With the full launch of V Rising approaching, Stunlock Studios continues to be hard at work behind the scenes, refining the vampire experience for the community.
To keep players excited for the eventual rise of the undead lords, the team talks more about the creative process, starting with designing creatures of the night.
In the world of Vardoran, there’s a structure that dictates how different character types react to each other. Stunlock calls this “unit families,” a set of rules that determine “how [one unit] interacts with other units based on their allegiance.”
An example provided is that of the undead, who are hostile to members of the Church of Luminance and will attack on sight. Seeing natural conflict play out in the world adds to the immersion of V Rising, especially in such an intuitive way. There are also more complicated faction relationships at play, such as how militia soldiers are friendly to townspeople and paladins but are rightfully hostile toward bandits.
With this structure in place, it’s easy to see how a new unit family joining the late-night party is set to disrupt the status quo. The studio has teased new content updates that will introduce a unit family “designed to fit a completely different purpose than the others…to be a force of instability.”
Although players are the primary cause of chaos in the world of Vardoran, the new update will bring competition. This is “an interloping force” that “battles its way into our world and wreaks havoc where it lands.”
The team said it envisions the new addition “to be the primary enemy you face in the coming endgame-focused zone.”
For now, this studio is focused on making sure attacks are easily understandable amid the chaos and that this new unit’s interactions with other factions will have to be tweaked, especially in PvP servers where more than one vampire lord is trying to assert dominance in V Rising.
No room for negotiation
Stunlock Studios is also putting its design might into distinguishing the new additions visually, in a way where they are instantly recognizable as an external threat.
“When you look at these creatures, you can immediately feel an air of hostility. There is no room for negotiation, which is shown through their jagged and unfriendly design more so than in another potential direction such as making them look more alien and incomprehensible,” said Stunlock’s developers.
“This can be more challenging than it immediately sounds, and there are plenty of traps to step on when determining a visual direction…thankfully, by working together, the different parts of the art team find creative solutions.”
There will be one more update before the end of 2023, building on the anticipation for V Rising marching toward its 1.0 release.