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Dontnod Entertainment may not be working on Life Is Strange at the moment, but the studio is still focused on making character-focused, choice-driven video games. That philosophy is exemplified in the latest web series for the upcoming action-RPG, Vampyr, where Dontnod explains how it came about creating monsters with depth.
The first episode in the behind-the-scenes developer diary was posted up on the official Focus Home Interactive YouTube channel, and it explores the main protagonist, Doctor Jonathan Reid. The creative directors and designers talk about bringing Dr. Reid to life in a way that makes sense, but also allows players to retain a sense of control over the situation.
Most specifically, it's explained that the studio has focused on creating a world in Vampyr that seems believable, with characters that have personalities that can resonate with the gamer. The hook is that players will have to pick and choose who lives and who dies. Dr. Reid was bitten by a vampire and suffers from vampirism. He must suck the blood of victims in order to sustain his own life. This leads players down a road where they can kill any of the other NPCs, whether they befriend them or become enemies.
While it might seem like an easy thing to handle, the story will progress depending on who and how players interact with them. Some characters have families, others who go missing might see Scotland Yard getting involved. There's a risk/reward setup for the game where it's not just about killing everyone in sight and getting away with it; deaths in Vampyr do have consequences.
The video also details how Dontnod is also including more than just the traditional vampires, such as the one that players will control in the form of Dr. Jonathan Reid. For instance, there are those called "Skals", which are more like vampire-zombies, and make up for a large portion of enemies that players will face off against throughout the slums of London.
The video also proposes the story element that centers around the origins of the Skal, and whether or not these half-monster types have any connection to the Spanish Flu running rampant throughout London.
There are also more bestial vampires called Vulkods, which are like a species a step before the lycanthrope.
One other thing that the video brings out that's quite interesting is that Vampyr is classified as an AA game and not an AAA game. The reason for this is because Dontnod wanted to focus more on giving players choices in how to unfold the story, something that isn't usually a top priority in AAA games like Call of Duty or Battlefield. This is part of the formula that Dontnod used for smaller single-A games like Life is Strange.
Vampyr is due out later this year for PS4, PC and the Xbox One.