Autumn Moon’s A Vampyre Story may not have been perfect, but for a freshman effort it was an admirable debut, delivering an assortment of offbeat characters, amusing scenarios, and an impressive wealth of interactive opportunities… oh, and some pretty decent looking graphics, if you like jaw-droppingly stylish hand-painted artwork (after all, The Aggies never lie, and now there's even a hardcover art book to prove it).
With the first game under their belts, there's every reason expect even better things to come. According to various reports, anywhere from two to four installments are planned for the full AVS experience. What we do know for sure is that the second game will be called A Vampyre Story 2: A Bat’s Tale, officially announced by Autumn Moon in March. The story picks up where the previous game ended, and introduces a host of original locations like Dr. Legume's Home for the Sanity Challenged, an Executioner's Practice Grounds, Mortus Labs, and a tavern full of beer-deprived disgruntled sports fans. There will be 25 zany characters as well – some old and some new, from The Great Fauxdini to conceited local artist Raven Gothguy to Jack the Gimper. And for the first time, players will be able to control the winged Froderick, who must rescue Mona when she falls into the clutches of the obsessed Dr. Riga Mortus.
Now the developer is on the prowl for a new publisher to help finish and publish A Vampyre Story 2, which AME reports is about 40% finished and shaping up well. And here’s hoping they soon find one, as the sequel only needs about seven more months of development to be 100% complete. In the meantime, teasing us with a small but tantalizing glimpse of what’s in store, Autumn Moon has graciously provided an enticing sample of exclusive new artwork and screenshots. And to take us deeper into the events of A Bat’s Tale, Bill Tiller and Gene Mocsy recently sat down for a banter-filled interview to discuss the nuts and bolts (in some cases like "The Mortus Monster", quite literally) of the new game. Some of the answers are even serious.
Bill: An interview?
Gene: Well, we are sitting. That half is true.
Adventure Gamers: Let's make the other half true as well, then, shall we? So what changes are in store for players in A Vampyre Story 2?
Bill: The biggest changes people will notice between games is that the engine will be much improved due to the fact that the Munky Fun engineers –
Gene: And Zeno.
Bill: – and Zeno Gerakinis at Autumn Moon – had more time to smooth it over and add new features, and we are bringing in three new additional writers to help polish the dialogue: Gene here, whose work will be featured in Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island, and two LucasArts vets, Jesse Clark and Larry Ahern. So with these moves we have hopefully addressed the two biggest weaknesses of AVS1. In AVS1 we thought the more lines the better, but now it is clear the game could have stood a bit of editing.
Gene: Yeah, no sh**!
Bill: Shut up, man! It’s my first game, cut me some slack. Look at Telltale – Bone was good, but they really perfected their games on their second and third tries. This takes some time to get right.
Gene: I’m just kidding.
Bill: You’ll get yours once Ghost Pirates comes out! If your game dialogue isn’t up to snuff, then you’ll get roasted just as much!
Gene: Yikes! Good point. Umm... AVS1 was awesome! Just too much good stuff.
AG: Why is AVS2 subtitled A Bat’s Tale?
Bill: For most of the game you play Froderick. It just felt wrong to call it all “Vampyre Story”, when it’s mostly about a bat. He’s helping a vampire.
Gene: Why is he helping her?
Bill: Because she’s bound to a lab table by silver constraints.
Gene: I thought silver is for werewolves.
Bill: If you do you vampire research, you’ll find in a lot of books that silver restrains vampires and takes their powers. Do your research.
Gene: I would if you gave me any time off.
AG: Focus, gentlemen. According to the screenshots, there will be a werewolf and a Frankenstein monster. Who are these guys?
Bill: It’s an homage to the black-and-white classic Universal horror movies. But there are twists: the werewolf is female, and the Mortus Monster is, well, I don’t want to give it away, but something interesting happens to him.
Gene: And there’s a mad scientist.
Gene: And a zombie.
Bill: God, just give away the whole game. Yes, there’s a zombie. In this game, Froderick gets to do a little mad scientist work himself to create an assistant to rescue Mona. But I don’t want to give away too much. Unlike Gene.
Gene: So why is it that you made a lot of them female? You have a female zombie, a female werewolf, and a female vampire.
Bill: I like chicks. Like chick monsters. Doesn’t everybody?
Gene: Are there any female bats?
Bill: Female bats aren’t sexy. No offense to the female bat population.Continued on the next page...