Humankind: Interview with producer Jean-Maxim Moris – Gamesaktuell

PC Games: Human child is inevitably compared to civilization. Is it an honor for you to be mentioned in the same breath with such a legendary series, or do you find it unfair because your game has enough unique selling points?
Moris: "You know, I'm 40 years old and an avid gamer. If you compare our game to Civilization, of course it's an honor, after all, we grew up with it. Still, I think we are very different from Civilization in many ways The main differences include combining different cultures to create a fictional civilization of your own choice. With millions of possible combinations you can live out any historical fantasy. In addition, this system allows for a very dynamic gaming experience, because every 50 to 60 rounds you can experience the cultural Another big difference is the fame system, which rewards the player for every offense and is closely linked to the victory conditions.With this point system we connect the narrative of the game.For example, when a player reaches a new era, one dives Cutscene on. The fame system is not super complex, it involves de n players all the more. In the game overview you will find many fairly easy tasks, acts of fame and era stars. But to achieve exactly what you set out to do, in the order you set out and develop yourself through eras, immerses the player very deeply and makes the game epic. "

Executive producer Jean-Maxim Moris

Executive producer Jean-Maxim Moris

Source: Sega

PC Games: You have worked closely with the community over and over again in the past. Now you have introduced OpenDev to involve your fans again. What does their participation look like and how much influence do the players have in your heart project?
Moris: "It has always been Amplitude Studio's philosophy to work with the community. We have a hundred smart people here, but there are hundreds of thousands of very smart and passionate players out there. Over the past decade we have tried to keep in touch with our community and created a platform with Games2gether where we can bring games to market together. We were also one of the first studios to take part in Steam’s early access program. This collaboration is, so to speak, deeply rooted in our DNA For example, we’ve selected a number of scenarios for players that focus on different aspects of the game and incorporate their feedback. Of course, as a company, we’ve also evolved and they’re not always the same people who respond to requests, but we’re still listening to our community. We want to know what is wanted and what is needed. "

PC Games: In a dev diary, you mentioned working with a historian. How much historical accuracy can we expect, especially given the premise of the game, that the player will write his own story through the ages.
Moris: "The historical aspects of the game are arranged in blocks, so to speak. A self-contained culture represents, for example, a block in which every detail is historically absolutely authentic. All features related to the game can also be looked up in a wiki. So you can learn more about the history of each culture. The player can then assemble these historically correct blocks into his own historical idea and realize his imagination. "

Jean-Maxim Moris has been Humankind's Executive Producer since 2018. He is still relatively fresh on the team, but can look back on a long career in the gaming industry. After working as a product manager in China, he joined Ubisoft in 2006, where he was the producer and interface with the developers of Free Radical Design. After that, he was one of the founders of Dontnod Entertainment in 2008 and was significantly involved as a director in Remember Me and Life is Strange. In 2015 he moved to Io Interactive, where he worked as a lead level designer on the new Hitman. After a short intermezzo as an independent consultant, he then went to amplitude.
PC Games:
We have already seen events in the demo that require decisions from the player. Almost like in a game with dialogue decisions. How much variety can we expect from these events or do the same triggers always lead to the same event?
Moris: "We still cannot give an exact number of how many random events there will be. At the moment it is enough to have few repetitions in several runs. Of course, this should still be the case when playing the demo, but we are working on it, Otherwise, events create a large part of the dynamics in the game and are based on real historical facts such as volcanic eruptions, voting rights or slavery. Sometimes you have to make moral decisions that have far-reaching effects on the game, even across several eras. Each event also has several conditions that must be met in order to make it as meaningful as possible to get involved in the game, which feels natural, for example, if I have a city on a river that is growing rapidly, I create conditions for a flood or the depletion of food. Of course, everything should develop from the actions of the player. "

PC Games: It is up to the player to decide when to move on to the next era as soon as the conditions are met. How long can you postpone this step, what are the advantages or disadvantages?
Moris: "It is a compromise decision. As soon as you have seven era stars, you can jump to the next era. If you are the first, you can choose one of ten cultures. For example, if you choose the Romans, you play it and no one else can have the Romans. There are several reasons to choose a culture. Maybe you find the Roman culture just exciting or its culture suits your own style of play. Maybe you take the Romans just because you want to prevent that Anyone else playing this culture, but since there are reasons to stay in an era, advancement is a double-edged sword, and you need to develop a sense of when to jump an era and when it's worth waiting to go through in several game rounds . "

Humankind: Interview with producer Jean-Maxim Moris. (4)

Humankind: Interview with producer Jean-Maxim Moris. (4)

Source: Sega

PC Games: What can you tell us about the stability of the Reich, which we have already seen in the demo?
Moris: "Stability as a value shows how happy the population is. The more stability there is, the more Civic points you can get and more people can rule. If the stability falls below a certain value, a revolution arises in which you basically have your own Whole population loses. Because you keep the Civic points, you can build a new society with them and basically start a new attempt. Building the right buildings and only gradually annexing new areas is crucial to ensure stability. If if you meet too many different people and the cities become too crowded, you risk a revolt. "

PC Games: One of the biggest weaknesses of civilization has been AI for decades, which is either too unpredictable or unable to use the game mechanics properly. How confident are you that you are creating computer opponents that are fun to play against?
Moris: "It's difficult. You can imagine that AI is every developer's nightmare, but I think we're on the right track. We're working to make sure that AI doesn't feel unfair to the player. The fame system and the era / culture system is already working well and is also very dynamic so that a player cannot simply fall behind the competition. "

Humankind: Interview with producer Jean-Maxim Moris. (5)

Humankind: Interview with producer Jean-Maxim Moris. (5)

Source: Sega

PC Games: Is the accumulation of fame the only condition for victory, or will there be classic victories like the military annihilation of all opponents?
Moris: "Fame is a unifying victory condition. With a lot of small tasks we simplify the points system without having to sacrifice depth of game at the same time. With hundreds of possible acts of fame, a player can play through an era as he would like it to be. Such an act could be, for example : Defeat x armies in a given time. "

PC Games: What happens after the victory? Can we continue the famous "just one more round"?
Moris: "Yes, we know that our community wants to do that. We are definitely working on making it possible."

PC Games: What can you tell us about multiplayer? What modes will there be?
Moris: "Eight players at a time. No couch co-op and the rules are relatively simple."

PC Games: With a PC game, of course, there is also the question of mods. Will you support them, for example with Steam Workshop integration?
Moris: "We will support mods. We want to support them as much as we can. To what extent we can guarantee this for the release is something we are still working on."

PC Games: Do you already have plans how you want to support the game after the release?
Moris: "Yes, we have, but I can't talk about it yet."

PC Games: Finally, the most important question, when does human child appear?
Moris: "With the unfortunate circumstances of the past few months in Europe and even longer in Asia, production is of course limited. We are grateful that our publisher Sega supports us and gives us time to fine-tune the game. To answer your question: 2021. Unfortunately I can't be more precise. "

PC Games: Thank you for the interview.

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