Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery released about a month ago now. Reception has been mixed, to say the least. However, it does hold significance. Hogwarts Mystery is the first game released under Warner Bros.’ new Portkey Games Label. It’s a new label dedicated to releasing Harry Potter games.
Hogwarts Mystery allowed players to live life as a Hogwarts student for the first time. It may not have reached its potential, but it’s still possible to improve on the foundation the game laid out. A Hogwarts-set game that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the Wizarding World can still be made. And here’s some ways to do it.
Put an Emphasis on Student Life
Hogwarts Mystery let you live out as a Hogwarts student. But it doesn’t really go into what that entails. That’s the downside of the chapter-based system it utilizes.
What do you do in-between classes? Would you want to study up in the library? Or take a trip to Hogsmeade? (Only if you’re a third-year, of course!) Maybe you would engage in some more…reckless activities, and explore the grounds.
Being a student at Hogwarts would put you in a brand-new world. There are so many possibilities of what you can do, and what kind of person you can become. From something simple as what house you get put into, to what classes you decide to take. What kind of friends would you make during your time here?
Make Hogwarts Feel More Like a Place
Hogwarts is quite literally a magic place. Full of corridors and hidden rooms, the famed castle is as much a mystery as anything else in the series. In Hogwarts Mystery, it simply feels like a set of rooms and hallways.
That’s one thing the EA-published games circa 2001-2010 excelled at. They let you explore Hogwarts. It was a place you wanted to explore. A place full of nooks and crannies.
Imagine a fully realized Hogwarts on a (most likely) next-gen console. A Hogwarts you could wander around (even if you weren’t supposed to). But it wouldn’t be tied to a story that’s already been told. This would be your Hogwarts story. And what’s the point of a Hogwarts story if there’s not a Hogwarts to immerse yourself in.
It Should Be Personal
Studying at Hogwarts is as much about your personal growth as it is your growth as a wizard. The big selling point of Hogwarts Mystery was the ability to finally have your own Hogwarts experience. But it felt too hollow, too impersonal. A big motivator in Hogwarts Mystery surrounds the conundrum involving your brother. While that can create for some interesting drama, it does make it feel a little less impersonal. Especially if you don’t even have a brother to begin with (like myself).
Just because a game is set in the Harry Potter universe, doesn’t mean there needs to be a big conspiracy that threatens the (wizarding) world. Why can’t it just be about how Hogwarts shapes you? While obviously there can still be some conflicts scattered throughout the years, at the end of the day, the story should focus on you.
What kinds of relationships will you form with your classmates? What kinds of skills will you excel at, and want to pursue more? Do you want to play Quidditch? There are so many other ways your character can grow than having to face decades (or more) of old evil.
Here for the Long Haul
Harry Potter is one of those franchises that will simply never go away. It will endure, years from now. It’s almost surprising to see more original Harry Potter games haven’t been made.
A big part of the fandom involves their connection with the series. ‘What Hogwarts house are you?’ can be a common ice-breaker for a certain generation. And that’s why it’s so important to nail a Hogwarts-set game.
Readers connected with Harry’s growth over the seven books in the series. A video game should present you the opportunity to go even further with those connections because now it’s your story. It’s more than simply picking which house you want to go in. What if you took a personality test before the game starts, and then you find out your house at the sorting hat ceremony?
Making a Harry Potter game is a deceptively simple task. It’s not enough to just be in Hogwarts. You need to actually live the Hogwarts experience. But what do you want to see in a Harry Potter game? You can discuss this, and more, on our Google Plus page below!