Learn all about the development of Nerf Legends, its story, and online multiplayer modes from developer Fun Labs’ studio head, Mihai Preda.Nerf Legends is an FPS where you wield Nerf blasters in a science-fiction future as a hopeful contestant who has entered the Nerf Trials, a gauntlet-style competition.Nerf Legends is available today for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S
Welcome to the world of Nerf Legends! I am Mihai Preda, the studio head here at Fun Labs and we’re excited to be making a video game based on one of our favorite childhood (and adult, if we’re being honest) toys.
Nerf Legends is an FPS where you wield Nerf blasters in a science-fiction future. You’re a hopeful contestant who has entered the Nerf Trials, a gauntlet-style competition where the blasters are enhanced. The blasters are leveled-up and feel fun to use, and your goal is to make it through the winding courses to defeat robots, puzzles, and eventually the Nerf Masters. The story focuses on the idea of proving your ability with the blasters and making it to the end of the competition to face off against the mysterious Grand Master. Doing so will win you the ultimate prize of being crowned a Nerf Legend.
We took inspiration from the blasters to build in some unique gameplay elements. For example, as any person who has played with a Nerf blaster before knows that this eventually leads to your floor being littered with foam darts. We liked this as a game concept and true to life, when you blast darts in the game, they will scatter about the ground, and you must pick them up quickly to replenish your ammo. This idea of blasting and picking up darts makes for some interesting gameplay strategies. For example, as opponents blast at you, they’re basically giving you ammo which you can pick up and fire back and vice versa.
We also looked beyond playing with real Nerf blasters to other video games for inspiration. We have quite a few people in the studio that play a wide range of shooters and other games. No single game was a direct inspiration for our work in Nerf Legends, but the FPS genre offers a lot of excellent games to reflect on.
We also have plenty of unique gameplay mechanics, too, that you don’t see often in other FPS games. Early in the prototyping phase, someone had the idea to add trampoline-like bounce pads and it was something everyone enjoyed right away. We toyed around with this mechanic quite a bit. Sometimes they are used just to jump up to higher platforms or another part of a level, and other times they’re used in puzzles. For example, imagine trying to hit opponents or other targets while hopping through the air or using a jump pad to leap into the middle of the action. This gameplay eventually led to the idea of turning a trampoline on its side and we created what we call accelerators. Accelerators propel you like a cannonball into the level and so it became a whole new way to think about traversal. These mechanics, in turn, inspired some of our level designs as a result.
In many ways the blasters are the stars of the game, but there’s no template for what the universe of Nerf should look and feel like and that gave us a lot of freedom to go into some interesting directions. In Nerf Legends you scale castle walls, run through bays full of futuristic Viking ships, catapult between cliffs in a jungle mountain, zip through a gigantic spaceport, and much more. There is just so much variety in the levels, and none of it is taken too seriously. For us, it was all about the joy factor and making levels that were fun to use blasters in. We hope players are surprised and delighted by that.
Nerf Legends has a full single-player campaign, but there are also plenty of online multiplayer game modes. Solo Nerf Out and Team Nerf Out is our deathmatch and team deathmatch, but without the death. Players in the game are tagged out once defeated, hence the naming. Nerf Siege is our king of the hill type game mode and then there is the Golden Dart mode. Golden Dart is like capture the flag, but it has an interesting twist. It’s a team-play mode where players score by tagging out other players, but the team scores if they capture the golden dart and use it to blast and hit a target that moves around the map. The player carrying the golden dart loses the dart if it is fired or they get tagged out, so the teammates must try to protect them.
The Nerf brand and the Nerf blasters really are the perfect toy to adapt to a video game. We have tried our best to stay truthful to Nerf’s core values and amplify everything fun about playing with the blasters in real life, all while breaking boundaries to create a heightened Nerf experience that would be impossible have in real-life. We’re looking forward to jumping online and playing Nerf Legends with you!