The Making Of Dishonored, Part 1 – Inception

With just over a month until Dishonored is available, we’ve released the first in a series of Developer Documentaries for the game. In this first video, appropriately titled ‘Inception’, the team at Arkane discuss how they embarked to create a unique gaming experience — a first-person game that puts the player in the role of a supernatural assassin.

The video features members of the team you’ve already met: co-creative directors Harvey Smith & Raphael Colantonio, art director Sebastien Mitton, and visual design director Viktor Antonov. In addition to these folks, you’ll also hear from:

  • Florence Lapalu – Lead Character Artist
  • Damien Pougheon – Lead Animator
  • Sylvain Praloix – Lead Gameplay Programmer
  • Christophe Carrier – lead level designer

Watch the video above and come back next week for another Developer Documentary.

Gamescom 2012: Dishonored wins Game of Show

This morning the official Gamescom 2012 awards were announced and we’re excited to share that Dishonored captured three awards: Best Xbox 360 Game, Best PlayStation 3 Game, and Overall Game of the Show!

In addition to winning the official Game of Show awards, both Eurogamer and Gamestar have announced it as their Game of Show.

Congrats to Arkane Studios on this amazing accomplishment!

For more Gamescom 2012 coverage, visit these sites…

New hands-on previews of the Boyle mission – courtesy of The Sixth Axis and Lazy Gamer

Rock, Paper, Shotgun – Jim Rossignol discusses Dishonored’s unique flavor with co-creative director, Raf Colantonio

PlayStation.Blog (EU) - Harvey Smith tackles non-lethal playthrough and stealth mechanices

OPM UK – Six Ways Dishonored Will Save Gaming

VG247 – New video preview below.

Dishonored Roundup: A look at Dishonored’s Lady Boyle mission

In the past couple weeks, gaming press have gotten a chance to tackle a particularly unique mission in Dishonored – the Lady Boyle party. In this mission, Corvo must infiltrate a high society party and discover which of the three Boyle sisters is his mission target. In the coverage below, you’ll learn details (and minor spoilers) about how the mission can vary.

PC Gamer’s Tom Francis came away impressed after playing the mission, claiming:

“It was one of the best missions I’ve played in any game. It combined the sophisticated murder-planning I love in Hitman with the old-school stealth of Thief, and the unpredictable, systems-driven combat of BioShock. Going back and exploring all the paths I didn’t take, the city blocks of explorable space I missed, gave me a taste of its extraordinary scope.”

In addition to Sir Francis, a number of journalists previewed the mission while attending QuakeCon 2012. Read detailed impressions at these sites::

Shacknews – “When I was finally done, I had played through the mission three times, and each playthrough was completely different. And in talking to others who gave it a try, I found that their tactics were even different from mine.”

Kotaku - “…Dishonored allows for an incredible depth of possibilities, the interacting systems facilitating your ability to create new and unknown things out of the familiar, and I can’t wait to find out what they are.”

The Verge - “Like a catchy album, this latest Dishonored demo has gotten inexorably stuck in my head.”

Gamespot - “After playing through Lady Boyle’s Last Party I’m even more excited for Dishonored than I was after E3. I’m also curious to see if and how the team at Arkane manages to keep the game from getting dull for those of us who are excited at the idea of completing the game without ever killing anyone.”

Destructoid - “Arkane isn’t like most developers and Dishonored isn’t like most games. It will be an uphill battle convincing the mainstream that the game becomes approachable in time, but for us core gamers, we are in for a rare treat that blends action and stealth in a way we’ve never seen before.”

IGN – “Dishonored is so exciting to me not only because it rewards creative gameplay, but because so much care was clearly taken to build a place with enough layers and moving pieces to give it a curious plausibility, to make it seem like every time you push it pushes right back.”

Gaming Angels – “I honestly believed that I would treat Dishonored like I did Deus Ex, and give up on the stealth completely, but this preview really gave me a great taste of how much fun and brilliantly creative stealth can be. ”

OXM Online - “Turns out our black-equals-evil strategy works, as the two innocent sisters are spared while their corrupt government-funding sibling lie in an undignified heap. When we later boast of our successful, if lucky, play-through to Smith, he takes us down a few pegs, reminding ‘the mission is dynamic and always changes.’ In other words, the lady in black won’t always be the one deserving of Corvo’s blade. We look forward to re-tackling this mission — particularly using an especially inspired non-lethal method Smith shares with us, but we won’t spoil here — when Dishonoredlaunches this October.”

More after the break…

Continue reading full article ›

QuakeCon 2012 Panel: Looking Back at Looking Glass

On the official QuakeCon YouTube channel, we’ve just uploaded “Looking Back at Looking Glass” – a panel hosted by Dishonored co-creative director Harvey Smith. Participating on the panel were Looking Glass (System Shock, Thief) alumni Austin Grossman (writer on Dishonored), Tom Leonard (Valve), and Emil Pagliarulo (Bethesda Game Studios).

Stealth Answers from Arkane Studios: AMA Edition

If you missed the Reddit AMA from last week, here’s some of the highlights, as well as a few new questions sent to us via Twitter and Facebook.

Reddit AMA

Q: Will there be a new game plus mechanic?

Arkane: While players do not have the option to restart the game with all powers unlocked (that seems to be the standard definition for “game plus” these days), replayability was a major focus for our team with Dishonored’s development. As fans of games like Deus Ex, Thief, and Fallout 3, we want the player to be able to approach the game in different ways each time they play through. As such, players will never be able to unlock all abilities or try every option in one playthrough.

Q: Can the game be completed with zero kills? How long would a total stealth play-through take (average, estimate)?

Arkane: Yes, you can complete the game without killing anyone. (It was a goal of ours.) And the world reflects that to some extent.

The game is about 12-24 hours in length. The variance there is related to how directly you play (vs side quests, exploration, etc).

As players we’re always trying to do things we didn’t do last time. Our programmers were all trying to do crazy weird variants this week. “The Falling Angel playthrough,” where you only kill by using drop-assassination.

Q:Is Dishonored open world, or linear with a variety of options?

Arkane: No, Dishonored is not open world, it is mission based. Each mission is built as a mini sandbox, so the missions are open and offer several paths and approaches.

Q:Can you tell us about how player’s actions and Chaos affect the world and narrative? Is it pre-scripted or more dynamic like low and mid-level gameplay?

Arkane: It’s a bit of both. For most players, the effects over the course of the game will be fairly subtle. The mission checks the current level of Chaos so far and the following can happen: More pools of rats, more people with the plague (weepers), lines of dialogue/attitudes changed, additional scenes here and there, and different endgames. Things like the rat pools feel like “mid level gameplay” as you say. Lines of dialogue are obviously a scripted reaction.

There are two main endings, but each has variations based on who lived or died.

Some of the Chaos effects are meant to be ‘felt’ more than overtly identified as they’re happening.

After the break, check out a speed run of new answers…

Continue reading full article ›

Wednesday on Reddit: Ask Raph & Harvey anything! (Updated!)

Updated: The AMA is now live. Join the conversation on Reddit.

While we’ve answered plenty of Dishonored questions this summer on Bethesda Blog, we realize there’s plenty more you want to know about the game. On Wednesday (3-7 PM EST), Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio will be answering community questions with an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit.

As the AMA starts on Wednesday, we’ll provide everyone with details on where they can submit their questions. In the meantime, you can learn more about Dishonored’s co-creative directors in articles up at Gamasutra and  The Verge.

Stealth Answers from Arkane

Developers from Arkane Studios return with new answers to your burning questions.

Q: I would like to know if you can take out a target while controlling someone? I was also wondering if you take over the target can’t you make him jump from the balcony then blink out of him to avoid the fall ? or is the only way to push him over with the other ability? (Exocd)

Arkane: When possessing humans, control is rudimentary. You can walk, open doors and collect things, but not fight. Note that your speed is dependent on what you possessed (i.e possessing a wolfhound will let you move around pretty fast)

Q: Does anybody know, if PC version will have normal FOV? (Kethoth)

Arkane: On PC, you can adjust FOV options in the menus from 65 – 85 degrees. For more PC settings, check out this Bethesda Blog post.

Q:
Will the game have subtitles or it will be in other language? (Charlie Pacheco)

Arkane: You can always turn on subtitles. And, the game will also be fully voiced in multiple languages.

Q: Will the game be separated by “levels” you will be able to choose from once you’ve completed them, like a campaign mode in FPS games? (Will Y.)

Arkane:
Yes, the game is divided into missions, made up of multiple levels. After completing a mission, you can choose it from the main menu. It uses the very first save game from your play-through as a starting point.

Q: When performing your abilities, it looks like the blue bar on the top right corner is depleted. How do you regain your ‘mana/powers’ abilities – is it a time thing, is it by defeating enemies non-lethally (like earning marks in splinter cell conviction) or is it through collectibles in the world? (Matt)

Arkane:
A small portion of the mana bar recharges, making Blink and Dark Vision effectively free to use (if you wait for the recharges). You refill the mana bar with a potion called Piero’s Spiritual Remedy, one of the elixirs that people in the world use to prevent the plague.

Got a question on Dishonored? Feel free to share it on Facebook, Twitter, our official forums, or below in the comments section.

Stealth Answers from Arkane Studios, Pt. 4

Co-creators Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith return to answer more of your Dishonored questions.

Q: Are there ways to distract enemies or lure them? (Anthony T.)

A: Enemies respond to sound, so firing a crossbow bolt into the wall or throwing a bottle will cause an enemy to come investigate.

Q: How will climbing/parkour work in the game? (Angela E.)

A: We’re not a parkour game (in the sense of wall running) so much as a supernatural jump/blink-teleport/climb up game. We do also have lean and slide, which feel good and support stealth. Our climb is more like a pull up, allowing you to grab ledges or the top of small structures. Vertical space and exploration are important in the game, for sure.

Q: Will Corvo’s opponents have supernatural abilities? (Carcharoth)

A: A few. The Outsider shows up to people who are potentially pivotal in some way, marking them and granting access to supernatural powers. Each person marked has access to different powers.

Q: Are Corvo’s powers available 100% at the beginning? If not, how are they made available? (Carcharoth)

A: Not at the start; developments through the game make the supernatural powers available. And the way they work is through a Rune economy. During gameplay, you’ll search for runes that allow you to obtain or upgrade powers.

Q: How many discs will Dishonored be on Xbox 360? (Luis A.)

A: Dishonored’s content fits on one Xbox 360 DVD.

Want to learn more about Dishonored? Submit your questions below, post on our official Facebook page, or send your question via Twitter to @Dishonored.

Stealth Answers From Arkane Studios

Raph and Harvey return to cover off on Dishonored’s stealth and save systems, while Game Designer/Associate Producer Dinga Bakaba sounds off on gameplay difficulty options.

Q: In the Dishonored gameplay videos Corvo seems capable of hiding from enemies who are very close, even when they’re looking in his direction. Is he cloaked or are cheats enabled for the demos? (from StealthAssassin)

A: In Dishonored, stealth is occlusion-based, meaning it’s mostly based on enemy view cone and hiding behind objects or architecture. (At a significant distance, lighting is also a factor.) What you might be describing is the Lean feature. If Corvo is hidden behind something, he can lean out to see ahead, eavesdrop, and observe the situation. As long as Corvo’s body is hidden, enemies up ahead will not see him. Dishonored also allows players to peep through keyholes, and the game has a Dark Vision power that can be obtained. Dark Vision displays enemies and their view cones through walls, and it features an abstract representation of the sounds the player makes.

Q: How will the save system work? Does the game have checkpoints or can I save everywhere I want? (Sebastien H.)

A: Both. You can’t save during combat, that is the only constraint.

Q: How is gameplay varied based on the difficulty level you choose? (Cory G.)

A: (courtesy of Game Designer/Associate Producer, Dinga Bakaba): Dishonored features four levels of difficulty, ranging from a casual experience to a demanding challenge. The main factors affected by difficulty are enemy perception, damage and responsiveness, as well as health and mana potion potency. Easy also causes part of your health to regenerate over time.

Looking to get a question on Dishonored answered? Post your questions in the comment section.

Choose your own adventure with new Dishonored gameplay videos

Dishonored’s gameplay provides plenty of choice to the player, and today we’ve released two videos that demonstrate just that.

Narrated by co-creative directors Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith, the video above demonstrates a direct, action-heavy playthrough of the game’s Golden Cat mission. Meanwhile, the video below demonstrates a stealth playthrough that offers a drastically different experience for the player.