Pioneers of Pagonia Interview – Tribes, Setting, Future Updates, and More

Creative director Volker Wertich speaks with GamingBolt about Envision Entertainment's city builder.

Posted By | On 14th, Dec. 2023

Pioneers of Pagonia Interview – Tribes, Setting, Future Updates, and More

Envision Entertainment’s Pioneers of Pagonia recently launched in early access, and early reception from players has been quite positive. Looking at the game’s promise of a city builder set in an aesthetically pleasing medieval world with fantasy elements, it’s easy to see its biggest draw, while it also seems to have a solid foundation of city building systems and mechanics in place right off the bat. To learn more about the game, what makes it tick, and what Envision Entertainment has planned for the duration of its early access period (and beyond), we recently reached out to its developers with some of our questions. Below, you can read our interview with creative director Volker Wertich.

pioneers of pagonia

"The core of the world is based on craftsmanship, the backbone of your army are soldiers and guards to counter thieves and bandits. But mystic rites and ceremonies, faery tale elements, artifacts with unnatural effects or limited magic fit well."

Pioneers of Pagonia has a stunning art style that instantly catches the eye. What was the process like of landing on this like for the game, and what served as your primary inspirations?

Our goal was to create an inviting game world, where you feel comfortable and enjoy the environment and the people. For our Art Director Timm Schwank, who is better known for less optimistic settings, this was quite an unusual challenge, but obviously he delivered incredibly well.

Pioneers of Pagonia’s fantasy setting is another one of its more eye-catching aspects. What sort of a role will that play when it comes to the actual simulation and management mechanics? For instance, can we look forward to combat against different varieties of fantastical creatures?

The setting is medieval with additional fantastic elements. Means we are not realistic, but there is no common high-fantasy-magic. The core of the world is based on craftsmanship, the backbone of your army are soldiers and guards to counter thieves and bandits. But mystic rites and ceremonies, faery tale elements, artifacts with unnatural effects or limited magic fit well. At Early Access, we already have spectres which bring chaos to your villages, and werewolves which can infect your people and turn them into new werewolves. Silver weapons are best suited against the werewolves and the player can enchant some weapons using rare gems.

It looks like meeting with different tribes, gaining their trust, and uniting them will be a key element of Pioneers of Pagonia’s central loop. Can you tell us more about how that will manifest in the core gameplay mechanics?

The many scattered tribes on the islands have their own agenda. Some of them need help, some of them want to trade with you, others need to be impressed. Your goal is to turn them into your friends and support each other, which enables you to win the island. We offer a broad variety of different objectives at Early Access, and if you manage to meet all of them, they will even turn into allies: You can merge with them, obtaining all their territory, units, buildings and commodities. But we also offer a “conquer” mode in which you do not get any objectives beside clearing the island of any hostile enemy.

pioneers of pagonia

"Beside continuous quality-of-life-upgrades, we plan to have regular content updates, about 6 weeks after Christmas break will be our first one in February. We have already announced the features of the next 3 updates, which include new buildings, new statistics, sub-surface mining and the co-op mode, and these updates will be for free."

What can you tell us about the procedural generation of maps in Pioneers of Pagonia? What can players expect from the size of maps and the variety of environments they’ll find?

The map generator is a powerful tool. It will not only create very different types of landscapes, but also generate the content like the Pagonian villages, the objectives, the trade offers, analyze where the enemies will be located and where the things you need to find will be placed. You can customize a lot of settings and decide on your own which map you want to play next. We support the full range from “I want to build peaceful without any stress, even not with wild boars chasing my brave carriers!” to “I need a serious challenge, it has to be rough, enemies behind every corner, and if I am not efficient, please wipe me out!” and of course anything between. You can also define which clime is there, how many resource deposits or forests exist, and much more. As a great bonus, the also support map IDs which can be shared: If you found a map which was fun, unusual, exciting or challenging, you can share the map ID and a friend can play it too. Beside that people can share the map IDs in our Discord forum.

Looking at Pioneers of Pagonia’s early access period, what sort of cadence of updates and content additions can players expect before the game hits its 1.0 release?

Beside continuous quality-of-life-upgrades, we plan to have regular content updates, about 6 weeks after Christmas break will be our first one in February. We have already announced the features of the next 3 updates, which include new buildings, new statistics, sub-surface mining and the co-op mode, and these updates will be for free. We will always announce what we plan to do in the next 6 months about. There is no timeline for the full release yet, as we plan to work together with the community and we take this seriously, which means we cannot have a finished masterplan at this point because the players will have a major influence on it.

pioneers of pagonia

"Since the game does not need a high click rate to be a fun experience, it is more controller-friendly than many other strategy games. But it is too early to announce anything yet."

What will the game’s selection of modes look like once it has released in full? Do you plan on adding multiplayer down the line?

In single player, the game modes can be played with or without objectives and with or without enemies (and of course options for objective and enemy difficulty). Considering multiplayer, we have officially announced that we start with shared co-op mode soon and that we will offer more multiplayer options later. There is no final word yet on other single-player modes, cooperative modes, skirmish-AI, PvP or campaign. For now, we only said that these are not yet in development, but we do not exclude the idea that one or more of these happen later. Stay tuned in 2024.

 Do you have any plans to eventually bring the game to additional platforms?

Yes, we will evaluate those options next year. Since the game does not need a high click rate to be a fun experience, it is more controller-friendly than many other strategy games. But it is too early to announce anything yet.


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