To make its unusual interface work, Kingsway merged weird with familiar
"What I’m trying to do here is show that you can make something fun. Even if it's sort of terrible [or] archaic, you can focus on it and find some fun in it."
- Kingsway dev Andrew Morrish explains how he found a home for an otherwise strange mechanic
Kingsway is a unique take on a classic genre that nestles a traditional role-playing game behind the familiar yet otherwise out-of-place interface of a 90's era operating system. Speaking during a livestreamed interview, Kingsway developer Andrew Morrish explained that part of the motivation for merging the two concepts came from the idea that even seemingly mundane mechanics can come to life under the right circumstances.
The conversation sprung forth when discussing a recent blog on the place mini-maps have in modern video games. Morrish says that, while a fan of bare bones UI in the games he plays, he isn't a fan of the idea that certain mechanics have no place in games. Rather, one challenge of game development is finding places in which strange or otherwise terrible mechanics flourish.
He notes that everything is situational but knowing how to present certain mechanics to players can make a world of difference, like how it did in the case of Kingsway.
“If they’ve used an interface in the last 20 years, they know how to do this," explains Morrish. "That’s where I got some comfort in doing this weird thing; we have a weird game, but [players] would still know what to do.”