Nightingale was an online RPG that Nightingale launched in 2019, just before officially announced. The first game was developed by a new studio founded under Improbable, former BioWare general manager. The company emphasized player agency and cited Neverwinter Nights’ player-created material as an example. Flynn now talks about Inflexion Games, the new studio name. Flynn describes what has since evolved into a shared-world survival-crafting-crafting game. It is set in Victorian times. Nightingale sounds like it still has roots in the old BioWare RPGs despite the genre change.
Flynn spoke to Eurogamer about Nightingale’s setting and how players can solve world problems using their choice-based approach.
Flynn explains that “when we started the studio, we had thought for a while about an alternate history video game and just loved Victorian era,” Flynn said. BioWare didn’t explore this alternate history idea. Mass Effect is, ostensibly, a future with an alternate past, but that’s not what we touched on.”
Nightingale’s alt-history is a Victorian period where magic portals allow travel to other realms. Realmwalkers are player characters that can travel to other worlds. When this network of portals fails, they find themselves trapped in alternate worlds. They must survive to return to Nightingale. This is the background to why you might find yourself in a beautiful pink petticoat outfit, chopping woods to build a home.
Flynn stated that “we had imagined the types of things we would create in this game” and that the company’s passion for world-building was what prompted it to say that it wanted to “create an interactive world and empower players to do whatever they want.”
Based on Inflexion’s first descriptions and the trailer, it sounded like a Victorian-era crafting survival romp with fancy hats. The trailer shows you how to build structures and chop trees in first-person combat. It also features giant creatures that live in alternate realms for some added flair.
Flynn’s comments on Nightingale’s sandbox characteristics sound more like focusing on the types of choice-based RPGs that I associate with BioWare.
The reveal trailer is split into two parts. He says that there’s a fantastic moment in the trailer that shows the world’s dichotomy. It’s where a giant bends down to accept an offer from players. This is one way to solve the problem. As shown in the trailer, another way to solve the problem is for several people to engage with a giant that’s walking through their neighborhood. Each challenge is different, and every decision has its consequences.
Flynn mentions that Nightingale will feature NPCs who act as quest givers. This is an excellent addition to my experience crafting survival games in uninhabited wildernesses.
These few details suggest that Inflexion may tweak the crafting survival recipe to include some of the old favorites, as other studios did last year.
Nightingale has not yet been released, but Inflexion states that playtesting will start in 2022.