Bloodlines 2 seeks to draw inspiration in the narrative design of Baldur’s Gate 3, as well as in its desktop roots

A heavy crown of expectations. Vampire: The Masquarade – Bloodlines 2 is the long -awaited continuation of the 2004 cult classical role -playing game from the now deceased Troika Games, and she has something to be equal to. She should overcome the powerful nostalgic spirit of the first game and at the same time go out into the light of an outstanding for role -playing games for a year.

The editor from PC Gamer talked with the narrative designer The Chinese Room (TCR) Aron Le Breem, behind whose shoulders are rich experience. Before TCR Le Bray, he worked in Bioware as a narrative designer for almost 15 years – this means that he worked on games such as Dragon Age: Origins, a series of Mass Effect and T.D.

According to Le Brey, TCR not only eats past games, but also turns to modern games for inspiration.

Sarah (one of our screenwriters) is a big fan of Baldur’s Gate 3. We look at what aspects we can borrow from it or how to make sure that we do not take giant steps back in terms of plots.

In particular, TCR draws attention to the evolution of the story in role -playing games, which Larian Studios demonstrated at the beginning of this year.

I definitely classify the narrative as an aspect of gameplay. How can we give the player to feel that he owns his results? How to make the player feel that he has the power that we want to get from him?

This is a high bar, given that in Baldur’s Gate 3, amazing things were done in the narrative design. Here and there there are hitch, but we are talking about a game in which one spell is dedicated to two whole words. An experienced studio, which received a popular license, is at the top of its skill.

However, the TCR has a much stool wall. To begin with, Bloodlines 2 passed through the epic ball of Ada of the Development, even completely changing the studio. In addition, this is the first TCR experience in the action genre: in the past they made games focused on the narrative, such as Dear Esther and EVERYBODY’s GONE to the Rapture.

Le Bray also says that they turned to the origins of Vampire: The Masquarade (VTM).

Board games were also useful. Because a lot in VTM is connected with the narrator. "How to tell this interesting story?". Ultimately, you are trying to make sure that [your players] will receive the best version of the story that you can tell.

For comparison, in the latest VTM edition, the role of the narrator is described in approximately the same. "The main duty of the narrator is to ensure that other players spend the time well. To do this, you need to tell a good story. However, unlike writers or directors, you do not just tell the story from the tie to the climax".

For us, the main thing was to look at Fire (Phyre) and make sure that his character is believable in this time and setting. "Does this character behave as the player expects from him?

Later Le Bray says that he wants the player to feel that he is making decisions that do not mislead, getting his result

"We never want the player to have the feeling that he can make the wrong choice", – says Le Bray, but he also wants to "The choice looked like [it could cause] disputes on the forum. For example, "How did you dare to make a choice, because it was more correct to make a choice B!"".

Le Bray also talked a little about the moral choice in video games and how many RPGs moved away from systems in Lucha "See how many heroes of the hero/apostate have" and switched to morally gray, in which the VTM holster dwells with pleasure. "If there is a clear one "Fine" And "Badly", This is less interesting to me".

This is another way that VTM really helps us as IP, because one of the first things you find out is that the relatives are monsters, and you are literally a monster. To exist, you need to be a predator. In the board game, humanity is opposed "beast", where you can get closer and closer to hunger, which does more difficult and difficult to do what you want to do.

Le Bray speaks of some mechanics fixed in the VTM rules: the character’s humanity has a sliding scale. With 10 human qualities, you become a saint, which in the book is called a rarity for people, "And for vampires that have reached this, all the more". With 0 humanity, you fall under the power of the beast, and your character becomes predatory NPC. For Le Brey, this tension is part of the plot: "One of the remarkable features that [Fire] was an elder is that being a person was so long ago … which means not to remember what sunlight is?".

In short, yes. We are big nerds and look at many different things. The team has nerds that are very passionate about games, and those elements [of them], which you would not have thought about, fell into our version.

Of course, it is unlikely that Bloodlines 2 will become another Baldur’s Gate 3, even if the tasks associated with the creation of both games – for example, transferring a desktop plot to the digital world – will be similar. Just TCR does not have such access to resources. However, it is interesting to see how it will solve these problems in its own way.