A first glimpse into a much bigger world

Yesterday Funcom announced that they are going to build an open-world survival game set in the time of the Hyborian Age. Today they’ve already talked to IGN about Conan Exiles, giving them some more exclusive information on the details and the structure of the experience, that Early Access players will be able to experience in the coming summer.

Naturally the details are still vague and sound grandiose, but that is to be expected in a game, that is trying to carve its niche and build the hype for Conan Exiles Early Access release. Here are the bullet points we’ve extracted from the well written piece on IGN:

The World

  • Conan will only be in the game at the beginning, setting/leading the players into the patch of land that is the game world
  • The game world is not part of the known Hyborian Kingdoms
  • It stretches from Cimmeria to Stygian lands (with jungles and other areas in between)
  • The map will be 53 square kilometers big (twice as big as Skyrim) and grow from there
  • There will be old ruins and mysteries
  • Nudity will take place

The Crafting

  • Players will be able to craft buildings and items inspired by different Hyborian Age cultures
  • Different buildings will use different materials found in the different areas of the game world
  • Focus on freedom, you can build anything, anywhere, but it will be harder – due to different resources available for “unfitting” types of buildings

The Combat

  • Fast paced, supposedly First Person with an external Third Person view existing
  • Bloody and brutal
  • Focus on production values of the combat (animations, sound etc.)
  • With something like combos, but not Age of Conans combat system

New to the survival genre

  • Gods gameplay mechanic – sacrifice players on the altar of the different gods to gain advantages
  • NPCs attacking this “border kingdom” from the outside trying to purge the up comers
  • Storytelling through items, locations and mystery (comparison: Dark Souls)

The Tech

  • Servers can be configured by the hosts in detail
  • Most likely Unreal Engine (we guessed that ourselves from the screenshots)

All in all we think these details outline the potential for a great open world game. One that might even achieve, what none of the myriads that live in the harsh worlds of Steams Early Access have done: longevity. Most of the games there ride a hype wave, drag players with them and when the boredom kicks in they wander to the next game.

We can only hope that Funcom has the game design chops to solve the dark mystery of the Second Day Problem, that plagues all the Indie titles. Crom, I’ve never prayed to you before… and because I don’t want you to ruin the game out of anger, I will not start now. Leave the game alone, let the game designers carve their own niche with the strength you’ve given them at birth. Make it so! (I hope we have enough movie references in this article to make everyones eyes roll)