Kingdom Come Deliverance II: masterclass in how to do a videogame reveal

I believe it happens more between Japanese and English in the past. People are thinking more globally now.

Someone besides me is still actually buying physical. Nice!

I don’t think so. I know there were a few examples in the past where there were small differences (NFS: Porsche Unleased / Porsche 2000 / Porsche) but other than that they’re always in english.

Honestly it never even occured to me but yeah, game titles are never translated. But film titles are.
I guess games are newer medium, most people who first started playing them here knew english and didn’t bother and it stuck.
There are some czech games with czech titles (like Polda, which means Cop), but those are mostly intended for czech market (although there are english versions on steam).

Rarely these days - mostly only when some nice Collector’s Edition comes out (I intend to get STALKER 2 and KCD2 this year). For most games I just go to :)

Yeah, game titles would sometimes be translated here in Brazil in the early nineties, but that was somewhat rare even then. Nowadays it pretty much never happens.

Interesting theory, and I bet you and @roguefrog are on to something: traditionally localized old media, globally synced new media. I find it fascinating that it’s a given with videogames, but not movies.

For Japanese games that get localized in the west there’s probably many examples going back in time.

A few that I know of, US = Japan

Resident Evil = Biohazard
Mega Man = Rockman
Earthbound = Mother 2
Bionic Commando = Hitler’s Resurrection: Top Secret

From what I understand it’s not strictly always localization but copyright sometimes plays a factor.

A funny thing about Resident Evil is for the 7th game in the series, it uses the name of the other game in the other country as the subtitle, so in the in the US it’s Resident Evil: Biohazard and in Japan it’s Biohazard: Resident Evil.

Interesting to look at foreign films in the U.S. as well. Italian films often seem to keep their Italian titles. French film titles are almost always translated. Spanish-language films often keep their Spanish names. Scandinavian film titles get translated. German film titles get translated. Indian film titles get transliterated. Any film with non-Roman characters in the title gets translated.

I love my Edge subscription. There are dozens of us!

If it’s still being published when I die, I’ll have it forwarded to my crypt. I want my magazines with me in that great bathroom in the sky.

I actually never noticed until now that games kept their english names when translated to spanish. Yet movies get their name changed sometimes in weird ways down here…

Altho its worse in Spain, translating things like Die Hard to "Jungla de Cristal (Crystal Jungle)

I like Crystal Jungle tbh. In czech it was translated as Smrtonosná past, which means Lethal Trap. I assume to intentionally make the name similar to Smrtonosná zbraň (Lethal Weapon).

I am glad at least Matrix escaped the translation hell xD

Here it was called “Duro de Matar” (Hard to kill), so basically Die Hard, which is way cooler.

John Wick was actually translated to Sin Control (Out of Control) in Argentina and in Spain to Otro día para matar (another day to kill)

Just keep the name dammit!

Same here in Brazil. Which goes to show that Spanish and Portuguese are sister languages. :)

My favorite movie poster was for the Jack Nicholson/Helen Hunt film As Good as it Gets. In Spanish: ¿Mejor?.. ¡Imposible!

Thats better than the original

I think that’s because they read backwards in Japanese. :smile:

Backwards is not accurate at all. They traditionally read in columns top to bottom, going right to left.

Yeah. Right to left … backwards.

New interview with Viktor Bocan, lead designer. Mostly google translate with my fixes.

Imagine it’s the end of this year, to remind myself of the story I just finished the first Kingdom Come and started the second one. What will be the first, most obvious change I notice?

I think that the first thing that catches your eye is an even more vivid and real looking world. If anyone in Kingdom Come: Deliverance felt that the forests were almost real, now they should be able to almost mistake a walk in them for a video of actual trip. It’s not just the graphics, although you’ll definitely notice it first. It’s about life, people you meet, animals. Our goal is not to show you the Middle Ages, but to take you there - and we are certainly one step further in achieving it.

How did the main character Henry change? In KCD, he’s a bit of a nincompoop who turns into a competent fighter. What is he like in the sequel and how far will he go?

The second part directly follows on from the first, literally. At the end of KCD1, Henry mounts his horse and dismounts again at the beginning of number two, so exactly as you say, he is a competent fighter. We still want him to have room to grow, we keep saying he’s not a God of War or the Chosen One, actually he’s still a village boy, he just went through some difficult events. We tried to keep this “earthiness” in there as much as possible, but of course the new adventure is even bigger and wilder. But where exactly it goes is up to you.

What about the changes in gameplay mechanics?

Basically, every game system has some kind of improvement, unless it’s a completely new system. For example, something didn’t work out perfectly the first time, something was missed. We have greatly improved the dialogue system, both between the player and NPCs, and between NPCs themselves, to make the world even more colorful. We have significantly overhauled the controls. And of course there’s the blacksmithing as a brand new feature.

You also mentioned that the combat system will change slightly…

We’ve been watching a lot of footage how people play our game, so maybe the changes in the combat system stem from that. I think the combat was good at its core, but ultimately a little less accessible than we imagined. By not fully getting into it, players could not fully appreciate it. In other words, we tried to make it easier for a basic understanding now, without taking away its depth. But KCD2 is still a direct sequel, so from the outside it’s actually a similar game, but in everything you do here, there are improvements.

Daniel Vávra mentioned in the reveal of the game that KCD2 will realize the vision you wanted to have for the first game already. What does that mean, for example?

It’s about all the little things I was talking about, the expansion of things that couldn’t be done before. To give specific example, now each weapon in the combat system has its own animations, so the mace is really heavy and a bit clunky to swing, while the sword is nimble and agile. Or a much better system of random events that happen around you on your travels. It’s just that when you make such a big game in a relatively small team, there are bound to be a lot of compromises and cuts. Now we could let our imaginations run wild a little more and push things a little further.

Kingdom Come 2 is supposed to be twice as large in its scale, Warhorse team size, probably budget as well, just bigger in every way. In which aspect has the game grown most significantly?

The most important thing is definitely the area. It actually affects everything: suddenly you have a bigger map, more settlements, it needs to be populated by more people and those people must have broader scope of actions. They also have to offer you as a player more, it wouldn’t be very nice if there were ten villages in the region, but in only two you got a quest or experienced a story. But we tried not to overwhelm the players. We ourselves don’t really like games where a huge world opens up in front of you, with eighty question marks on it, and you drive from one to the other and check off what you’ve already done like with a shopping list. We want to navigate the player through the world naturally: something is happening here, a person over there can solve it, go there and talk to him - and you go and you might encounter something else on the way, so the previous task will wait and so on. I think that’s the main reason why the world is bigger. So that you can experience more events and stories naturally like this.

The first game already bet on the authentic Middle Ages, the second one will be no different. But has anything changed since? Have there been any new historical findings and adjustments compared to first game?

Kingdom Come, and this applies to both parts, is a historical game, but it is important to understand that history is mainly the backdrop here. We just wanted to take you to the Middle Ages, so there you go. But the goal is not to make you learn history of the Middle Ages, the goal is to let you experience an adventure in them. The game is as historically authentic as it can be within a narrative we are telling. And in this case, I think the first part was already where we wanted it, and the second part is the same. So no, sorry, no spiciness.

How did the success of KCD1 facilitate the development of the sequel? Well, apart from the aforementioned fact that you made money and could hire more developers. Has it opened new doors for you, made any part of your job easier?

The most important thing is that the success of the KCD1 has untied our hands. We knew what we wanted to do, but the publishers weren’t sure because they hadn’t seen anything like this before, so we had a hard time raising money for the game. And of course it is not easy to work in such a situation, because while you know that you are making a good game, you still have to wonder if others may be right and what if only a few weirdos like yourself will really like such a game. But that didn’t happen, we have behind us a successful work that has sold six million copies, and that primarily means that our recipe works and there is interest in this kind of game.

The first part took place in smaller villages, in the countryside or perhaps in a monastery. You are now moving to a major city. What obstacles does this transformation bring?

Population density is certainly the biggest issue, especially because of how we approach the artificial intelligence of our virtual world’s inhabitants and how much we want the people around you to feel real. This is very demanding both on creation and then on the performance of your computer or console. We have to realize that we are using an engine that beautifully depicts nature, but the original creators designed it for quite intimate shooters, where you will encounter a few enemies and a deer if you are lucky. So designing those systems to work for hundreds and thousands of people in a big city was extremely challenging.

In any case, we will still meet those deer. Kingdom Come 2 is divided into the Kutná Hora map and the Trosecko map with the nature of the Bohemian Paradise.

Yes, that’s a good thing to say. The game doesn’t just take place in Kutná Hora, that is just one of the places you’ll visit during the story. There is still a lot of nature, small settlements, solitudes, villages, castles, mills and dark corners. And next to that is a big city that lives its life during day and night, which in turn brings some possibilities and interesting situations.

Was creating Kutná Hora the most difficult part of the development process?

Definitely. It’s a shame that there wasn’t some epidemic that closed the city and you could only look at it from the outside!

Speaking of difficulty, what took you a disproportionate amount of time compared to how little the player will perceive it in the game?

This is such a complicated question, because perfection is made up of little things. If we feel that people won’t perceive something in the game, we don’t do it. But we think that even if you don’t actually notice a system, you would notice a lot its absence. For example, we worked even more on combat physics: swords slide better on the enemy’s armor, and when you cut through it, the sword just slides under it and rides, for example, on the ribs.

So it’s not something you’re going to look at and say, “Wow, it cut through two ribs and bounced off the third!” Ideally, you won’t feel it, but you’ll feel good about the fight. The cut animation will feel “right” to you, even if you can’t name it. These small details, one could even say tidbits, are extremely important in how they make the whole believable. And they’re basically in every system, every minigame, every game mechanic. Invisible, but it wouldn’t work without them.

You have been creating the title for six years, has your vision undergone any significant changes during that time?

Actually no. We wanted to continue the story, so here it is.

And during those years, did you have any design idea that might have divided the team and there was no agreement on it for a long time?

When developing any more complex work, you have some overall vision and then a thousand of other small visions, little things, interesting things. The contradictions are the best thing about a joint creative work, so we definitely discussed a lot about many things, argued here and there, looked for a compromise here and there. That’s a necessary part of a game this big, and I think it’s the best thing for it, because if you don’t doubt, it’s easy to fall into self-delusion. Of course, I won’t bring out any particular drama, but I really think that it’s an important part of the development and it’s good when there are disagreements. The result is even better.

Is there anything that doesn’t make it into Kingdom Come 2 even though you really want to?

A real creative work is never finished and something could always be added, something improved, something done again differently. Being able to tell yourself “enough” is important in the life of the game, because then you would never finish developing the game either. So yes, sure, but not really.

On the other hand, what makes you the most happy that you managed to integrate into the game?

For myself, I am very satisfied with the animations. This is something that, especially with a photorealistic game, will never be perfect, because you’re looking at people all your life, and any inaccuracy that’s inevitable with a digital work will smack you in the eye. That’s why so many developers cheat and make zombies or robots instead. I think we’ve come a long way here, the animations in combat, in the world, in cutscenes are a bit further developed. And in particular, the characters shine through more and the armor is even brighter or more shabby, the coats more real, the faces more real. Sure, I could talk about specific elements, for example I really enjoy firearms, but I’m most excited about the inhabited world and the people in it.

With domestic players, Kingdom Come scored thanks to a large degree of locality. The forests looked Czech, it is Czech history, Czech names… The result was the support of tourism in Rataje, exhibitions inspired by the game and similar matters. Is that something you notice in Warhorse?

Certainly. Actually, at the very beginning, we were considering whether to make the story from here, or to play it safe and place the game somewhere in England, where everyone knows it or at least has seen it on TV. But then on the one hand we thought it would be good to show something from Czech history, and on the other hand it’s also really practical, we can go to those places, have fun with the locals, call chroniclers and historians, walk around, soak up the atmosphere. Last but not least - who are we to invade a foreign culture and write a story about some English people? Here, we know it, here we (somewhat) understand it, who else should show the beauty of the Czech landscape and Czech history than us?

Nice interview, thanks for posting/translating it! Makes me very interested in the game, though I was already interested anyhow.