One of this year’s biggest success stories in Steam’s Early Access program has been V Rising by Stunlock Studios. We got in touch with the developers to get their perspective on the game’s development and their plans going forward – here’s what we learned.
When did development on V Rising start and how did the idea for the game originate?
V Rising started with the idea of our team just wanting to get into something new after having done primarily competitive PvP games. Back then, we wanted our next project to have new challenges and ideas to explore, so we settled on doing a survival game. Prototyping was done, we started hammering out what we wanted to get out of the game, and at some point along the line, our creative director burst in with the idea of surviving as a vampire– a creature of the night, a monster. The idea kept evolving and refining from there, and today we have this unique action RPG survival experience.
What are some of the learnings from the development of Battlerite that have gone into V Rising?
I think you’ll find the biggest contributions of Battlerite gameplay-wise as the many lessons we’ve learned to build an engaging and satisfying action experience. Our combat is something we’re very passionate about, and everything from the abilities themselves to the visuals and feel of using them come from hard-won experience in the art team, gameplay team, and tech team alike.
V Rising has been a runaway success since its Early Access launch – how have you experienced the success of the launch as a team?
That’s very nice of you to say! In short, we don’t take success for granted. While it has been very exciting, it’s also come with new challenges and a new scale in what we’re going to be capable of doing for the game. It also comes with a lot of security, which really lets us develop the game effectively and without any severe pressure to rush in a way that may hurt production. Our successful Early Access launch has put us in a position to see our vision through to launch and well beyond.
What has the community feedback been like so far, and how has it impacted the development of the game?
If I’m being totally honest, as the Community Manager, I was expecting things to be a lot more… hostile? I was really ready for people to tear our game apart, our studio, and even just myself! You never know exactly how something is going to be perceived, but the way players embraced our game and fell in love with the product of so much of our hard work and love was something that really affected the whole studio deeply. It was a powerful confirmation of our direction, and the feedback we’ve received has both made us more confident in continuing to make our vision and also, paradoxically, given us tons of valuable information on how we can make the game even better than we originally imagined.
So I just want to take a moment to say this, even though I already say it a lot, I need people to know that they have been INVALUABLE in improving V Rising for future updates to come. We’ll continue working hard to live up to the trust we’ve been given and hope to win more by delivering something the players continue loving as much as we do.
There are a large number of Vampire-themed games out there, including several recent ones – what do you think made people flock to V Rising in such large numbers?
Well, I think vampires are just really popular right now. Is that a coincidence? Probably not, something about the cultural consciousness has just latched onto that, and that’s great for us! We’re people, too, just along for the ride of making something we also happen to be passionate about. I think V Rising is just a fun game with a fairly low barrier for entry and is really fun to play with friends, which encourages freshly awoken vampires to summon up their allies to dive into Vardoran with.
Upon launch, V Rising will support both single player and multiplayer gameplay – how different or similar will the two modes be?
V Rising already does support both single and multiplayer experiences! The single-player is a lot more difficult when you start to get into the later zones than it is in multiplayer, but if you’re concerned about that, you can always modify your private game to be a little bit easier when you go in. One thing we really push for in V Rising is giving people ways to play their own world, tweaking as many values as we can think to offer. If you want to gather resources faster, you can do that, or if you want the PvE to be easier to solo, you can tweak that! Likewise, if you find it too easy with many allies, you can make it similarly more difficult.
What are some of the major changes that will be coming to the game during its Early Access phase?
We talked about some of our upcoming features in a dev blog not too long ago, and what we’re looking to change is always adapting as we come up with better and more efficient ideas. That being said, players can definitely look forward to us expanding on the world, expanding on our already existing content to make it more dense and plentiful in places they’re already familiar with, and adding new systems to add more layers of gameplay to enrich every level of gameplay. We’ll certainly be looking to make a far more robust endgame, something for that long road of adventure to lead to where you can spend a bit more time enjoying everything you’ve worked so hard to build.
One thing that’s really important to us is keeping V Rising feeling like V Rising, or even feeling more like V Rising than it did before, and expanding on what it means to be a vampire survival game. The game as it is now is very different from what it’s going to look like at launch, but I want to stress that it will still be our game and the game our players have fallen in love with. We’re just going to give you more, and we’re going to try and do it better and better. Be sure to keep an eye on our socials and dev blogs for future updates!