minecraft legends interview

Minecraft Legends Interview – New Ideas, Inspirations, And Building A Minecraft Narrative

Executive producer Dennis Ries provides insight into the development of Minecraft Legends.

Alongside having the opportunity to go hands-on with Minecraft Legends in Tokyo, we were also fortunate enough to be able to interview the game’s executive producer, Dennis Ries. It was a short and sweet interview that yielded plenty of insight on where the team got their inspirations from, and how they went about crafting a Minecraft-focused narrative.

With Minecraft being as well known as it is, you’d think it’d be daunting to come up with a new idea within the IP that’s so drastically different from anything before. From reveal to getting the game into players hands, there’s an inherent anticipation imbued in something related to Minecraft like Legends.


Dennis touched on new experiences, “It is daunting to take on a new idea and put it out to players. Minecraft is on every platform, and the user-base is so massive because of this. When creating new Minecraft experiences, the team really wants to make them well-worth playing, not just for fans but also newcomers.”

It’s clear that Legends and Dungeons before it are trying to bring in new types of players that wouldn’t usually engage with Minecraft’s typical suite of offerings. It’s easy to see why many are drawing comparisons between the popular Dragon Quest Builders series, from the perspective and overworld to overall progression, there’s more than a few similarities. Dennis mentions that the comparison has been made before but the team didn’t pull much inspiration from other games.

Minecraft Legends

“When we were concepting, we weren’t thinking about games other than Minecraft. A lot of our inspiration and the things we pulled from come from vanilla Minecraft, and it became more about how we translate that experience into an action strategy framework. It was little things from vanilla and Minecraft Dungeons that we pointed to as our core influences.”

THE CHEAPEST PRE-ORDER: $64 at Amazon with free shipping.

Bouncing off of this response, I asked Dennis what core tenets the team were leaning into when it came to designing Minecraft Legends, and how those tenets were adapted to fit an action-strategy framework. He specifically mentioned three core elements of vanilla Minecraft’s gameplay loop foresight, action, and knowledge, which are actually three of the key characters in Legends’s story mode.

Minecraft Legends

“There were 3 core things so important to Minecraft that we made them into characters for Minecraft Legends; Foresight, Action, and Knowledge. When players play Minecraft they engage with these things all the time, so it was something the team wanted to translate over and make work in this new style of gameplay. The other thing we lean on quite heavily is vanilla mobs like Creepers, Skeletons, Zombies etc. We want them to be familiar so that players realise what kind of strategy they fit into, but if you don’t recognise them, that’s also okay.”

RELATED:  Baldur's Gate 3's Xbox Release Date Will Be Announced At The Game Awards

Constructing a whole narrative for a game like this is something of a fickle task for a few reasons. Minecraft canon/lore/mythology is important to so many people around the world. You have to be careful about the things you poke and play with in new stories like this. There also isn’t much to pull from in the way of characters for obvious reasons.

Minecraft Legends

When asked about this, Dennis made a point that Minecraft’s story is more of a mythology, and players create their own narratives through play; “It was a challenge to build a narrative in a game like this but a fun one. To quote our narrative lead, there is no canon or lore in Minecraft, it’s all mythology. This is part of the reason we landed on the name Minecraft Legends, you’re forging a story in that mythos that may or may not be canon.”

“Minecraft’s story is made by the players themselves, but taking the mythology angle on Legends allowed for some creative liberties and freedoms we otherwise wouldn’t have had. The way we see is that this would be one of many stories told within the world, passed down between generations in the same way we do with fairy tales and the like.”

Minecraft Legends

It’s an interesting and totally unique way of exploring the narrative space within the world of Minecraft. Each game serving as part of a collection of stories that may or may not be true. It runs parallel to the way players create and foster their own stories in vanilla Minecraft and share them with one-another.

If you want to learn more about Minecraft Legends, you can check out our hands-on preview with the game right here!

Minecraft Legends is coming April 18th, 2023 to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Switch and PC. It will be available on Xbox Game Pass on day one.

Amazon has the Deluxe Edition starting from $64 with free shipping.

The author travelled to Japan as a guest of Microsoft for the purposes of this preview and interview content.