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monster they want to be, and our goal is to
have the game react accordingly.
It has to be strange dealing with the hype/
expectation surrounding Bloodlines 2 –
how do you deal with that strange mix of
pressure and lack of pressure?
You concentrate on making the game you
want to make. While we felt the pressure
from expectation early on, the more we
worked on it, the more secure we were
in knowing we were making a Bloodlines
game. While the first game didn’t sell well
at launch, over the years it has become
a cult classic that has millions of fans all
over the world. To this day, you’ll be hard-
pressed to find a fan of RPGs who hasn’t at
least heard stories about the greatness of
Bloodlines. If the response from the gaming
community at large is any indication, I
think we have a hit on our hands.
What are your hopes for Bloodlines 2
on release? What do you want to see
We want to deliver a true successor to
Bloodlines, and everything that goes with
it – something fans of the first one and
players new to the franchise will enjoy.
We want people to have meaningful
conversations about the story and the
choices they made. We, as a team,
understand how much the original means
to people (because it means a lot to many
of us), and we’re not taking that lightly.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
releases on PC, PS4, and Xbox One later
flesh like tissue paper, and vampiric
abilities – or Disciplines – are powerful
and fulfilling to use. Players can customise
their preferred combat methods – they can
even create a character that can resolve
some situations through manipulation and
coercion to get what they want.
What’s been the most challenging
aspect to bring into the sequel from the
Player choice and reactivity is at the core
of pretty much everything we do. Tabletop
RPGs are great because of how free-form
and choice-driven they are, which gives
players a lot of freedom. The players can
do anything at any time. Video games are
more restrictive because of the format and
the technology, but we can still design for
enhancing player choice and reactivity. The
player may not have the same amount of
freedom as the tabletop, but we can get
very close with good design.
When developing the game, we always
keep player choice in mind. How would
a player with a non-combat build get
through this encounter? Can we have
more entrances to this building that take
advantage of the player’s Discipline choice?
If the player puts all their points into this
one skill, how will that impact their game
experience? The player gets to decide the
Bloodlines 2 takes place in the modern
day, just as the first one did. There have
been some major societal shifts in the 15
years between games, and we’ve been
able to integrate them into Bloodlines 2.
For example, the Masquerade is more
difficult to maintain out in public because
of the abundance of mobile devices and
cameras. Anyone with a smartphone
can take photos of vampire shenanigans
and immediately show it to the world,
resulting in harsh consequences for the
player. But we balance that with areas
where the player can perform those things
outside of public view, either where they
won’t be seen or where people no longer
care. Being a vampire hasn’t changed all
that much, but the ability to be a vampire
is something we get to leverage in the
playable spaces of the game.
What’s been something you were
champing at the bit to change, upgrade, or
fix from the original Bloodlines?
We looked very carefully at the first game
and reviewed what was needed for the
sequel. We looked at the things we wanted
to keep and where we could improve on
the first game. The combat experience
was at the top of the list of opportunities
for improvement. We really wanted to
emphasise the vampire strength, agility,
and abilities in combat to make the
player feel like a monster. When you’re a
vampire, weapons are meant to be fleeting
accessories, your fists tear through human
Hardsuit Labs has
certainly crafted an
Unarmed? Sure, but also you’re a
vampire. Tends to help a smidge.
plays a central role in the
world of the Masquerade.
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