First screenshot for new open-world RPG from Mafia director

Daniel Vavra shows off first official image of Warhorse's upcoming CryEngine-powered open-world role-playing game.

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Mafia and Mafia II director Daniel Vavra has released the first screenshot (below) from his new studio's first game, an untitled CryEngine-powered role-playing game.

The image came as part of a detailed blog post from Vavra, creative director at Warhorse Studios, which details what the company has been up to and where it is headed.

Vavra explained that Warhorse had been quiet because it was busy finalizing a prototype that team members have pitched to publishers across the world. If a publisher latches on the game idea, the studio will move into full production.

If not, "we don't move anywhere and you'll get nothing and we're out of business," Vavra said, adding that the company is not interested in Kickstarter right now.

Vavra explained that creating the prototype took more than 15 months and though it was finished over-budget and later than expected, it "surpassed our original plan in some respects."

He said Warhorse created a "substantial" part of the gameworld for the prototype, equivalent to about one square mile. This was filled with buildings, the first quest, dialogue, cutscenes, controls, combat, GUI, an in-game map, shops, and artificial intelligence.

"We did this in order to make sure that we would be able to create a game like this, give us a feel for what is the best way of doing it, and how long it is going to take," Vavra said. "We'll not have to throw anything away and we have a very solid demo that any right-minded publisher should be able to appreciate. The drawback to this approach is that we have no ‘wow’ moment, a.k.a. crumbling skyscraper."

"Such moments are not common in RPGs, but all the same, our prototype lacks something conspicuous (even though it looks very good overall) that would sear itself into a publishers’ memory," he added. "We calculated that the success of Skyrim would teach publishers what RPGs are about and they would be more interested in proof that we can do a game like this rather than in a cool scripted tunnel like Call of Duty."

In all, Vavra said Warhorse pitched the game to 20 different publishers across two continents over the course of three weeks. He hopes to share additional details "sooner rather than later."

Vavra released prototype footage of his new game last year, though it is not clear what has changed since December.

Warhorse Studios was cofounded by Vavra and Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising developer Martin Klima in July 2011.

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Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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164 comments
Slagar
Slagar

P.S. Gamespot's screenshot-viewer is horrible. I'm sick of viewing images in (pathetically) low-res, and then having to click to see them full size.

Restivus
Restivus

Work on the "composition" portion of the game engine has not yet started.

jupsto
jupsto

There was some footage here and there of this game, mostly just showing extremely impressive graphics. but the clip of gameplay in a cryengine promo video made me extremely excited since we could see a directional mele system simular to mount and blade, but with what looked like more directions.

deadpeasant
deadpeasant

That's a really impressive looking screenshot! Pity there is only one though.

noandno
noandno

JUST RELEASE THE GAME ALREADY!!!

trollkind
trollkind

I just rewatched the 30 seconds from GDC 2013 about this project and saw the above linked early prototype footage and as someone who spent his early childhood on an old farm, this style and detail just clicks for me. It's beyond the uncanny valley, my brain makes me remember bits of nature, sounds and smells of old wooden buildings, the different types of water shown. The 30 second GDC bit also shows realistic interactions with NPCs and an overall mature rather than blockbuster feel and I really hope this project get's picked up. I'd love to get lost in that kind of world. Maybe have my own little farm there.

daabulls23
daabulls23

"W e don't move anywhere and you'll get nothing.."

In other words, we get nothing. We lose. Good day sir!

Vari3ty
Vari3ty

Really hope this gets picked up. There can never be enough open world RPGs.

tightwad34
tightwad34

That is only a tease. I would be really surprised if the game resembled that at all. Same reason I don't pay attention to trailers. It's all patronizing BS. Does that mean the game will suck? IDK.

mediarays
mediarays

Bring back the city of lost heaven

pawq4
pawq4

Aw, Mafia 3 would have been great.

Mariner32
Mariner32

My GPU is crying at the thought of having to render that on ultra settings.

Adavanter
Adavanter

Hmmm. Either this RPG succeeds or they go under... Should have called it Final Fantasy :P

I admire their determination. Not sure the jab at Battlefield was necessary considering it's a flagship built on an impressive proprietary engine that showcased it's "moment" in an actual multiplayer map.

But I get their point... Very risky. Mafia II was impressive enough for me to remember it. I hope they find some backing. 

Polygon_Pariah
Polygon_Pariah

Thats the ONE pic you managed to finagle out of Warhorse Eddie?  Why not just rip a wallpaper off of Windows 7 and call it a day...

pohman
pohman

i loved both mafia and mafia 2.An rpg by guys will be commendable at the  least so one more rpg to 2014.

lindallison
lindallison

Looks great as it indicates a real-world scale landmass, instead of the theme-park esque open worlds we're accustomed to...

johnnybowman
johnnybowman

mafia had some cool dynamic moments.

Playing wild west shootouts in diners filled with opposing gangsters.

Watching a store clerk point you out to police after you stole something from the store.

Fun moments.

Azghouls
Azghouls

It's all and good however I still want a game where the storyline (and sidequests) are all inter-related and captures my interest. Giving an example, I never played Thief before however I just finished it and man that game oozed with atmosphere - yeah they are different genres however comparing that to Skyrim, wonderful to look at however didn't suck me in like what Thief has done. I'm sure there's many more examples though.

Blaastoid
Blaastoid

I've seen better screenshots for older games, but I hopeful for a new RPG. I want something to change RPG's forever. Something incredible. Something...not Skyrim. I was obsessed with it before it came out, when it released it didn't take long for me to beat EVERYTHING. Utterly disappointing. 

Tauu
Tauu

Heh, you can go to a state park, a forest preserve or just hit the open road in summer for views similar to this, depending on where you live. Let's see something that resembles a game here.

d3nR
d3nR

Unless thats the spot where the 50 foot tentacle monster that was born from the restless soul of your dead mother emerges to eat your heart so it can offer it to a demon... I'm not interested

hadlee73
hadlee73

The resolution of that screenshot is complete bollocks :P

DJKrayz_basic
DJKrayz_basic

so, by screenshot, they mean cell phone screenshot, cause clicking on the image takes you to a screenshot thats barely bigger than a cell phone...  i think thats pretty dumb and does not allow us to really see anything in said screenshot... get with the program, Gamespot..  (barely even noticed the option to view full size, make it more obvious...)

Kr3isen
Kr3isen

Only its not upcoming at all, this is taken from a prototype.

OurSin-360
OurSin-360

I didn't read any of the article, that picture tells you everything you need to know about this game.

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

@abhisheknerdy20 considering the two really aren't related in any way, i don't see the point in your comment.  and mafia 2 wasn't really that good anyway.  mafia 1 is one of my favorite games ever, but mafia 2 was mediocre

Suaron_x
Suaron_x

Yeah, way to build interest.  Hopefully they release another mundane screenshot soon...one just ain't enough...zzzzzzz

igorphoenix
igorphoenix

@Imperiacommando scene like this can be done in sandbox in a day and all the realism comes from photo textures so it's hard to judge graphics by this screenshot (plus the grass still disappear few meters away from camera).

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

@Blaastoid 

I totally understand how you feel man I recently went back to playing Fallout3 to try to kick my lack of rpg emptiness out of my life only to be reminded of skyrim which spoiled my FO3 experience such a tragic day it was.  )=

sniperwol_basic
sniperwol_basic

@DJKrayz_basic Well every time u want to see image in fullscreen. The page is fully posted back, which takes alot of time. Now a days ajax is used to overcome this issue. Or if you GS that lazy then you can use twitter boostrap. which is free

trollkind
trollkind

@abhisheknerdy20 @downloadthefile Since you said "we" instead of "I" you seem to know everybody elses opinion too? I certainly want this, I wouldn't mind Mafia III too of course. Maybe with actual open world features this time around.