Interview with Daniel Vavra

RPGNuke: I’m always alarmed by the presence of the minigames. In most games they become a very boring, needless and (God forbid!) mandatory routine. How are you planning to entertain a player who decided to try crafting in Kingdom Come: Deliverance?

Daniel: They are not mandatory. You can always buy the stuff you want, they are also associated with a skill, so as you get better, they become easier. We are aware of this so we will try to avoid it, but over all, I believe its way better than clicking in menus.

Is the armor going to be as realistically interweaved in the combat system as are weapons? Is, for example, the plate armor going to make arrows ricochet and restrain movement or it’s just going to raise/lower stats?

Arrows are going to ricochet and every part of the armor is separate. Damage will have effect on the character, but there are technical limits to this and its not fully implemented yet. 

You positively oppose to have a third-person view in Kingdom Come because you consider the first-person view to be more immersive. But why are the cutscenes and dialogs in third-person view then?

When you are playing the game and interacting with the world, its much more immersive. You can see more detail, you see your hands interacting with objects, your see actual scale of the world, expression on other characters faces… The same goes for combat, its much more personal and we can have such things like limited view in helmets etc. But on the other hand, when something special is happening its always good to show it from the best angle and I hate it when you don’t know who is talking in first person games, because they are off screen or its you and you don’t know it, so you will see your character. Also its a chance to see his armor.

As far as I know, you plan to use Steam’s Early Access program. What this beta version is going to include and will the players be able to play it without being afraid of spoilers?

Alpha will be set in special location with only core game mechanics to test and some custom quest. Beta should be full game with bugs, so with spoilers.

Earlier you mentioned each quest having multiple ways to solve it, but in which way is it going to be realized? Is it going to be, for example, like in Deus Ex (non-linear levels the players can beat in myriads of different ways, but the quests themselves have mostly the same outcome) or like in Alpha Protocol (mostly linear levels with meaningful choices that have far-reaching consequences)? Or maybe some other way?

More like the Deus Ex. And there are going to be moments, where you will have to make decisions that will affect the story just like in Witcher for example.

Tell me a bit about the act structure. How are they going to be connected? Are they going to be three standalone games or a single game with downloadable addons? Will any of the Act I walkthrough results (inventory, decisions, etc.) carry over to Act II and III?

All three Acts make the whole story. Every act has its own story arch and climax and something is solved, but the main story will be completed in Act III. Acts II and III will be kinda like add ons, and you will need Act I to play them. Your character stats and everything will transfer, and you will be able to travel between their maps solve older quests etc.

Kingdom Come is based on real events, but how far will the history go? Can we spoil the whole story for ourselves by looking at historical documents? Or it is going to be your version of events that happened 6 centuries ago?

Well when you are watching Braveheart and you are a Scotsman, you probably know that William Wallace is gonna die at the end, but important thing is, how he gets there and why. And its the same in our case. We stick to history, but the most important thing are the characters, their personal stories and goals and its not something you can read about in history book.

By the way, which historical events Kingdom Come is going to feature? I’m ashamed to admit, but I even tried to search Wikipedia for them and didn’t find anything that fits the time spot.

Its about the struggle for the throne of Holy Roman Empire between Wenzel IV and Sigismund of Luxembourg, both sons of Emperor Charles IV. These events are not very known, but very interesting. 

What the major battles are going to be like? Will the player give orders or control the armies directly? Or maybe they’ll simply be a pawn, on which not much depend upon?

You are just one of the soldiers and you will experience the battle first hand in close ups. :-) I think its more interesting to see how it really was in battle than just watch some small units.

One of already achieved Kickstarter goals is the orchestral soundtrack. Have you already chosen the composer and the orchestra itself?

I already have one composer in mind and he is also a conductor of philharmony here in Bohemia. I was blown away by his work.

Your roleplaying system has a somewhat unusual set ot stats — among them there’s Speech, but no Intelligence. You’ll probably touch upon this in future updates, but could you please tell us why such a set of stats?

Intelligence is the stat of the player. :-) In our game, we are trying to simulate real world, so you are getting better at the stuff you do, when you do it right. Intelligence is usually connected to magic, which is something we don’t have, so there is no need for intelligence.

How does your usual day at work go? Which things are the simplest about your job and which are the hardest?

Over the last year, my usual day was quite different from what I should do. I was mostly negotiating with publishers, organizing stuff and keeping the company afloat together with Martin instead of designing stuff. But when things get more normal, we will be designing like crazy. We have 6 other writers, so in the morning we will discuss our work and then we will write quests and dialogues. On top of that I am keeping an eye over the work of others and trying to keep the vision. I am discussing every feature with programmers, artists and animators. I just hope I will have more time for that.

And the last question, I just can’t help myself but ask: what’s the name of the awesome dog we’ve seen in the videos?

Yankee, but everyone calls him Jenda, which means Johny in Czech. :-)

Thanks for the answers, Daniel! I wish you luck and I have no doubts that after your game comes out, the publishers who think fantasy is all the players need will see how wrong they were.