There's a reason why there are similarities between Level-5's Professor Layton games and the upcoming Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights from Konami, as the game's producer Noriaki Okamura explains.
Speaking to Planet3DS, Okamura acknowledges superficial similarities such as the main character's top hat but reminds us that the headwear is not uncommon for a time like the 19th Century. As for the game's inspiration:
The Layton series is a game that I truly respect and it's true that I am inspired by it. It might sound like an excuse to people who feel this game is inspired by the Layton series, but I did not intend to make the game look like the Layton series.
Although the game will be typically categorised as a puzzle adventure game, the aim has been to produce a story-telling game that requires the player to think throughout the course of the narrative:
Yes, this is a game that uses your head so tremendous amounts of elements are included in the game. I'm guessing the average play time of the game is around 20 hours at the shortest. But if you play all the sum episodes, it will take around 30 to 50 hours. The help/clue features for novice players are pretty rich in content. I myself like puzzle games but when I can't solve them, I just quit playing. In order to keep the players playing the game, I've made it so all the users can solve the puzzles. Even users who dislike puzzles, they can enjoy this game as a "story-telling game".
Even though the game hasn't launched yet, that's no reason for Okamura to not consider developing a sequel if the opportunity comes up, maybe even cooperate with Level-5 and make a crossover title:
I would love to challenge other consoles in the sequels. Most importantly, we need the users to enjoy playing this game and I would be delighted if more and more users will think they would like to play a sequel of this game. Layton vs....well, what do you think? I personally respect the company, Level 5 very much, so it would be an honor for me. At first, I would like all the users to enjoy this game so that there would be plenty of opportunities ahead.