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Bloodlines 2 Dev Diary #7: PDXCON Recap
Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Wed 13 November 2019, 23:51:45Tags: Andy Kipling; Brian Mitsoda; Cara Ellison; Florian Schwarzer; Hardsuit Labs; Paradox Interactive; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
In addition to the development update where Hardsuit apologized for its delay, there were a number of other Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 panels at PDXCON last month that weren't livestreamed. Each one covering a different essential aspect of the game - combat, facial animations, narrative, and hub design. It seems Paradox aren't ready to release the full recordings of those panels yet, but for today's Bloodlines 2 dev diary they put together a video containing snippets from each one. It's not hugely interesting but there is some new gameplay footage in the facial animations part. Here's the video, along with an excerpt from Hardsuit CEO Andy Kipling's personal recap of his visit to PDXCON.
The next day we woke up early and headed over to the Funkhaus where PDXCon was being hosted. We had the chance to show the very same demo we announced the game with, back in March at GDC. To this day, there have been no recordings of this build, which meant that we could offer our guests something exclusive. As I got into the groove, it was 7 months since I last did this demo, I recognized that we hit our familiar stride with when doing the press demos, a demo that was well received. It would turn out to be a stark contrast to the next day, however.
Saturday the 19th started early. We arrived at the venue around 7:30 am and the fans were already there en masse. Kudos to you all who were standing around outside the early cold fall morning.
Demos with the fans started at 8:30 that morning and immediately I was surprised, excited and impressed. In all my years in this industry and with all the demos I have been a part of, I can not say I have ever had the privilege to present to a group of fans like the people at PDXCon. Within 30 seconds of starting the demo, our audience was clapping, cheering, shouting out answers for dialogue and generally showing a level of excitement I haven’t experienced before. And as a developer, that was super inspiring and emotionally fulfilling. For as early as it was, and as jet-lagged and tired I was, that initial experience was a real inspiration and something I took home to Seattle to share with the team. If only they also had been there. And to top it off, I had a Malkavian cosplayer in our audience!
From there it was a few more demos, followed by the big announcement show. After some quick rehearsals outside on the banks of the river Spree, it was back inside the concrete Funkhaus for a deep dive into combat mechanics, where I stood in for our designers, who had opted to stay home and press on with development. Despite my trepidation, it went off without a hitch.
By then, we had also settled into the rhythm that was our time at PDXCon. If one of us was not manning the demo booth, then someone was off giving a talk, be it on Combat, Living World, Dialogue Systems or the game’s narrative. Oh, and speaking of Narrative, I should note that while my experience reflected most of the other HSL dev’s experience, Brian and Cara, being responsible for our narrative, had quite a different experience; doing back to back interviews for two days straight. I’m truly impressed and glad that they could take on that responsibility.
[...] This takes me to the Dev Update on the main stage at PDXCon. While we did not end PDXCon with the keynote it did mark the culmination of a lot of behind-the-scenes work. We spoke to some of the history of the project, the studio, the relationship with Paradox, where we are presently and most importantly; where we are going from here.
I mentioned this earlier and I will mention it again, but the support that you all have shown us following the delay announcement has been tremendous and wonderful. It is that kind of response that inspires and motivates us developers and so I wanted to personally say thanks. It is something that we not only heard leading up to PDXCon but was reinforced over and over while at the event – do what is necessary and best for the game and we will support you.
So, with that in mind, and as we alluded to in the keynote, we are going to be a bit quieter for a while as we do just that – do what is necessary and best for the game; making it all it can be. This means that you may not hear or see from us as much but that does not mean we have forgotten about you. Rather, we are heads down working to make Bloodlines 2 everything we want it to be. We look forward to seeing you on the flip side. Until then...
There probably won't be any more major Bloodlines 2 news until next year. I would still like to see those panels though. Maybe with accompanying dev diaries going into further detail?