Kenshi: Genesis

The Intro & The History;

The Title Screen of Kenshi: Genesis

Kenshi: Genesis started as a smaller team building off their previous mods. The idea was to create an overhaul that combined the original authors works and to combine many requested community assets into one ultra managed pack. Over time this dream became a reality. The original version of Kenshi: Genesis was unappetizingly named “Project Genesis: World Overhaul” Or PGWO for short. The community didn’t take to kindly to such a mouthful & simply called it Genesis. The name stuck and when the mod moved from alpha to beta phase it’s name changed to reflect such a change and the wishes of the community.

From it’s conception the team grew and shrank and like many mod teams ran into issues of size and scale. While an attempt to divy up the roles and responsibilities was made, it didn’t work out to well in the beginning. Much of said team got overwhelmed with the scale and size of the project being attempted and ghosted. Others got caught up in real life issues they couldn’t ignore.
The project was eventually put on the wayside as covid hit. However, with little work fully polished, and everyone swamped in their own life at the time, atlas took the reigns and started reworking how the mod was being made.

Interview with Nexus Mods

The Goal

Genesis aims to overhaul the entire game from scratch all while rectifying issues the community thinks are in the game and notable game issues the game has by rebuilding every accessible system from the ground up, Stealth, Economy, Loot, Tech tree, worldstates, dialogue. It’s all being rebuilt and reworked from the ground up. This goal is achieved neatly by including mods and models from other authors to serve as the base of the overhaul, however not every mod makes the cut entirely. Not every mod makes the cut fully for many reasons. This means that in many cases, sometimes mods are only included with only one model being added. Other times a mod is only included in concept. This allows a finer control over ideas and implementation of merging, while allowing players to enjoy a better curated content stream.

When I took over the project moving from community manager to lead developer I noted a couple ideas that needed reworking.

  1. The development cycle didn’t make any sense and was all over the place. You would chase down one bug and create another while fixing something minor
  2. The addition of items & content was random. This meant to many times players would get used to something all to see it reworked, reworked again and then completely changed only to be deleted as it just didn’t fit. To many hands in the pot adjusting and tweaking everything without a unifying theme despite a unified goal meant the mod at times was all over the place.
  3. The way ideas were managed was unfocused & didn’t see a revision process until after the release of multiple updates.

So i got to work with the new responsibilities, cutting large swaths of content out of the overhaul & reworking how development was handled. Every update is a combination of writing dozens of documents and notes, and scribbling out or researching community ideas to make genesis the best overhaul it can be while adhering as close to the vanilla lore as possible.
With two years of research and prep work genesis is nearing a more consistent development cycle to finally start adding in large new additons and changes to further expand upon the framework that has been built and rebuilt up to this point.
With hundreds of players and modders helping with ideas, writing and implementation of these things the overhaul is in a consistent state of flux which while confusing for some means that the work is VERY thorough.

The Community & The Contributions

Many authors have added to the project in terms of ideas, formatting of those ideas, and models. This is in part how genesis is meant to operate. The pieces of multiple puzzles thrown into the mix and cut down to the right shape and size to fit the greater vision being painted.

The list is non exhaustive but players and users can find a list here: Steam Credit’s Thread

Boron himself has changed how the foundation of many ideas and systems are designed and integrated. Thus many have been outright scrapped in favor of better systems.
Genesis originally aimed to have massive directed faction wars that the player could participate in and help direct for one of the major factions. With Boron’s new systems the wars and interactions between these factions will be much more dynamic and require much less player input while also giving players a direct line to control said decisions in many ways.

Another idea that was scrapped for the most part is the directed faction “quests”.
Taking inspiration from From Software these quests will able to be failed outright just by missing the interaction with an NPC.
This means that players can lose out on armor and weapons unique to factions just because they made the wrong move.
Making every decision they make much more worthwhile without, outright burdening the player in long directed choices they think they have to make.

Another key feature that many have gripes with in larger overhaul’s or modpacks is dialogue & AI. Don’t worry. I know the pains and have taken extensive time to write out how i want to do such work. Though there is bound to be bugs over time that crop up. I want players to feel like the world they are playing in is lived in.
Dialogue and dialogue trees will be rewritten from scratch to be broken down into much simpler and easier interactions while each “branch” of the tree will host thousands of lines of dialogue.
A guard might comment on a deed you’ve done while also reprimanding you for the hash you carry.
Dialogue will be flavorful while also being very topical to the world of kenshi, You wont see a guard ask for a “band-aid” or curse in gods name.
Of course once the framework is finalized then players, modders, & everyone from the community can add in dialogue and expand what is recognized in the world. Meaning over time, you and your friends in the community could bury thousands of one liners or even full open ended quest chains into the world of Kenshi: Genesis!

The scope of the overhaul should touch and expand upon every faction and add in a small handful of new ones to flesh out some missing areas of the lore that were cut.
As of now the overhaul is in a beta phase, while feature rich with many additions and changes to enhance the gameplay it has many unpolished areas.

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