A Taste of Humanity in Vampyr Developer Diary 3
It’s Thursday, and that means a new developer diary entry from behind the scenes of Vampyr. Last week, they showed us the work that goes into building emotion within a game. This week, they’re expanding upon that concept, digging into the importance of forging a connection between the humanity of their players and the characters within their game.
Humanity is a fragile concept for developers of any game handing players control of a monster. Choosing to frame the character as a flawed but well-intentioned individual produces a completely different game than a character without contemplation or remorse for their own actions. Taking this into account, DONTNOD focus on Doctor Reid’s moral quandary between providing care for his community and stalking sustenance for himself.
While nearly every developer takes the time to carefully build out their major characters, Vampyr takes character development step further. Every single non-player character in the game is a fully fleshed-out individual. Each has their own personality, relationships, and reasons for roaming the streets at night. This gives each character their own humanity, forcing players to consider them as individuals when choosing who to kill. As his victims die, Doctor Reid will hear their last thoughts as well, giving character deaths more gravity.
Each victim creates a ripple effect in their neighborhood, leaving a gap that society must shift to fill. It is up to players to determine whether that shift will work in their favor, or close doors that would have otherwise been open to them down the line. Whatever their decision, players can never choose to abstain. This is the life of a vampire, and vampires must hunt the living to remain among them.