Update: Added one more question that was asked after the interview -ED.
APGNation’s Garrett Bridges had a chance to sit down with Daniel Vávra, co-founder of Warhorse Studios, to talk about and play some of their upcoming game Kingdom Come: Deliverance at E3.
Vávra gave us the inside scoop, talking about how massive his studio plans for the in-game world to be, with the current Alpha taking over five hours to complete. Every area of the game is based on real places, and the player can perform many immersive role play actions; Vávra even describing a grave-digging (maybe even grave robbing?) mechanic. He also confirmed that horse customization will be in the game, and the player will be able to equip their equine partner with armor and saddlebags for extra inventory storage. While showing off some horseback riding, Vávra shared that the animations and lip-syncing for the human and horse models are not finalized, with more motion capture underway to tighten up the animations.
Vávra also described a bit of how armor will interact within the game. Plate mail will be very effective at deflecting slashing blades, but if the player doesn’t have something soft between the steel and his or her body, then blunt attacks will stun and damage the player. He spoke about how he tested this concept himself using a real suit of armor and noted that blunt blows to the helmet felt like an explosion. Additionally, Vávra shared about the tactical choice of having a helmet visor open or closed: a closed visor not only obstructs vision, but increases the difficulty of breathing and lowering stamina. In contrast, an open visor leaves the face open to attacks while increasing stamina.
We asked Vávra, in regards to the open freedom and realism associated with the game, if it would be possible to kill NPCs that are essential to quests or the main story. He responded, “You can break the world if you want to,” so the player should be careful about murderous rampages in case they break a quest line. Vávra continued to describe the reputation system. Rather than a general faction reputation like in Fallout: New Vegas, every NPC will have a separate opinion of the player, influenced by their actions with those close to each NPC. What if a player is found involved in a horrible crime? If the player manages to change clothing Hitman-style, then the NPC’s may not even recognize the player or their crimes.
Garrett then asked Vávra a few specific questions:
APGNation: How do you deal with the balance between realism and fun in-game?
Daniel Vávra: I find it kind of weird that this is a risk or a problem; I don’t think so. But I think that it comes from the fact that a lot of games that were or are realistic are clumsy as well. For example I love the original [Operation] Flashpoint —everyone loved it because it was so realistic. But I don’t think the clumsiness necessarily needs to come with realism. So we want to make it as user-friendly and as clumsy-free as possible and then I don’t think it’s a big issue because people kind of understand, like they are used to things from their daily life, so when it works the same in the game I don’t think it’s a problem. I was surprised, like Fallout: New Vegas was a quite hardcore game, but like fifteen million people bought it. Many of my friends who only play like Candy Crush Saga, they all bought Fallout and were like ‘yeah, I’ve been playing Fallout for like a hundred hours!’ and I’m like ‘You play Fallout? You have a PC?’ So I don’t think it’s a problem to be realistic, the problem is that not many games are and those which are, are usually not very good in terms of polish or user-friendliness so I don’t think it’s a problem at all.
APGNation: With the setting [of the game] being very specific to an area and a part of Europe, are you concerned about international audiences being able to relate? Or do you think everybody will just be all right?
Daniel Vávra: Well that was an issue with publishers, they were very critical of it. And then when we did a Kickstarter it seems that nobody cares. For example when we ask people, and we do ask people what they think about stuff, right now I have a big dilemma if we should use local Czech names for places and people, or if we should translate them, sometimes there are no direct translations for something. So we asked people we had like several hundred responses, and most people were “keep it Slavic”. Some of the words look like here, quite weird in English. Like Americans for examples are able to pronounce them well, but some of the words are weird when read in English, so it’s something that concerns me. But I am surprised that people are not — they don’t see it as an issue. On the other hand, Bohemia is typical Europe, I would say. Germany looks very similar, France looks similar, most of the central bigger Europe looks very similar. The medieval gothic architecture, costumes were the same in the whole of Europe, so if it was set in Germany it would look the same. So I believe it will not alienate Europeans at all, and we have a lot of fans in Japan or the Middle East, I was surprised how many Middle East fans we have. So I think it’s generally attractive to people, so I was even surprised how much, and how well accepted it is. We were a little bit afraid it may be a problem, but it seems not.
APGNation: What’s your stance going to be on mods?
Daniel Vávra: We are pretty open to it. I hope that we will be able to support it, I hope will change to make it as user friendly as possible and since it’s working on CryEngine it should be quite easy.
APGNation: Would you be interested in Steam Workshop integration?
Daniel Vávra: Actually I don’t personally know that much about Steam Workshop, but we are supporting modders, even now people started to do stuff with the Alpha. And we are pretty open for it. If we had time, I have a lot of ideas of how we can make quite interesting stuff, but all the resources and time.
APGNation: So how’s that going? The managing resources and time?
Daniel Vávra: Well, right now it’s quite tough. We have a year to go and a lot of work, so we need to work very hard and there’s a lot of things we need to do.
APGNation: Are you published by Tru-blu?
Daniel Vávra: Nope, I don’t know how this happened.
You can enjoy our full talk with Daniel Vávra below: