February and March have been intense, for many reasons. Like many others in the US and around the world, the COVID-19 outbreak has changed how we work in the last few weeks. To help mitigate this unprecedented illness, our developers are all working from home. We have provided infrastructure and hardware support for that to happen, as well as provided more tools and procedures to help facilitate communication. The biggest challenge to us has been the separation. We shockingly like each other in this studio and have found it a little difficult not to be able to hang out during the week. But we also want to keep our developers and their families safe, so this is a small price to pay. The new working from home paradigm seems to be agreeing with people, and development is proceeding from the comfort of our own homes.
Speaking of which, we are seeing more and more of the game come together. On the road to “content complete” many features are getting locked including side quests, systems, and animations. We're getting to the point where the game you'll get to play at release is clearly recognizable through the construction dust.
Side quests are where you really get to meet the World of Darkness in Bloodlines 2, just like the first game. They're also one of the main rewards for stepping off the beaten path and exploring our version of Seattle. Most of our side-quests are written, scripted, and locked down in the game, and we are very excited to share them with you. The narrative design department has been hard at work making sure these side quests feel every bit as integral to the fabric of the game as the main quests.
The game grew in other ways as well. It always was central to our vision to make players feel like a vampire through gameplay. One side of it is to create this freedom in movements that a mere mortal could never experience. This led us to the decision to expand your baseline Thinblood abilities to traversal - you can use Chiropteran Glide, Mentalism Pull for specific objects or Nebulation through vents at any time, regardless of your primary Thinblood Discipline choice. We went through the game, particularly the hubs, and investigated all the ways we could make them even more exciting and seamless for you to use. These powers have been with us for a long time, and we can fully leverage their potential uses throughout all levels for puzzles, rewards, and perhaps some secrets for you to find.
We organized a mocap session in February, focusing on facial and dialogue animations. Our animation team has been polishing things like the feeding animations, combat, Discipline usage, and other vampire mainstays (no devs were hurt in the recording of this mocap session, proof in images).
Thanks for reading and stay safe!