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…

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Conquest “Question of the Week” Concludes

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For our final edition of Conquest Question of the Week, Frank has offered up answers to two questions, and I’ve thrown up a new screenshot above from the Wii version of the game . Up first is a question we received in the Bethesda Blog mailbox from “Tom” who asks:

Q: Is the SKIRMISH mode in Star Trek Conquest in regards to the look and play, closer to Tactical Assault? Or ST Encounters?

A: Skirmish Mode in Star Trek Conquest does what it’s supposed to do, which is to allow you to create any battle with any of the pieces from the game. It’s especially useful to try out new tactics or learn how to play as or against a certain race. And because you can play for 5 minutes or 5 hours, it’s perfect if you want your Star Trek battle fix, but don’t have time for the full campaign mode. Options are numerous and include: Choose between Sim or full Arcade battle mode, opposing races, opposing Admirals, Admirals ranks and experience, exact fleet construction for both sides, which race you will control, whether you are attacking or defending, which map you wish to fight on and what structures, if any, are on that map such as starbases and turrets. It’s a blast to try out “what if” scenarios that you would never do in the real game. For example invading

Romulus with just the Defiant against seven Romulan D’deridex Warbirds backed by a fully armed Romulan Starbase.

Our second question, comes from Anra from within our forums, asking:

Q: Will we be able to play as characters from the series at all? Will characters from the series show up?

A: Yes, each of the admirals in the game for all the races is a known character in the universe.

While “Question of the Week” is wrapping up, we’ll continue to share news about the game before its release.

 

Conquest “Question of the Week”

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Yep, it’s that time to answer another reader question from our Star Trek forums about our upcoming release, Star Trek: Conquest. Today Lead Designer Frank Arnot tackles a question pertaining to differences between the PS2 and Wii versions of the game. Community member TheWon asks:

Q: When designing the Wii version. What steps have been taken to make the game a quality title? It seems like it is a PS2 game that is ported to the Wii. Besides the control what other things have been used to make the Wii version a superior version?

A: On the surface you’ll notice that the Wii version has shaper visuals and faster load times, but the difference really is in the controls. The game was built specifically with the Wii controller in mind. On the galactic map, you can use the Wii Remote like a virtual mouse, allowing for a true point and click interface. This makes things like selecting planets, building fleets, constructing starbases and issuing combat orders to your admirals both intuitive and simple. If you’ve ever tried to play a strategy game on a console using a dpad to hop from item to item, you will love how this feels.

It gets even better in arcade combat. Here you use the nunchuck to control all of the ship’s movement and speed, while the Wii Remote controls all of the ship’s weapons. Because of this you can quickly aim and fire anywhere in a 360 degree arc around your ship. Combined, the two controls make each ship feel like a true weapons platform, able to move in one direction while simultaneously firing in another.

It’s also worth noting that you can issue orders to the rest of your fleet and switch command to any ship you choose.

Want to ask a question about Conquest? Visit our forums or shoot us an e-mail.

Newsletter Offers New Conquest Screens

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With last week’s Conquest “Question of the Week,” we gave you a look at a new screen (above) that gives a glimpse of the tactical gameplay found in the game. In case you missed it, our Bethesda Softworks Newsletter includes two other exclusive screens for the game. To see the new screens, click here to view the latest edition of the newsletter.

We release the Bethesda Softworks Newsletter periodically so folks can get a broad view on what’s going on with the company. If you’re interested in subscribing, it’s easy…just sign up here.

Conquest “Question of the Week” Time Again!

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In a very special “Question of the Week” for Conquest, you’ll see we’re also sharing with you a screenshot of the game board for the turn-based strategy part of the game. As for this week’s question, it comes from KO Gilligan from within our Star Trek forums. He asks:

Q: Is Conquest looking to provide both complex turn based strategy and simplified, straight forward game play?

Here’s what lead designer Frank Arnot has to say:

A: What’s really appealing about Conquest is that it‘s a grand strategy game that you can actually finish in a good week of playing and is fun enough and quick enough that you want to play it again and again. I love traditional 4X strategy games, but I find that I rarely finish my campaigns because they simply drag on for too long. After a couple of weeks of intense play, my enthusiasm wanes and I simply stop playing halfway through.

Conquest focuses on the big decisions and removes much of the minutiae. There’s not a lot of sitting around and waiting or endlessly clicking next turn to get what you want. We want people to play each of the races. We want people to try out new strategies with their favorite races. We get you into the hunt quickly and allow you to worry about important things, like planning your invasion of Cardassia.

Conquest Question of the Week: Part Deux

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Another week, another answer regarding gameplay in Star Trek: Conquest. Today’s question comes from DarkDragon from our Star Trek forums. He asks:

Q: “In the arcade battles will the battles be fought in full 3D (like Bridge Commander)? Or will it be more like Encounters/Tactical Assault and 2d?”

Here’s a nice lengthy answer from Frank:

A: Arcade Battles in Conquest are fought from a top down 2D view like Encounters and Tactical Assault. There are two main reasons. First, it allows for a greater situational awareness, meaning you can see more of the battlefield. Second it allows for the 360 degree aiming and firing of your weapons which is a key part of our control scheme. This mode is intended for the player who wants direct control over his ships, aiming and weapons.

There are also two other combat modes: Quick Battle and Instant. Quick Battle is like a mini RTS battle where you simply issue orders to your fleet. This mode is for the armchair admiral who wants to personally direct the battle, but is not interested in the action oriented Arcade Battle system.

Instant simply gives you immediate results. It’s for situations where you heavily outnumber your enemy and don’t care about directing the battle, like bringing a fleet of seven dreadnaughts to bear on a single wounded scout.

In practice we find that most players use a mixture of the three modes. “

Please continue to submit your ideas for the question of the week. See ya next week!

 

Conquest Question of the Week

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So within our in the Star Trek: Conquest forums last week, we set up a thread for fans to ask questions about the game. Our first “Question of the Week” comes from member Joelteon7, which Lead Designer Frank Arnot was kind enough to answer.

Q: Can you provide some examples of the special weapons?

A: There are six unique special weapons in the game. One of the nastiest is the Wormhole Generator. With this you can launch a surprise attack transporting an entire fllet across the galaxy. But it can also be used to for defense to instantly bring in reinforcements to defend a friendly system that’s about to be overrun.

Come back next week for another Conquest Question of the Week. Keep the questions coming on the thread or email us!