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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.


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.

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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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