If you’ve had your ear to the hallowed ground of RPGs, you’ve probably heard distant rumblings of a game called The Wayward Realms. Developed by a bunch of former Bethesda developers at OnceLost Games, it’s shaping up to be something of a spiritual successor to The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, taking place on a vast archipelago with hundreds of islands and thousands of cities thanks to an algorithm capable of generating unique locations based on myriad social, political, and geographical factors.
Thanks to our chat with the game’s Technical Director Julian Le Fay, we now also know that, all going well, the unfathomably huge world will be seamless – no zoning or that strange disconnect between indoors and outdoors we know so well from the Elder Scrolls series. “The goal is seamlessness throughout,” Le Fay tells us. “The immersion is important. We have to have things like fast travel, because we can’t have people taking two weeks to walk places, but we don’t want to just make it quick and easy either, because all of a sudden your world shrinks on you.”
Le Fay goes on to say that he likes the fast travel system in Fallout 4, which (beyond the throwaway ‘click a marker and teleport there’ method) entails using a flare to call in a Vertibird, then flying there over the world in real-time. “It was reasonably fast and you got to see everything from a bird’s-eye point of view,” he says. “There was a little time cost to it, but it wasn’t annoying. I’d like to have something like that in Wayward Realms.”
The Wayward Realms is in pre-production, and is currently run by volunteers as it seeks financial backing. The game will be systems-heavy, utilising AI in such a way as to resemble a Dungeons & Dragons-style Game Master capable of adapting to player decisions and events in the world to constantly generate new scenarios and quests specific to your game.
And for all these systems, islands and thousands of cities to fit into a seamless world? Sounds almost too good to be true – let’s hope it isn’t.