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Development Info Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 Dev Diary #8: Explore the World of Darkness

Infinitron

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

https://www.paradoxinteractive.com/...oodlines-2/news/explore-the-world-of-darkness

Hello again,

This is my 3rd dev diary, and I have used the last two to talk about the 1st and 2nd pillars of the game: Feel Like a Vampire, which covered the player fantasy; Visceral Immersive combat, which covers the action gameplay. Today I want to tell you about our 3rd and final game pillar: "Explore The World of Darkness," which covers the setting, society, characters, story, and RPG elements of the game. We'll be talking in-depth about RPG elements at a later date, so today I am going to focus mainly on the setting, society, and characters.

The World of Darkness is the larger umbrella for the Vampire The Masquerade IP and the related games. It handles the supernatural in a mature and grounded way, basing it on the premise that vampires, werewolves, and ghosts are actually real, but are hidden from our contemporary human society. Video games offer a unique perspective on this world that other mediums don't, being able to walk around it and explore it. Our goal with this pillar was to create a version of Seattle that is authentic to The World of Darkness IP and makes you believe that this hidden side of Seattle, where vampires are in control, could be real and that in contrast the human world feels more alien to you and potentially unreal. To that end, we didn't set about making an exact replica of Seattle, as our priority wasn't to represent the human world, but the vampire one. The Seattle you experience in Bloodlines 2 is a kind of "best-of" Seattle where we've taken key landmarks and brought them in closer together. For example, Pioneer Square is a key location, and it speaks to us of the old city and its founders (some of which were vampires that you will meet), but we also have volunteer park, which in reality is on the outskirts of the city but we loved the idea of doing a creepy mission there that reveals something sinister beneath this iconic conservatory.

We want you to feel like you are seeing Seattle through the eyes of a vampire, so we have also made buildings taller, lights brighter, and alleyways darker to give an overall heightened feeling to what you are seeing as if you are looking through the eyes of an apex predator. For a better explanation of this, I suggest you read Ben Matthews dev diary on our neo-noir art style.

In Bloodlines 1 you were a new vampire in a city with a large Anarch presence where the Camarilla don’t have complete dominance. For Bloodlines 2 we have flipped this on its head. You play Phyre, an Elder vampire (~400 years old) in a city where Camarilla has been dominant for decades, and any hint of Anarch sympathy is squashed. Phyre's number 1 loyalty is to herself, but she is wise enough to respect the power of the Camarilla and, more importantly, the Masquerade. Within the story Phyre earns a seat at the top-table of the Camarilla as the court's Sheriff, giving her the court's protection but also a powerful authority within Seattle's vampire society. This is an RPG, of course, so you can roleplay Sheriff in multiple ways, maybe you are a loyal Sheriff of the Camarilla, or an Anarch sympathiser working from within to undermine the court, or maybe you're a self-centred Elder vampire playing the different factions off each other to your advantage.

Phyre's motivation in the story is driven (at least initially) by regaining her power - she has awoken after 100 years in torpor (vampire hibernation) 6000 miles from home with markings all over her body which are limiting her powers. This sets up the narrative context of the ability tree (which we will show in due course) which instead of being about adding new powers to Phyre, like levelling up in the pen-and-paper RPG, you are unlocking her existing powers. Over her 300 years roaming the old world, Phyre had gained many powers, not only those from the disciplines of her clan.

An important part of the Masquerade is that vampires are hidden in plain sight in our society. There are several vampire hangouts in the city which, to a passerby appear innocent, but to those in the know, are important places in vampire society. For example, the little old lady who runs the all-night coffee shop may not be as sweet and defenceless as she seems at first glance. A key location the player often returns to, is Weaver Tower, a Seattle corporate HQ that is actually the front for the Camarilla, inspired by the downtown skyscrapers in Seattle and giving the city's Prince a skyline view over their domain.

Lastly, there can be no World of Darkness without light - the world of humans. The city is populated with "civilians," unaware that you are a vampire walking among them. Whilst this may seem great to a vampire - free-ranged food on every street - it also comes with risk, as using your vampiric powers or feeding in front of witnesses can trigger a Masquerade breach, and while you are Sheriff, even you are not above the law and could have the court's Scourge sent to deal with you if you are reckless on the streets of the emerald city. So make sure to hunt like a vampire: stalking from rooftops, hunting in alleyways, isolating your prey and if you are observed, deal with witnesses swiftly.

I hope you enjoyed hearing more about the setting and world of Bloodlines 2. We look forward to sharing more information with you in future dev diaries.

Good night!
Alex Skidmore, Project Creative Director​
 

Rarre

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Jun 13, 2019
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So you cannot choose to not be the Camarilla's Sheriff..... OMFG... So boring... Could be fun but all things are singaling to a big fail...
I don't think this game deserves the rpg tag anymore, we are not facing a rpg here, this is an adventure-action game...

TCR go hell plz
 

RaggleFraggle

Ask me about VTM
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Mar 23, 2022
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Tattoos are limiting her elder powers? They’re basically copying the fog of eternity from Vampire: The Requiem. Why not just use Vampire: Requiem? You can tell a story about an elder who wakes up after a millenium in a strange new world and seeks to rebuild her power base, remembering her old powers piece by piece as she goes, building alliances, making enemies, etc. The Chronicles of Darkness books are chock full of weird shit you can throw around. There’s three-eyed hermaphroditic nazi wizards, spider yokai that eat your brain and control you like a puppet, whatever the fuck is going on with the god-machine, etc.
 

Tyranicon

A Memory of Eternity
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1. The "unlocking your powerz" thing has been done to death and is boring.

2. They constantly refer to Phyre as "she/her." We're going to reap so much salt when they announce that malevamp has been deleted from the game.

:P :P :P
 

kites

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We're going to reap so much salt when they announce that malevamp has been deleted from the game.

:P :P :P
As this now seems more like a 10 hour tell-tale adventure game with some awesome-button-cooldown sequences, what’s the harm in hiring a male VA? Surely males and females can come from the same place and say the exact same dialogue; that’s about what “rpg” fans would expect nowadays. It’s only a matter of time for some more pansexual fem/bro-mance representation so that every consumer/reviewer is categorically pleased with their self-insert (or too scared to complain about the small beans and ostracize themselves otherwise)
 

Tyranicon

A Memory of Eternity
Developer
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We're going to reap so much salt when they announce that malevamp has been deleted from the game.

:P :P :P
As this now seems more like a 10 hour tell-tale adventure game with some awesome-button-cooldown sequences, what’s the harm in hiring a male VA?

You have to record twice the player dialogue lines, record pronouns for other VAs, completely different character model, etc for basically an aesthetic option in an adventure game.
 

kites

samsung verizon hitachi
Patron
Joined
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Messages
343
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hyperborean trench town
RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut
We're going to reap so much salt when they announce that malevamp has been deleted from the game.

:P :P :P
As this now seems more like a 10 hour tell-tale adventure game with some awesome-button-cooldown sequences, what’s the harm in hiring a male VA?

You have to record twice the player dialogue lines, record pronouns for other VAs, completely different character model, etc for basically an aesthetic option in an adventure game.
So some guy that is from a level slightly higher than fiverr agreed to voice it? You think they can't afford to check some boxes to avoid controversy?
DFFD - Copy.png
 

Tyranicon

A Memory of Eternity
Developer
Joined
Oct 7, 2019
Messages
5,626
So some guy that is from a level slightly higher than fiverr agreed to voice it? You think they can't afford to check some boxes to avoid controversy?
It's not entirely a matter of budget, there's also time. This game is scheduled for fall, literally as soon as 7 months away, and all we have for malevamp is some concept art.
 

kites

samsung verizon hitachi
Patron
Joined
Jan 30, 2015
Messages
343
Location
hyperborean trench town
RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut
So some guy that is from a level slightly higher than fiverr agreed to voice it? You think they can't afford to check some boxes to avoid controversy?
It's not entirely a matter of budget, there's also time. This game is scheduled for fall, literally as soon as 7 months away, and all we have for malevamp is some concept art.
For all we know it's solely a matter of optics at the moment; it would be interesting to see actually how far they feel they are in the present
 

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