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The site is in Japanese, but the program was in English for me.
Daniel Vávra (Hidden & Dangerous, Mafia 1-2) was kind enough to give 80 level an interview at E3. He is the Creative Director of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Co-founder of Warhorse Studios, and is armed with one of the most powerful beards ever owned by a man. He gives us an inside look into their new game that is in development.
Development of Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Well, it was quite tricky. It’s a first person, single-player, open-world, medieval, realistic RPG. That was the problem because publishers thought that it was not going to be successful. We almost went bankrupt after we made our first prototype.
Then, we decided to go to our first Kickstarter and it turned out that everybody wants to play the game. It ended up being quite successful, and we were also able to raise additional funding from investors to start full production on our own. Currently, the team consists of about 70 people and the game is in the middle of development. It should be released next year.
The only obstacles (besides the issue with publisher) we had are the ones we caused ourselves. Mostly, because we aim very high. So a lot of the things we want to do are quite tricky to achieve. Our combat system is something really unique that no one did before. Our AI is very sophisticated, no one did it before.
When our programmers meet other AI programmers they’re like, “hey guys you have to do it because then we’ll be allowed to do it as well.” This is because everybody is scared to do such complicated AI for a game, so a lot of people will tell us to do it first to prove that it is possible [laughs]. We are still not sure that it’s going to be possible, but it seems that it will be.
Tools and Engine
We are using CryENGINE and we are kind of heavily modifying it for our own purposes. For example, we have our own AI (artificial intelligence), our own custom sound engine for music, and a lot of other little things that help us to make the exact game we hope to develop.
We also have developed a lot of tools to make development easier for us. For example, we have a clothing system that allows us to develop tons of clothing for each character. It is accurate and allows us to layer it over each other. It’s one of the custom things we made, it was quite tricky.
In our country (Czech Republic) there are tons of castles and every town basically has a medieval center. We’re surrounded by history. I kind of like it, I grew up in it. My parents and grandparents taught me to learn about it and took me to all the interesting places, so it’s one of my biggest interests. I always wanted to make games that have to do with history. This is the game I’ve always wanted
Historically Accurate Presentation
We are aiming for an accurate depiction of the medieval period with our game. Our world is built around digital satellite heat map, so we bought the terrain and we are building on it. We do a lot of research by going on location with a mobile bluescreen and taking pictures of herbs, plants, and flora. This is all done to recreate real-world locations.
Most of the locations actually still stand and have something that was actually built in the period of our game. It’s looking exactly the same as in real-world. It requires a little bit more effort to make it accurately, but it looks great.
The major thing that makes our game different is that it is realistic and set in real-world history. Surprisingly, there are almost zero games set in actual history (if we count history as something that is 200 years and older). I’m glad that people like it, because initially everybody thought it wouldn’t be accepted.
Most people find it very attractive, and that’s a good sign. I am happy that we are probably the first ones who are trying to do something like that.
Goal: The Player Experience
I believe that people are interested in an experience. That they are interested in other people’s stories or experiences. They want to know what it is like to be a knight in the medieval times.
I would say the perfect example of what I would like to achieve is, for example, a quest in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt called the Red Baron quest. It’s quite controversial for some, but it’s very human. Everybody remembers it and people love it. It’s not because there’s great combat or there’s insanely complicated gameplay, but it’s because there’s a very interesting story where you have a lot of choice that include tough moral decisions. This causes intrigue into how the story will end and that’s something I’ve always wanted to achieve.
Putting people into situations and letting the player experience them, is ideal in my eyes. Having very sophisticated combat is just part of this experience and not the goal. It’s good to have good combat when you’re trying to be a knight, but the more important thing is to actually experience what it is actually like to be a knight.
80 level Reporter: You have the beard of a warrior…
Daniel Vávra: …but the belly of a beast.