Gear And Clothing: Kingdom Come – Deliverance

By Adam Smith on February 4th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance contains the opposite of ‘infinite dragons’, which is to say that it contains ‘no dragons’. Not one. Instead, the Kickstarter project from the super-group made up of Mafia and ARMA developers contains lots and lots of people, all fighting, living and exploring in a believable fashion. Nathan has shared his impressions of an early demo and the latest development video shows that Warhorse don’t need a world full of orcs and elves to give their characters variety. Customisation is the key, and clothing, body types, faces and hair will all be constructed and altered using what the developers claim is the greatest character customisation tool ever invented. It certainly looks impressive, as can be seen in the video below, and I admire any game that allows me to wash the blood out of my clothes.

The moment I started watching, all I wanted to see was a rotund, mud-stained knight, and I wasn’t disappointed. The layering of clothing across areas of the body isn’t just attractive and a way of adding variety, it also makes sense from a combat design perspective. Chain mail combines with padded cloth or leather to provide multiple types of protection and it’s good to see undergarments working in combination with overgarments rather than simply acting as the bottom rung on an upgrade ladder. While not entirely true to life – in which we begin naked, graduate to underpants during our student years and to three-piece suits once gainfully employed – the system allows for credible old-time fashions and armour.

Of course, this all made me think about the greatest current character customisation tool. I think it lives on the Row, with the Saints, but I’d be willing to acknowledge other contenders. Kingdom Come has sixteen days of Kickstarting left and has currently raised £600,000, more than double its initial target.

Next up – mounts. But will I be able to pop a hat on my horse?

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93 Comments »

  1. Askeladd says:

    When I get this game I’ll be on a quest to get every hat and I’ll not wash myself until I am done.. erm in the game I mean!

  2. portchd says:

    If I can have a horse with a Fedora, I will pay for that…

    • RedViv says:

      “Support the developers by buying the Really I’m A Nice Colt! package. Show those silly people who claim that those women and those other-coloured people have nothing to want in a true medieval and totally historically accurate game, no matter what those ‘scientists’ and ‘historians’ say! Sheesh that is going to be so much work with our stretch goal, really now!”

      • WrenBoy says:

        … those other-coloured people have nothing to want in a true medieval and totally historically accurate game, no matter what those ‘scientists’ and ‘historians’ say!

        I would have assumed that medieval Bohemia was quite monoethnic actually. Do the scientists and historians disagree?

        • asclark says:

          Well not monoethnic – Czechs, Germans, Askenazi Jews in Prague – but in separate areas more or less so it’d depend on precisely which bit the game’s set in as to which should be the local majority and to the relative numbers of other characters. Other than the above, Poles or Hungarians should seem fairly exotic, let alone anyone from further afield.

          • WrenBoy says:

            That makes sense.

            FYI, its set in the small area around the towns, Sazava and Rataje nad Sazavou
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_Come:_Deliverance#Setting

            Sazava seems to be the larger town. Today it has a population of under 4K people. Im going to go out on a limb and say that even if the variation of skin colour in the game is relatively subtle that it wont be contradicted by either history or science.

          • asclark says:

            Since on further reading the game appears to be set in a rural Czech setting far from the borders with other cultures, it would not be unreasonable to expect it to feature an overwhelming preponderance of ethnically Czech/Bohemian characters.

            ‘Historians’ and ‘scientists’ are not hiveminds by the way and do not all need to agree with each other so it is useless to state that they assert something. Which historians? Which scientists?

            Edit: WrenBoy got there first.

          • cpt_freakout says:

            Still, since it’s the 15th century it could be possible to have other races because of travelers and merchants. Since the setting is apparently small-town then yeah, the local population wouldn’t have been very diverse, but it would be interesting to play as the lost kid of an Arab merchant and have that impact dialogue and whatnot.

          • WrenBoy says:

            To be clear, Ive nothing against an unlikely but plausible scenario. All Im saying is that I would be surprised if what RedViv was saying was true. Or did I just miss sarcasm on her part?

            In any case I think more games should be based on history and geography which is as accurate as the game allows though. Its surely a much cheaper way of creating an authentic looking environment. No reason for all the settings to be European of course.

          • asclark says:

            cpt_freakout:

            Trade wasn’t long distance though but rather consisted of a number of shorter hops. Trade with the Arab world was conducted over the Mediterranean between the Middle East and the city states of Italy, at which point it would be picked up by others for the goods to be transported further into Europe. As you’ll see from the map, goods from the port of Venice went overland to Vienna and then Prague.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Late_Medieval_Trade_Routes.jpg

            Think of it from the perspective of an Arab merchant: why travel all the way inland rather than make a profit at the port and then go home?

            If it was set in 15th century Venice, I could see why you’d want the ability to be the Arab merchant’s son – and I would welcome it. Ideally, if this game is a success, it will spawn a host of other gritty realistic medieval rpgs – some could be set in cosmopolitan areas such as the Mediterranean; others could go for more monocultural areas such as Japan or Great Zimbabwe – and I should be surprised and disappointed to play as a white person in either of those without an extremely good justification.

          • cpt_freakout says:

            @asclark

            Thanks for such an informative response. I was going on what little I know about such things, so thanks for that.

          • Soidanae says:

            There’s actually an interesting discussion of this on a tumblr which posts images of people of color in 15th-16th century art.
            The discussion they have with the devs is here: http://medievalpoc.tumblr.com/post/75252294049/hi-ive-been-looking-at-a-kickstarter-for-a

            One of the first images is of the Queen of Sheba, a black woman, painted when and where this game is set.

            The devs response was disheartening.

            The author goes into detail on their research here:
            http://medievalpoc.tumblr.com/post/75588092035/medievalpoc-in-the-face-of-harassment-states-the

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Soidanae
            That reads like a Tumblr parody. My jaw literally dropped when I realised that the author doesnt appear to know the difference between paintings of black people and actual black people. Outstanding find.

          • USER47 says:

            That “research” is a joke. That Queen of Sheba might have been painted by bohemian artist, but it’s a depiction of a woman who never been here and whom he never saw. According to wikipedia, the kingdom of Sheba was located somehere around Etiopia or Yemen several thousands years earlier for christ’s sake.

            Again, this game takes place in bohemian countryside in 15th century, it’s just ridiculous someone is seriously pushing this nonsense about lack of black characters.

          • Volcanu says:

            @ Soidana

            I think the author of that tumblr misses the point by giving examples of bohemian art depicting figures of African or Middle Eastern origin. As with most medieval european art the focus is on religious or biblical images and stories -which these are. “The queen of sheba” depicts the bibilical queen of sheba- variously posited as a queen a kingdom in ethiopia, yemen or south arabia. The artist categorically IS NOT depicting a local black or arabian woman – despite having shown her in contemporary european costume (this is something that occurs frequently with medieval artists when it comes to depicting the costumes, arms and armour of other peoples, even in other time periods).

            The same applies to the image of Saint Maurice shown here and so on. Using these as evidence that 15th century bohemia was some melting pot of skin colours and races is just silly.

            I have to say this does smack of someone trying to stir up controversy where there is none.

          • Ich Will says:

            I think that those who genuinely believe that there were no people of colour in Europe are the same people who genuinely believe that prehistoric people communicated with grunts and the Dark ages were a time of misery and squalor.

            Not that I expect or particularly desire to see us represented in a game set in that period, but can we draw a line separating what is depicted in games, books and movies etc and what would have been there in reality?

          • basilisk says:

            This is really quite absurd.

            There may have been a black person in the Czech lands in that time, I’ll give them that. Not terribly likely, but let’s be nice and not rule it out completely. But even if there was such a person, he or she was almost certainly found in Prague, and lived a pretty awful existence, because they were shamelessly ogled by everyone, everywhere, all the time. Basically seen as a freak by the population. (Which, incidentally, is exactly how the first black people were viewed in this geographic area when they started to appear there in the late 19th century.) Not at all plausible as a blacksmith-turned-knight (which is quite absurd in itself) or whatever.

            Warhorse is quite right in saying that running into a black person in the Bohemian countryside in the early 1400s is pretty much equivalent to finding Giger’s alien there.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Ich Will
            What people are actually saying that its really rare to find a black person in the rural Bohemia* in which the game is set rather than saying that not a single person of colour ever existed in medieval Europe. It would be very unusual to see a black person in the village this game is set in and not in the slightest bit unusual not to see one.

            You seem to think that there is a reason other than period detail behind this so I have to ask, do you disagree with what Ive just said?

            * I would be unsurprised to learn that no black people lived in rural Bohemia at this time but anything is possible.

          • Ich Will says:

            I disagree with absolutely nothing you’ve said – I disagree with the curious notion that some people are displaying that the people who lived in the 15 century were idiots who never travelled or saw strange things. I estimate that a person of colour would be about as rare as a full suit of metal plate armour – maybe 200-300 across the whole kingdom of Bohemia and also just as notable as a suit of metal armour – everyone remembers seeing one, everyone talks about it and if that rural village was on a main road, those people would have seen coloured people passing maybe once or twice a year.

            It’s worth noting that I trace my lineage to a Bavarian Duke who was black and lived from 1501 to 1538

          • asclark says:

            There’s Heinrich IX the Black but that might just mean in medieval speak that he had dark hair – a bit like when people used to refer to the Black Irish – just means not the redheaded Irish.

          • asclark says:

            You’ve edited it now to include dates – can’t find a match however:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rulers_of_Bavaria

          • Volcanu says:

            @ Ich Will

            I dont think anyone (at least here) is claiming that people in the 15th century were idiots are they? However, for the vast majority of people, travel to distant lands was not something they would experience. For a start most of the population was engaged in subsistence farming, which generally makes travelling for long periods of time impossible. Not to mention the risks and costs of travel by sea. Yes, a few merchants, diplomats, mercenaries etc would have travelled far and seen wondorous things – but that doesnt make it likely that black people were popping up in rural bohemia on a regular basis. Which is more or less what this game is being criticised for.

          • asclark says:

            By the way to show I’m not just being a dick, here’s a genuine mixed race member of the nobility though from the far more cosmopolitan Italy a century later:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alessandro_de%27_Medici,_Duke_of_Florence

          • Ich Will says:

            @Asclark, that’s because you’re trying to do difficult and time consuming research using wikipedia.

          • basilisk says:

            200–300? Prague had a population of some 40,000 people back then. And the city doesn’t have a 0.5% population of black people today, let alone in 1420. That’s an incredibly extravagant claim.

            (Also, I can’t find a Bavarian duke who would fit the bill. Care to expand on that?)

          • USER47 says:

            None of the Bavarian dukes lived exactly in this period and none of them was black either…these two guys shared the status in the first part of 16th century.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_IV,_Duke_of_Bavaria
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_X,_Duke_of_Bavaria

            So it’s pretty much the same nonsense as saying there were about as many black people in bohemia as sets of plate armor:).

          • asclark says:

            @Ichwill:

            I’m not doing the research using wikipedia, I’m using wikipedia to demonstrate what I already know.

            I really don’t think it’s either difficult or time-consuming to identify the dukes of a major state such as Bavaria – and I hardly think Wikipedia will have got this wrong. It’s not a matter of opinion as to who ruled when in medieval upper Germany after all.

            Please do enlighten me if you do have a more esoteric source which will prove me wrong.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Ich Will
            Im glad we have a baseline agreement.

            I admit that I know relatively little about medieval Bohemia but I bet you £1 that armoured knights were orders of magnitude more common than black people.

            Its telling that you are under the impression that a lack of travel and exposure to new cultures means that the people were stupid. They werent stupid, they just very rarely had the opportunity. You dont seem to know what it is to live in a truly monoethnic society nor what the restrictions to travel were in terms of freedom, means and time in medieval Europe.

            Ignoring medieval Europe, even in my lifetime Ive seen huge changes in both. I can clearly remember the first time I saw a black person in the flesh (I was a teenager). Even more clearly I remember my grandmothers reaction. For days she regaled visitors with the story, dividing everything in her house into things which were as black as the guy and things which a non expert may assume were black but which were not as black as this guy. My mother was considered extremely exotic, not because of her skin colour but because she preferred spaghetti which came from a packet as opposed to spaghetti which came from a tin. Movement of people was so rare that I could identify which village (or even townland sometimes) someone lived in purely from their accent. In some villages people were so related that surnames were insufficient to identify someone and so certain surnames were always prefixed by a family nickname. Even as an adult Ive heard people non ironically refer to Spaniards as black. Trust me, the idea that we can go back 600 years or so and change from almost monoethnic to completely monoethnic does not take a lot of imagination for me.

          • Ich Will says:

            I’m not going to my dads office in the loire valley to produce scans of historical documents that prove you wrong. You’re a random on the internet. Do your own research, creepy as it is, into my family.

            I grew up with my families legacy every day of my life I saw, touched and generally ignored the portrait of a gentleman of colour, a painting that has been in my family for many generations and has been independently verified as genuine. No, I’m not going to France to get a photo of that painting either nor can I lay my hands on the independant verification.

            Your biggest problem is that you don’t understand how titles like “Duke” are used rigidly now, only for members of the royal family, however in 16th century Bavaria, “Duke” was granted to military men.

            @Wrenboy – the “idiots” bit was a reaction to “because they were shamelessly ogled by everyone, everywhere, all the time” and please don’t forget that just because you have seen vast changes in the treatment of people in your lifetime, that does not mean that the change you have seen has been consistent in it’s direct throughout history. There is evidence to suggest that we as a species have never been as xenophobic and racist as we are now, but we have switched targets over the last couple of decades to Romany, eastern European and Islamic populations. It’s basically just fashion and it ebbs and flows as with any other fashion.

          • Lanfranc says:

            The presence of black people in Tudor England is very well documented, and if they were in England, they may well have been in western Germany as well, especially Cologne and other cities along the Rhine that had close commercial ties to England. Bohemia seems a bit out of the way, though.

            Also, I too am very interested in learning more about this black Duke of Bavaria in th 16th century.

          • basilisk says:

            I can assure you that this ogling was a perfectly common reaction to black people in former Czechoslovakia even three decades ago.

            It doesn’t mean they were idiots; I’m sure at least the educated elite knew black people existed. But they never saw one. You bet they’d stare. They’d stare until their eyeballs popped out of their sockets.

            They also knew lions existed, by the way; do you think they wouldn’t stare if they actually saw one in the flesh?

            (I also like the off-hand suggestion that the society back then was not xenophobic and generally more tolerant. You know, that must be why they kept brutally murdering each other on the basis of a theological dispute in this one war the entire game is about.)

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Ich Will
            Dude, that first time I saw a black person, I tried not to but I fucking stared. The part of my brain that instinctively knows things assured me that this person was Whoopi Goldberg. The logical part of my brain had a real struggle to convince myself that it was not Whoopi Goldberg but that I was just unused to seeing black people. Everyone else on the street was staring too. It wasnt meant maliciously but it must have been unnerving for her.

            Youll have to trust me when I say that we werent all stupid. Its just how it is in an extremely monocultural society. My friend went to a wedding in semi rural China and experienced the same thing but in reverse. My sister experienced something similar in rural Italy because of her hair colour. I assume its universal.

            Edit: By the way, I dont consider anything Ive described to be examples of racism. Im just trying to explain what a culture shock it is to see someone of a different race for the first time even in the age of television.

          • Dux Ducis Hodiernus says:

            @Ich Will Lol you’re not decended from a black bohemian duke dude.

            Anyways pretending that you aren’t completely confused and wrong, I don’t see why you can’t just ask your father to scan them FOR you.

            Oh wait I know why, because there’s no real proof. And you don’t want to admit that you’re wrong. You’re not a decendant from a black bohemian duke. You might be special in your own way, but when it concerns royality, you probably aren’t a part of it. At least not bohemian royal black society, whatever absurdity that is supposed to be.

            Anyways it sounds like tumbler social injustice squad is more for you, rather than RPS. This isn’t really the right crowd to preach(at least not absurd stories) of social injustice. Maybe if it has just a little grain of reality in it, sure. But your work of black-social-injustice-medivial-bohemian-duke-royality-painting-offrecord-butihasproofbutIcannotshowitbecauseIdontcareabout
            provingmyselftointernetstrangersthereforemywordisfact
            andunquestionable, fiction probably won’t.

          • asclark says:

            Actually the word Duke has evolved back and forth, from the Latin dux which does mean military man it then became a specific title for royal relatives and then more of a general noble one.

            The thing is is that without evidence your duke doesn’t appear probable – I would be delighted to be proved wrong but currently you’re reminding me of the guy I knew at uni from Singapore who claimed that if the Chinese Empire were ever restored, he’d be 78th in line to the throne. He was a fantasist, needless to say.

          • Ich Will says:

            To all the people interested in my family, I will ask my mother next time she calls, what his name is – that should get you started – I still find it really creepy, especially as your interest stems from his skin colour. Check back here later in the week, I will have the name for you and if your lucky and my mum can figure out a camera, a photograph. It really is the best I can be arsed to do. Specifically to asclark – I couldn’t care less what I remind you of.

            EDIT: Just saw Dux Ducis Hodiernus’s wonderfully polite post, your Halflife lets play was awful, you should never let your voice be recorded again. Made me cringe.

            To all the people who stared at black people, it think it’s fair that subjectively, if you would have stared at me in any context due to my skin colour, I would have found you to be at best rather gormless and at worst a complete idiot. I am 43 and grew up in rural France, moving later to rural Cornwall.

            Can I just reiterate, I am not in any way shape of form criticising this game

          • asclark says:

            You brought it up as evidence in a debate. It isn’t creepy to then ask further about it.

          • Ich Will says:

            Anecdotal evidence, I pointed out that I have some insight that you don’t have. Tell you what, let me research into your family in return – at the point that you realise you are going to have to disclose information to a random stranger that can be used to personally identify you, you’ll understand that it is exactly as creepy as I have said it is.

          • USER47 says:

            I am sure that when you disclose the name of that mysterious 500 years old random soldier ancestor, someone here will use that sensitive information to track you down and eat your heart.

          • asclark says:

            You will not be identifiable from a man living five hundred years ago. You will not be the only person descended from him: that is a probability tending towards certainty.

            The difference between my family and yours is that I didn’t bring mine into this to try to make an emotive point which would trump the logical objections of others. The upper working classes of Kent and Essex (with some Irish from the 19th century) are all a bit prosaic and dull compared with the aristocracy of continental Europe however.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Ich Will
            To be clear, I was not talking about people of mixed race as even in my childhood that was a reasonably common sight. Since you are descended from Bavarian royalty I assume you are mixed race, right? Such people would have received, at least in my lifetime, much much less attention.

            Even still, in rural France I imagine you must have often been the subject of the locals curiosity when you went to a town or village where you werent known, right? For the record I live in France and my children are mixed race and that occasionally happens in rural areas even today. Given my own experience they have to do more that look for me to find them stupid.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Ich Will

            … at the point that you realise you are going to have to disclose information to a random stranger that can be used to personally identify you

            Not as much as you think actually, that guy must have a LOT of descendants.
            http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/GenealComp1.html

            Edit: beaten to the punch by asclark :(

          • Ich Will says:

            Asclarke, I guess you’ll have to trust, if nothing else that if I were to prove to you that such a person existed then my identity would in theory be compromised. I’m still willing to do it, but I have changed my mind. I will give you not only the photograph and the name but also the book my brother wrote on the family and scans of the original documents (when my father returns from perth in 3 weeks) but in person. I will come to your house and hand them to you. We can sit down like real people with a cup of tea and I will talk you through what I know (which is not as much as my brother, who is actually interested in this stuff – he lives in Perth though), sign the book if you so desire and leave you either entirely satisfied as to the truth of my story (or at least be blown away by the quality of my forgery skills). In return, you will come to my studio and for one whole day (In Cardiff) and be the skivvy (Make tea, hold the boom etc etc). If you want this, and don’t waste my time, email me at will dot jones at bluebottle dot com (No, my name is not Will Jones ;))

            @Wren – Not really no – I’m as black as, say Lewis Hamilton, which many people would describe as mixed I think – and I can’t say that I ever really was subjected to unusual behaviour. Maybe I was lucky, shrugs.

            Anyway, my delightful audience, dinner beckons. If you want to be my skivvy for the day, use the email address!

          • WrenBoy says:

            @asclark
            Please say yes.

            Edit:
            @Ich Will
            Im glad you werent made feel like an outsider as a child. In case you are curious though I happen to have been in your former neck of the woods several months ago. In Saumur a group of drunken skinheads were checking out my family and after some discussion one of them approaches and asks if my wife is the mother of the kids. I frown and tell him that she is. He then looks at me, looks at my wife, looks at my kids and asks if Im certain. I frown more and he says that he they must have come from a woman of much lighter skin. My frown was already at full strength so my expression remained unchanged and he staggered off. That, I considered rude.

          • asclark says:

            Look, I am unemployed at the moment so could do it but that would be taking a discussion on the internet far too far. I’m sorry if I was rude earlier in the manner in which I doubted you: I just tended to assume that if it’s a duke we’re talking about then he’d be famous and also probably not going to be able to identify you from if you’re not a duke also.

            I linked to Alessandro di Medici to try and show that I’m not at all arguing there were never black or mixed race dukes in Europe but that they were unusual – and that’s why another example would be interesting and could make me reconsider this period of history.

            I don’t at all want to stalk you and I doubt anyone else here does.

            WrenBoy: If I did, presumably I’d have to sign an NDA so wouldn’t be able to tell the rest of you anyway…

          • Ich Will says:

            Thats a shame – ( I really need a free teaboy) Wrenboy – come on, you want this…. No NDA, just trust and respect.

            Otherwise we’ll all have to just say that I’ve played too much Crusader Kings two and my deeply addled mind has mistaken it for reality!

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Ich Will
            I dont like to whine but Ive been bedbound for the last four months. When you lift, bend your knees, people. Its no joke.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            The People Vs Ich Will:

            Ich Will: I’m related to a person you’ve never heard of.

            The People: Booo Hiss. No way. The chances of that being true are so small, you would have to be the most special person alive for that to be true.

            Ich Will: I would prove it, but personal details + Internet = bad idea

            The people: What, don’t be daft, there must be literally thousands of people related to that person. We’re all probably related to that person. Ghengis Khan!

            People, make up your mind, which way do you pitch your argument?

          • darkChozo says:

            I don’t think people think that it’s unlikely that he’s related to a specific person so much as they think that that specific person either doesn’t exist or that he wasn’t actually a black 15th century Bohemian. Politeness aside, family history tends to not be the most reliable source of information.

            It’d be interesting if someone with access to proper research materials would actually dig into this a bit; I doubt that typical Internet research would dig up anything. Surely there’s some material out there on the ethnic makeup of 15th century Bohemia?

            Not to sidetrack, but I’d like to play a “realistic” game where you were an ethnically foreign character in a monoethnic environment like this. I don’t think it would work if it were just a player option, at least not without an unusually flexible game world, but in a game designed around the idea it could be cool.

          • Dux Ducis Hodiernus says:

            @Ich Will

            My half life lets play? On my youtube? lol. That’s from several years ago, so yeah. I haven’t attempted to make another one. I don’t see the relevancy to your black-nobility-bohemian-duke-ancestor though? Unless my lets play is somehow one of your sources for its existance, in which case I am quite bewildered. Otherwise it just seems like a quite cheap attempt at trying to offend me? Also I’m sorry my lets play isn’t up to standards to the glorious black bohemian nobility, but i’ll try to reskin more of the NPC’s textures to be black for you. Should Freeman also be black? Maybe you want me to make him a noble as well? Maybe I should add some bohemian castles and paintings of black people? Would that make you like me?

            Xoxoxo, Dux.

            edit2:

            Also, my let’s play was glorious. You just don’t know how to properly appricate the fine arts of a teenager in puberty. It’s the mona lisa of lets plays. You just lack taste.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @darkChozo
            Its not a terrible idea but I would much rather a game set in a historically accurate, non-European setting (West Africa in the same period as this game would be interesting for instance – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mali_Empire).

            The scenario you describe would be in danger of becoming a Social Justice Warrior parody and even from an SJW perspective I think the scenario I describe is more useful. In my opinion too many people, even many SJW types, have internalised the idea that history is something describing ancient Europeans (and Asians to a lesser extent) and that the history of Africa and the Americas began with European contact and colonisation.

          • JamesFaith says:

            @darkChozo

            About black people in Bohemia I can offer you supposedly first written mention about them in Czech historical literature. It came from journal of nobleman Václav Šašek z Bířkova called “Deník o jízdě a putování pana Lva z Rožmitálu a z Blatné z Čech až na konec světa v letech 1465-67″ – rough translation is “Journal about travels of Sir Lev from Rožmitál a Blatné from Bohemia to end of the world during years 1465 -67″.

            They were emisaries of Czech king who traveled through Europe (Germany, France, England, Spain, Portugal, Italy) with his offer of forming alliance of European kings. When they visited Portuguese king (BTW there are mentions about multicultural character of cities in Portugal), king gave them chance to chose gift for Czech king. Sir Lev asked for two black slaves. P. king was surprised and claimed that such gift is unworthy of king because of their low price (we are speaking about era when hundreds of thousands African slaves were coming through Portuguese and Spain). The P king asked “You haven’t many of them in Bohemia, right?” Sir Lev answered : “None and we rarely see them”.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @JamesFaith
            Nice find.

        • asclark says:

          The second link in which the research is laid out accurately points out the presence of black people in medieval and indeed Bohemian art but does not demonstrate actual physical presence. Indeed it begins by admitting that there is no evidence for this, quotes a scholarly text agreeing there is no evidence for this, and then waffles on about opening doors rather than closing after what appears to be an irrelevant discussion of German colonisation of Bohemia.

          Moreover the conquest of Sicily is brought up as some sort of evidence for how massively multi-racial and -cultural the Holy Roman Empire was because Sicily was apparently previously inhabited by “Black Muslems”. (mostly Arab surely unless the premise is that Tunisians are black? The JSTOR link given mentions a gate district of Palermo, not the entire city or region)

          To which I reply: yes, Hohenstaufen Sicily was a very cosmopolitan place two centuries before this game. Does that allow us to draw conclusions about Bohemia in the 15th century? No. It would be akin to a historian of the future studying England and concluding that Herefordshire is multicultural based on evidence from London.

          I cannot see why the developer’s comment deserves a facepalm: it is almost certainly true. It might not be diplomatically put but then people are left having to attack tone because they cannot win on substance.

          (Clicked wrong reply button: supposed to be a reply in the above discussion to Soidanae)

  3. tigershuffle says:

    This is looking good. Probably the best DressEmUP yet.
    Look forward to seeing the combat properly.

    cos i work for HM im not allowed any aural stimulus at work, so will have to wait to get home to know whats been said :-/
    Hope they implement the ratio of weight and vision to all the outfits and helms.

    So far it looks more Jerkin than jerkoff.
    +1

  4. VCepesh says:

    Among other contenders – customization from APB and EVE. In both cases, one can argue, quite wasted on their respective games.

    But, yeah, demonstration was alright.

    • TimorousBeastie says:

      Both of these have much better character customisation (dynamic rather than switching in presets), with Eve having the best at least from a usability perspective. The clothing layering stuff here is better than either’s, though APB has a symbol designer that you can then use to paint on your clothes/vehicles/use as tattoos/body-paint, which can lead to some amazing looking stuff (though not everyone is an artist, so a lot of awful stuff is around).

      The dirt/blood masks are nice, though it’s a pity it’s not dynamic.

  5. Wulfram says:

    I need to stop reading stuff about this game. I’m already getting hype aversion.

    • Thurgret says:

      After the sharp turn towards exceedingly heavy use of microtransactions that my most anticipated crowd-funded game took, I’m feeling much the same about this one here. I might just quietly ignore it until it actually exists, then go take a look.

      It looks sleek and shiny and they have some fantastic ideas, but I’m still waiting to see if the first batch of things I backed (Project Eternity, Torment, Wasteland 2, Maia, Sui Generis, Star Citizen. Also kind of wish I’d backed Elite, but, sure, it’ll be out soon to see. Also Limit Theory) turn out to be any good whatsoever. Unless these guys put up something really compelling to prove they won’t do something really naff.

      • Ex Lion Tamer says:

        @Thurgret: Similar position here. It would be nice to see a few successful examples of high-ambition KS projects released at this point. The pedigree and current state both look promising for this one – I think I’ve just hit a ceiling on the number of concurrent long-term gaming gambles I want. (Limit Theory is the exception. I’d back another project from Parnell immediately.)

  6. Reapy says:

    Ohh chain mail bomb…just plain mail for the history folks. Plate armor, not mail! Keep the history buffs happy ;)

  7. Banjo-Tuesday says:

    I get the feeling RPS really wants this game to succeed. I do too BTW. Looking forward to the pony update.

    • USER47 says:

      Hopefully RPS won’t join that ridiculous “omg Warhorse are rasist and mysoginist, because you can’t play as woman knight and there are no black people around” crowd.:-D

      It’s really quite annoying. Some guy even googled through medieval pictures, found some with black characters – unrelated to Bohemia whatsoever – and used it as a “proof” Warhorse are rasists and there should be black guys in the game set in bohemian countryside in 15th century.:-D

      • Wowbagger says:

        I think they are racist because there are no Chinese woman or cross dressing dwarfs.

      • Darth Grabass says:

        Well, he says right in the video that you can alter your character’s skin tone, so that pretty much invalidates an already invalid complaint.

        • USER47 says:

          No, he says they can do that when creating characters. The player can’t change skin color or face of the character, this was already confirmed in earlier update.

      • SillyWizard says:

        Uh oh, watch out for Ich Will.

      • gombicek says:

        Yeah and also people from Creative Assembly are racist too. They don’t have black samurais in Shogun 2.

      • Serenegoose says:

        So far I’ve seen more panicked pre-emptive bitching about how there might be black people and women in the game (as if it would be an affront to include them) than anything else. So uh, bit of an own-goal.

        I’m just disappointed that most people with injuries won’t be confined to permanent disability and/or death thanks to almost entirely absent medical treatment and antibiotics. You’re all with me, right, realism crowd?

        Or is it just realism so long as it means no black people and women. You’re so consistent like that.

        • USER47 says:

          There is quite a difference between mechanical simplification necessary for the game to be actually playable, and screwing up the setting by the elements that don’t make any sense and only serve to please several people who can’t accept there were no black guys in rural 15th century bohemian countryside.

          • Serenegoose says:

            Shakespeare wrote about a moorish commander of a venetian fleet.

            Othello didn’t exist. The concept of him’s ridiculous. Shakespeare himself was racist, misogynistic, and as generally 16th century as they come. And yet he still managed to put a black character in a position of power way back then. But apparently to your eyes, which of course absolutely saw the 16th century exist in a way Shakespeare never did, can definitely claim that there were absolutely no black people in europe. That 0% of any africans that ever arrived in italy, or with the ottoman (super white dudes) conquest of the balkans, ever found themselves just pushed by circumstance further north or west. In fact, the very idea of them so shatters your immersion that it would be an affront to you. But of course, the other things are just acceptable compromises for gameplay. Like how they’ll probably speak english, and use turns of phrase that you’ll understand. Funny how the things that suit you are that, and the things that don’t are bad and wrong. Not at all suspicious either.

          • gombicek says:

            Senegoose, do you realise the difference between 16th century England and 15th century Bohemia? Also by your logic I then demand to have black samurais in Shogun 2. Doesn’t matter that there were none in Japan at that time, but Shakespeare wrote about them beiing in England so they must be in Japan too.

          • USER47 says:

            For Christ’s sake, who are talking about whole Europe? Comparing the situation in the Italy or other centers of international trade with small towns in the middle of Bohemia isn’t even comparing apples and oranges, it’s like comparing apples and chickens.

          • Serenegoose says:

            You guys are really desperate. You realise that there were greek states set up on the borders of india after alexander the great, thousands of years in the past, but you think non-white people migrating the other way. millenia later, is impossible? Do you not understand just how much migration actually happened? Did you know that Carthage, in North Africa, was rebuilt by the vandals, from Germany? Do you really think that just because it’s bohemia, absolutely no black people were ever there? Do you realise how that flies in the face of world history, which was driven by migration?

          • basilisk says:

            Serenegoose, no one is saying there were no black people in Europe at that time. I’m sure there were. Just not in rural Central Europe, and that’s a fact. Claiming the opposite is just wishful thinking, nothing else. Go ahead, find me a single piece of written evidence supporting that. You won’t. And you can be damn sure that if there was a black person living in this place at this time, someone would have written about it.

            Also, the fact that Shakespeare’s work has no historical accuracy to speak of is spectacularly irrelevant. That never was one of his objectives. Here, however, a reasonable degree of historical accuracy is a main feature and a selling point of the whole thing. The comparison is meaningless.

            I am all for the inclusion of people of different races and genders in gaming stories. Absolutely. But not in contexts where it makes literally no sense.

          • Serenegoose says:

            No, no, you’re right. Because as I just said, that exact same journey never once happened in the opposite direction. Never once. Except when it did. There was never a tradition of vikings ending up in byzantine courts, or christians ending up as guards for wealthy sultans, because nobody ever moved, in the past.

            Or was it just white people that moved, and unambitious black people stayed where they were put.

          • basilisk says:

            You are inventing arguments on the fly.

            No one is disputing migration. No one is disputing that some parts of Europe were fairly multi-cultural. We are talking about a very specific place, not terribly advanced for its time, not a major trading centre. A state that has had, since its founding, virtually no contacts with other cultures except German. And more than that, we’re talking about a very small part of this small state. The probability of meeting a black person on these 9 square kilometres in 1420 is ridiculously, impossibly low. Full stop.

        • gombicek says:

          But the black people won’t make a slightest sense in the setting. And while the permanent injuries would be nice, it would make the game highly frustrating for some people to play and would harm the gameplay more then to add to it.

          • Serenegoose says:

            Don’t forget in the 13th century how the mongol horde bumped up against poland. Zero mongols ever just stayed behind due to injury or just deserting or plain being left behind. The concept is literally impossible!

          • kud13 says:

            Serenegoose , your examples are extremely poor analogies. all of them involve invading armies (even the Vikings-see “Varangians”). To answer your hypothetical about Mongols–the hypothetical Mongol would be found and killed by Polish peasants who would be fairly ticked off at all the looting and pillaging his fellow Mongols did. Not to mention that he was a filthy pagan, and as such would be quite reviled by the recently converted Polish peasants.

            The game is a historical simulation RPG of an area in rural Bohemia, involving a Jan-Everyman Bohemian blacksmith that gets a chance to do something more than simple blacksmithing with his life. I can absolutely guarantee you that if this jan-everyman happened to be of an African descent, as unlikely as it were, he would achieve exactly nothing, because every single Bohemian person he’d encounter would demand to know how such a wondrous character ended up in the North Bohemian countryside. And having to repeat the long and eventful story of how one of Jan Everyman’s anscestors ended up in rural Bohemia would not make for an interesting gameplay mechanic.

  8. Jason Moyer says:

    Haven’t pledged yet, and in all honesty I’ll probably wait to get it until Early Access, but man…so tempting.

  9. GeminiathXL says:

    I’lle be impressed when I get my hands on it in a non-early-access way. Untill then: Hm.

  10. applecup says:

    “We can make characters with any skintone or colour”, he says, before leaving the characters displayed pasty white for the whole video without showing a single darker variation. (Not to mention exactly one body variant, for the dude. Naturally.)

    Also the armour layering thing was done with, erm, Morrowind, so… colour me unimpressed on that note?

    • Flatley says:

      Yeah, you could totally wear pants under your greaves, and it had no effect on gameplay whatsoever. So no, not really.

    • Davie says:

      Yeah, but how many games have done it since then? The vast majority have simplified equipment by a large margin, so while it might not be technically impressive, it’s certainly a fun feature that it’s good to see being used again.

  11. cpt_freakout says:

    Gear and Clothing in las Medievas

  12. lordfrikk says:

    The greatest character customization tool is definitely in Saints Row, but not in the latest installment. The Saints Row 2 had the the best one with layering, custom tattoo positioning (IIRC) and other stuff.

  13. Ex Lion Tamer says:

    I’m still undecided about backing the game, but I’m certainly intrigued by the setting. I’ll give it a look once released.

    I do hope everyone defending the developers’ choices regarding race and gender (because of the specific historical setting) recalls this discussion next time we have a fantasy/science-fiction RPG that locks race and gender arbitrarily. I think Warhorse has a defensible position, but I have a hard time blaming people for being frustrated given the broader failings of the genre on this front.

    • kud13 says:

      I don’t see the issue, tbh.

      It’s all about internal consistency and logic of the setting. If the setting is a fantasy world, there’s no real argument to be made that a fantastical setting should not be diverse and cosmopolitan, unless you are specifically exploring themes of inequality and subjugation. There is plenty of great fantasy that does not go all medieval on gender relations, or makes one race dominate all others.

      If, otoh, the setting aims for “historical authenticity”, then it should attempt to be consistent, and diversity is an understandable sacrifice in the name of authenticity.

      For the record, I like diversity in games, and I often throw money at games that utilize a non-traditional setting just because they are doing something different. But if a game aims to be a 15-th century Bohemian countryside sim, I will not hold it against the game that I can’t play as an African or Asian protagonist.

      • ynaq says:

        We’re talking about the cosmetic choices someone else might make in their experience of a work of fiction, though. Letting somebody’s character have dark skin (or be wealthy if their parents weren’t, or be fat and run a four-minute mile, or whatever) is literally harmless. None of the characters shown are actually Czech any more than a dark-skinned one would be African or Asian, because they’re not real. It’s necessary that they’re artifice, they’re all departures from authenticity, so it’s kinda creepy to rule out some of the departures that might make players feel more comfortable. I wouldn’t say that every game has to allow people of color any more than assassin’s creed should let you play as gordon freeman, or sonic the hedgehog. But it makes sense that a game heavy on immersion and character customization might allow you to play a character that is easy to identify with. To say “You can play any character you want, as long as they’re white” is an asshole thing to do.

        edit:I’m not saying you, or anybody in this thread, is an asshole, that any game developers are assholes, anything like that. Just explaining my perspective.

        editedit:Never mind. It’s not a game about character customization, beyond the customization of one particular white guy hanging around with nothing but other white guys. Which, I mean, is fine, I guess. Just depressing. Like, I’ll accept that whatever particular little burg may be unlikely to have had any Moors or Mongols in it, but it’s not impossible. If you’re making up a grand story about uncommon feats and you’re proud that the story is going to have thousands of characters then, like, why not put a little paint on the palette? It’s the kind of thing that makes a guy rant, and keep ranting days after everyone else left the conversation.

    • asclark says:

      As one of those people defending, you’ll note that I expressed my desire to play a game set in for example Japan or Great Zimbabwe in the same era (Japan’s hardly non mainstream but anyway.) Someone else said they’d play a game set in the Mali Empire – again this sounds very interesting.

      Think about it from the other perspective though: if the developers added non Czech/German characters they’d also have to add people being absolute arseholes to them for the sake of realism. That’s really not going to be what the Tumblr mob are after – if there’s outrage now, it’ll escalate to fullblown shitstorm.

      • Ex Lion Tamer says:

        @asclark: I definitely took note. Just to reiterate, I don’t find anything wrong with Warhorse’s position or anyone (like you) defending their decisions from a rational, historically-driven perspective. It’s a group of Czech developers looking to make a game based in their own history, and that’s very cool.

        What I did also say is that I can’t blame people for being frustrated. Time after time in fictional settings, we see an excuse proffered: “No, see, this fictional continent or subcontinent that we just happened to set the game in is analogous to Europe, and therefore exclusively white” (Dragon Age) or “Jackson & Co. are welcome to change major aspects of the series, but we won’t touch the incredibly problematic and outdated treatment of race in film or game adaptations of books written in the 30s-40s” (Lord of the Rings). There are always going to be justifications for these choices in any individual game, but can we agree that the aggregation of those choices leads to a problem? That’s why I can’t argue with anyone complaining in any given case…the more this is raised, the more (I hope) developers will give it some additional thought for the next project.

        ETA: It drives me a little crazy that developers aren’t taking advantage of the wide range of source material to tell a specific story with a POC PC, too. Among other things, I have to admit that I think that Richard Wright’s Native Son (or maybe more realistically, an update) would make a fascinating game.

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