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The Red Bull website is offering up a detailed preview of Kingdom Com: Deliverance, which includes quite a bit of commentary from Warhorse creative director Daniel VÃ¡vra and spotlights the ambitious goal of integrating "the freedom of Skyrim, the storytelling of The Witcher, the setting of Mount and Blade, and the tough combat of Dark Souls" into the RPG. A handful of paragraphs to get you started:
Kingdom Come's beautiful open-world landscaping job is actually being paid for in large by an outside investor, who's already poured about $1.5 million into the project and, according to VÃ¡vra, agreed to fund it further if the Prague-based developers (who individually have long experience working on games including Forza, Arma, Crysis 3 and the Mafia series) could prove there was a market by drumming up their own half-million through crowdfunding. It's a compromise between traditional funding and Kickstarter, but for VÃ¡vra, also the only way that he and his team could ensure both the cash and the artistic freedom to make the game they wanted.
"Big publishers don't want to take any risks, so there is zero chance to work on something interesting [with them]" he says. Despite following in the huge boot-prints of Dark Souls and The Elder Scrolls, the publishers VÃ¡vra and the team approached were skeptical that the game would make money on next-gen consoles, believing that the future of games like Kingdom Come lay in free-to-play MMOs and mobile games.
"The things we want to achieve could not be done on then-current-gen consoles, not to mention iPads or smartphones," VÃ¡vra says, dismissively. Since then of course, the PS4 and Xbox One have both launched to much acclaim, selling millions in a matter of hours. "I would say, that the situation and [publishers'] mindset has changed drastically. It seems that consoles are not going anywhere and their predictions were totally wrong."
As if to prove a point, Kingdom Come smashed its funding target, currently sitting at almost $1.5 million in pledges in its own right. But even with the cash in hand, that checklist of games is massively ambitious - hubristic, even. Releasing in three 'acts', the size of Act One's in-game Kingdom of Bohemia, for instance, will rival at least two triple-A titles that set the bar for open world games on the PS3 and Xbox 360, with nine square kilometres of open countryside to explore.
Although comparisons with Oblivion's fantastical realm of Cyrodiil will be inevitable (alchemy is a skill mentioned in the trailer, so expect a return of the tranquil flower-picking minigame), in the interests of a realistic depiction of medieval Europe, there won't be any ogres or fire demons lurking in the foliage. Instead, Warhorse Studios are basing as much of the design as possible on real-world locations, including existing Czech towns and castles. And so far, what the team have built is very pretty indeed: dappled forests, rolling meadows and partly submerged caves with beautifully lifelike torchlight glinting off the damp walls. Kickstarter might be a byword for humble when it comes to games, but Kingdom Come looks anything but.