Dishonored Dev Explains Game Concepts

This is how I start my day.
Ooh, I don’t know how I missed this yesterday, but CVG have a video dev diary (posted below) from Arkane’s Raphael Colantonio who explains a whole bunch about this alternate-world assassination game. He talks about some of the open-ended approach that they are going for, the sandbox concepts, the ideas of morality in a game world powered by whale oil… You are going to want to watch this, I think, even though there’s no game footage at all. It sounds incredible.


  1. Arvind says:

    What could have caused this developer to lose their honor?

    P.S. Obligatory “gimme a youtube link” quote.

    • Arclight says:

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Having never heard of Dishonoured (the game), it took me a good minute or so to work out what was going on. Jim is cruel.

  2. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    That sounds very interesting, indeed. Thanks, Jim.

  3. Lars Westergren says:

    They mentioned Looking Glass Studios games as inspiration!

    This game is dangerously close to overtaking Bioshock: Infinite as my most anticipated game of next year. Either way, they are both games I wouldn’t have dared dreamed were made anymore. They tick just about all the “what I want from a game” boxes.

    Well, except something the size and freedom of old games such as Arcanum, but I realise it is utterly impossible with the development costs today.

    • CyberBrent says:

      Oh yeah… Mention Looking Glass and I’ll perk right up. I really can’t wait to see more from this.

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      Prolly because after Ion Storm, Arkane was the place looking glass staff went after it shut down.

    • diebroken says:

      Maybe LGS’ unreleased/cancelled game Deep Cover was a source of inspiration, among others. :)

    • Faxmachinen says:

      He also mentioned Harvey Smith \o/
      Now all they need is Eric Brosius.

  4. Pattom says:

    The more I hear about this game, the more excited I am to see it in action. It sounds like it lifts bits and pieces from all my favorite games and mashes them into something mercilessly, weirdly awesome. If you haven’t checked out the scans BOUGHT COPIES of the several mags running articles on it, you owe it to yourselves to do so.

    • John P says:

      Totally. The stealth and strategy of Thief, the magic powers of Deus Ex, the combat of Dark Messiah. Unless something goes drastically wrong this game should be something.

      The best part is, it’s not just that these guys are inspired by those games. They worked on those games (at least the latter two; not sure if there are any Thief developers there, though there are some Thief modders working on it I think).

    • Harlander says:

      the magic powers of Deus Ex

      Er, are you sure?

    • John P says:

      That’s what augmentations are, magic powers. Just like magic spells in Underworld, or the special abilities in Dishonored. Fictional justifications aside, they’re functionally very similar.

    • JackShandy says:

      Except that augmentations are all passive abilities, unlike the spells he describes. Teleportation and Mind Control? Honestly, the powers he’s talking about don’t sound like anything from Deus Ex.

    • John P says:

      Sheesh dude, I’m not saying the abilities are exactly the same. I’m saying Deus Ex had magic powers. Dishonored has magic powers. That’s kind of the extent of my comparison.


      Augmentations are all passive? Then why do we have all those Function buttons bound to augmentations to activate them? You have an odd definition of passive.

      And the ability to possess an enemy and move them around? That’s the bot domination ability straight out of Invisible War. Some other abilities in Dishonored are apparently moving faster and jumping higher, like in Deus Ex. So there are some direct comparisons too.

    • JackShandy says:

      They use up a meter, but their effects change something about your avatar for a short time, instead of changing something within the environment immediately. It just seemed like an odd comparison, is all Never played inivisible war.

  5. tomeoftom says:

    Oooooh yes.

  6. The Dark One says:

    Good to see that Arkane is still around making an ambitious (seeming) title. Not every studio can shelve a big announced project and survive (although I’m sure it lead at least in part to Zenimax gobbling them up).

    • Pattom says:

      I’ve read somewhere that they do plan on getting back to The Crossing at some point, when this game is finished. And whenever they do finish a big piece of Dishonored, everyone takes a break and they go play a couple of rounds of The Crossing.

  7. Meatloaf says:

    Oh my. Well, Arkane, it looks lovely. Consider me impressed.

    You had better not fuck this up.

  8. Makariel says:

    I just heard “looking glass” and suddenly I was more awake than after two cups of coffee.
    Do want.

  9. Hanban says:

    The coats on those men on the stairs.. Man, I do love me some cool looking coats.

    • yhancik says:

      Deus Ex 3 has reminded the gaming world that good looking coats are important.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Jensen’s coat is actually named in the game. It’s an awesome coat and if it ever becomes real, I’m ‘aving it.

    • Hanban says:

      I want the coats from the art.

      In fact, those coats should get a featured article here on RPS. It’s absurd how little time is spent on discussing how cool coats can be.

      I want one now!

  10. yhancik says:

    Why does he suddenly turn black&white?

    • Wilson says:

      Yeah, not quite sure what effect the interviewers were going for there. Still, game sounds pretty cool.

  11. MSJ says:

    I plead that Arkane give us another weapon/spell early in this game that can freeze the ground floor and create a slippery spot. And a lot of ledges and random hazards lying around. And a kick ability.

  12. Binary77 says:

    Whale Oil Beef Hooked!

    Has someone already beaten me to that?

  13. HilariousCow says:

    The rats are attracted to the dead bodies you leave lying around, or… ?

  14. Jumwa says:

    Well, colour me interested, regardless. Can’t wait to see some actual gameplay footage of this title.

  15. skyturnedred says:

    Mentioning Looking Glass at the beginning is a guaranteed way to make gamers listen all the way through.

    • WJonathan says:

      Yes, and call me pessimistic, but these instances of name-dropping in developer previews always seem a little too calculated.

    • UncleLou says:

      Even if they are, at least it’s a sign who they want to listen.

    • John P says:

      And it’s not just ‘hey look at us’. Colantonio and Arkane for years have been well known for these inspirations. I mean Arx Fatalis was basically an homage to Ultima Underworld.

  16. povu says:

    ‘And then there’s another mechanic where NPCs can actually shoot at you’.

    What an amazing game mechanic!

  17. Casimir's Blake says:

    Two words used – Immersive and Simulation – were enough to sell me on this game.

    Please be good, Dishonored.

  18. Sheng-ji says:

    Hmmmm…. London 1666, New explosive…. Guess what’s going to happen in the pudding lane level

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      I don’t think it’s actually London, just based on London. Not to say you’re wrong, of course. It just probably won’t be called Pudding Lane.

  19. berjalan says:

    It’s like they went inside my head and made the game I most in the world.

  20. Alaric says:

    Alaric approves. Alaric doesn’t know why he is speaking in third person. He just might be a retard.

  21. sinister agent says:

    Finally, a game where I can enact the ancient all-purpose problem solving tactic of “freeze time, and put a landmine under his chair”.

  22. Iskariot says:

    I think I need this game.

  23. gwathdring says:

    Wow. This could be fantastic. I love that particular period of history, too. My fascination with the time period alone almost got me through Niel Stephenson’s Baroque cycle long after I’d lost interest in the rest of it … shame it was so bloated, it had so many good bits encased in the random fluff. Snow Crash was good though. I digress.

    Even if they don’t pull this off, a Dark Messiah level of quality with this solid a concept behind it would still probably be worth playing. I trust them to pull off solid, entertaining, and different even if they don’t manage Game of the Year.

    • Thants says:

      Completely off topic: The Baroque Cycle does get bogged down, but Anathem is fantastic.

  24. Fox89 says:

    I am so going to abuse the freeze-time-shooter-possession-suicide tactic.

    Unless I don’t, which means there’s loads of other awesome stuff to do. Which would make me even happier!

  25. Bart Stewart says:

    Just make sure the ZeniMax lawyers for Dishonored don’t go after EA for the “obvious” trademark violation in their Medal of Honor game.

    At any rate, as someone who’s loved the Looking Glass style of game since buying Ultima Underworld on day one, this is another day one purchase for me. I believe I can count on the folks at Arkane.

  26. Buttless Boy says:

    Is it weird that I’m looking forward to this more than Deus Ex 3?

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      No. I somehow missed the RPS coverage last month, but the description on the cover of the current issue of Edge got my attention. Can’t wait.

  27. DOLBYdigital says:

    Must… remain… pessimistic… gahhh please be good, here’s to hoping the combat system is fluid and diverse along with the sandbox elements…. trying not to get too excited!!

  28. Lambchops says:

    Colour me intrigued!

    Their mentality sounds so much like the mentality that led to Deus Ex being so awesome. It sounds like it could be one of the first games in ages which allows players more imaginative than I to break it to an amazingly entertaining extent (ie like the guy who completed Deus Ex without using items).

  29. thebigJ_A says:

    So it’s an ecological fable all about how once the whales are dead everyone loses their magical powers?

    • Pattom says:

      Not quite. It sounds like whale oil is an industrial power source, while magic powers are gifts from a being called “the Outsider.” No word on what that is except the devs are big fans of Lovecraft.