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Dead State Interview with Brian Mitsoda at RPGWatch

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Dead State Interview with Brian Mitsoda at RPGWatch

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Mon 25 August 2014, 23:06:45

Tags: Brian Mitsoda; Dead State; DoubleBear Productions

There's a new interview with Brian Mitsoda over at RPGWatch. The interview starts off with a few questions about Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, but most of it is dedicated to asking a large number of questions about the game mechanics of Dead State, to which Brian answers in detail. It's a good interview! Here's a short excerpt:

RPGWatch: For me (and hopefully some of my readers!), deep RPG systems are the most important thing in an RPG, and the more complex the system, the better! What type of RPG stats, skills and perks can we expect to find in Dead State? Can you give us some examples of their design?

Brian: All of our stats and skills are fairly straightforward and have been cut down to be as useful as possible so that you don't feel like you put points in a useless option. Melee and Ranged are straightforward combat skills, while Mechanical, Medical, and Science have combat and Shelter applications, specifically building upgrades, healing allies faster, and building new armor or items. Survival is all about getting around the map quicker and more safely while also opening up potential wild sources of food. Leadership has dialogue applications, but can also be used to issue commands that can change your odds in combat. Negotiation helps you keep order at the shelter, but also allows you to more successfully deal with the demands of enemies and allies. Each skill has a choice of perks at levels 3 and 6, with a very useful perk unlocked at level 10. Pretty much whatever skill you pick is going to give you better odds of survival, but your specialties and perks will change your game experience quite a bit.

RPGWatch: What can you tell us about the companions in Dead State? Are there any hidden companions that require effort to get to join your crew, such as a character hidden in a hard-to-find location, or requiring some certain prerequisite to be met to get them to join?)? Will different characters have different classes, if classes are even in the game?

Brian: There aren't classes in the game, and allies use the same types of skills that the player does. Every ally has different stats, skill, and perks that make them useful in different ways. Some allies are better off utilized at the Shelter, while some are more suited to combat. A few allies will show up automatically, but many of them must be found out in the world. There are a few that will only join your Shelter if you take certain actions. And, of course, if you piss them off out in the world, there's always the chance they might just attack you rather than join you. Not all of them start out willing to join you immediately.

RPGWatch: Vampire - Bloodlines seemed like it had significant player choices around every corner, and it made for a very re-playable game. What type of choices will there to be made in Dead State, and how heavy will the consequences be? Can you fail some quests because you chose the "wrong" dialog? Will the game adapt to your choices and change based on them? Do quest outcomes differ based on your choices?

Brian: The consequences range from altering an ally's mood to losing supplies to provoking certain allies to take an action against you. Dealing with certain groups can lead to attacks on your Shelter's fence or the chance of encountering more enemies out in the world. There's also Crisis Events - major events or disasters that require a vote by the Shelter's leadership - that change the entire mood of the Shelter and can have far-ranging consequences when it comes to the respect of the sub-leaders there.

As far as failure, it's possible to result in less than optimal situations from your decisions, but you'll never instantly be killed or anything that severe. We always give you the chance to alter the situation inside your Shelter yourself - such as making an ally have a "convenient accident" that day. You'll never be able to please everyone at the Shelter with your decisions, so the best thing to do is to balance your actions toward the majority or try to tweak the allies in the Shelter to be more likely to side via bribes and negotiation.

There are several major factions you deal with in the game world, and the options you take with them can vary quite a bit. Some of them might even be willing to work with you or at least respect you enough to leave you alone. Most of the day to day in the game is going to be working with your own people and keeping up the morale of the Shelter. The endings of the game will be dependent on the number of allies you have and some other factors ranging from faction relationships to the skills of you and your fellow Shelter residents. Our hope is that every player writes their own story of survival within the actions that they take.​

Crisis events, eh? That sounds familiar.

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