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Warhorse Studios' Tobias Stolz-Zwilling has recently spoken with VG247 about Kingdom Come: Deliverance, the game's journey from a mere concept to a wildly successful Kickstarter project, and how it strives to be as realistic as possible, at times even sacrificing gameplay to achieve that realism. The most notable example from the interview is that to save your progress you'll have to get to a pub first, and if you want to quicksave outside of those fine drinking establishments, you will require a special type of liquor that's limited in its availability and has adverse side effects.
We see a lot of video games set in historic settings, and in the last few months we’ve had impressive representations of wildly different eras in the likes of Assassin’s Creed Origins and Call of Duty World War 2, but none seem quite as dedicated to that cause as Kingdom Come. Part of that is down to that fleet of kickstarter backers, the basis for the game’s heavily invested and vocal community who Warhorse now see as development collaborators.
“If we have a trailer or release a new picture or whatever, they’re like… ‘You morons! This kind of chicken wouldn’t exist in the year 1403 because…’ or ‘Your carrots are too orange, they were yellow back then’ and so on and so forth,” Tobias grins. “They’re really, really nitpicking, but that’s actually a good thing – they’re so behind the project, and even though it sounds cheesy it really is like we’re creating it together. That’s why we’ve released five alpha versions – we’re always gathering feedback.”
So involved are the community that one major feature of Kingdom Come: Deliverance was actually directly inspired by them – the quick-save feature. Unable to decide if quick save should be in the game at all or not, some fans suggested that for a game developed in the Czech Republic it’d feel particularly appropriate if saving the game happened in a pub. Suddenly, booze was the answer – because of course it was.
“We came up with a liquor where every time that you quick save you have to drink that liquor. It’s an item in your pocket and if you want to save you need to have this item. If you overdo the quicksaving, you get drunk and you get sick. We don’t want you abusing the quicksave button in front of every chest or whenever you have to pick a lock or something.”
And thus, in a strangely poetic twist, a highly realistic video game has booze as a method of saving progress when for most of us – let’s be honest – it’s more likely to delete it. Regular saves and auto saves are still included, though the quick save option is tied to alcohol – which has a whole sub-system of its own.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is packed with Skyrim-like character progression, where only the skills you use will level up and grow, eventually allowing you to pick up perks in those categories. Every type of weapon has its own skill tree as do the links of alchemy – and yes, drinking is a skill all its own, a quirky but charming addition that has more of a gameplay impact than you’d think.
Your drinking stat helps you when you might have to use your speech skill to talk to people in a bar and will help you to resist intoxication and the associated negative debuffs from going at it a little hard. Which, yeah, sounds pretty realistic to me. I wish my drinking stat were as good now as it was when I was at uni.