Designed by: Nihilistic
Published by: Activision
Vampire Official page
Expected Release: Winter 1999
Get the crosses and wooden stakes
Recently we had the unique opportunity to drive over and visit Nihilistic Software over in Novato. Novato is (by California standards anyway) a sleepy little town nestled in Marin County, which encompasses the peninsula north of San Francisco. Located in the first floor of an unassuming office building, Nihilistic has all the trappings of a no nonsense, hardcore software development house. Basically, it's a large room, with desks arrayed evenly around. Not even the head honcho, Ray Gresko, has his own office, suggesting a closeness with which the entire team works on their pride and joy, Vampire: The Masquerade. Yes there's a little kitchenette, an art room, and a side meeting area, but none of that really struck me when I first walked in there that Friday afternoon.
Modern day vampires
Holy Developers Batman, it's The Bat Cave
What really got my attention was the lighting inside. Well actually it was the lack thereof. All the shades were drawn, and the overhead lights were off, with the only light emanating from small desk lamps, and of course, the soft glow from everyone's monitors. The overall effect is one that I often try to recreate in my room at home - something I like to call the "bat cave" effect. The bat cave is that dim, soft comforting glow you get when you're at your desk late at night studying (read: cramming) or just reading out of general insomnia. It's also the time that many people find are their most productive hours, the graveyard shift preferred by human vampires like myself. I chuckled to myself at how fitting it was that a game about vampires should be developed in a setting like that!
What is Vampire: The Masquerade?
Vampire: the Masquerade is based on a pen and paper role playing game of the same name, which is owned and run by White Wolf Publishing. Vampire: The Masquerade is the second best selling role playing game next to Dungeons and Dragons. Like D&D, V:tM enjoys a large and fanatical following, but unlike the more well-known D&D, V:tM is not based on strict character classes, gaining levels and such. You may be surprised to know that fans play live action Vampire: the Masquerade in cities all around the world! V:tM has the players taking the role of a vampire, a being that must come to grips with who they are, and how they fit into vampire society and the mortal world. The vamps in V:tM need to worry more about honing their mystical powers and keeping their sanity instead of destroying monsters and getting new weaponry (although that stuff is important to V:tM as well).