Dishonored Interview with Seth Shain of Arkane Studios
Carl Armstrong / Jul 19th, 2012 No Comments
Dishonored is first-person action-adventure RPG developed by Arkane Studios and being published by Bethesda Softworks. It’s scheduled to be released in October 2012 for PC, Xbox 360 and for PS3. Leveraging the Unreal 3 Engine, gamers will control “Corvo Atano” who is a legendary bodyguard to the Empress who seeks vengeance against Lord Regent, the man that framed him for the assassination of the one he swore to protect. The game is played in first-person perspective with a heavy emphasis on stealth action and the use of gadgets and gear, as well as environments themselves, to pass through levels and defeat enemies.
We spoke with Seth Shain, the Assistant Designer at Arkane Studios during E3 2012. In this interview we briefly discuss the game engine, the art of stealth combat and the inspirations drawn to make this game.
GI: Carl Armstrong here with Gaming Illustrated and I am standing here with?
Seth: My name is Seth Shain. I’m an assistant designer at Arkane Studios working on Dishonored.
GI: And I’ll tell you what, I wanted to know what was the big game going to be coming out of E3, and everybody was talking about Dishonored. I saw it, I played it for a little bit, and I was definitely impressed. Tell us a little bit what it’s all about.
Seth: It’s great to hear that. Dishonored is a first-person action game with stealth, and at Arkane Studios we really are huge fans of games that have a lot of storytelling, a lot of hand-crafted missions and a lot of options for the player to play your own way. So the game is structured in missions, and the missions are very open-ended in how they play out. There are full toned paths through every mission, and we’re really excited to have a game that has like awesome first-person combat and first-person stealth.
GI: Yes, interacting with the combat myself right now it seems like something that’s hard to master. I mean, it’s easy to kind of grasp but watching the demonstration, whoever is playing on the other end, he knew what he was doing, and then when I tried it myself I was dead within seconds. I like the wind attack. Taking a step back, what is the motivation in terms of coming up with this game here? Was it something that had been working for a long time?
Seth: Well it’s in the DNA of Arkane Studios. This is the kind of game we like to make. We like to find a new world, it’s a new IP, we hand-crafted an entirely new world using influences from old London, from the Victorian era, and we have a very unique art style with sort of impressionistic textures, and we know we love stealth and we know we love action so we created this game, you play Corvo Atano, you are a supernatural assassin, you have a suite of powers at your disposal like something rash like stopping time, and we have a suite of gadgets like crossbow, pistol and grenades.
GI: I saw that, doubly impressive. Also, the environments as well, they said the demonstration of this is supposed to be like a living painting here. This isn’t the same engine that you guys used for Skyrim is it?
Seth: We’re using the Unreal 3 Engine.
GI: Okay, I got you, right. And so the emphasis for this is just kind of more like the atmosphere in order to allow for stealth or is it just more focused in terms of the actual game-playing combat?
Seth: The Unreal Engine is a great platform for building games on. You get so much right out of the box when you start with Unreal, and so, you know, it’s really good for first-person action games, and it’s helped us build and realize a world that I don’t know if we could have done otherwise.
GI: Gotcha. All right, I really appreciate the time and thanks so much man.
A special thank you to Arkane Studios, Bethesda Softworks and Seth Shain for giving us some hands-on time with Dishonored and talking with us about the game.
tags: bethesda , interview