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Merlin is set to work his magical mojo on Facebook users as Bossa Studios (creators of BAFTA-winning Monstermind) have developed a game based on the hit TV series. “It’s like a second window into the universe,” explains creator-in-chief Imre Jele, “but we also provide extra content so we’re not reproducing what you’ve already seen in the show but we’re adding new stories, characters and experiences to that.”
Players can create their own characters, a knight or a wizard, and fight alongside Merlin and Arthur, meeting other main characters as they solve who’s behind a new menace in Camelot. “The game will match the universe of Season 5,” he continues, “but we were trying to avoid spoilers for Season 3 and 4, which might still be broadcasting in some countries.”
The game will be available worldwide and users can play with their friends since it is real-time co-operative. “So, for example, if I arrive to an area which is infested with giant spiders, I don’t have to fight them alone, I can have my friends joining and we can do that together,” he explains. “That is something that’s fresh and new on the browser platform so it’s very exciting.”
When designing the art style for the game, Merlin showrunners Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps said they wanted it to resemble what the animated version of the show would be like. “We set out to have a version where the universe and the characters are recognisable, but at the same time they have this unique art style, which is sophisticated and has a lot of content,” Jele adds, “it’s not childish but not a gritty, boring look either.”
There is already an active online community for Merlin and Jele plans to tap into that for the continuing development of the game. “We will take the best and most loved content of Series Five and expand on that,” he says. “We can add new content, so if we know that everyone loves a certain character, we can give them their own storylines and make it so that people can play alongside them in the game. This means we have a very close relationship with the community, and it will be an ongoing one.”
The official launch of Merlin: The Game will coincide with the premiere of Series Five of Merlin on BBC One this autumn.