Articles

Rik Schaffer Interview

  • 16 May 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 67
  • 0 Comments
Mr. Schaffer is the music composer for both Bloodlines 1 and now 2. He partook in a live stream Q&A by Outstar and thanks to Planet Vampire found a transcript. His answers are pretty curt and to the point. So don't expect a lot of in-depth answers, but it is still question illuminating musically speaking. Feel free to read and comment below.


Q: This has been probably asked a lot, but was the similarity between the VTM: Bloodlines Theme and Massive Attack's Angel intentional?
 
Rik Schaffer: Yep. When I started the project, that was the placeholder track they had in for like a year. They were married to it, but couldn't get the rights. They said make something similar. I hate copying artists, but made it kind of my own.

Q: Were you approached or working on CCP's World of Darkness game before it got cancelled?

Rik Schaffer: Never contacted me. I was working on ESO (Elder Scrolls Online) online but would have dropped everything to continue on a Bloodlines type MMO.

R: Be glad, Rik. CCP mismanaged the hell out of WoD MMO.

Rik Schaffer: MMO are dead.

R: Damn. Nice to know you're that passionate about the IP, though.

Q: Do you prefer composing music traditionally , while playing instruments, or do you do it digitally right now?

Rik Schaffer: I don't write music or read music. Self taught. Everything starts in my head, then the guitar and piano are enemies until I find it. With the atmosphere compositions, those were started on synths or non traditional instruments.

Q: What do you think of poems based on gameplay from games? What music should go with it? Say if it is based on Bloodlines?

Rik Schaffer: Poems of Bloodlines and Vampires? Dark, brooding, sexual, but not Count Chocula.

VentureBeat: With the Tremere, there will be blood (magic)

  • 10 May 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 59
  • 0 Comments
Where they fit

The Tremere were in the first Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines. And the clan was involved in one of the so-called “good” endings, Schwarzer said.

“That game introduced you to L.A. in an uneasy peace after a civil war among vampire factions. In that world of wary fighters, ambitious upstarts and broken monsters, the Tremere’s chantry was a place of stability and purpose. Of course, you could never be quite sure what that purpose really was — they’re vampires, after all. … ” Schwarzer said.

The traditional role of the Tremere in Vampire: The Masquerade is of a power behind the scenes, one that could be more foe than friend.

“One of the things that make the clan interesting to me is that the Tremere have changed over time. When you go back to the very beginning of Vampire: the Masquerade, the Blood Sorcerers felt a bit like antagonists: the soft-spoken, cultured ones that you’re never quite sure haven’t already decided which arcane experiment to bleed you dry for. Add to that the rigid, inscrutable organization — the ‘Pyramid’ — that backs them up, and you’re looking at a real menace even among vampires,” Schwarzer said.

But this resonated with players. So the Tremere evolved (which kinda fits their kit).

“Thing is: That also made them really interesting to players. So things shifted a bit,” Schwarzer said. “The Tremere are still distrusted — arguably for pretty good reasons. At the same time, they’re too powerful (and useful) to ignore: In many cities, they’re advisers or the proverbial power behind the throne. Very recently, the leaders of the Pyramid were assassinated. Suddenly, unlife as a Tremere has become a lot more dangerous — but also more free than ever before.”

Full article here

PC GAMER: The Masquerade—Bloodlines 2's first full-blood clan is the Brujah

  • 2 May 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 60
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In Vampire: The Masquerade—Bloodlines 2, you'll begin your unlife as a Thinblood with few mates, but eventually you'll be able to join one of five vampire clans, including the rebellious Brujah. They're the angry, righteous punks of the World of Darkness, and you can learn more about what their deal is in the reveal trailer above.

The Brujah are known as 'The Rabble' to the rest of the vampires, and they're not ones for institutions or authority. They used to be a clan of warrior scholars—you play as one in Redemption—but in the modern age they're viewed by the other clans as punks and troublemakers. 

 

There aren't many Brujah in Seattle, and most of them are what remains from failed Anarch movements. Anarchs reject the vampire establishment and, not surprisingly, it's a movement the Brujah find appealing. That means they aren't affiliated with Seattle's bloodsucking political factions, so they might be a good choice of clan if you want to be a bit of a wild card. They love a good brawl, too, and even host undead fight clubs. Their vampire powers also reflect this penchant for pugilism.  

Potency

  • You're big, you're tough and your muscles have muscles.
  • Fist of Caine gives you a punch even the big daddy of the vamps would be proud of. Knock down walls and throw people far. It's upgradeable, too. 
  • Beat up the ground with Earthshock, creating a shockwave and knocking down anyone that gets too close. Upgrading it will send out fissures that damage everyone nearby. 

Celerity

 

  • You're the speedster of the vampire world.
  • Unseen Storm lets you dash in any direction so quickly that, to anyone looking, you disappear, giving you the chance to make a quick attack, reposition yourself and dodge attacks. It helps if you want to run away, too, and it can be upgraded.
  • With Accelerate, the world slows down around you, letting pull off fancy stunts and even avoid bullets. You can enhance it with an upgrade, too. You'll be wanting to grab some shades and a leather coat, obviously. 

Full article

Brujah Clan Reveal Live Stream

  • 2 May 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 78
  • 0 Comments
Here is the video of the live stream they did today on the Brujah. They also did answer a handful of questions at the end, I did a bullet point summary below, post your thoughts in the comments;

 
  • Takes ~5 hrs average play through to go from Thinblood to full clan
  • Brujah weakness is their passion and thus easier to frenzy in-game if they don't feed frequently
  • They explain the 2 disciplines per clan choice that they felt the traditional 3 would be "sensory overload" and too much to manage in a real time combat game
  • Can still build a social Brujah even with their loss of Presence
  • No procedurally generated quests
  • In BL2 most Brujah have left the Camarilla (per V20/V5 lore) however the metaplot will not limit your choices or the story

EXCLUSIVE: Florian Schwarzer Bloodlines 2 Interview for WoD News

  • 26 April 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 684
  • 0 Comments
Florian Schwarzer, Senior Product Manager at Paradox Interactive was kind enough to spend some time answering our art and design philosophy questions for us in a exclusive WoD News interview. We will be having another down the road, if you have a specific topic or question you'd like us to ask please post it in the comments below. With that said the interview;

WoD News: First off, I need to ask, who came up with and developed the whole Tender meta ad campaign? Personally, I thought it was brilliant. Could you talk about how that all come about and did it play out as you expected, anything unexpected come of it?

Florian Schwarzer: We knew we wanted to do something crazy to announce Bloodlines 2 from the beginning, but we also wanted whatever we did to make sense for fans of the IP. The idea that there’s this hidden world of darkness lurking behind our reality was the perfect angle for an ARG and really resonated with our team. Paula Thelin, Paradox’ event manager, spearheaded the concept. She worked with Alice & Smith, a game developer and ARG designer based in Montreal, and they did an incredible job masterminding the story of the campaign and Tender. The community’s reaction to the Tender ARG surpassed our expectations. We anticipated press to pick up on what we were hinting at; we were blown away by the community’s dedication and commitment to solving the mystery. I’m thrilled with the way everything turned out and it wouldn’t have been possible without the geniuses at Alice and Smith and the passion of our fans.

WoD News: I'd really like to dive into art direction, atmosphere. Aside from BL1 what are the main sources of inspiration for the overall artistic tone the visual artists are drawing from?

Florian Schwarzer: The city of Seattle is a huge source of inspiration for the art direction and atmosphere of Bloodlines 2. Hardsuit Labs, the developers of the game, are based in Seattle and setting the game in their home city was central to their design and narrative. They know Seattle and the issues the city faces today intimately and this has definitely been core to their efforts.

When it comes to translating that atmosphere into the game’s visuals, Hardsuit’s art director quickly settled on the NeoNoir style of shows like Hannibal or Nightcrawler. The high-contrast style, with its love for neon, stark silhouettes and imposing architecture, hits many of the same notes as Vampire’s gothic-punk aesthetic. At the same time, it fits Bloodlines’ noir-ish roots. As you may know, the original game was heavily inspired by the Maltese Falcon. The team very much wants to carry that forward.

Paradox Thinblood Twitch Stream

  • 25 April 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 113
  • 0 Comments
So here is the full video of yesterdays Paradox Twitch mediacast. It was a very specific thinblood focused stream so if you are not that interested in the thinblood aspect of BL2 you may not get much out of it. Otherwise it was very interesting, albeit very linear in the topic. Check it out below and we also have a bullet point list of the main topics.
 


Summary;
  • They discuss thinbloods in vampire society, how they are scorned, some view them as a omen to the end times
  • They felt starting as a thinblood was the best way to intro people to this world, setting
  • They show the CGI thinblood film with about 3 sec of Alpha gameplay at the end
  • Like BL1 you start at the "bottom of the food chain" in the game
  • Your chosen profession as mortal has significant impact on certain game play elements
  • Some thinbloods can keep down some mortal food and able to handle a few moments in sunlight
  • Thinbloods in BL2 are more powerful then the paper and paper version
  • Talk about the 3 main powers of the thinbloods
  • Thinbloods using V20 rules
  • Can not refuse to choose a full blooded clan member
  • Dodge is built in to the combat system and can build a 'dodgy' character
  • No daylight hours in the game, it was just too difficult to make such fun
  • Next week a clan will be revealed next Thur

 

PC Gamer: My two crazy theories for how Bloodlines 2 can stay true to its Vampire lore

Diablerie

  • 24 April 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 96
  • 0 Comments
PC Gamer has a article about the 2 ways they feel your thinblood will become part of a full clan. The tl;dr version is this, either you become a "honorary member" of a clan of your choice or, as most everyone assumes like us here at WoD News, Diablerie. A snip is below;
 

First, let’s talk about the characteristics of a Thinblood. They are the last generations of vampires (the 14th and 15th). Their bloodline is extremely diluted. So diluted that they must spend twice the amount of blood points to use their disciplines, and a portion of their blood must go toward waking every night. Thinbloods have a hard time embracing others and, if their childe survives the embrace, they often do not wake up as a vampire until a while later. Weird, right?

But all Thinbloods are part of a bloodline, or a group of vampires who share a common lineage. There are bloodline-specific clans, as we saw in the Bloodlines videogame, that share common traits specific to only one bloodline. Malkavians, for example, are insane. Gangrel can change physical form. Nosferatu fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

As a whole, a clan is just one of the 13 major vampire groups that share common characteristics passed on by blood.

A vampire can’t change their lineage, so a vampire will always belong to the same bloodline as their sire, but traits, disciplines, and culture within the bloodlines themselves can change with each passing generation. If you’ve played the first Bloodlines, you might remember meeting Jeanette in the Asylum for the first time. If you play as a Malkavian, she says to you, ‘you’ve got it bad,’ meaning you’re one of the crazier Malkavians in your clan. Yes, they can have varying levels of crazy.

Also, bloodlines can be created in a variety of ways: Mythical methods, divergent evolution, drinking all of another vampire’s blood, or via a flawed embrace, meaning that a new vampire didn’t inherit any characteristics of their sire’s clan.

Paradox Podcast Covers Bloodlines 2

  • 20 April 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 124
  • 0 Comments
Sorry I missed this the other day, Paradox has a regular podcast and they touched on the BL2 announcement.The BL2 talk starts at the 6:40 mark and ends at 22:15. They rehash how thing panned out after they bought the World of Darkness property and how Hardsuit Labs made a Hail Mary pitch.

Main points;
  • They say it is "close" but not a AAA game
  • This project being very different then the other Paradox games made this very scary
  • In pre-production they increased the budget to make sure it would be successful
  • The Tender event played a remix of the BL1 theme music by intent so people would identify it
  • They acknowledge Vampire isn't for everyone
  • The official release trailer has 1.5 million organic views which is very high for one of their games
  • Overall the social media hits and mentions is by far the most of any announced Paradox game they have ever done

Bloodlines 2 Dev Diary #1

  • 18 April 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 98
  • 0 Comments
Just a quick intro and rehash of how BL2 got off the ground, but apparently this is going to be a semi-regular thing of them giving us a inside look at the development process, here is a snip;
 

Hello, my name is Liz Starr, I am one of the Producers at Hardsuit Labs, and I have the dream job of working on Bloodlines 2. I am very happy to bring you this dev diary about Hardsuit Labs and the story behind our fantastic team.

Hardsuit Labs began in 2015 with Andy Kipling, Russell Nelson, and a team of about 20 people. We had all worked at another studio together before. When that place went out of business, Andy and Russ – then a Production Director and Tech Director – decided to ask a few of their former teammates to help start something new. Back then, we thought that it’d take maybe five years of bringing older games to newer formats for this band of veterans to gain enough reputation to pitch a full game production.

Two years later, Ka’ai Cluney, our Creative Director, burst into Andy’s office with an idea he and his friend Brian Mitsoda had come up with. Ka’ai is one of those people who seems to have been everywhere and done everything; from design at id Software and Monolith to building roofs in Alaska. He had worked with Brian (of Troika and Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines fame) before. Together, they came up with a concept that lured Brian out of his own indie studio, into our team.

More importantly, it convinced Andy and Russ to go all in and to start pitching that full game project three years earlier than we’d have guessed.

NoClip: The Return of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

  • 9 April 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 94
  • 0 Comments
The NoClip Bloodlines 2 documentary dropped, no real new game info but a excellent behind the scenes interview of how the game came to be and how they are working the development.
 
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