Some of the veteran developers behind the Mafia games have something to offer gamers. Their proposal: Would you like an RPG set in medieval times without the usual fantasy tropes? Something just a bit closer to reality? Today Warhorse, a studio comprised of ex-2K Czech and Bohemia Interactive developers, has launched a Kickstarter for Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is being developed for PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, with a planned release date in the fourth quarter of 2015. The game is being split into three acts, with the first act expected to have 30 hours worth of gameplay. The funding drive has a goal of £300,000 - it's a third of the way towards its goal as of this article - but even that amount won't be enough to finish the game.
Instead, Warhorse is using the Kickstarter drive to prove to their private investor (Czech billionaire Zdenek Bakala) that fans actually care about a non-fantasy RPG. The drive's funding goal is 10 percent of the game's total budget.
"Our investor is strong and capable of funding the complete development of our project," said Warhorse on the Kickstarter page. "But he does not follow the game industry very closely, and needs proof that publishers and marketers are wrong about our game - that you are indeed interested in a mature, medieval RPG that emphasizes freedom and authenticity."
This is not PR stunt for the company to drum up some visibility on the internet. Game director Daniel Vavra told Rock Paper Shotgun that "the game will not happen if we don't succeed on Kickstarter." The game still has two years left in development, but Warhorse wants to have an iterative development cycle with plenty of fan feedback.
"We're planning to be similar to Star Citizen, so we'd like to get our first very early core feature modules out in the next six months or so," Vavra told RPS. "Very core features like interaction with the world, dialogues, and stuff. In a smaller environment. Then we'll add new features over time. Small quests, horseback riding, bow shooting. When everything's ready, we'll release everything on Early Access."
"We've split the game which was originally going to be 100 hours, as big as Skyrim basically, into three chapters that will be released sooner than usual after each other. Like, eight months apart."
The team won't charge $60 for each episode, instead they're aiming for something around $35. That makes the Kickstarter pricing much cheaper than the final game will be; the lowest game tier offers a digital copy of Act I for around $24. It may not necessarily be my cup of tea, but I'm looking forward to Warhorse's success. I'm sure there are hardcore medieval fans out there under-served by the industry.
Update: Kingdom Come has reached it's funding goal after only two days.