This is the first in a series of interviews I will be doing to the Warhorse Studio team as they go on with the development of Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
How did it born the idea of Kingdom Come: Deliverance?
Jiri Rydl: It was idea of Dan Vavra. He was thinking about a new game from our history, which would be both new and appealing to a lot of players.
When you dig deeper and deeper into the history of Bohemia, you find several interesting periods and the civil war among sons of Charles IV. was one of them.
Which elements do you think that will make your game unique?
J.R.: I would point out especially three of them – realism, unique fighting system and AI. We want to make the game as realistic as possible. We have two specialists in our team to consult the historic details of every aspect – architecture, dress codes, habits or even animals. Sometimes we reach out for help to universities or we invite professional swordsmen to our office to show us how to fight. We wanted to open new possibilities for player and offer more than just hack and slash. Every move is important, even move of your feet, which can have effect on your stability. The fights are much more realistic and thus shorter in comparison with other games. On the other hand they are very intensive and you have to think twice before you draw sword. Your opponents can be dumb like some unexperienced thieves, but you can also meet well trained guard or a professional soldier who are well armed, who know how to fight and who will wait for your mistake patiently.
How much time did it take you to prepare the Kickstarter campaign?
J.R.: It depends – the demo used for instance in our Kickstarter stream was prepared for publishers in the first place and it took almost a year to make it (we were much smaller studio in that time). The campaign itself took about three months – we prepared six video updates, we talked to press, we thought about stretch goals… Lot of work!
Can you tell us any idea that worked great? And any that didn’t work as you thought?Anything you would have done differently?
J.R.: You mean in Kickstarter campaign? Definitely the good think was to work with PR agencies in US and Germany. Even good projects usually lack in the press coverage and you
need to be prepared for that. On the other hand we would probably make less tiers if we could, sometimes it was little bit confusing and some backers wrote us they pledged for digital instead of physical or other way round or they didn’t understand how to be part of alpha version etc. Sometimes less is better :-]
Did it help the announcement of the collaboration on the CryEngine technology with Star Citizen?
J.R.: Definitely! It may sounds surprising, but even players of Star Citizen like historic games, real history instead of fantasy settings is probably more attractive to them.
What can you tell us about your gaming community? Are they meeting the expectations?
J.R.: Our gaming community is great and very supportive! They follow our development issues and share their thoughts with us, so we can find even more inspiration and ideas. It’s also great when we need to know something or we do a mistake. No one knows everything, so we are very glad, when we are informed about different breed of chickens or colors of carrot. Who would have thought there were even white or violet carrots in the 15th century?
You, alongside some other developers as Cloud Imperium Games, Hinterland… are making something quite new with this new open development funded by the players… How different is it from the traditional way of making games?
J.R.: It is very different. In traditional terms of development, you are usually completely detached from the players for years until the release date is near. Even then you may be in touch with them only through publisher, which is changing in the last years due to social networks. So the feedback is great and you are assured you are working on a features players enjoy in the time of development, not three months after release.
Which are the advantages of this type of development? And the disadvantages?
J.R.: Disadvantages from the point of communication could be that we need to be in touch with our backers throughout the development process. For instance every developer makes working builds to see the functionality in the game, to try something or to present to other departments the progress, but internal presentation can work with placeholders or eve missing parts. The playable versions for our backers needs to be more polished, so there is some extra work in that. But we are ok with that :-]
At this point… is there any fear you have about the development?
J.R.: The time is limited and the list of stretch goals is long…
Something that you would like to say to the community? Any wish for 2015?
J.R.: We are working on it :-]!