Hey Alesch, first of all welcome to the forums.
Thanks for your post, it’s an interesting read and I think you named quite a few of the things we had in mind while working on the game. Especially the grim and brutal setting is important to us. Not only because the “cute” character busts need a stark contrast but also because we’re all big fans of the old X-Com Enemy Unknown, where your men usually get horribly slaughtered :) A shocking defeat can be just as entertaining as a great victory.
I haven’t heard of the Black Company or Darklands but I’ll definitely catch up on that!
The worldmap is actually inspired quite heavily by Mount & Blade. Just like you I’m still playing that game thanks to the awesome mods (especially “1257 AD”, where I get a lot of inspiration regarding authentic medieval weapons and armor). The best thing about the map is the “world simulation” with lots of different factions each following their own agenda and fighting each other. This creates an awesome living background for the players actions. What we want to avoid is that the player feels lost pretty easily and doesn’t know where to go and what to do. On top of that we don’t want you to spend half of your playtime traveling around to get from A to B.
Just as an additon to the setting: While the combat demo almost exclusively features undead opponents, in the released game there will be at least 4 enemy factions: Undead, Human Bandits, Orcs&Goblins and Beasts.
Concering your questions:
Modding would be awesome and something which could pretty easily be done for visuals by just exchanging bust graphics and environment tiles. Unfortunately beyond that it would involve quite a bit of work from our programmers and we absolutely have to focus 100% on just finishing the game. Our resources are stretched to the limit with just that already :) Maybe one of our programmers can elaborate on that, but I’m afraid there won’t be mod support soon.
Same goes with multiplayer. While it could be pretty funny, we have no option but to focus 100% on the core game and after that we see what the future holds.
Concerning Steam early access: That’s something we’re absolutely looking into. Next steps would be Steam Greenlight and then possibly Kickstarter. Then we can see if there’s really an audience for the game. If that succeeds, everything’s possible! (so spread the word :))