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RESORT Brings X-Files to Firewatch, and its Developer Cannot Wait

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RESORT game art

Backwoods Entertainment, creator of Unforeseen Incidents, has been working on the new short mystery game RESORT. Co-founder and game designer Marcus Bäumer took the time to talk to OnlySP and discuss the development of the upcoming game.


OnlySP: To start off, what is RESORT?

Marcus Bäumer: RESORT is an interactive short story mystery. A comet threatens to hit the woods around the small town of Laburnum Creek. Some of its inhabitants refuse to leave. Famous writer Laura Tanner visits the former health resort to interview them when suddenly, she faces even more mysterious ongoings.

OnlySP: In the synopsis on your blog post you say that “[players] will join famous writer Laura Tanner on a surreal journey and face an odd intersection of dreams and reality.” Will RESORT be dipping into the supernatural genre?

Bäumer: Yes. RESORT is heavily inspired by shows like Twin Peaks, X-Files and games like Firewatch or Virginia. On her journey, Laura Tanner will face some mysterious and inexplainable ongoings. It will feel mysterious, weird, odd. We’re still very early in development and trying things out, so I cannot tell too much of how the story will evolve, but if you like the mysterious and supernatural, you’ll be in for a treat.

RESORT game screenshot

OnlySP: Where did you get the inspiration for RESORT from? Were you sitting on a concept for a long time or did it suddenly hit you?

Bäumer: RESORT takes on a more artistic approach than Unforeseen Incidents did. It is an artistic, experimental, narrative short game. When finalising Unforeseen, we sat down and talked about concepts for future games. We’ve had a list of ideas and liked the one for RESORT the most, perhaps because it was something different and new, something a little more bold than the concept for the point & click we developed before. I hope that people will enjoy it as much as we do.

OnlySP: What did you learn from the creation of Unforeseen Incidents and how are you taking that into account when constructing the world of RESORT?

Bäumer: Unforeseen Incidents was our first game. Of course, you [learn a lot] during the production and release of your first game. We built [our] own framework, a completely new technical basis for the creation of RESORT. We switched to 3D, which is mainly an aesthetic decision, but also allows us to re-use assets and create the world faster. Writing takes a different approach, we want to re-think what adventure games are. RESORT focuses more on the story than on puzzles. We’ve [learned some new things] concerning marketing and PR and all of this will hopefully help us to make RESORT a good game.

RESORT game screenshot2

OnlySP: How linear will RESORT be and will exploration be an important component to the storytelling?

Bäumer: RESORT will be a very non-linear game with a branching story that allows player to experience different sub-plots with different outcomes. Exploration is a big part of the gameplay. You can chose how you spend our time during your stay in Laburnum Creek. Depending on your choices and on what you find in the woods the story takes different turns.

OnlySP: In your blog post you mention that RESORT won’t have a strong focus on puzzles, but will they still be in the game?

Bäumer: We won’t have classic point & click style puzzle threads this time. There will be interactive elements and these can also be little puzzles. We still a have a lot of freedom concerning the game design. We’ll try a few things out and see what works best for telling the story we want to tell.

RESORT game screenshot3

OnlySP: Will RESORT retain the humour seen in Unforeseen Incidents or will it take on a more serious approach?

Bäumer: The story of RESORT is a more serious one. We’re taking a short break from comedy writing for this game. The game will feature a quirky cast of characters and players will experience some weird moments. The best I can compare it to is probably Twin Peaks and its approach to humour.

OnlySP: Does the key art for RESORT represent the final art style to appear in the game?

Bäumer: We’re working on a stylized 3D low poly look for RESORT. We’re frequently posting work in progress on Twitter.

OnlySP: How is development going? Is there an estimated time of completion?

Bäumer: We just finished our first playable prototype. The next step is to refactor the technical basis we created, optimize the prototype and get everything to run nice and smooth on different machines. At the same time, we re-write the prototypical story and add sub-plots step by step. We will show a playable demo of RESORT this year at Gamescom for the first time. We don’t have something like a definite period for the release yet, but it won’t be before 2020.

RESORT game screenshot4


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Interview

Warhorse Studios Talks Gameplay, Story Details for ‘A Woman’s Lot’ And Looks to the Future – Exclusive Interview

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Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Warhorse Studios has been kind enough to answer some burning questions ahead of the upcoming, final DLC for Kingdom Come: Deliverance, ‘A Woman’s Lot’.

With the title entering its second year after release, the response by fans has been mostly positive, as the gritty and punishingly realistic medieval game takes role playing adventure to a new level. Since its release, Kingdom Come: Deliverance has had a multitude of post-launch content added including three story expansions and other, more minor, content add-ons.

The fourth and final expansion, ‘A Woman’s Lot’, which is out next week, is perhaps the most ambitious and creative DLC for the game. In order to learn more about this new adventure, OnlySP got in touch with Warhorse PR manager Tobias Stolz-Zwilling:

OnlySP: Kingdom Come: Deliverance ‘A Woman’s Lot’ marks the fourth and final expansion for the game. However, will there be any further, possibly smaller post-launch content similar to the ‘Treasures of the Past’ maps or the additional voice packs?

Stolz-Zwilling: With “A Woman’s Lot” we are getting close to the end of our DLC roadmap (below). The last mosaic will be the modding tools, however how exactly these will look like is still something we are discussing internally.

OnlySP: Opposed to the other expansions, ‘A Woman’s Lot’ features a new perspective, from the eyes of Theresa. Given that KC:D is a character-driven RPG, it seems to invite new possibilities and limitations, so how will this shift in character affect gameplay in terms of interactions and mechanics?

Stolz-Zwilling: That is correct. The player will be able to relive the moments before/while and after the attack on Skalitz from the perspective of Theresa. Same as Henry in the beginning, she is not skilled in swordfighting. Theresa is more of a stealthy archer when it comes to combat. Then there is Tinker, her loyal dog and a new feature for Kingdom Come: Deliverance, who will of course do everything to protect Teresa.

OnlySP: While we’re talking about Theresa, has adapting the core mechanics to fit her character created any unexpected challenges?

Stolz-Zwilling: Yes, because all animations and models were created for Henry. As Theresa has another set of “bones” (in terms of animations), we had to reshoot most of the motion capture movements and animations to make them fit for Theresa.

OnlySP: The previous three expansions built on Henry’s relationships, skills, and growth within the community of the world of KC:D. Since ‘A Woman’s Lot’ is set during the opening moments of the base game, will players be able to interact with Henry and will there be repercussions from the main game?

Stolz-Zwilling: That is a very good question—and yes! You are very right. Not only will the player meet Henry and his family, but there will also be more interaction with already known characters from Skalitz. But there is even more. In “A Woman’s Lot” there is also a big new questline for Henry as he meets his old friend Johanka in the Sassau Monastery. Johanka has strange visions and the player has to find out what they mean.

OnlySP: Speaking of, exactly how much of the original story will be revisited as part of Theresa’s story arc? And how long might the average player take to play through all of the new content introduced as part of ‘A Woman’s Lot’?

Stolz-Zwilling: It’s less revisiting rather than offering an alternative “timeline”. We all know that Henry fled to Talmberg after the attacks, but how did Theresa manage to survive, and how did she finally save Henry from the Bandits. But in terms of revisiting… the player will interact with Skalitz and its people, before it was attacked. The DLC has three elements, a questline playing as Theresa, a questline playing as Henry, and a new dog companion for the entire game. As this DLC is the biggest, the player can expect something between 10-15 hours of gameplay, however, this heavily depends on the playing style.

OnlySP: ‘A Woman’s Lot’ also introduces a companion mechanic with Theresa’s dog, Tinker. With Tinker able to sniff out enemies, treasure, and other points of interest, will these mechanics be upgradable throughout the DLC.

Stolz-Zwilling: Yes, Henry will get a new RPG skill called “Houndmaster” which determines the “tricks” his dog will be able to perform. However, if you don’t treat your dog well, he can scatter and run away.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

OnlySP: Also, how does Tinker react in terms of combat and travelling? For example, will Tinker be able to keep up once on horseback?

Stolz-Zwilling: The dogs will protect their owner, so whenever you get attacked, they will try to defend you. But you can also proactively send them to attack people. However, the dog counts as your extended arm. So, if you send him to attack innocent people, you will trigger the crime system as if you would attack the person by yourself.

OnlySP: If Tinker should be critically injured or run away from neglect, is the player able to get a new dog?

Stolz-Zwilling: No, the dogs return after a while and join Henry/Theresa again.

OnlySP: While Silver Skalitz will play a large role in this expansion, will the player be able to explore the open world as Theresa or be able to interact with any returning characters previously only encountered as Henry?

Stolz-Zwilling: The player will not be able to roam the world, as Theresa gets her own map within the Kingdom Come: Deliverance map. Once the “timelines” meet again, the player will continue playing as Henry.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

OnlySP: During PAX East 2019, it was said that some of the DLC will be playable as Henry and that he will receive his own dog. Will players be able to name their own dog, and will this be filtered into the main game or will this be solely part of the expansion?

Stolz-Zwilling: No, Henrys dog “Mutt” can’t be renamed, but it’s true that he will follow through the base game (after he gets the dog from Teresa), however the dog is a DLC feature.

OnlySP: It was also recently announced that Kingdom Come: Deliverance Royal Edition as well as ‘A Woman’s Lot’ will be delayed on consoles by several weeks. If you don’t mind us asking, what were the main reasons for this brief delay?

Stolz-Zwilling: Is “production issues” a good enough answer?! 😊

OnlySP: Finally, Kingdom Come: Deliverance has become a huge success with a lot of love still being poured in through quality control and content. Is there anything that the team at Warhorse Studios is excited for in the future or would like to tell fans?

Stolz-Zwilling: To come to an end, actually. Warhorse Studios and the idea of KCD lives since 2011, maybe even a little earlier. To see everything come together, to see the people love and support the game… to see the success of this project makes us really proud. Let’s see what the future brings.


‘A Woman’s Lot’ will be available from May 28 on PC. Meanwhile, console players will have to wait a little longer—June 11, to be exact—to get their hands on the new content.

For more on Kingdom Come: Deliverance and the world of single-player gaming, be sure to bookmark OnlySP and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube. You can also join the discussion in our community Discord server.

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