GamesBeat: Can you make friends with humans who willingly give you their blood and feed off the emotions of altruism and friendship that way? Or is that just too lovey-dovey for this game?
Mitsoda: I will say, you’ll definitely build some relationships in the game. I can’t go into specifics right now. But I mean, you—part of your core as a vampire is to make connections, to fool people, to get close to them in a way that you can use to get blood from them. Generally, vampires can be romantic, they can be nice, but at the end of the day they’re parasitic. They need blood, and they’ll do whatever it takes.
Kipling: The question itself is somewhat insidious, because it suggests that the motivation to become friends is to be able to drink their blood, which then questions the motivation for that relationship. It’s not the case that you meet somebody, you just happen to like them and become friends, and then consequently you also might be able to get blood from them. There’s definitely a motivation in blood for the player. That drives a lot of their actions and choices.
Above: Bloody bars sound like a treat for vampires.
Schlütter: We do have characters that are very close to the player who, time and again, remind him of his own humanity. Do you really want to sacrifice this part of your humanity for power? We question that a bit.
Kipling: I will say that one of the core pillars for us in development is that we do want you to be a vampire. You’re playing a vampire fantasy. We’re not setting you up to play as—we want the player to play how they want to play, but ultimately you are a vampire. It’s balancing that duality between the monster and the human.
GameBeat: What’s the hardest thing about writing a vampire character?
Mitsoda: I have some experience now, so it does come a bit naturally. [Laughs]
I will say, the difficult thing in any character is just trying to figure out their voice and who they are, what they want. As far as vampires go, the way that I approach vampires is that, ultimately, they are locked in at death. There’s this idea for them that they can change, that they can become better, that they can retain their humanity, but ultimately, their biggest weakness is that they can’t really change when they’re a vampire. They’re whoever they were when they died. That’s how I approach vampires. But there are so many places that can be taken as far as where characters go. Vampires themselves, and especially in the Masquerade—there are so many different archetypes of vampires. You have the Anne Rice seductive type of inspiration. You have the corporate vampire, the one that latches on to a business and uses money because money is power. You have vampires that are on the street getting involved in organized crime, because they can hide there. No one talks in that world anyway. It’s always just figuring out how vampires would infiltrate various parts of society, and then what is their experience like when they’re there?
GamesBeat: Did you include any other World of Darkness monsters in this