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BloodRayne 2: Interview with Majesco’s Liz Buckley

September 30, 2004

Interview with Liz Buckley

With all the hundreds of games coming out between now and Christmas, one upcoming title we’re really looking forward to here at BonusStage is Majesco’s BloodRayne 2. Back in 2002, the original BloodRayne introduced gamers worldwide to the most impressive female game character since Lara Croft shook things up in Tomb Raider. Not just another polygonal pretty face, Rayne’s sharp wit, sharper weapons and ultra-responsive controls combined with a well scripted M-rated plot that featured Nazis, undead monsters, and buckets of gore, drew the game a loyal that guaranteed a sequel. With its release date rapidly approaching, I had the great opportunity to send off a few questions about the game’s development and its lead character to Majesco’s Senior Product Manager, Liz Buckley, who responded with something resembling supernatural speed. I’m starting to get the feeling that she’s part dhampir...

BonusStage: In terms of female game characters, Rayne stands out as one of the more original creations out there; what was the inspiration for her and the original BloodRayne game?

Liz Buckley: BloodRayne was actually inspired by a character from another Terminal Reality game called Nocturne. However, she went through many design iterations before arriving at her final look. We wanted to ensure she was as appealing and distinctive as possible so that we could launch a new franchise that had lasting appeal.

BS: In BR2, how much of the game engine is carried over from the first game, and what new features can we expect?

Buckley: BloodRayne 2 runs on a modified version of the Infernal Engine that is Terminal Reality’s proprietary engine from the original game. Engine improvements have enabled the team to make glass, cloth and particle effects much more realistic and this time around there’s also dynamic lighting that contributes a lot to atmosphere. BR2 also includes new rigid body and soft body physics so objects and bodies will move and fall more convincingly. The environments are much more destructible as well; it’s not just a nice detail because it’s often a necessity to “destroy” the environment in many areas in order to progress through the level. BloodRayne herself has a higher poly count—nearly 5k now—and those polys are used much more efficiently so she’s more detailed and has a higher degree of polish. The levels have a very different look and feel to them too—they’re much grander, more stylized and more distinctive to the series and from each other.

BR2 - PlayStation 2 screenshot

BS: Many other 3rd person action games have less than intuitive control and not so smooth animation, but Rayne can tiptoe across wires, pole swing, hang and shoot from ladders or fences and pull off loads of other cool moves with ease. Good genes or really tight programming?

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