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A short while back BloodRayne came out for the Xbox, and enjoyed quite a bit of commercial success as gamers embraced its bloodsucking Vampire je ne sais quoi.  Now a sequel is on the way as well as a movie based on the franchise.  We recently had the opportunity to talk with Liz Buckley, Product Manager on both BloodRayne titles, about what to expect from the upcoming game and movie.  A big thank you goes out to Liz for taking the time to do this interview.

 

Related Links:

Preview: BloodRayne 2 (Xbox)

Review: BloodRayne (Xbox)

 

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BloodRayne 2 Q&A

 

Please, tell us who you are, your role in BloodRayne as a franchise, and your experience in the gaming industry.

 

Liz Buckley, Product Manager on the original BloodRayne and BloodRayne 2. Iíve been in advertising/marketing for 8+ years and in addition to Majesco, Iíve worked at 989 Studios and Acclaim on such titles as Syphon Filter, Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX, Twisted Metal IV, Cool Boarders 4, Bust-A-Groove and many others.

 

Why a BloodRayne 2?  Was it born out of an idea for a movie?

 

BloodRayne was designed as a franchise property from the very beginning so we always had the intention of expanding the story and developing the character further. She has a great deal of appeal and the original game was incredibly successful for us so following up with a sequel definitely made sense. 

 

BloodRayne the movie is also under development by Uwe Boll and Brightlight Pictures with an anticipated late 2004/early 2005 release date.

 

Where will the movie be filmed?

 

Eastern Europe

 

Has anyone been cast for the lead role in the movie and will her likeness and voice be used in the next game?  What is/was the process of casting her?

 

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Not yet. Casting wonít begin until later this year because the script is still under development.  Since BloodRayne already has an established look, it doesnít make sense to use a likeness of the actress in game. Voice work makes more sense but the timing will likely make this difficult since we have to get started on voice work earlier given our October 2004 launch date. The movie producers have had some early interest from a few actresses but they will do a formal casting call when the script is ready.

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Will the game and movie replicate one another or will they be separate entities (like the last Tomb Raider game and Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life)?

 

The game sequel takes place in modern day and picks up on some of the ideas introduced in the original BloodRayne story that was set in the 1930s and 1940s.  The movie will actually be a prequel to the original game and explores BloodRayne within the 1800s. The producers want to make sure itís differentiated from the Blade series and newer films like Underworld.

 

How important is a game tie-in to a movie?  Can it drive interest in the movie (and vice versa)?

 

Itís important that the movie maintain the integrity of the BloodRayne character. It will absolutely help us increase awareness for the property and introduce it to a more mass-market audience. Both the game and the movie will benefit from each other since fans of the series will want to see BloodRayne come to life on the big screen and moviegoers who like the character will want to explore the roots of where that character came from.

 

Will we get to see BloodRayne 2 to any extent at E3 2004?

 

Definitely! Xbox, PlayStation 2 and PC versions will all be playable on the floor.

 

Is a new engine being built from scratch for BloodRayne 2?  How versatile will it be?

 

BloodRayne 2 runs on a modified version of the Infernal Engine, Terminal Reailtyís game engine from the original BloodRayne. The engine modifications are helping the team create a much more immersive game with a higher degree of detail. More dynamic and realistic glass and cloth effects, for example, easily surpass what we were able to achieve in the first game. Our in game cutscenes will also benefit from engine updates as will the layout of our levels.  The versatility is also evident in how quickly the team can build levels since many of the modifications have been to the engineís toolset.

 

How far into development is BloodRayne 2?  And how large is the team working on it?

 

BloodRayne 2 launches in October 2004 and itís been under development since the original game launched in October 2002. The team is similar in size to the original teamóaround 20 people.

 

What is the team doing to ensure they address any criticisms of the original (like taking too long to feed)?  Reading a lot of reviews?

 

Weíre definitely aware of what needs to be improved from the original game. The press and fans have been instrumental with their feedback and the team is working hard to address all major criticisms. For example, the combo system has been entirely reworked as a result so that there is much more depth and precision to her moves and none of the previous randomness to her combos. Feeding also has more variety to it with fatality moves that help the player increase the Blood Rage meter. Weíre also focusing on improving realism via motion capture and soft body physics on our AI and adding to replay-ability with a new experience system. 

 

Will the basic game mechanics found in the original appear in BloodRayne 2?

 

One of the hallmarks of the BloodRayne series is the fast-paced acrobatic combat. All of the basics relating to this will be in the game but there will be a lot of new mechanics that add more variety and depth to that combat. Horizontal and vertical poles, railsliding, fatality moves, 35+ combosóall of these additions help bring the franchise to the next level. 

 

What are the chances weíll see a BloodRayne action figure series?

 

Iím exploring these possibilities! Stay tuned for details.

 

(February 7, 2004)

 

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