Pathfinder: Kingmaker Q & A

The recent release of Pathfinder: Kingmaker saw the well-loved tabletop game makes its debut leap into the video game realm. Packed with player options, party building and dice rolls, Kingmaker is currently engrossing the masses. Developer Owl Cat Games were kind enough to take questions from GOG.COM users. From accessibility to cut content, there was certainly plenty to talk about!
Owlcat studios will be also hosting a Twitch stream with renowned writer Chris Avellone at 12 midday-1pm PT/8pm-10pm CET/9pm-11pm Moscow over on Owl Cat Game's Twitch channel, the stream will also be hosted on GOG.COM's Twitch channel
Q: Will stretch goals regarding additional language versions that were hinted at by the developers be announced?
[Owl Cat Games] We are focused on the polishing the game right now, so, to be honest, we don’t have enough resources to work on any additional localization. But we are thinking about discussing this opportunity once we have addressed all major players questions.
Q: Any chance for expansions with new adventures and companions to be added in the future?
[Owl Cat Games] I don’t want to spoil our future announcements but yes! Let me just say that with the game’s focus on companions, the new characters we have planned are exciting and unpredictable
Q: Does the game feature romanceable characters? If it does, are the romances more akin to those in Dragon Age or in Baldur's Gate 2 (would strongly prefer if it was the latter)?
[Owl Cat Games] We have romances in the game and we hope some of them will be a surprise to players. We don’t copy any pattern directly but instead tried to find the best way to fit them into the structure of Pathfinder Kingmaker. We’d encourage you to try them yourself and let us know what you think.
Q: Has accessibility to players with disabilities been considered in the development in this game?
[Owl Cat Games] Some of our beta testers have disabilities and as such we have tried to take their feedback into consideration as much as possible.
In particular:
* Is the game color-blind friendly?
[Owl Cat Games] We tried to address several problems around contrast during our beta testing. For example, the color of names against backgrounds not being clearly visible for those that are color-blind.
* Can the game be comfortably played with only one hand? (Related: Are the controls re-mappable?)
[Owl Cat Games] We have tried to make that possible. All major functions are accessible from the mouse and controls are re-mappable for the majority of actions.
* Can the game be played and enjoyed with no audio? (In particular, is all the important dialog viewable as text (as opposed to dialog that only exists as voice acting)? [OSh] Yes, audio is not a mandatory element of the game and every chunk of information is visible.
Q: It looks like a Real Time with Pause (RTWP) game. What were some of the lessons you took from other RTWP games when developing this one? Was there anything you were trying to replicate or avoid?
[Owl Cat Games] We deeply analyzed both classic games and modern ones in the genre. To be honest, RTWP can get a bit messy especially with the full party and dozens of enemies on the battlefield. So our main focus was to highlight the major information during the battle such as critical hits, danger conditions, characters with low HP, etc.
[Owl Cat Games] Another challenge was that playstyles can vary greatly from player to player. Some people like to see as much information as possible. Others prefer to role-play even on the battlefield. So we try to give as many options as possible to let the player customize the battle information they want to see.
Q: Which subclass would you pick (therefore which class) if you are first playing this game (Not tabletop, though). Imagine you can play the game with feeling of novelty.
[Owl Cat Games] A tricky question. It really depends on the playstyle and how familiar people are with Pathfinder in general. I personally prefer a straightforward approach, so for me a fighter, either melee or ranger builds I find a good fit (and rather simple). Another personal favorite of mine is the Alchemist. They can be really deadly in the battlefield and they are an interestingly unique Pathfinder class.
Q: How far can I go within the game with a smart mouth and no interest in fighting?
[Owl Cat Games] Good question. A lot of major events, I would have said majority, but to be honest I have never calculated them precisely, may be resolved without fighting in the game. But some story events require fighting to certain extent. Even in the Prologue chapter you need to deal with the assassins which are not the right people to parley with.
Q: How hiring mercenaries will work? Can I customize their portraits or class?
[Owl Cat Games] That’s exactly what you need mercenaries for, to fully customize your party mechanically. So “yes” to both question. But be aware, mercenaries do not have a background story, so people who forget about a named companion may skip some game content!
Q: Will our strongholds be self-sufficient (perhaps with some investment), or will they be money sinks that constantly drain player resources (as in some Obsidian games)?
[Owl Cat Games] It will depend on the player. There is option to convert gold to Kingdom resources. But it’s not mandatory, people may keep their Kingdom self-sufficient in terms of the resources.
Q: Was there anything that anyone in the dev team was familiar with and enjoyed in the pen and paper game that you weren't able to include in the digital realm?
[OSh] To be honest I can’t remember anything significant. Though my memory may be a bit rusty after more than two years of development. Maybe boggards? There were a couple of interesting side events in the pen and paper game adventure. We even made these creatures. But then we realized that we just did not have room for them. They were quite low level creatures and by the time we created them the progression was fully packed with other events. So poor boggards are still waiting for their time in the sun.
Q: How did you approach balancing combat and storytelling / roleplaying? Many RPGs lean heavily into the realm of action games these days, while roleplaying aspects are less prominent.
[Owl Cat Games] Storytelling was always a main focus for us. All other game aspects are devoted to supporting the plot,but balancing is always a challenge. We didn’t want to adjust the difficulty based on the players current level of progression and considering the open-world nature of the game, sometimes battles may be really challenging. Yet we are constantly examining all the feedback we get from players to fine-tune and balance the game.
Q: Will the game have multiple solutions to problems (I mean like actual multiple solutions) or will the quests be more linear?
[Owl Cat Games] The direct answer is yes, almost every event has several ways to solve it. The main storyline also has a lot of different options for progression and the game has several major different endings, not counting the dozens of different minor outcomes.
Q: Is there an editor, or chance of one, so people can make their own adventures a la NWN?
[Owl Cat Games] No editor mode support right now, sorry. This is quite a huge feature. We definitely considered this during the development but we decided that we’d better focus on the game itself rather than postpone the release for several months.
Q: Would I have to know the pen and paper version of Pathfinder to really enjoy this game?
[Owl Cat Games] No, you don’t have to. All the story elements are reproduced with the addition of all new stories elements and narratives!