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Between the books and the movies, the Harry Potter franchise is insanely popular. The new mobile game hopes to follow in those footsteps by making a story that takes significant queues from what came before. Specifically, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery plans to tell a story that, like the books or movies, evolves over time, starting out as a more lighthearted adventure, but eventually maturing into something deeper. I spoke with Hogwarts Mystery writer Matt London this week, who explained how the game will become more sophisticated as it progresses. According to London...
One of the things I love so much about Harry Potter is that over the course of that series it really does mature as the characters grow up. The tone shifts, the stories become more sophisticated and we're trying to mirror something like that here. You will actually experience your full Hogwarts journey, all seven years, over the course of the game, and as you progress in years, you're going to find deeper and richer stories and also more sophisticated mechanics.
One of the things that made the Harry Potter books so popular is the way that they, along with a large segment of the audience reading them, grew up over the time of their publication. The movies that followed did the same, as we saw the actors who were cast as children become young adults over the course of eight films. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is designed to be a story that takes place over a seven-year period, just as the Harry Potterbooks did, and the plan is for the game to mature over time in the same way the books and movies did.
I've only scratched the surface of the game's story, but the elements of a deeper story are certainly there. While your character's immediate concerns while starting at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are simple things like doing well in class and dealing with a bully, there's also mention of a sibling of your character who had previously gone to Hogwarts, but their time there had been somewhat controversial.
What might be even more interesting then a deeper story might be the introduction of more sophisticated mechanics as the game progresses. Early on, the gameplay is made up fairly basic tapping and swiping that anybody who has played a free-to-play mobile game is quite familiar with. Any change in the game's story that tries to make the player get more invested would only be aided by an evolution in mechanics. It's difficult to guess how those mechanics could change, a smartphone only has so many ways to input commands, but whatever they have in mind sounds interesting. If nothing else, the fact that the game wants to change up the gameplay is a welcome desire.
It will be interesting to see Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery change over time into a more complex story, which would itself be a unique thing for a mobile game. Clearly, the writing team expects to be telling this story for some time to come. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is available now.