Interview with Bobik of Life is Feudal

In the past few days we had the chance to have a talk with “Bobik”, the charismatic lead developer of the new sandbox MMORPG Life is Feudal. Together we talked about the game; we asked him a couple of questions regarding some of the most interesting features of LIF, discovering all the major mechanics the game will be released with. At the end we came out with this interview which is filled with smiles and jokes and that we are glad to present to all the sandbox lovers.

Hello, could you please introduce yourself and your project to our community?
Well Hi. My name is Vladimir aka “Bobik” and I’m the one who had initiated that project long ago in May of 2010 as an enthusiasts project, which had grown into full time development in October 2011. Our project is described in a best way it is possible on our site ( and in our promo video:


What are the key features of your game?
🙂 Also, for those readers who consider themselves quite familiar with some good Sandbox MMORPG titles? that page will be worth reading too:

Speaking of PvE, you said there won’t be monsters or bandits to kill. Will the hunting system be satisfactory enough to make people forget about slaying mobs and quests?
We do not bet on PvE at all. We expect that people will get more fun from sandbox aspects of our game (building, terraforming, farming and so on) + from all kinds of PvP. But we have in some distant plans to create a special totem, which will turn your underground tunnels into some kind of dungeon with random monster-like Native inhibitants appearing from dark corners and attacking players. So that will be pretty much like player-made dungeon.

Do you plan to add a taming and breeding system? If so, how should they work?
It is already implemented, though it is not that fancy as you might have seen in other games. Since our terrain can and WILL be shaped all days long, creating a good AI movement algorithm was a huge challenge and it is of course can not be that fast as it is in some theme park MMOs with STATIC terrain. That is why amount of NPCs freely wandering around or following a player is very limited. 
You can tame some wild animals (Aurochs, Mutton, Grouse, Boar, Mustang etc.) with a certain food and domesticate them and place as a figurine in your inventory. These “packed” animals can be later unloaded into barn or stable. Once in stable or barn they will start eating food, starve and die if there is no any and will produce dung. Dung will be useful to fertilize your farms or will simply cause a disease of your animals if you won’t clean stables fast enough.
Horses in stables can be later trained into warhorses. Warhorses will not be afraid of damage and will not dismount their rider in case of trouble. Warhorses will “uncover” their abilities in a process of training and can become “hardy”, “spirited” or a “heavy” warhorse.

We’re going to live in a big world (462,5, am I correct?) and you said there won’t be fast travel. How do you think people could access someone else’s far territory?
Sizes of world are correct, but no fast travel is kinda incorrect 🙂 You can always perform a prayer and recall to your home. But yes, you can not “teleport” in some other location using some kind of portal or what so ever. So only good way to travel relatively fast are … horses. *surprise* *shock* 🙂

Are we going to need torches or other source of light at night?
We do not want to create a super dark nights, you can think about Skyrim or Oblivion nights to understand our vision of night darkness. But you will need torches and brazers to light your houses or underground tunnels.
Let’s talk of PvP! I’ve a couple of questions here: How much time should I spend in game to be competitive? Formations seems to be a great addition, but doing so how do you manage not to advantage the bigger groups more than the smaller one?
PvP! Sure, let’s do it! 🙂 Well, you can be competitive almost from the day #1, if you will have a good gear and will spend few hours to level some of basic combat skills. We really trying to minimize amount of NECESSARY grind. To be fully effective according your desired combat skills template (aka hit a Combat Skill Cap) that might take you around 1 month of casual (1-2 hours a day + 3-4 hours at weekend) gameplay time. 
Smaller groups must be really BETTER if they want to prevail over bigger groups. Firstly it should be because of better organization, smaller groups should react faster on changes of formation and issue a correct orders at certain time. Also there will be few ways of AoE damage (archery Volley skill and Naphtha grenades) to discourage constant turtling up. Thirdly, smaller groups should pick their fights correctly, in choke points, where large numbers won’t change much. Aka 300 Spartans 😉 
But if you’re standing in the middle of the field without perfect organization and coordination against overwhelming numbers of enemy – you should lose, it is normal, Life IS Feudal 😉

How will the istanced territory control system work? How many people can participate in it?

It is not like territory control. It is rather instanced siege, but without walls or any buildings – just an open field battle. Guild A will issue a challenge on guild B. For 24 (+-2) real hours both sides should enlist as many combatants on their sides as possible. It is not necessary members of these guilds. It can be someone from friendly guilds, mercenaries, random persons – whoever had agreed to fight on that side. Once a timer runs off we create an instance of server with a terrain that is stripped of all the buildings. Currently we hope for at least 300 total battle participants, but it is too early to speak, until we have some stress tests results. During that instanced battle we will track statistics and the last man standing (or some central point control timer) will determine who has won. 

Do you plan to add social mechanics in Life is Feudal?
We do, but sometime later, unfortunately.

How are you eventually planning to limit an excessive alteration of the world by players? Are you going to reset the server (i.e. Heaven and Heart) after a certain amount of time?
We do not really plan to limit it much. There will be multiple decay mechanisms that will damage and destroy buildings on unclaimed lands, tunnels that are not supported with timber, unattended crops. Even claims will disappear if not supported by player. Trees will grow by themselves, though it will be possible to deforest some part of terrain, if you will go on a logging frenzy 🙂 Those resources that can not be regenerated – well we have a HUGE amount of them. It is like in real world – humanity is extracting iron ore since 3000 B.C. and it is still not depleted and no one is asking for a server reset 😉

2014 could be a great year for sandbox games, why do you think developers has started working on this genre? Why now?
Because that is a next generation of gaming as it should be. Players are creating content BY themselves and FOR themselves which is 100% better then some limited amount of developers made content. Huge AAA studios can create TONS of content for a game, but it is still limited. While sandbox gameplay almost guarantee endless fun for all who knows how to achieve it, that is why UO, EvE online are still up and running for that long period of time, while other theme park MMORPGs are already closed or dying. 

Thank you very much for your time and answers, I wish you much success in your project.
Thank you! 🙂
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