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There's an interesting but unfortunately short interview with an unnamed Warhorse Studios' developer over at Worlds Factory. In case the name didn't ring a bell, they're currently working on the partially Kickstarter-funded historical RPG Kingdom Come: Deliverance. They're keen to note that the game won't be small in scale nor size:
You mentioned that the world will be approximately large 9 km², containing (a sprawling city, vast forests, majestic castles, and dozens of villages and hamlets devastated by war). However, the number seems fairly small when compared to other popular open world RPGs such as Oblivion or Skyrim, which are roughly four times that large; don't you fear that locations will be a bit too close to each other?
Very good question, we were surprised by the numbers of other games as well :-) We tried a scientific approach and moved with a character from north to south in Oblivion. The run from the top of the map to the bottom took about 7 minutes. In Kingdom Come: Deliverance it took 7 minutes to run from the city to stable, which is about 1.5 km. The problem is probably in the scale and faster running. So the result is that you don't have to be afraid of small space. You can get lost in the woods easily :-)