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Was it a glimpse of next-gen? Medieval RPG maker responds

Straight answer: yes and no.

Yesterday I wrote about a tech demonstration video from a PC and next-gen consoles project, a medieval RPG. Given its target platforms we billed it as a possible glimpse of the future, a glimpse of next-gen.

Turns out it was running on a two year old laptop with a mobile GeForce 555M - rubbish! - although the scenery was an example of an environment from the game.

The medieval RPG belongs to small (24 person) Czech developer Warhorse Studios, led by Mafia (game series) key person Daniel Vavra. The video appeared the internet much to his surprise and gained an "unexpected" amount of attention, and so he felt compelled to explain a thing or two.

It seems the main reason he did this is because if he was going to show off the game he'd have done so with something a good deal more spectacular than a muddy field and on a much more capable computer. The video's had 366,800 viewers.

Warhorse is actually still "fine-tuning" a prototype to dazzle "our potential partners", Vavra pointed out - i.e. the game needs a publisher.

It's a next-gen Xbox! No no it's a PS4! Oh it's just a boring old laptop with, I sense, a GeForce 555M.

"Our goal, then, was not to show how our game looks just now - for that we'd have shown something quite different (we certainly have plenty to choose from) and instead of the editor we'd have shown the actual game and not just the graphics taken out of context, because the game is now playable, has a GUI, animations and the foundations of all the main playing mechanisms," explained Vavra. "But we don't want to show it yet, because it would be very premature."

"We're not looking for development money (for now) and so it wouldn't be too smart to shoot off all our ammo prematurely (and lose the moment of surprise of presenting something new)," he added. "If things go the way we imagine them then we can maybe announce our game in the first half of next year. Maybe."

He reconfirmed the medieval RPG for PC and next-generation consoles, and detailed a bit of project development. The game begun in August 2011 at the hands of nine people; now 24 plus several external contributors work on it.

CryEngine 3 was chosen for the job and while things moved slowly at first, now there's a whole city and "huge chunk" of landscape created. It's not optimised and there's loads to do, but "it looks pretty good", Vavra reckons.

RPG mechanics are coming together and there's even been a bit of motion captured swordplay, plus some Shakespearean English dubbing recorded.

The story remains rough but will eventually be fleshed out with the help of "a number of distinguished historians and experts on the [undisclosed] period in question".

"So right now we're fine-tuning our prototype, which we're planning to show very soon to our potential partners. At that moment, our future will be decided upon, and the future of our/your game will depend on the results of these presentations."

It was nice mud, though.

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Robert Purchese avatar

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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