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In a recent interview with MonsterVine, Warhorse Studios' Rick Lagnese talked about the importance of historical accuracy for Kingdom Come: Deliverance and the ins and outs of his position as the studio's community manager. An excerpt:
Traveling on media tours and speaking with developers, media, and fans, what’s the most memorable thing you recall that people said of Kingdom Come?
Rick: It’s hard to compare this game to others since it’s based on historical accuracy, but it was really cool to watch and to see feedback from journalists and fans. There was one video on a Playstation YouTube channel where they released a video showing off Kingdom Come and our presentation. Even though a lot of people didn’t know about it, they said it was the most passionate presentation they’d ever seen. It’s so cool to hear that, since you can always sell someone on a game, but you really have to believe in my opinion.
When you travel, it’s exhausting. You’re running around to different presentations, you’re thirsty, you need to use the bathroom, stuff like that, but I really got energy from how excited I was to present the game. It’s very exciting, and don’t get me wrong, at the end of the day it’s relieving to be done since you’re tired. But, man, you still want to know what people are thinking, so you’re still looking at YouTube comments and Reddit responses and stuff. It’s amazing.
What was the inspiration behind making the equipment and settings period-accurate, rather than more fantastical?
Rick: Being that the game is based on history, we wanted to make it historically accurate on every front. We have a full time historian on the team, she, uh keeps us in “Czech”, get it? Haha! Feel free to cut that, haha.
I’m definitely keeping that in.
Rick: Oh geez haha! Anyway, we also have painters and sculptors, fencers, mocap workers, everything. It’s definitely not just a medieval simulator, but we want to cover everything historically. There’s so much attention to detail that even people who aren’t huge game fans have shown appreciation for the game, especially in the Czech Republic.
When I was at GDC, someone from the Czech Republic saw the game and said “oh those are our trees! That’s our grass!”. We used our own engine with the CryENGINE to make it really unique, and it’s even 16 km squared. You can find places where historical events happened, and the stories and side-quests tend to lean more towards history.
So what interested you about the medieval setting?
Rick: So some of my favorite movies are Braveheart, The Last Samurai, really anything history-related. When I can find a game that’s more realistic than fantasy, it can really draw me in. I love historical European martial arts, which is why that video drew me into the game. History itself is so fascinating to me, because I was never a history buff in school. This stuff got me interested, and I’m a very spiritual guy too, so I really love these kinds of things. So it was really the interesting history and setting that did it.
And Dan Vavra won’t compromise on the game. When you have a developer who really sticks to his vision, it really draws you to the game. He wants to make a game according to history, and that’s it, and I love it.