My family for the most part was anti-video games, so I didn't get full into playing video games until I was in my teens. Then, a friend introduced me to the first-person shooter, Red Faction for PC. The single player was fun, but the online battles were amazing. The ability to change and use your environment by blowing it up was ingenious. Online, I became addicted to the adrenaline rush from the frenzied killing and team-based strategies. Sometime later, I was introduced to Final Fantasy games with deep, complex stories and characters that made me feel something and care, even if only a little bit. There were also those games that just scared the bejeesus out of me such as Doom 3, Left 4 Dead, and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. I enjoy the sense of community from games and systems where you can meet and have fun with real people. I don't like to play games just to pass the time or pretend that I'm better than someone else. I want to play games that enrich our lives, transform us, and connect us together, all while giving a high that very few things in real life can. The makers of such games aren't mere mortal men, but gods. Their work isn't just compiled numbers and flashing lights, but uberkunst. And yes.... I want to be one of them.
My favorite games happen to be Red Faction, Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy XI, the Xenosagas, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Mario Kart: Double Dash, Star Wars: Republic Commando, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, and Rock Band.
I've played on most of the consoles minus some really old ones like Atari. Of the various systems, I prefer the PC.
Recently in popular culture, vampires have taken a massive beating. After the Twilight Series and Vampires Suck movies came into theaters and just wellÖ sucked, recovery seems daunting. Sure the 2008 indie film, Let the Right One In, should keep the vampires pacified in spite of those two horrible movies, but like most indie films, nobody saw it. There is an Americanized version in production called Let Me In, but why remake a film that was already great, instead of promoting and rereleasing the old one? Vampires have made a smattering of appearances in videogames, but there really hasnít been a game in recent times that gives vampires the focus and recognition they deserve since Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines (VTMB) in 2004. A game not many played, but had everything one could want in a game about vampires.
The vampire world is full of mystery, blood, seduction, fantasy, violence, and horror. Whatís not to love? Why let it go to waste and turn it in to dumb jokes and sappy romance? We need more good adult themed games. I donít believe there is enough variety in the gaming market today. With sex, drugs, and violence being so heavily guarded against, why not make a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) to further flaunt our disregard for othersí sensibilities? Vampires are still popular today and they have a rich history in haunting our imaginations. Let them walk the night once again.
A VTMB setup would be perfect for an MMORPG. Upgrade the fighting system, graphics, and keep out the bugs, and we have a combination for success, minus the advertising. For its time the mix of RPG and third-person, first-person gameplay was quite innovative. VTMB was one of the first games to use Valveís Source Engine and it showed. The graphics are kind of old for now, but they were great for 2004. The biggest and really only problem with the game was its bugs which can be patched now, but pretty much killed the game when it came out. VTMB has a number of things that really donít need changing and Iíd love to see in an MMORPG.
Horror and Suspense. You have that whole spooky lighting, paralyzing music, and disgusting visuals that make you wonder what youíve gotten yourself into. Mix that with unexpected creatures and bloody scenes that pop out and momentarily scare the toothpaste out of you. Iím talking about those times where you get so frightened the only way your character survives is because your flailing limbs accidentally knocked the right keys. Has there ever really been an MMORPG with this kind of event? A vampire MMORPG would definitely give that to you.
Rated Mature. Drugs, sexuality, and extreme language have their place in a vampireís heart. Vampires donít fuck around. Or do they? A moderate amount of adult rated material is enough to get me immersed in a game. A bit of realism goes a long way. Sure the market is a little bit different from most MMORPGís, but there is definitely a market. Iím sure there are plenty of repressed 20, 30-somethings that are tired of playing their favorite kiddy MMORPG with its scantily clad avatars and implicit adult themes. Iím not talking about making a porn game, but just having adult themes less subliminal. A vampireís world is dark, gritty, and real.
Story and Dialogue. Story is something that you got to have. Not only do you have to have it, but I have to care about it. VTMB did it right. For a good article on the writing process of VTMB, check out this interview HERE with one of the main writers for the game. VTMB is the only game that made me so angry that I wanted to finish the game and destroy everything. The part of the story that brought about my quest for vengeance also happened to be optional. Keep the dialogue options and abilities that VTMB had. It was similar to Knights of the Old Republic with a more interesting take on light-side/dark-side changes. Persuade, seduction, intimidation and vampire powers are all fun to use in conversation.
PVP. Do we want this game to be faction versus faction or realm versus realm? I personally wouldnít care. If this game was a complete free-for-all, Iíd still be down for it. Factions would be easy to do, and if they wanted to, you could have the opposing faction be vampire hunters, werewolves, or other enemy vampires. This would likely be a pain to do compared to the regular vampires, but some people would be up for the challenge.
I realize the likelihood for a vampire game like this is slim to none. I just wish there was a little more variety in our massively multiplayer online games. Iím tired of the kiddy games, and Iím sure a lot of other people feel the same way. We all need to grow up, graduate, and pretend we are vampires. Stop giving us the shaft, and give us something to sink our teeth into.