Nightingale Summer Game Fest Q&A With Aaryn Flynn – ‘We’d Love to Expand to Unreal Engine 5’
Nightingale, the upcoming inaugural title from Inflexion Games (formerly part of Improbable before Tencent bought the studio), is a shared-world survival crafting title that takes heavy inspiration from the Victorian era. You might recall that it wasn't always like that since the project was initially envisioned as an online RPG; we discussed that in our most recent interview with Inflexion CEO and former BioWare GM Aaryn Flynn.
For a few brief moments among the final hours of Summer Game Fest, we had the pleasure of sitting down with him once again to obtain a little more insight behind the velvet curtains of Nightingale as it gets closer to the estimated early access release date of Q4 2022 on Steam and the Epic Games Store.
First and foremost, the realms will be the core of what players would experience in Nightingale. Have you settled on a player cap for these realms?
Not yet, no, but we are leaning more towards a smaller cooperative experience rather than something of a bustling kind of realm, something a little more intimate.
Say you start a realm with some of your friends and you're playing together online. If you all log off, does your realm still persist if they want to jump in at their own time?
If you've invited your friends into your realm, they can return to it. But at the same time, if nobody's logged in, your realm is frozen, so you're not having to worry about it being maintained or worried about it being kept up.
Let's say you're in the US and have friends playing in Europe. Maybe a couple of them are on holiday in Southeast Asia. Would they all be able to play together?
That's the intention. We haven't truly tested that level of network span. Theoretically, that's perfectly in line with what I would achieve.
When generating the realm, do you have the possibility of inputting a seed? Say your friends have started playing Nightingale and found a seed with certain key resources they like early on. Is there a seed code or something you can share with your friends to give them that same realm you've seen before?
No, no seed mechanic, no seed approach. But that's where our realm cards come in. We proceed to generate these certain realm card combinations. While there's still variability in them, they'll let you try really interesting new realms. Then when you find what you really like, you can all go and start building your bases.
If you find a card combination that you really like and share it on Reddit, how similar is the experience going to be from the combination that you've seen versus what someone else might see?
There's still going to be some variability in that. But maybe, over time, we can find ways to get players to share the exact things that they want.
Here at Summer Game Fest, you're showing a lot of the volumetric lighting and the dynamic weather. Some of the features that fans are always looking for are whether Nightingale will have, such as support for HDR lighting or AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution. What are your plans for those kinds of technologies for Nightingale?
I'd love to support all of them. I think that'd be great.
Are there any specifics that you've tested so far that you found working in the engine?
We've tested all those.
After moving from BioWare to Inflexion Games, is there a specific engine that your team is working with for Nightingale?
This is all Unreal Engine 4. And we'd love to expand to Unreal Engine 5 in the future.
What platforms is Nightingale coming to?
Any plans for like GeForce Now Support?
I'd love to do GeForce Now. Yeah, that'd be super cool.
I see a lot of character customization in the demo video. What plans do you have for your persistent character and their gear and their equipment; the stuff that makes them look unique?
So you get to customize your character at the start. And then the outfits, the gear you craft, will all be customizable, too. So the colors, certain elements of it, are all craftable and customizable.
Do you have plans for a transmogrification or fashion system? If you really love the three-piece suits but you have some armor that has some better elemental resistances for the realm you're going into, do you have plans for that in place?
We think about that a lot. I believe that something like that can come through Early Access for us.
How long are you looking for the Early Access period for Nightingale?
When we think about it in our minds, it's about a year to provide more new content and more features and functionality as you described there. We'll just keep learning from the fans and players about what's important to them, keep trying to provide that and I would say a year may be the minimum.
What does Version 1.0 look like in your mind for Nightingale?
1.0 looks like some bugs obviously fixed, some more functionality like the transmog that players love and those quality of life features, you know? The practice that we've had bringing new content to the game and building new content based on player input with a few turns of that crank.
Arachnophobia has popped up in many RPGs with developers finding creative ways to get around that for players. Say that, hypothetically, Nightingale has giant spiders.
Do you have a way to turn that off or make it a little more friendly for people with arachnophobia?
We have heard that from folks. I think that's good feedback and something we need to consider. We would do our best to get that in for Early Access. But it might be the kind of thing that comes through after Early Access, but certainly, we would try.
How large is one standard realm in Nightingale before you add the realm cards in the play?
They're about two-kilometer by two-kilometer blocks.
What methods of traversal or travel do you have to get around the map?
You've got your two legs, and then we're not telling you anything else quite yet.
Nightingale has a mix of melee and ranged weapons. Does Nightingale have a skill system where specializing in, say shotguns, for example, can make them a little bit more efficient?
We're not talking about our skill trees yet. Certainly, one thing we can say is that you can craft a shotgun that maybe has certain bonuses or buffs to it that will make you better at it a bit because you're using really rare resources. You can magically imbue certain items with essences and things like that. So we want to provide a very deep crafting system so you can create the best possible gear piece that you want.
If you love shotguns or the classic Winchester, will you have enough ammo in your inventory if you want to use just that weapon? Or will you have to be a little bit more resourceful and use melee weapons to fill in the blanks from time to time?
Ammo is certainly a thing in our game, so you can always run out, in which case, you'd have to switch to something else, but you can always craft lots of ammo and carry lots. You can always potentially even create a crafting station in the field and start to gather some resources there and craft more bullets.
So you have to use a crafting station? Can't you just pop into your inventory and make stuff on the fly?
Yeah, you have to use your crafting station for that.
Okay, that's good. Some people may want to cheese out a boss fight. They'll hide up on a cliff and use one of their long rifles to take out an elite enemy, so they'll probably just have to put a crafting station behind them and walk away behind cover.
That's potentially an option, yes.
Anything you want the fans to know about Nightingale that you haven't talked about yet?
Just know that we're working hard to get the game to be everything we think it can be. It's lots of hard work, but we can't wait to have players jump in as our Closed Alpha is coming soon, hear their feedback, and keep working on it for them.
How can players get into the Closed Alpha?
Sign up at PlayNightingale.com.
Thank you for your time.