August 25, 2022 After publication, the development team provided additional clarity on the status of inter-familial relationships in Lakeburg Legacies. The story has been updated with their comments.
Lakeburg Legacies, the upcoming life management game that takes cues from The Sims, Animal Crossing, and Stardew Valley, may allow you to cultivate some extremely messed-up and incestuous relationships between your villagers, similar to Crusader Kings.
The premise of Lakeburg Legacies is quite sweet. As the governor of a pastoral, mediaeval village, your job is to manage the lives of your subjects so that they find the best romantic partners, cultivate happy children, and achieve highly in their jobs so that your township may continue to grow. The goal is to maximise your village’s “prestige”, with each run in the game ending when you reach a yet-to-be-determined prestige level. Bruno Laverny, communications and marketing director for developer Ishtar Games, makes Lakeburg Legacies sound just lovely.
“The big focus is on the social aspect of the game,” Laverny says. “Like The Sims, you can tell someone to come over to your house, and the goal of the game is to find a way to make some couples between your inhabitants. When you have the couples, they will be able to have children, which is the same for same-gender couples. And then the couples will be able to have children, who will inherit some traits from their parents. The big question in the game is to find a balance between making happy couples, but also happy children.
“When you have children, when they are like ten years old, you can put them into mentorship, so they can learn the job of someone else and be even more effective in the future. But you might have a lot of very effective children, but they will not be very happy, so that would be a dilemma for the player obviously.”
Fundamentally, then, Lakeburg Legacy involves managing your villagers’ quality of life as opposed to buildings or architecture – though you pair them up, and also control things like taxes, the actual layout of your village is constructed almost automatically, leaving you to deal with your people’s love lives and laws. The game’s art style, according to Laverny, is also designed to make it “cute” and “accessible,” something Lakeburg Legacy has in common with Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley.
Beneath this, though, lies the potential for something more – shall we say – visceral. Asked by PCGamesN if Lakeburg Legacy will allow for the “messed up” kinds of relationships permissible in Crusader Kings, Laverney says that Ishtar Games is still working on it, but has “plans”.
“That is actually a question that we are asking ourselves,” Laverney says, “because we probably won’t go as deep as Crusader Kings. But we still have plans for something. An incestuous relationship, for example. But we are still working on that because we are trying to find the right balance.”
The development team says it’s not sure whether incestuous relationships will ever be included in Lakeburg Legacies. However, it says relationships between immediate family members will definitely not be possible.
“If it does end up being part of the game, ‘immediate’ family pairings wouldn’t be possible either way, but the player might be able to pair second-degree cousins together for example,” the team tells us. “That said, if a player makes that decision, they would then get a malus and their playthrough might get more difficult.”
The topic is still an open question at Ishtar.
“For now, the studio is figuring out how to write those potential events to avoid situations that would be way too uncomfortable for the players as well,” the developers tell us via email. We’ll find out how this discussion plays out when Lakeburg Legacies launches in 2023.
In the meantime, you might want to try your hand at some of the other best management games, or maybe some of the best life games or best strategy games on PC. PCGamesN is reporting live from Gamescom 2022 and will continue bringing you exclusives on all the big games revealed there.