instance, when he first arrived on the show, it was 1995 and the computers were a new and scary thing in the precinct.  Curtis, the junior detective, embraced the new technology, while Briscoe shrugged and was generally content to do things the old way.  However, in 2011, we wanted to show how Curtis too had aged—he’s no longer savvy about the latest tech, and sometimes he’s shown up by nerdier adversaries.
 
We wrote Olivia Benson into the series --because she is completely awesome-- but at the time we were writing the story arc, the latest SVU season was ending and her partner Elliot Stabler’s fate was still up in the air.  So, we felt like she and Curtis might go well together—both have lost their partners, and are at an unresolved mid-point in their careers.  They’re both in a state of flux, looking for answers…
 
We hope you feel like we captured the tone and characters of the show, so that playing the game feels a bit like seeing a bonus episode.
 
--Ryan
 
[And as a footnote, we originally announced the game based of the Law & Order: Los Angeles show.  I suspect there are probably fans out there, and we were definitely sorry to see it go.  The show was building momentum, and Carey Stoll’s Mexican drug cartel storyline was getting goooood.  It would be fun to bring those characters to New York at some point, and/or bump into Bobby Goren or Detective Munch somewhere.]"

Law & Order: Legacies (Universal App)

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