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Last Update: 09.10.2007



This is a collection of all known facts about Gothic 4 Genesis. Additionally we prepared a small technology glossary to explain some of the terms mentioned here.


Involved Parties

Developer: Spellbound
Publisher: JoWooD

About Spellbound:
  • Founded in 1994
  • Company domicile in Kehl, Germany
  • 24 developers at the moment; 25 to 30 developers, mainly freelancers, will be added to the team for the work on Gothic 4
  • Some of their Games:
    • 2007 Helldorado
    • 2006 Desperados 2 - Cooper's Revenge
    • 2003 Chicago 1930, Airline Tycoon Deluxe
    • 2002 Robin Hood - Legend of Sherwood
    • 2001 Desperados - Wanted Dead or Alive, Airline Tycoon Evolution
Active in the WoG-Forum so far:
  • Tapio aka Shao-Lee
    • Is Spellbounds Musician
    • Does the SoundFX and smaller compositions for Spellbounds projects
    • Does the main community work

Project Start

August 2007


Release

Date

Approximately 2009/10

Jochen Hamma (Producer Spellbound) mentioned the numbers 2, 2.5 and 3 for the development time in years. This is a rough estimation at the moment (09.2007).

JoWooD calculates on the release in 2009 (Source, german).

International

So far Spellbounds internationally published games were released at the same time in each country. Spellbound has tools and workflows which allow the simultaneous release of 5-10 language versions of a game. Because of that it is likely, that it will be the same with Gothic 4.


Platforms

PC: Yes
Console: Probably, but later

At first the focus lies on the development for PC, in order to meet the visual requirements of the Gothic series. "Whether and when other platforms are an option, we will have to see" (Source, german). Basically all potential Gothic 4 engines support consoles (details in the technology section).

The Game

The Name Gothic 4 - Genesis

Genesis means that they want to take the chance to do a new start. Gothic 4 won't be a direct prequel of the Gothic series. Whether the story takes place before, after or while the happenings of the Gothic trilogy so far, is not yet certain.

Genesis: "New start" or "something being in the process of development/evolution"

What will be preserved

The core characteristics of the gothic series are supposed to be preserved

From the WoG-Interview with Spellbound:
For us, exploration and discovery are two of the most important basic principles of the Gothic series, which one can find again. Visually convincing, mostly dark landscapes and great music, together with an interesting narrative style and the RPG-typical character development reward the player during his expedition.

Visually and acoustically Spellbound wants to orient oneself strongly at Gothic 3. Story, characters and dialogues are to remain preserved in the well-known Gothic style, whereby here one looks more on Gothic II.

Well known characters
There will be a reunion with important characters of the series. More precise details about that aren't known. But it will be put emphasis on their behavior, so it won't be different from the previous games. Thus the continuity of the series is to be emphasized.

What will change

Skill system
Certain RPG elements, like the skill system, are to be improved and developed further

Control System
It's intended to implement two control systems. One will be very different from the systems known from the Gothic series but more intuitive. The Gothic 3 controls will serve as an example for the second control system.

Fighting system
The fighting system will be totally renewed, says Jochen Hamma. For example it is thinkable that opponents can react in different ways each time, so fights would be less predictable.

Chapters
The story will be structured and subdivided into chapters.

The World

Regarding the styling of the Gothic 4 world, Spellbound wants to bear in mind the most important wishes of the community. That includes dungeons, a bigger city and big landscapes.

Mounts

Spellbound implemented riding features in previous games, so they have experience in that area. Even so, they know about the problems of such a feature and didn't decide yet if it will be implemented in Gothic 4. The problem with it is, that the world must be bigger and the implementation of two fighting systems (afoot/riding) costs a lot of time. Additionally the balancing between these two systems is an issue.


Music in the Game

The background music will be one of the main characteristics supporting the atmosphere, says Shao-Lee. In previous projects, like Desperados 2 and Helldorado, Spellbound worked together with external production studios. Very likely it will be the same with Gothic 4.

There won't be a remix of the Gothic I-3 soundtracks in Gothic 4. Rather the musician/musicians will orient oneself to the Gothic typical atmosphere and will bring their own musical style into the compositional process.


Technology

Loading Screens

Loading screens are to be avoided if possible. However regarding the feasibility, some technical aspects have to be checked.

Engine

Firstly the Vision-Engine from Trinigy was mentioned in several interviews from the Games Convention 2007 as the engine that will be used for Gothic 4. In an interview from September 2007 this wasn't that clear any more. The Unreal Engine, the Gamebryo Engine and the mentioned Engine from Trinigy are under consideration.

Extract of the possibilities of the Vision Engine from Trinigy (Homepage Trinigy):
  • Normal Maps, Specular Color and Specular Exponent Maps, Virtual Displacement Maps
  • Radiosity-based, normal-mapped illumination with light grid and light maps
  • Dynamic illumination with advanced dynamic shadowing techniques, configurable attenuation, projected lights, and much more
  • HDR and Postprocessing
  • A combination of different visibility culling techniques to avoid the rendering of not visible parts of a scene
  • Support of Multicore CPUs:
    • Supports an arbitrary number of CPU cores
    • The frame rate scales linearly with the number of CPU cores (Source)
  • Supported Platforms:
    • PC
    • Xbox, Xbox360
    • Playstation 3 (scheduled for Q4/2007)
  • Integration of 3rd party modules (examples):
    • SpeedTree
    • PhysX Physics
    • Kynapse AI
    • Scaleform GFx
    • FMOD Ex
    • ProFX 2
Explanation of the mentioned terms in the technology glossary.


Modding-Tools:

Regarding modding tools Spellbound wants to talk with representatives of the modding community and wants to try to consider their wishes.


Sources / Interesting Links:

Articles, Interviews, etc.: Links to the Engines:

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