News Article

Developer Interview: Ubisoft on the Expanding Rayman Legends and Wii U's Free Challenge Mode

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

The upcoming Wii U eShop app sounds promising

When Wii U was preparing for launch, a good number of gamers were particularly excited about Rayman Legends, at one time a Wii U-exclusive launch title. Unfortunately for those eager fans, both promising selling points fell by the way-side, with an initial delay to Spring 2013 being extended to September, along with the game going multi-platform. It was a blow to those looking forward to the game and, perhaps more so, to fans anxious to see the Wii U perform well off the back of must-have exclusives.

With its new shipping date now clashing with a busier release window on the system, on top of some ill will, Legends perhaps has some ground to make up with Nintendo gamers. It'll make a start with a free eShop-exclusive challenge mode this month, and it should be noted that if we were hyped about this game's potential before, we still should be — publishing decisions don't change the fact that it's been roundly praised for its demo and preview builds.

We were keen to know more about the challenge mode that's on the way, and how the extra development time has been put to use. We've spoken to Emile Morel, Lead Game Designer on Rayman Legends, who's filled us in on the details.


Nintendo Life: Thanks for joining us Emile. Following the delayed Wii U release of Rayman Legends, a Challenge Mode was announced as a standalone free download on the Wii U eShop. Could you tell us more about that, and is it still due in April?

Emile Morel: End of April, we’ll release the Rayman Legends Challenges App on the Wii U eShop. This totally free application contains the online Challenge Mode of Rayman Legends. In this game mode you’ll find Daily and Weekly Challenges to compete with your friends and players from all around the world!

The Challenge Mode showcases exclusive challenges, including:

  • a crazy run in Land of the Livid Dead.
  • a journey in the vertiginous Neverending Pit.
  • a climb of the Infinite Tower as fast as possible.
  • Murfy’s Dungeon, a challenge dedicated to the Wii U GamePad where you play as Murfy on the touch screen.

Every day and every week, new and totally exclusive levels are randomly generated thanks to our brick system designed to build these challenges. So every day when you connect to this application you discover a new challenge.

This application will give players many hours of fun! And we, members of the Rayman development team, can’t wait to play these challenges with all the Wii U owners!

NL: With the daily and weekly challenges in this download, how long will this level of content be supported?

EM: The Challenges App will be supported until the release of the full game. So players will have several months to enjoy this free application! The Rayman dev team will provide some exclusive tips and tricks for Wii U owners on Miiverse and on Facebook, these tips will help you improve your scores in the different challenges! We’ll also organize contests between our fans and the Rayman dev team.

NL: Will there be an advantage to taking on challenges in local multiplayer with others helping on the GamePad screen, or will there be separate leaderboards for single and multiplayer?

The challenge called Murfy’s Dungeon is really fun in local multiplayer with one player controlling Murfy on the Wii U GamePad screen and the other one controlling a classic character on the TV. If the two players correctly synchronize their actions they can make great scores! But we made sure that if you play solo you can do the same scores, since the learderboards are the same if you play alone or with friends.

However only the normal Daily and Weekly Challenges allow local multiplayer, as you play along you will unlock the Daily and Weekly Extreme Challenges: these 2 challenges are harder and dedicated to players who love competition, they are only open to single-players to make sure all players are equal in the leaderboards.

NL: Is the multiplayer local only in this challenge mode, or will it be possible to play with others online?

The whole Challenge mode is based on the fact that you’re always playing against other players online. So in a challenge you always see the ghosts of the players who are just ahead of you in the leaderboard. This pushes you to always try to beat them, and this can also help you because you can learn new tricks by watching how the other competitors are playing. At the end of the challenge the game shows you who you managed to beat and who is still in front of you. Your ultimate goal is to climb all you way up in the leaderboads to be one of the few players who will win a Diamond Cup at the end of a challenge!

NL: Is there likely to be an additional online mode included in the multi-platform release later in the year?

EM: It’s a bit early to talk about that, we have to release the full game first!

NL: The delay of the Wii U edition of Rayman Legends did cause quite a bit of ill-feeling among Nintendo fans - many of which had the game pre-ordered. Do you think this could have an impact on how the game performs commercially on Wii U?

We understand why Wii U owners were angry about the delay, and we’re really sorry about that. But I think that when they will see the final game they will understand that the delay was worth it!

EM: We understand why Wii U owners were angry about the delay, and we’re really sorry about that. But I think that when they will see the final game they will understand that the delay was worth it! We’re taking advantage of these few extra months to add a lot of new content to the game. In the end this will be the biggest Rayman game ever!

NL: Has the delay allowed you to improve the game? If so, can you give examples of how?

EM: Like I was saying we added a lot of new content in the game, including very impressive 3D Bosses that the players will have to face at the end of each world, and also many new levels that will really boost the overall length of the game! Some of these levels play in a new and different way, offering a lot of diversity to the game.

NL: Can you quantify how many levels or features have been added as a result?

EM: We’re talking here about more than 30 levels!

NL: Rayman Legends is arguably built around the Wii U GamePad. How have you adapted the game for PS3 and 360?

EM: On Xbox 360 and PS3 we decided to keep Murfy as one of the main characters and one of the new features of the game. We think we found a good way to adapt Murfy’s gameplay to 360 and PS3 and will detail how later, so stay tuned!

NL: Has porting the game to the 360 and PS3 presented any technical challenges?

EM: I’m not working on the technical side of things, but I don’t think our engineers encountered many issues when porting the game on PS3 and Xbox 360. But that’s probably because they’re really good at what they do.

NL: Can the Wii U edition be considered the “definitive” version, thanks to its GamePad functionality?

EM: The gameplay experiences will be different on each platform in the Murfy levels, but what is sure is that only the Wii U version will offer a touch control of Murfy. And this is possible thanks to the Wii U GamePad. In the final game you’ll see that we’re really showcasing all the cool ways to use this controller in a fun and rich experience. One of the great things on the Wii U version is also the possibility to play the full game only on the screen of the Wii U GamePad if you want, without the TV!

NL: What is the rough split between platforming stages and Murphy touch stages in single player mode?

EM: In single-player mode you’ll have to play with Murfy in less than 20% of the game. But in multiplayer you’ll have the possibility to play with Murfy in almost every level of the game.

NL: Will there be an option to play single-player levels on the Wii U Pro Controller or Wii Classic Controller, for those that prefer to focus on platforming rather than Murphy stages?

EM: In single-player mode we want players to experience the touch gameplay with Murfy. It’s really a brand new to play a Rayman game and there’s a lot of variety and some serious challenges in these levels too. Also these levels offer some nice breaks in the adventure, just like the Moskito levels did in Rayman Origins.

NL: We've already had some fun with Black Betty in the demo – can you give us a hint of what other sorts of music we can expect to hear in these rhythm-platforming levels?

EM:You can expect to have more covers from very famous songs in the other musical stages. What would you say about a cover from a very famous 80’s song?

NL: Does Rayman Legends feature in-game Miiverse integration, such as prompts to boast about beating a level or a friend's challenge mode score?

EM: Yes the game contains Miiverse integration. You’ll be able to directly access it in the game at strategic moments to post your best scores or your biggest achievements, so the whole community can see them. But as you’ll see in the Challenges App, the game also includes its own messages system: thanks to information scrolling at the bottom of the screen you’ll always know what your friends are doing and what’s happening in the competition related to the challenges.

NL: Is online co-operative play planned for the main retail release?

EM: It’s a bit too early to talk about that.

NL: With Rayman Legends, what would you say is the main change, or evolution, from Origins?

EM: The main evolution from Rayman Origins is clearly the scope and the diversity of the game. Rayman Legends is really a huge game including many things: 3D Bosses, new worlds, many new characters, dedicated Murfy levels, musical stages, online Challenges Mode, and even more things we haven’t revealed yet. This will offer you more than 20 hours of gameplay to fully complete the game, and infinite hours of fun in the online Challenges.

NL: And finally, are there any discussions around a third title in this 2D Rayman series at the moment?

EM: The whole dev team really loves Rayman and its crazy universe, so we really hope that Rayman and all his friends will be back soon!

NL: Thank you very much for your time Emile.

EM: You’re welcome, it was a pleasure!


We'd like to thank Ubisoft and Emile for this interview. What do you think about the details of the Challenges App coming to the Wii U eShop later this month, and are you encouraged by the extra content being added as a result of the release delay? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Sponsored links by Taboola

More Stories

Game Screenshots

User Comments (76)

Gavin_Rozee

#5

Gavin_Rozee said:

I'll take the free challenge app. Doubt I'll bother with the full game out of principle.

lividd3ad

#6

lividd3ad said:

I'm just hoping that the Challenge Mode doesn't spoil any of the main game. Rayman Origins was full of surprises and that's what made it such a magical game to play, and I dare say that Rayman Legends will be just the same.

BetweenTheTrees

#7

BetweenTheTrees said:

right on. they take away our exclusive. alright. but they give us free challenge packs until it releases. they know how to make up for their disappointments.

element187

#8

element187 said:

I'm skeptical about pre-ordering it... for all I know they may delay it further again.... I'll wait until it releases, but it wont be a day one purchase. I'll probably wait until I want something new to play and pick it up.

Savino

#9

Savino said:

So... You will give us enough rayman until we get tired and forget about the full game!!

Cirno

#10

Cirno said:

Aw come on guys, they really want to make this the best it could be and still respect Wii U owners.

This is why we are starting to get seen as worse than the MS/Sony fanboys.

AJWolfTill

#11

AJWolfTill said:

I'm actually pretty hyped for this challenge mode! In all honesty after reading the details about it I think it more than makes up for the delay... but it would have been nice to have been given this last month.

Dpullam

#13

Dpullam said:

This looks better and better each and every time I see it! I will definitely be getting this game once I get a Wii U.

EvisceratorX

#14

EvisceratorX said:

I'll definitely be getting this, but I'm getting it used. Ubisoft needs to realize that it's not okay to delay a game like that and I refuse to give them money for doing it.

Yrreiht

#15

Yrreiht said:

Okay, I can see that the programmers are doing a lot of efforts to repair de monumental gaffe that Ubisoft did. I might reconsider "re"-pre-ordering the game (that made no sense).

DarkCoolEdge

#18

DarkCoolEdge said:

This sounds pretty fun and a very nice compensation for the delay. Well played Ubi, not the best case scenario but you save face.

Yosh

#19

Yosh said:

@-KwB-
why, what difference does the freaking date make, all you people saying, "Oh the delay makes this game poop, I'm not buying it any more.", you couldn't be more wrong, it is going to be expanded, even more gameplay to it, it's just going to be available later.

WiiUisBest

#20

WiiUisBest said:

Nice but sorry UBI you had your chance and you screwed up so i will wait till the game is used before i buy it..I quess you will learn that next time

SpaceApe

#21

SpaceApe said:

I might pick this up. I'm not a big platform gamer anymore but this looks interesting.

jdarrell

#22

jdarrell said:

The competing against online ghosts idea sounds like a lot of fun, looking forward to it

SilverArrow

#23

SilverArrow said:

You know, it's Ubisoft's fault that the game was delayed, not the developers. Now the developers are trying to make up for their publisher's folly. I will support the developers, but Ubisoft has lost my respect. Thanks Ellie!

P.S. Ellie and the rest of the Rayman team should leave Ubisoft and join the big N.

placidcasual

#24

placidcasual said:

Important to remember its not the developers fault this was delayed and went multi-platform. Shame it was delayed though because in the middle of the software drought I would have picked it up...

SanderEvers

#26

SanderEvers said:

Still NOT going to get it, sorry Ubisoft, but you have lost me forever.

@warnerdan That's like totally different. Half Life 2 Episode 3 isn't delayed 2 weeks before the initial release.

Giygas_95

#28

Giygas_95 said:

I'm getting this game regardless. It may have been delayed, but it's for the better since it will have more content.

IsawYoshi

#30

IsawYoshi said:

I'm not sure if Ubi really understands this. I didn't want Rayman Legends. I wanted a game to play on my Wii U in feb. When they are releasing it in october (at least around that time) I have plenty of other stuff that are higher up on my list. They can ad as many levels as they want, cause I ain't paying for 'em. I'll support watch dogs and AC4 though. Spinter cell is pretty interesting too.

Yosher

#31

Yosher said:

I may get this after all, just to support the people who actually put their heart and soul into developing this title. But not for the people who made the dumb, DUMB decision to port this to the PS360 and get the Wii U version delayed so much.

Dodger

#32

Dodger said:

I really get why people are mad (I've already commented about this so I won't repeat myself) but I think supporting the developers who seem to really get how to make a good platformer and didn't make this decision should come above boycotting Ubisoft. Not by much, but the developers don't deserve to have their careers damaged over a delay.

Whopper744

#34

Whopper744 said:

I really need to quit reading the comments sections. People take this stuff way too personal.

cyrus_zuo

#35

cyrus_zuo said:

Exclusive for WiiU...
I am glad that the Challenge mode is coming.
Seriously, I'm very glad.
Still some bad feelings inside about the moving of the game...really bad feelings.
That said, Nintendo potentially could have stepped up here more. They let MS steal their thunder on the title b/c Nintendo hasn't in the past done advertising and pushing of 3rd party games in the US. Look at any cross-platform game, it has the X360 jingle at the end of the TV commercial. I will be sad when this game is the same b/c Nintendo isn't paying to put their jingle in the commercial and to focus on advertising the WiiU. Missed opportunity...like this game not releasing in February was missed opportunity.

GiftedGimp

#37

GiftedGimp said:

Looking forward for the challenge app, should tide me over till the full release.
Rayman still deserves to do well at release but will (should) have some serious competition in september..
I'm ok tho I know there's going to be pleny to spend my money in and around september time so just paid my pre-order early.

Let the children boycott Ubisoft/Rayman... Meanwhile us adults can enjoy a great game created by a great developer and published by one of the very few WiiU supportive publishers

WindWakerLink

#39

WindWakerLink said:

This is cool and all but I just can't get over this Legends thing... "and what makes it funny is that I still can't get over the Mega Man Legends 3 cancellations... What's up with these games with the word 'Legends' in them? Being all thrown around, delay or canceled?" XD XD

At the end of the day, I'm not upset with the deves cuz they R NOT the reason for the delay. It's those -bleeping- suits! If I ignore them, then this becomes okay. Yea...okay.

fzerofan

#40

fzerofan said:

@TreesenHauser

I have purchased:
Warriors orochi
Assassins creed 3
Batman ac
Mario
Ninja gaiden
Nintendo land
Darksiders 2
Mass effect 3
Sonic racers
Trine 2
Mighty switch force
Need for speed
Lego city
Monster hunter

I have pre ordered deus ex, assassins creed black flag, watch dogs, resident evil, In justice god Amongud

Yet I refuse to buy rahman out of principal and I don't support the wiiu?

MasterWario

#41

MasterWario said:

30+ levels added because of the delay? o_0 That's fantastic!

Let's just delay all of the games then! (Kidding of course)

Jray

#42

Jray said:

I'm definitely going to buy this game, i loved the first one! It kind of bothers me that the devs won't say that the Wii U version is the most definitive after saying how it was only possible on the wii U, but thats probably because they don't wanna get Microsoft mad for saying their version isn't as good >_<

I want to buy this real bad, but i'm not sure if i'll have the money in september/october because of Pokemon Y, Zelda WW, and other games that might come out...

CaPPa

#44

CaPPa said:

I've lost faith in Legends because of Ubisofts treatment of the title. Before it was said to have gameplay and visuals that were 'only possible on Wii U', so are the simplifying it for 360/PS3 or was that all just a lie? I thought that the extra 30 levels would be to replace the Murphy levels on 360/PS3, so if they are not then I'd like to know how they're getting those to work with regular controllers.

I'll probably still buy Legends on the Wii U (unless it's superior on 360/PS3), but now I'll likely buy it used or when it price drops as there'll be too many other games to buy around September.

swordx

#45

swordx said:

Considering the fact that I wasn't even going to get this game, I think that the delay was a good decision. :p

GiftedGimp

#46

GiftedGimp said:

@Jray They wont want to upset MS/Sony but..
'EM: On Xbox 360 and PS3 we decided to keep Murfy as one of the main characters and one of the new features of the game. We think we found a good way to adapt Murfy’s gameplay to 360 and PS3 and will detail how later, so stay tuned!'
...means is Xbox version will use Kinect, and the Ps3 version will use either move and/or 6-axis Motion controls.
Thus WiiU version will be the definitive version, as Kinect isn't the most responsive device, and not everyone owns it, same for PSmove although it is responsive, and the 6axis function on the controllers is just about passable... and WiiU version has Off-screen play, although that may be possible between ps3-Vita, but remote play is something I quickly gave up on between the Vita-Ps3 as response times are terrible.

NintendoPro64

#47

NintendoPro64 said:

That's cool. Still plan on getting this and for Wii U of course. That said, I hope Ubisoft is prepared to put a TON of marketing into this game. With Wind Waker, GTAV, and who knows what else coming out around that time, Rayman is going to need help staying relevant. Honestly, I am long over the delay decision and porting. At this point, I just don't want the game to bomb. I loved Rayman when I had a Gamboy Advance, and thought Rayman Origins was cool. I would LOVE to see Rayman become mainstream again. It certainly would freshen things up in this market full of drab shooters and other "hardcore" crap. :P

NintendoPro64

#49

NintendoPro64 said:

@Magolor
Sorry bro. I will agree, I have been around the Internet and have seen a lot of delusional Nintendo fanboys. (not fans, fanboys). But there is NOTHING you can do to convince me that Nintendo fanboys are worse than Sony Drones. They...are heartless. :( Also, please don't tell me you're getting this for the PS3 instead of the Wii U just so you can get another trophy. :P

MrCharles77

#51

MrCharles77 said:

I don't like rayman...but I'll buy it. Ubisoft is one of the few companies that is really making an effort supporting Wii U, they got my respect.

Oscarsome

#52

Oscarsome said:

They lost my respect when they delayed the game at such short notice and only to forgo the Wii U exclusivity they were preaching. I MAY buy this game way later and used. It's coming out in the fall. Come on, I am gonna have many games to play from Nintendo in the fall. Mario 3D, Mario Kart, Pokemon, etc. I don't see the point anymore.

MrCharles77

#54

MrCharles77 said:

After seeing the issues with EA, everything about unreal engine 4 and frostbyte 3, I really think that wii u users should support companies like WB, Activision and Ubisoft. Playing Mario and Zelda its fun...but not enough!

Ichiban

#55

Ichiban said:

I should be playing this right now......
(Instead of having to settle for Lego City grrr)

Retro_on_theGo

#56

Retro_on_theGo said:

I totally forgot about this until today... Thanks Nintendolife! Hope that famous 80's song is Don't Stop Believing or Take On Me. Will still buy day one. These guys deserve the cash. It wasn't their fault the jerk higher ups at Ubisoft decided to go multiplay.

swordx

#58

swordx said:

@MrCharles77

That's why we still have Metroid, Pikmin, Kid Icarus, Smash Bros., Golden Sun, Fire Emblem, Starfy, DK, Yoshi, Wario, Kirby, Luigi's Mansion, Sin and Punishment, Star Fox, F-Zero, Punch Out, etc...

ninja89

#60

ninja89 said:

Boo hoo it was delayed. So what, I could care less. It comes out when it comes out and the game looks fantastic. It's got my money already and for those of you crying about Ubisoft, you might want kiss their bum a little at this point since it looks like they're going to be the only legit 3rd party publisher giving full support for the Wii U. Their games are great and I plan on getting Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag as well.

WiiUisBest

#61

WiiUisBest said:

@GiftedGimp Sorry but some of us are not children and they let down the fans by letting the older consoles have the game..and they claimed it would only be for wii u which was a lie so they will not be getting my money ..i will wait for a used copy
and trust me man ive been gaming longer than most on this site

ledreppe

#62

ledreppe said:

To any one who is no longer getting Legends 'out of principle': if you shun the game then you're only affecting this games sales on the Wii U, and that will only make Ubisoft and other developers shy away from the Wii U. You're not going to do the Wii U any good because of 'your principles'.

ultimate321

#64

ultimate321 said:

@ChaosAngel
I kinda disagree... I mean I don't like Ubi's decision but I'm quite happy with Ubi as a whole and they publish some top quality games (along with poopy cash cows). The developers are usually great. Its like blaming the employees for the big company being poop. If the guy at mcdonalds gets treated like poop for coompany policy then clearly someones pointed the anger in the wrong direction. Its almost always management. So I agree with that but I think your a little harsh on Ubi.

ultimate321

#66

ultimate321 said:

@Dodger
Ditto. Employees always pay the price for everything even thought they are the ones doing everything and not getting enough for their work.

Tysamu

#67

Tysamu said:

I'm glad to see that they're giving the U version exclusive features just to make it up to the fans

MagicEmperor

#68

MagicEmperor said:

The sting is all gone, and I can see rationally again. It's Ubisoft to blame, NOT the developer. This will be a fantastic game, despite being delayed for seven friggin' months. I'll buy it. Not used. Nope. Straight up new. Yes, we were all upset, but we need to grow up. We can't change the past, so there's no point in dwelling on it. Gotta make for a better future, and other... magical, warm stuff.

IPete2

#70

IPete2 said:

Ubi Soft supporting the Wii U in a great way here, with the free e-shop version coming soon I can't wait, THANK YOU for finding a way to give something to Wii U owners, who are suffering such a drought on games still.

This sounds like a fab game and FREE, woot!

Grackler

#71

Grackler said:

I'll play the challenge mode, but I'll wait and see what reviews and Miiverse say on the title itself. I'm hoping for great things, but I'm worried that the multi-platform changes might remove some of the WiiU-catered feel and impact the design for the worst (I personally loved the Murphy levels).

Big_L91

#72

Big_L91 said:

i cant wait for challenge mode :D its going to be amazing, although come september my money will be going on gtav and ill pick rayman up a bit cheaper after im done with that. shame though if it wasnt for gta the same month it would be a day one buy for me.

NintendoPro64

#73

NintendoPro64 said:

@Realgamer4life
Pikmin got delayed because Nintendo wanted third party games to sell more! This launch is just like the 3DS launch. Nintendo has put out no big sellers and third parties, once again, aren't taking advantage of it. :P

shake_zula

#75

shake_zula said:

I'm gonna get this for the 360 anyway, I really don't like the Murfy gameplay. Off-screen play would have been nice, but the game zooms out so far sometimes, Rayman is barely visible on my 40" TV, I can't imagine what those bits will play like on the GamePad.

valcoholic

#76

valcoholic said:

After all that drama with the delay, I think this is one hell of a nice move. and actually, I wouldn't even have bought that game and now I'm able to play those challenges for free. maybe I'll get so much into it, that I'll change my mind. People who are still mad at Ubi for preferring marketstrategy over their fans hearts (which indeed hurts, but welcome to capitalism) should grow up and realize, that there are far bigger problems in the world than a freaking game delay. Some of the more grown ups here may remember how long games were delayed back in times of Ocarina of Time, a game that felt like delayed for aeons! So goddammit, grow some balls and stop acting like babies, Ubisoft is the onle huge third party who's really supporting the WiiU with all they have and if you've seen the SC Blacklist trailer, then you'll see that their ports are even going far beyond typical third party ports. They really seem to want the WiiU become a console with great software and just because they messed up the Rayman issue doesn't make them any worse. Check out how EA is doing in the meanwhile and start your whining.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...