Hello everyone, this is my first post
When watching the video about the world of KCD, I became curious about how well they had recreated the medieval landscape of Bohemia. What struck me was the shapes of the fields in the videos. Being familiar with the fields of medieval Britain, I was expecting to see field shapes optimized or resulting from the use of the heavy oxen-pulled plow used throughout medieval Europe. These are long strips, often with a vague S shape grouped in to large open fields. In the video though, the visible fields are all polygonal and of random shapes and sizes.
Of course, even in Britain there were significant regional variations of landscape use and field patterns. While many regions of Britain had those large open fields, others had smaller square fields from the Roman period or even smaller fields from as far back as the Bronze Age. To some extent, field patterns also reflected different regional patterns of social organization and agricultural practices.
Wondering what the case was in the Czech Republic at the time, I did some quick research. Unfortunately, since I don’t speak Czech my results were obviously rather limited. I did manage to find three articles in english from the Journal of Landscape Studies by a Kristina Molnarova about Czech medieval field patterns though (Linked at the end).
She calls them ‘pluzina’ (Pardon my Czech! Hopefully I used that right) and unlike in Britain the long narrow strips of farmland are each surrounded by their own hedgerows, making for some very interesting field patterns. I’m not sure how much these apply to the area the game is set in, as I’m obviously not familiar with any regional variations.
Of course, landscapes aren’t only fields. I haven’t looked in to how woodlands were distributed in this area during this period or anything else like that. This is something I hope they get right in KCD. While they’ve already mentioned they are trying to avoid ‘potato’ landscapes, it has always bothered me how ‘medieval’ fantasy RPG’s are always set in an untamed wilderness or jungle. Yet in many areas of Europe, by the middle ages landscapes were as clear and covered in fields as they are today.
I trust Warhorse will get it right to the best of their knowledge. Of course, they are only human and have limited time and resources. There may even be areas they just didn’t think about. Hopefully this didn’t come off as a lecture then, and more of a hint in to something that they could look in to! I’m really excited for KCD in any case!