QStudios's Vision of Blood

Discuss and hash out the Blood universe here.

Moderator: General Discussion Moderators

User avatar
BEAST
Zealot
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 05:59 am

QStudios's Vision of Blood

Post by BEAST » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:06 pm

Beast reporting,

I've been interested in the development history of Blood, and I'm curious about something: Does anybody wonder what Blood would have been like if it was fully developed by QStudios and not by Monolith?

I'm curious as to what QStudios' original intention behind Blood is. Who would have voiced Caleb? How would the levels be designed? Would QStudios have opted for immensely large bosses? What course would the story have taken? Would the hero be Caleb, or would he have been someone else? Was the hero originally concieved as living, or dead? (I know he started out as a robed fanatic in the alpha).

Are there any relics besides the Blood Alpha which suggested how the game was concieved?

(It would have been interesting if Monster Bash references were included in Blood, since the Blood Wiki states that QStudios worked under Apogee)
User avatar
zZaRDoZz
Acolyte
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 03:13 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Post by zZaRDoZz » Fri Jun 25, 2010 03:26 am

I seriously doubt we'll ever "know" what they had in mind BEAST. Much of what blood is is a reaction to market forces. The first limited release, blood alpha, bares a superficial resemblance to heretic. It wouldn't surprise me if ID may have actually been influenced a bit by blood alpha in fact. By the time the betas (under Monolith ownership) appear, The dev. team seems to be reacting to quake. The devs start work on a glide driver. Voxels become increasingly important. I believe the developer notes even called their voxel project "the vertice model destroyer" or some such thing. Magic is dumped in favor of a streamlined gameplay. The original 4 playable character format is reduced to 1. Calebs looks/personality/reason for being are finalized in the last year, and finally, multiplayer gameplay takes on more importance.
User avatar
Tchernobog
Tchernobog's Love Child
Posts: 1251
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 07:30 am
Location: Rural Alberta, Canada
Contact:

Post by Tchernobog » Fri Jun 25, 2010 06:13 am

I remember reading that QStudios actually merged with Monolith, so what you are asking is not "what would have happened if QStudios had finished the game" as it was the same people working on the project pretty much from start to finish. It is still an interesting question, but not quite phrased properly.

And it would have been Raven, not id, who would have been influenced by the Blood Alpha if it actually did have an influence on Heretic. There were Raven games released before Heretic which had similarities to it, so I am doubtful that it was the Blood Alpha that influenced them to be honest.

Going away from picky details, one thing that interested me about the Blood Alpha was the player was a cultist, as could be seen when switching to third-person mode. This would seem to indicate you were not originally supposed to have been such a high-ranking member of the cult. Or maybe the art team was lazy and had not made a Player graphic yet. :P

http://blood.wiki-site.com/index.php/Blood_Alpha
http://blood.wiki-site.com/index.php/Blood#Development
User avatar
zZaRDoZz
Acolyte
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 03:13 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Post by zZaRDoZz » Fri Jun 25, 2010 06:52 am

Tchernobog:
And it would have been Raven, not id, who would have been influenced by the Blood Alpha if it actually did have an influence on Heretic.
LoL, Forcing me to brush up on my shooter history. Thanks for keeping me accurate =)

Tcherny:
There were Raven games released before Heretic which had similarities to it, so I am doubtful that it was the Blood Alpha that influenced them to be honest.
In my quickie brush up I see Heretic was released the same year as Blood alpha, so you're right again. Releasing a game that might have been seen as too similar to Heretic still may have been an influencing factor though.
User avatar
DustyStyx
2D Artist
Posts: 2069
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 02:12 am
Location: Salt Lake
Contact:

Post by DustyStyx » Fri Jun 25, 2010 05:28 pm

Tchernobog wrote:... one thing that interested me about the Blood Alpha was the player was a cultist ... This would seem to indicate you were not originally supposed to have been such a high-ranking member of the cult.
Perhaps, but the beast mode cultists at the end of Plasma Pak wore robes as well. It could be they were being lazy, but I don't think so, there's so much art work in Blood as it is, adding a few more player models probably wouldn't have broke the bank.
User avatar
Willis

Master of the Mask
Lead Programmer

Posts: 872
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 09:28 am
Location: Eau Claire, WI USA
Contact:

Post by Willis » Sun Jun 27, 2010 08:45 pm

Heretic was released in final by Raven in December of 1994. The earliest roots of the Blood alpha trace back to around October 1995. The games have absolutely nothing in common in terms of development or influence.

QStudios is in fact the core team behind the forming of Monolith, and I really don't feel much would have changed throughout the completion of the game with the exception of BloodLust mode, but this wasn't because of Monolith entering, but for other reasons. If you look back, you can find a roster of QStudios members, and see a lot of important names there, and also that QStudios was based in Redmond, WA. Monolith was formed in Kirkland, WA with very close ties to Microsoft technologies, which if you read up on the LithTech engine, you will see how it all worked out. Further yet, on the old QStudios webpage, the 2 programmers already had Monolith email addresses. Monolith and QStudios were both formed in 1994, and QStudios was officially acquired by/merged with Monolith in 1997, despite clearly having some overlap within that entire period. However, those dates are just technical, as Monolith handled all the negotiations for the rights, QStudios was just a small group of some of the developers.

The fact that you play as a cultist in the Alpha doesn't reflect the story or planned content for the game in any way. This was an alpha build where they were still clearly building up content and testing engine features, were nothing had an order to it yet. If a pitchfork shooting balls of napalm doesn't prove that enough, I don't know what could convince you.

As for direction, as I stated previously, QStudios consisted of the majority of content creators, and I don't feel that would have changed at all, and another clear example of this is the Plasma Pak expansion which has very clear Alpha influences, and is by all means considered to be a project of the Monolith team.
User avatar
Willis

Master of the Mask
Lead Programmer

Posts: 872
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 09:28 am
Location: Eau Claire, WI USA
Contact:

Post by Willis » Sun Jun 27, 2010 09:10 pm

And to reply to my own post, here is a edited version of an IRC session with Nick Newhard on a Duke3D irc channel. I've modified it to be more relevantly readable, the full source can be found here (Nick Neward = C0DEACE1).
<RobBrown> Can you tell me what is the Q-Studios-Monolith arrangement? Are they the same company renamed?
<C0DEACE1> Well, it's not public yet, but it is so close here's the deal...
<C0DEACE1> Peter and I started Q Studios with Kevin Kilstrom
<C0DEACE1> Peter and I worked at one time for Edmark - an "edutainment" company
<C0DEACE1> The Monolith people also worked there.
<C0DEACE1> So anyways...
<C0DEACE1> We started Q Studios
<C0DEACE1> and they started Monolith a year or so later.,
<C0DEACE1> While we were building Blood.
<C0DEACE1> They were working on stuff for Microsoft,
<C0DEACE1> I'll let you guess which company made more money... :)
<tWiCe> so is this the blood engine?
<C0DEACE1> Blood uses the Build engine. And no, Blood is not out yet.
<phoebus> Nick: doesn't start w/ a Q
<C0DEACE1> But Monolith and Q Studios always had the same goals.
<phoebus> All: this is cool, let's shut up a sec
<C0DEACE1> That is to make kick-ass multiplayer games.
<C0DEACE1> So we talked about it and decided for various reasons to merge the two companies.
<RobBrown> It's really nice that you are stopping by Nick. As you can see, there is ALOT of interest in what you are all doing. :)
<C0DEACE1> The deal isn't signed yet, but it makes incredible sense.
<C0DEACE1> We will be posting a bunch of stuff about the merger when the papers are signed.
<tWiCe> are the enemies polygons like quake?
<C0DEACE1> Shouldn't be more than a week or so.
<phoebus> Nick: Let's just hope you don't get swallowed by the Monolith (I don't think it will happen)
<QWAB> Nick i really appreciate you chating with us
<C0DEACE1> phoebus : no such problems.
<C0DEACE1> QWAB Thanks!
<phoebus> QWAB: here, here
<QWAB> i should be saying thanks to you
<QWAB> not all game designers are as nice as Nick here not nameing names but (id)
<phoebus> Nick: Are you as tired of playing Quake as I am?
<OoD|EN4CR> Hey...quake's still fun
<OoD|EN4CR> :)
<C0DEACE1> We still like Quake around here, but Blood rules in BloodBath.
<phoebus> Nick: I'm saturated; want something new.
<MattCake> I'm not tired of Quake , cos I never played it that much :)
<Rott_> when will aa sw release of blood be out?
<C0DEACE1> I like being saturated with death in a game.
<RobBrown> Rott:When it's done! :)
<C0DEACE1> :)
<C0DEACE1> RB: Thankx
<phoebus> Nick: I'm looking forward to Hexen2
<C0DEACE1> :)
<C0DEACE1> phoebus : We hope it is a better action game than Hexen. :)
<MattCake> Rob:Where did that phrase come from? Somewhere on cserve?
<Rott_> dats all 3drealms ever says
<RobBrown> MattCake:hehhehe :)
<phoebus> Nick: I found a few cool Hexen deathmatch levels, actually
<C0DEACE1> Rott_ : It is the only official answer we can give, but we are busting our asses to get it done. :)
<tWiCe> C0DEACE1: How many levels with the shareware and estimated for full?
<C0DEACE1> twice : eight in the shareware right now. subject to changce.
<PatolAWAY> Nick=3DCodeace?
<C0DEACE1> AWAY: Yes.
<C0DEACE1> My build is done, no pun intended, and I've gotta go back to testing.
<C0DEACE1> I WILL be back.
* RobBrown says "Goodbye" to C0DEACE1.
<QWAB> bye Nick you rule
<RobBrown> Thanks again for stopping by!
<C0DEACE1> Thanks for you interest in Blood people. Let's try to get these questions over to #blood. ;)
<QWAB> ya everyone over to #blood
<RobBrown> I'll jump pailhead for ya Nick!
<C0DEACE1> Rob : Rub it in. :)
<C0DEACE1> In case any of you are wondering...I'm the designer and a programmer on Blood...
<C0DEACE1> C'YA!!!!!
<phoebus> Nick: And all around cool guy
<QWAB> Nick: realy i couldn't tell ;) lol
*** C0DEACE1 (~nick@207.159.130.90) has left #duke3d
Which displays a little more of how the merger between QStudios and Monolith happened.
User avatar
zZaRDoZz
Acolyte
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 03:13 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Post by zZaRDoZz » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:50 pm

An excellent bit of research here Willis. I guess the 'more magical Blood" is just something that keeps popping up as an early blood template. I can verify such a blood concept for b2 as I own the strategy manual. I haven't seen the original Blood's player's guide so there's no way for me to confirm that it too envisioned 4 playable characters. You probably have access to it though. Is there an article in it about game development or any interviews?
User avatar
Tchernobog
Tchernobog's Love Child
Posts: 1251
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 07:30 am
Location: Rural Alberta, Canada
Contact:

Post by Tchernobog » Thu Jul 01, 2010 08:50 am

Willis wrote: If a pitchfork shooting balls of napalm doesn't prove that enough, I don't know what could convince you.
Ah, yes...

FUN FACT: If you fire the napalm at the wall right next to where you respawn in rapid succession you can repeatedly see yourself die... in third-person... :P
pfreese
Rat
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 02:33 am

Re: QStudios's Vision of Blood

Post by pfreese » Sat Feb 19, 2011 02:47 am

WRT beast mode:

I don't remember exactly where the original idea of beast mode came from (it might have been me), but I think the impetus behind it was a request by George Broussard to have the player be an evil creature instead of a human ("What if you could be EVIL?!") We played around with a couple of design concepts for it, including implementing a "blood lust" meter -- if you killed enough enemies in a short enough period of time, you would transform into the beast with hugely improved damage resistance and high amounts of melee damage. It was an interesting idea, and Kevin did some great artwork for it, but in the end it wasn't really fun to transition from ranged combat to melee in an FPS.

As Willis points out, Blood was finished by the same team (albeit larger) that start it. Nick and I formed Q Studios in 1993 (originally as Apogee West), and we were acquired by Monolith (which was formed by some former colleagues of ours from Edmark) in 1996-1997. So, how would have Blood been different if it had been finished by Q Studios? No different at all, really, it was the same team completing it (although I left Monolith for personal reasons before Blood actually shipped).

Over the course of development, Blood changed many times, and each change was for the better. One of the benefits of small development teams is that they can adapt and iterate on their design fairly quickly without being locked into a rigid plan.

Peter Freese
User avatar
Tchernobog
Tchernobog's Love Child
Posts: 1251
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 07:30 am
Location: Rural Alberta, Canada
Contact:

Re: QStudios's Vision of Blood

Post by Tchernobog » Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:35 am

Welcome to the forum Peter Freese. May I be the first to say we are not worthy. :wink:
User avatar
Ransu
Night Owl
Posts: 550
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 09:44 pm
Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA

Re: QStudios's Vision of Blood

Post by Ransu » Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:37 am

It's nice to hear from someone who worked on Blood. Thanks for the great information. :) I'm pretty sure that blood lust meter idea has been used in lots of games before, though I'm not quite sure what game started it. :P
Blood of Nightmares
Zealot
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 07:56 pm

Re: QStudios's Vision of Blood

Post by Blood of Nightmares » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:52 pm

pfreese wrote:WRT beast mode:

I don't remember exactly where the original idea of beast mode came from (it might have been me), but I think the impetus behind it was a request by George Broussard to have the player be an evil creature instead of a human ("What if you could be EVIL?!") We played around with a couple of design concepts for it, including implementing a "blood lust" meter -- if you killed enough enemies in a short enough period of time, you would transform into the beast with hugely improved damage resistance and high amounts of melee damage. It was an interesting idea, and Kevin did some great artwork for it, but in the end it wasn't really fun to transition from ranged combat to melee in an FPS.
Now that sounds rather identical to the Demon mode from Painkiller only except it was also long ranged and if you collect enough souls instead of a Blood Lust meter.

If your planning to post here again, I have several questions for you:

1. Who was Caleb originally? I do know that you mentioned him as a "Evil Creature" but how did Caleb came about in his gunslinger look we know of today and compared to how he originally was (I think the alpha originally had a Fanatic as the player sprite was that a placeholder)?

2. Who was originally the main antagonist? Was it always Tchernobog?

3. Was the storyline for the game always been the same or did it have changes?

4. I think I heard somewhere that Ophelia was originally Rachael, How is she different or the same and also did the "Chosen" idea came about and was that originally planned in the storyline? Also who was Gabriel and Ishmael originally?

5. Can you tell us why you left Monolith or do you prefer not to share it?

6. Also what time period that the game was originally set? I do know that "Blood 2: The Chosen" claims that the original game was set in the 1920s/1930s but what was the original planned timeline/setting for this game?

7. Also was there enemies cut from the final version of the game along with some of the weapons?

8. Also what weapons there originally planned in the game that didn't make it in the final version? I think I do know the Spear gun, Shadow Gun (can you tell us about the Shadow Gun?), Single Stick of dynamite, but is there anything else? I remember of a painting of Caleb shooting zombies with a pump action shotgun was that also originally planned in the game?

9. Can you tell us about the items/powerups that were cut from the game? I do know that Raven Flight (Caleb's analogous to Duke's Jet Pack) was one of them along with the health potions that acted like Doom's health bonuses.

Well basically I wouldn't mind you giving us a full development history on Blood and also was there any footage taken during Blood's development like this?
Last edited by Blood of Nightmares on Mon Feb 21, 2011 03:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
I Live...AGAIN
Cabal member
Posts: 784
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 05:33 am
Location: Detroit
Contact:

Re: QStudios's Vision of Blood

Post by I Live...AGAIN » Mon Feb 21, 2011 05:07 am

Rather than bombard you with fanatical questions Peter I would just like to thank you providing us with some interesting information.

Welcome to the forum btw :)
User avatar
Corbin
Zealot
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 09:48 pm
Location: california
Contact:

Re: QStudios's Vision of Blood

Post by Corbin » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:15 am

I Live...AGAIN wrote:Rather than bombard you with fanatical questions Peter I would just like to thank you providing us with some interesting information.

Welcome to the forum btw :)
Seconded! Way past cool!
Post Reply