BUILD­ING THE MYTHOS

Games TM - - VAMPYR -

Vampyr isn’t be­holden to any of the ‘clas­sic’ vam­pire mythol­ogy born out of folk­lore and pop­u­lar cul­ture over the years. the team had the free­dom to pick and choose which el­e­ments it wanted to bring to the project, cast­ing out the ones it felt would make the game­play ex­pe­ri­ence less in­ter­est­ing for the play­ers. “the fig­ure of the vam­pire has had so many as­pects, through­out comics, movies, books and videogames. We had to choose which parts of the myth­i­cal crea­ture we wanted to en­hance,” vampyr’s nar­ra­tive di­rec­tor stéphane beau­verger tells us, ex­plain­ing that the team used the clas­sic gothic in­ter­pre­ta­tion as a start­ing point be­fore be­gin­ning to chip away at it. “there are parts of the myth­i­cal vam­pire fig­ure that we did not keep for the game. for ex­am­ple, you will see your re­flec­tion in the mir­ror; you can see a pic­ture of your­self, be­cause you are not a ghost, you are made of flesh and bone. you can’t turn into a bat; you can’t slide into a door by be­com­ing a mist but fire and sun will be very dan­ger­ous for you.” art di­rec­tor gre­gory szucs notes that many of these de­ci­sions were made in ser­vice of build­ing a bet­ter game ex­pe­ri­ence. “most of the de­ci­sions were based around that... of us de­cid­ing what would be cool from a game­play stand­point or what could be use­ful to the story, and we built that up brick by brick.” some of these, szucs tells us, will have a pretty huge im­pact on the pro­gres­sion of the story and your abil­ity to find new routes through the story and its sit­u­a­tions. “as a vam­pire you have to be in­vited into any­body’s home to en­ter. but as a doc­tor in a time where ev­ery­one is sick and look­ing for your help you might dis­cover a few ways to ex­ploit your po­si­tion…” “When you kill some­body,” beau­verger teases, prov­ing once and for all that dontnod can’t go a sin­gle game with­out in­te­grat­ing the ma­nip­u­la­tion of mem­ory in some form or an­other, “you get ac­cess to the vic­tim’s mem­o­ries. it’s a strange way to run a back­ground search, but when you kill some­body you will know who they were,” he says, laugh­ing. “that’s a vam­pire priv­i­lege.”

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