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.

Read Polygon’s in-depth feature on Dishonored’s directors

Our friends over at Polygon recently stopped by Arkane Studios to chat with the creative directors of Dishonored, Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio.

The result is a massive article detailing the lives and games of the two developers, from the origin of their relationship at Origin Systems to the founding of Arkane. It’s really quite something — go give it a read.

Stealth Answers from Arkane

It’s Friday and we’ve got more of your Dishonored questions answered by co-creators Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio:

Q: Does the AI stay aggressive after your character has been spotted or can it become unsuspecting again when hiding? Also, will guards alert other guards of your presence? (Fabian K.)

A: The AI has several states of “alertness“, so it goes from totally unsuspecting, to suspecting, to aware, to search, then it cools down to search patrol in high alert but it never cools down to the initial state. Also, AI communicate their level of alertness to allies within range and therefore they let each other know about the presence of the player when he’s been spotted.

Q: Will there be a “game plus ” after completing the game and having all the powers and upgrades for this ” game plus “? (Sea Gull)

A: We encourage multiple playthroughs with Dishonored as 1) you can’t get all the powers and upgrades in one playthrough, and 2) there are different endings based on how you play: surgical assassin or sneaker vs. brutal killer.

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

Game Critics Awards nominations!

Congrats to Arkane Studios, Bethesda Game Studios, and id Software on their newly-announced “Best of E3 2012″ nominations from the Game Critics Awards’ judging panel. In total, Team Bethesda scored six nominations.

Tied for the most nominations of any game (four), Dishonored received nominations for Best Action/Adventure Game, Best Console Game, Best Original Game, and the overall Best of Show award!

Meanwhile, John Carmack’s VR presentation of DOOM 3 BFG Edition scored a nomination for Best Hardware, while Skyrim’s first game add-on, Dawnguard, was nominated for Best RPG.

Catch up on E3 highlights for all three titles, which only I refer to as “The Triple D”, in the roundup posts below.

E3 Wrap: Dishonored, Part 2

We’re back today with more Dishonored goodness from E3. Don’t miss Raphael Colantonio’s interview with GameTrailers (above), Harvey Smith’s G4TV interview, and a slew of interviews with Lead Designer Richard Bare up at JoystiqPC GamerGamespotGiant BombThe Yogscast, and Polygon.

After the break, check out new previews and screenshots from the game.

Continue reading full article ›

E3 Wrap: Dishonored, Part 1

Prior to E3, fans got a taste of Dishonored’s unique first-person gameplay with the game’s E3 trailer. If you liked what you saw, you’ll love all the interviews, footage, and more that came out of last week’s event.

The gaming press certainly loved what they saw, as the game has already received more than 50 E3 Awards globally. Some of those awards include:

Want to see more for yourself, don’t miss these videos from the show…

  • Machinima – 20-minute gameplay demo
  • Gamespot – 18-minute walkthrough with Raphael Colantonio
  • IGN – 10-minute feature with Raphael
  • G4TV – Live demo with Harvey & Raph

There’s plenty more Dishonored coverage to take in — stayed tuned for part 2 of our E3 wrap in the near future.

Weekly Dishonored Q&A

Update: Regarding the question about how long Dishonored will be, co-creative director Harvey Smith added the following in a tweet today:

Regarding play-time in #Dishonored: Very direct players finish in ~12 hours and explorers who eavesdrop finish in ~24.

Over the last week, we’ve collected your Dishonored questions both here on the blog and on our Facebook pages. To answer the first batch of questions we have  co-creative directors, Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio.

Q: How does mana work in Dishonored?

A: A small portion of the mana bar regens; just enough to use powers like Blink and Dark Vision, making them basically free. Beyond that, for the expensive powers like Possession or Bend Time, the player must rely on Piero’s Spiritual Remedy (mana potions).

Q: How many different powers will there be?

A: There are six major active powers and four enhancements (passive powers), in addition to weapons and gadgets; plus there are 40 bone charms in the game that grant small supernatural perks. But no one can have all of these things in one playthrough.

Q: How long will the game be?

A: Play-style matters a lot. Very direct players will probably get through the game in 12 or 14 hours. Explorers who eavesdrop a lot will take twice as long.

Thanks for the great questions. If there’s something you’d like to know about Dishonored, post your question here on the blog or at https://facebook.com/dishonored