Check the New Releases tab of the Xbox Store, and you might notice that Medieval Dynasty – survival game and construction sim – has just arrived for Xbox One players. Better still, it’s done so on Game Pass, giving the game a second wind and more players to boot.
We took it as an opportunity to tap up Render Cube, developers of Medieval Dynasty, to see if they fancied sitting round our campfire for a chat about bringing their game to an older generation of consoles. We ate a spit-roasted pig with an apple in the mouth, obviously.
Hi, could you please introduce yourself and your role on Medieval Dynasty?
Hi, I’m Michał and I’m the producer and game designer of the Medieval Dynasty.
Could you give us a quick overview of the game?
Medieval Dynasty is an innovative combination of a survival game with a city builder and RPG, set in the realities of a medieval countryside in Central Europe.
It’s coming up to two years since Medieval Dynasty first launched onto PC and Steam, and some six months since it dropped onto Xbox Series X|S. Can you take us on the journey that saw it come to console?
Initially, we were completely focused on PC production. We had in mind that in the future we would probably also release console versions, so from the very beginning it was possible to play Medieval Dynasty on a gamepad. In the meantime, the current generation consoles came out and we didn’t have big problems with the port on them. The previous generation consoles turned out to be a big challenge, initially we came to a certain wall that seemed to be impenetrable. However, our team persevered, worked for months, tried different ways, and finally managed to reach the level necessary for the release.
Medieval Dynasty is now also due to launch on previous-gen consoles like Xbox One. What changes from current- to old-gen console play?
Previous generation consoles have much lower performance capabilities than the current generation. Our team has done a great job optimizing the game while keeping all its elements so that players don’t feel like they are buying an inferior product. The grid of the entire map is optimized, and thus all vegetation, rocks, etc. This means that the compatibility of game saves between the previous generation consoles and the current or PC version is not possible. Such a change was necessary to enable the release of the game on this generation, while maintaining the required gameplay smoothness.
What was the motivation to bring Medieval Dynasty to Xbox One?
Many gamers around the world wished Medieval Dynasty to be released on previous-gen consoles. We also wanted to give them the opportunity to enjoy our game.
What had to be switched up to cram Medieval Dynasty into a console port, especially in regards the Xbox One move?
We had to reduce the resolution of the textures to fit in memory. The same applies to selected 3D models. In addition, we have reduced the building limits in the player village. Without these changes, the release of the game would not be possible.
Why do you think we’re so drawn to survival games as gamers?
Survival players, apart from the challenge of surviving and dealing with adversity, also love the freedom that is usually present in these games. The ability to build in any area of the map, craft the necessary tools, weapons, clothes, explore the world. If the game has multiplayer, then also competition or cooperation with other players. It is not without reason that such games often have a sandbox mode, where players don’t put much emphasis the plot, but play with the mechanics of the game.
Much of Medieval Dynasty was developed – and launched – over COVID. How did the team overcome the issues of developing in that environment?
We have very hard-working and committed people in the team who know that together we create something good, which is why everyone wanted to do their best and always add something extra from themselves. In such a team, remote management is much easier, we had a solid plan and we did our job.
What was it like to launch Medieval Dynasty (which is your debut game, we believe)? Is there anything you would rewind and do differently?
In retrospect, I don’t think we could have done much more and better for the launch of the game, given the capabilities of our team and the time we had. Almost all the things that appeared in subsequent updates did not appear before, not for lack of ideas or skills, but for lack of time, available equipment or more people in the team.
What are some of the most impressive feats you’ve seen players achieve in the game?
Players continue to amaze us with the level and quality of village expansion and decoration. And also a staggering amount of hours spent in the game, sometimes several thousand.
Can we expect any more Medieval Dynasty content to come, on PC or console?
We inform about all planned improvements and additions in the Road Map, we are currently focusing on further development of the game in terms of co-op mode. With it, we want to add a lot of additional things, but we will inform players about the specifics in time.
Can we expect any of the Map Packs or additional content in the release?
No, the previous-gen version of the game has all the elements from the current-gen and PC version of the game.
And finally, if you had to live in Medieval times, what’s the first thing you would grab from your house to take with you?
As mentioned, Medieval Dynasty is not only available on Xbox Series X|S, but now it is newly available on Xbox One too. So grab a scythe and burlap sack and get stuck in, peasant. The Xbox Store awaits with Xbox Series X|S (£29.23) and Xbox One (£24.99) store pages in place. Make the most of your Game Pass subscription if you like.
Huge thanks go out to Michal for giving us some time in order to run this interview.