Measuring the pulse of an exciting new game.

EVEN SEVERAL MONTHS before the expected shareware release of Blood, we are amazed at how much this game has evolved from the project we first imagined. When we submitted our initial game design proposal to Apogee in 1994, we had no idea that the talented team of programmers, designers, and artists we'd put together would create a game that surpassed our wildest hopes.

Blood is already revealing itself to be rich and multi-dimensional, and as every day brings it a little closer to fruition, we recognize new possibilities and add new details to create the most immersive, terrifying 3D game we can. Perhaps it's the horror aspect that we find so compelling--the challenge of uniting artwork, monster behavior (AI), weapons, sound, level design, and special effects into an experience that will both frighten and entertain players of all skill levels.

We can't reveal too much yet, but we thought we'd share some of the background of the project. As with any game, a lot of planning and effort has gone into the making of Blood. When we first got the idea to make a horror game, we knew we wanted to capture the classic style of Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft while at the same time incorporating elements of the modern horror we all know and love. The influence of Sam Raimi (Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2), George Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead), and other great directors will be apparent to fellow horror buffs. Still, we have to admit that it's the sinister, foreboding stories of H.P. Lovecraft that really lie at the heart of Blood.

Rough sketches of a gargoyle.

The promise of a premise.
From the beginning, our intention was to explore the awakening of a powerful, unthinkable evil that threatens the existence of all humanity. We were never particularly interested in the whole dichotomy between good and evil, however. Just as Lovecraft wrote about madmen who had gazed too deeply into the heart of the forbidden, we wanted our player character to be someone of questionable morality. The character's past is somewhat stained, and there are definitely some demons still lurking in this person's conscience.

In order to prevail, the player must face the Cabal, an ancient secret society, and the terrible Dark God it serves--Tchernobog. Numerous challenges and puzzles will await players along the way, of course, and we are working on various special features that will add even greater dimension to gameplay.

One of the innovations we conceived early on was the idea of BloodLust. Each time you as the player kill a minion of the Dark God, your BloodLust meter climbs a notch. If your BloodLust climbs high enough, you metamorphose into the Beast. As the Beast, you are stronger and faster than a human, but you are also limited in your choice of weaponry. There's a compromise between raw physical strength and tactical flexibility. Of course, BloodLust wanes with time--if you don't kill frequently, you revert to human form. That way, methodical players can generally progress through the levels without ever taking Beast form, while "kill and collect" types can romp around as Beasts all they want.

Early vision of the Gill Beast.

A miscellany of malevolents.
Knowing that convincing monsters are one of the most important aspects of spine-tingling horror, we devoted a lot of time and consideration to how ours would look and behave. Fortunately, we are blessed with a couple of fine artists, Kevin Kilstrom and Terry Hamel, whose combined efforts have brought each of our creations shuddering to life (or unlife, in some cases). As you can see from the Blood BESTIARY, they came up with quite a motley collection of natural, unnatural, and supernatural menaces. But it's programmers Nick Newhard and Peter Freese who have given these beasts their souls, developing the sophisticated monster AI that drives each of them in its pursuit of the player's blood. We think you'll be impressed by how determined some of these bad boys are.

Concept drawing of the spear gun.

The proper tools for the job.
In order to do battle with the forces of darkness, players need a powerful arsenal. Our chief concern with weapon design is versatility--every weapon has a primary and alternative mode. We've also endeavored to tailor our weapons to the genre. You'll start out with a pitch fork and graduate to an improvised flamethrower (an aerosol can and cigarette lighter), sawed-off shotgun, Tommy gun, flare gun, bundles of dynamite, and a voodoo doll already notorious among Q Studios staff for its interesting variety of special attacks. Players can look forward to other interesting weapons as well, but you'll have to wait and see what we've got in store.

The restless dead want to make your acquaintance.

An experience in terror.
With the overwhelming success of the Duke Nukem' 3D shareware release and anticipation already building for 3D Realms' upcoming Shadow Warrior, we have some understandably high expectations to live up to. At this point, we are confident that Blood will surpass those expectations by leaps and bounds, just as it has already surpassed our own. We have put a great deal of effort into making Blood the most horrifying 3D gaming experience players have ever faced, and we still have plenty of new features to program in. Look for frequent updates on game development on this site beginning in the near future.

The Q Studios Development Team

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Copyright 1996, Q Studios Corporation
Updated July 15, 1996.