When we first heard about The Wayward Realms last year, we thought investors and publishers would fight each other to get a piece of that action. Surely even the suits in their towers of glass and steel can see that a spiritual successor to The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall with a huge system-based world is a wonderful idea. Apparently, though, it’s not that easy to find funding for an RPG, as The Wayward Realms is still looking for investors to really get the project off the ground.
In our chat with the fantasy game’s technical director, Julian Le Fay, he told us that “the big problem with the game is the fact that it’s still underfunded, it’s certainly not lacking in volunteers and enthusiastic people… but with volunteers, you can’t just say ‘Okay, I need you to do this and finish that by Wednesday’ or whatever, so that it becomes a little more complicated to manage”.
Community manager Victor Villarreal isn’t worried, saying the studio is “in active conversations with a number of potential investors,” though it hasn’t actively pursued any yet. “Our game is very ambitious,” adds Villarreal, “and we want to use this time we have to build a solid foundation, not only in terms of technology, but also in world building and game design.”
The Wayward Realms is currently in pre-production at OnceLost Games, a studio co-founded by former Bethesda developers Ted Peterson, Julian Le Fay, Vijay Lakshman, and Eric Heberling, who worked on early Elder Scrolls games like Daggerfall. The game will have many systems, using an advanced form of procedural generation to create much of its world, and AI that resembles a Game Master to generate scenarios, events, and missions for players based on their actions.
Le Fay also dismissed the idea of the game going the crowdfunding route. “Kickstarter doesn’t raise enough money, honestly,” she says. “It would be enough to make an RPG, but I’m really not in this to make an RPG again. I want to make the best RPG ever made, and that’s going to take a little more than you can raise. on Kickstarter!”
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