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Kingdom Come Deliverance Interview: Gameplay, Content, Visual Fidelity and More
If I were asked to jot down a list of most anticipated games to launch next year, Warhorse Studios’ medieval RPG Kingdom Come Deliverance will certainly make it to the list.
Kingdom Come Deliverance is set in 15th century medieval Kingdom of Bohemia featuring historically accurate and realistic content. The class-based RPG is primarily a single-player experience with branching questlines and highly interactive in-game environments.
We recently had a chance to speak with Warhorse Studios’ PR Manager Tobias Stolz-Zwilling and talked about things which distinguish Kingdom: Come Deliverance from other role-playing games among other things:
Warhorse Studios’ is comprised of industry veterans including the one who previously worked on games like Mafia, Mafia II, ARMA: AA, and other big names. According to Stolz-Zwilling, the mixture of new and veteran developers is what makes them strong as a team:
It is obvious that the experience of game dev veterans is a huge gift to our studio. Not only because they know their craft but also because they know all the ups and downs of the business. They also help grow our team since it’s a mixture of age and nationalities which makes us proud at Warhorse Studios. The studio has grown to an awesome size of 80 people already… and again that’s where the veterans come useful. They teach and support the young guns and share their expertise… this way we developed a very strong WE feeling and a team. It’s more like working with friends rather than with colleagues.
Those who have seen the game’s promotional footage might have witnessed some insanely large-scale battles. The developer is currently hard at work in creating these battles. However, fans should know that such battles aren’t going to be there every time.
We are working very hard on those large scale battles! Our main goal here is to show you real medieval combat from a first-person view which is something that has never existed in a videogame before. We’ve made some tests and are quite happy with the results, but I must say that “large scale battles” doesn’t mean we put ten thousand combatants on the battlefield and let them fight with each other. It also won’t happen every moment in the game! We are doing our tests and all I can say now is this: it looks really promising.
Speaking of DirectX 12 compatibility, Stolz-Zwilling said that the decision doesn’t lie solely with Warhorse Studios, but they’ll love to implement it Crytek comes up with a solution:
That’s not totally in our hands since we use the CryEngine from Crytek. But if they come up with a solution then… why not?
One of the best things about the game is the accuracy of historical events. Speaking of this, Stolz-Zwilling said that everything in the game is going to be historically correct and the developer hasn’t altered anything at all:
Every location you’ll visit, every stronghold you’ll enter, most of the important NPC you’ll be talking to… all really existed in the year 1403 and really did the things we are portraying. And most of the structures and locations still exist today. And that’s important since we visit all those areas to transfer them into the game.
The player however gets the chance to tell his own story within the historically accurate sequence. So no, you won’t change history, but you’ll reincarnate in Henry a humble, young blacksmith and you’ll take part. Not as a King or Leader but as a man of the people.
Although the game boasts a regular RPG leveling system, there is no concept of building an overpowered character. Players need to take every battle seriously otherwise they won’t succeed, no matter how much their character is developed:
There will be a regular RPG System that allows you to level up and to get for example, faster with the sword. But you’ll never be overpowered. Every battle can be your last one because we demand a lot of skill from the player. So even though the RPG System helps you, you’ll need to take every battle serious. The Bow for example, even if you’ll get a slight zoom if you level up, will always miss a crosshair.
Speaking of the first-person camera and the level of immersion it creates for the players, Stolz-Zwilling stressed that the developers dedicated a lot of time in making it as real as possible and also shared a video detailing the entire thing:
No, there are no limits but just greater challenges, I would say. The fact that we go first person and single player is due to the high level of immersion we want to achieve. We want the gamer to really taste blood in his mouth when he gets hit in the face. The challenge is to make it believable and historically accurate. So we spend days in the MoCap Studio and in front of the computer to make it as real as possible. We released a video lately which pretty much sums up our approach.
Yes, we call it a feature, because every action you take, calls for proper reaction. But that also means that if you do nothing, the world will live without you. The NPC sees you like another regular NPC and not like a super hero. So yes, it’s up to the player how he behaves and how he shapes the world and his character. You can either solve problems by negotiating or you could choose to solve problems with the sharp end of your sword… but if you commit a crime… the local militia will try to hold you accountable. We will introduce the first draft of our crime system in our next Alpha in October.
Coming to the visual-fidelity of the game, Stolz-Zwilling stated that the reason for choosing CryEngine was the fact that it packs everything that the developer needed in order to realize their true vision of the game; albeit after heavily modifying it.
It’s the full package of the CryEngine that had us choose it. In that time we didn’t see any other engine that could bring our vision to the monitors. Even though we still need to adjust it a lot since the CryEngine was made for first person corridor shooters. But our boys and girls are very tricky and customize it to our needs.
Moreover, speaking of the PC version of the game, the studio currently hasn’t signed any deals with respect to exclusive visual features such as NVIDIA’s GameWorks or AMD’s TressFX:
We have no signed deals yet. That’s something we’ll see in future.
Finally, speaking of the game’s length, side-quests, and other activities in the game, Stolz-Zwilling said that there is a lot of development time ahead, but the studio’s target is to go with meaningful quests rather meaningless content-fillers:
That’s a hard question to answer since, as you say, we have a lot of dev time ahead of us. But of course we target a satisfying number of fun gameplay hours. And besides just the main story line there will be a lot of things to do. In addition to all that… the different acts we plan, behave like three different but connected games. Every game is a part of the overall Kingdom Come Story each with around 20-50 hours of gameplay new maps features etc. But we are going definitely for deep, meaningful quests over generic content filler. That’s what Dan Vávra, our Creative Director, is very good at!