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Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 Dev Diary #14: What are we up to? Part 2

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Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 Dev Diary #14: What are we up to? Part 2

Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Wed 26 June 2024, 22:03:53

Tags: Paradox Interactive; The Chinese Room; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2


As summer approaches we wanted to fill you in on a few processes and reflections our team is grappling with. So much going on right now!

“For my Quests, I like to lean into the protagonist's nature as an outsider in a foreign land. Seattle may at first seem inconsequential to an Elder Vampire but, powerful as you are, you're still at the bottom of the ladder. Phyre must quickly react to a Kindred power structure in chaos and the early missions in the city reflect this.

Rejection by those in power would mean certain befalling, and so Phyre must prove their worthiness to Seattle's elite. Many of my quests follow this thread of pressure being applied to our protagonist. For players to run the gauntlet through Seattle, deciding which relationships to nurture and which to break.

Seattle is frozen in time under a blanket of snow, waiting for a new leader to emerge. Phyre is weakened and in need of both allies and answers. The weakest soldiers on the street, the Courts, and even the Cops will present challenges for players to navigate, or maybe just straight-up punch in the mouth. Our more open areas present players with more of a choice in their approach to combat and we've taken great care in crafting slick traversal options that reinforce that. Can't wait to show you more!"

- The Chinese Room’s Junior Level Designer Jack Goddard

“In the last Dev Diary, I mentioned how we build our levels to support the game’s awesome traversal system. This time, I’d like to dive deeper into this and some other key considerations when designing levels for Bloodlines 2.

Traversal Mechanics
Let's start with traversal. When designing our spaces, we consider numerous factors to allow you to make the most of your Kindred abilities. Many of our environments would have been built for humans in Seattle, but you are a powerful Vampire, and our spaces need to support this. We have created multiple paths, some that are accessible by humans and some of which are only accessible through using your unique movements, enhancing both gameplay variety and immersion. However, using these vampiric abilities can risk breaking the Masquerade, so these paths are designed to be used discreetly, ensuring you remain hidden from prying human eyes.

Space Purpose
The purpose of each space greatly influences its design. Are you likely to be fighting enemies here? If so, the area will look and feel vastly different from one meant for exploration or storytelling. Combat zones are crafted to support various playstyles, from stealth to brawling, and we sometimes design areas to encourage a particular approach to keep gameplay dynamic.

Narrative and Exploration
For spaces focused on story and exploration, our approach shifts. Here, the goal is to provide opportunities for discovery and to guide you towards interesting moments organically. These environments are meant to contrast with combat-heavy areas, offering a slower pace. These spaces invite you to linger and delve deeper into the lore of our world.

Balancing the Experience
Finally, while each space is carefully crafted to fulfill its specific role, we also ensure a balanced mix throughout the game. The interplay between fast-paced action areas and more serene, narrative-rich environments keeps the gameplay experience fresh and engaging.

In summary, our level design philosophy revolves around maximizing the potential of your Vampire abilities, tailoring spaces to their intended purpose, and maintaining a balanced and engaging pace throughout the game. We can’t wait for you to experience the world we’ve built in Bloodlines 2.”

- The Chinese Room’s Level Designer Amy Lee​

There are 31 comments on Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 Dev Diary #14: What are we up to? Part 2

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