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Talking to Bill about Bloodlust - A Vampire RPG
Interview - posted by DarkUnderlord on Mon 5 December 2011, 02:55:22Tags: Bloodlust
We sent Morgoth to talk to William Fisher about his upcoming Vampire RPG, Bloodlust. This is what he found out...
1) So, tell us about your game. Why a Vampire RPG of all things, why not a traditional fantasy RPG like most developers, or SciFi?
I never really thought about that too much. All of my games have been Horror... so I tend to go in that direction all the time. Also... although many RPG's have horror elements... I haven't seen too many pure horror RPG's. (Aside from "Bloodlines" and a few others) So since it wasn't an over-saturated genre... it seemed like a good idea.
2) Are you working on this game full time or part time? If it is the later, what is your day job? How long has this game been in development?
This game is definitely Full-Time.(and a little overtime too lol!) I have been developing "BloodLust" full-time for the past year, and a little bit on and off in between other projects before that.
3) Are you funding this game yourself? Have you made any other games apart from this, and if so how did they sell?
Yes, this game is funded by myself. Prior to that, I have released 4 games in the Last Half of Darkness series (Point & Click Adventure style gameplay) - The point and click niche is fairly small and never sells as much as I like... but they all sell good enough.
4) What is the story behind this game? How much of an impact does player actions have over the story, and what year is the game set in? (assuming it is set in Earth)
The player was bitten and is resurrected as vampire fledgling at the start of the game - the story unfolds as the player grows in bloodline and his/her memories slowly come back (Oh no! Please not another amnesia premise? Yes... lol!)
Apparently slight memory loss is a side effect of the resurrection process. But who resurrected you? Who has bitten you? How did you wake up in creepy ruins area? ... It all unfolds as the story progresses.
I am planing on setting it up with choices and consequences for the player to decide throughout the story. Siding and helping certain clans affects certain storylines, quests, etc. and ultimately creates different outcomes, etc. The demo starts off in a ruins/graveyard area with strange creatures and then moves towards the gritty backstreets and alleys of New Orleans where you find more humans and clan members.
5) From what I could tell from the gameplay video, the game appears to be an action RPG in the vein of Bloodlines (Troika). Exactly, how much focus is on action, and how much on the RPG elements? And how much of an inspiration was Bloodlines on this game?
Yes... it will be an action-style gameplay. Someone let me borrow the actual "White Wolf" book several years ago... and that got me interested in creating a computer RPG based on Vampires. I actually just recently purchased Bloodlines for the PC. I figured I probably should check it out since it is another Vampire RPG (but never got far into the game) I also purchased "Vampire Hunters" Anyone hear of that one? lol!
6) What is character creation like? What kind of a ruleset are you using for this game? Is it something you made up yourself?
There are 3 classes of vampire characters to choose from... a Punk (warrior-type strong in strength), Thief (rogue-type strong in dexterity), and Witch (mage-type strong in charisma). Each starting with 1 skill (along with Bite) and their own attribute strengths, clan reputation, etc. However... I suppose you could make a "Warrior" strong in alchemy and magic or a "Witch" good with weapons if you wanted.
7) There seem to be special vampire powers the player can gain during the course of the game. What is the rate at which the player gains these powers? Can you get every power during the course of the game, or will that take multiple playthroughs?
Skills are based on clan reputation... certain clans have certain skill-sets and belonging to certain clans you have access to the clan's skills.
For example, "Frenzy" is a Durkas clan skill - so in order to learn "Frenzy" you would need to earn some reputation with the Durkas clan. Perhaps you helped out a member of the Durkas clan by completing a quest for them or telling them a "secret" about a rival clan. This would earn you a little reputation with the Durkas. However, if later, you betrayed the Durkas by helping a rival clan you could loose reputation in the Durkas clan. Note: Once you learn a skill you cannot un-learn it - but without enough reputation you won't be able to increase the level of that skill further.
Because you can belong to several clans at once... (have reputation with several clans simultaneously) it is possible to learn a clan's skill and then still have it when you are kicked out (of course that particular skill will be "locked" at a low skill level depending on how much reputation you have when you betrayed the clan. Then again... you may be able to redeem loyalty with clans with "framing" another clan with your crime.)
If you are cunning enough.. you can probably lie, betray and fool clans to believe your loyalty and get every skill in game, but your loyalty with certain clans can yield higher skill levels in certain skill sets which may be necessary for particular quests... This is something I will have to play around with.
Multiple playthroughs may be necessary to see everything... because your character is Saved automatically - there are no re-dos... once a decision is made to betray or join a clan, that's it! You would have to start another character to see how it would turn out differently with different choices.
8) Tell us more about these Vampire powers. What do they allow you to do? Do they cost health to use? Are there shapeshifting powers, and if so what does shapeshifting do?
There are many disciplines for each class of vampire... Such as shapeshifting into "Mist" (skill set of Furlores clan) in order to move through the bars of a locked gate. Other shapeshifting abilities may include raven and wolf. Each skill requires an amount of Lifeforce (equivalent of mana for vampires) and charisma that affects the length of the spell and its effectiveness.
For example if you cast Spirit Summon (skillset of Vangres clan) to call a raven to aid you in your attacks... your level in the skill and the amount of charisma will affect the length of the summoning and also the strength of the ravens attack. (Raven's damage = (base damage*skill_level) + charisma / 8)
9) Will the player start off as a Vampire, or will he/she become a Vampire during the course of the game? What does being a Vampire entail in this game? Will we need to drink blood regularly? Will we only be active during the night?
You start off as a newly bitten fledgeling... you must gain experience to grow in strength and bloodline. As you increase bloodline you grow stronger in attributes and skill... becomer a more powerful vampire. (Something you may or may not want?)
Your goal is to infiltrate a vampiric society, with different sects and factions, gaining in hierarchy if possible and eventually looking for (and destroying) the evil that turned you into a night feeder to regain your mortality and humanity. You can bite humans to increase health... however, you start off more human than vampire and don't really feel comfortable killing humans so you tend to drink only a little without draining them dry.
As far as day/night... this is something I have to play around with. Right now you have certain clothing and eyewear, such as goggles, sunglasses, etc. that give you resistance to light... so along with this resistance and moving underground through the sewers during the daytime, it may prove fun gameplay to include. Also... you probably need to sleep a good chunk of the day anyway... so only a small amount of daytime activity would be a part of the gameplay, if any.
10) Are there any skills in the game? What about feats/talents/special abilities (apart from Vampire powers)?
Yes... I guess "lock picking" and "trap disarming" would be better classified as a skill than a vampire power, such as shapeshifting... However, right now, everything is sort of classified all together as simply "skills."
11) How much written dialogue is there in the game? Can you speak to many NPCs? Are there unlockable dialogue options?
Yes... there will be many NPCs to talk with throughout the game... many affiliated with particular clans. Your conversation decisions can affect your loyalty and reputation with those clans. You can lie, bluff and mislead to your advantage if necessary or be loyal, its entirely up to you how you play. Of course, how you play can affect other quests and their difficulty. Remember... This is a gritty world of backstabbing, deception, betrayal and criminals where no one is to be trusted entirely.
12) Is the game linear, open ended, or some mixture of the two?
The beginning of the game (and demo) is somewhat linear due to story and quest branching restraints - but once the player gets into the city... it becomes more open where some quests can be done out of order.
13) Do you have any party members during the course of the game, or is it single PC only?
Aside from summoning familiars to help you, it is primarily a Single character gameplay at the moment. However, you may be able to join up or take along another member of a clan to do a certain quest here or there?
14) What sort of weapons are available for the player? I assume guns, melee weapons and fists? Anything else? What about martial arts?
At the moment the demo only contains knives, daggers, swords, and hammers, etc... but needs to include crossbows (with wooden stakes) guns, and throwing blades. No martial arts at the moment... but not a bad idea. (have to see about that lol!)
15) Finally, when will the full game be available and how much should we expect to pay?
No official release date yet, but probably in a year or so. As far as game price... it's hard to say yet depending on how much content I can give it, but probably between $7.99 - $10.99 for download version (more if I offer a DVD version).
We'd like to thank Bill for his time. If you're interested in finding out more, check out the game's website and download the demo.