At last, the questions you sent in have finally returned from Arkane Studios with answers. First off, I am deeply sorry that these came in so late. By now you have likely played the game and found answers for yourself. We should have known that with the high-stress release of the first game, Arkane Studios would have had their hands completely full.
Regardless, I think we get some really interesting responses here anyway, so you find all the questions and answers below - even the ones we already know. Co-Creative Directors Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith answered the questions and I think you will be happy with most of their responses. Of course they could not answer all your questions, but I did do my best to get them a consolidate list of all the important questions. Check them out and let us know what you think.
Can you tell us more about the Loyalists? Will they appear throughout the game and can players speak with them extensively?
This involves some light spoilers, but here's the overview related to the Loyalists: Admiral Farley Havelock, former Overseer Teague Martin and Lord Pendleton have organized a small group, employing secondary characters like Callista Curnow and Samuel Beechcroft, and eventually Corvo Attano. Havelock owns the Hound Pits Pub, a closed-down tavern on the Wrenhaven River, where people used to wager on hound fights. The place is shuttered because of the plague. The goal of the Loyalists is to take down the Lord Regent and put the proper ruler on the throne. Throughout the game, these characters give briefings and debriefings, but if the player follows up with them successively and reads their notes and journals, there is much more story info to be absorbed around the Hound Pits Pub.
Will the gas mask people play a large role in the game? I ask because they are absolutely awesome. Will there be a level involving them? Can you tell us anything more about them?
More light spoilers: Those are Daud's men, also called the Whalers because they took industrial factory masks from a whaling slaughterhouse in the Flooded District (once the Rudshore Financial District). Daud - also marked by the Outsider as a figure pivotal to history - has a power that allows him to impart his powers to those loyal to him. Daud and his men are notorious mercenaries, contracted by Dunwall's privileged to kill their enemies.
It's been described how target NPCs in missions will dynamically change across multiple playthroughs (example: targets appearing in different locations in the Golden Cat, or wearing different masks in the Lady Boyle mission). How prominent is this feature in the game, as in, will we see things like that with every mission, or just certain ones?
It's something that we used here and there. Christophe Carrier (lead level designer) and Ricardo Bare (lead technical designer) work with a very talented team of architects and level designers. We believe in breaking obvious patterns where possible to keep the game interesting, so we don't enforce something like this for each mission. Where it was possible and where we felt it would help, we applied it. Also each level designer at Arkane has significant influence over his level.
How prominent a role will The Outsider have in the story besides being the person who grants Corvo supernatural powers?
The Outsider is a key figure in the world, but is never seen by most people. He's a myth from the perspective of the average person. In another way, he's a framing device and a cautionary voice related to one of the game's themes, about the use of power.
Is there a non lethal drop attack? And when you KO someone and knock them out, can they regain consciousness?
Drop assassination is only lethal. And once someone goes to sleep in Dishonored, they don't wake up during the mission at all. (Fictionally, they wake up when you've left.)
Is it possible to nonlethally takedown a Tall Boy?
No, they must be avoided or destroyed. Though there are some tricks with the Possession power that allow the player to lead them away.
I plan on doing a completionist run. Do you know how long it has taken a tester/developer to complete the game nonlethally, collect everything, explore everywhere, deal with all enemies in each level, and talk/eavesdrop as much as possible? Or, what is the longest that someone has taken to complete the game?
That's an interesting question. The game play time is highly variable: The average player, first time through, takes 12-20 hours. Of course there are people who do it faster and slower. Most people we talk to want to play the game again to see different pathways, powers and try a different approach. Further, most people seem to absorb about 30-50% of the story/world/background info on their first play through. Conversely, once you know the mission locations, speed runs are crazy in Dishonored because of the movement features and supernatural powers.
Will you be releasing any additional media (other than the potential for a sequel game title) to add to the lore of Dishonored? Like a novel or a web series similar to the Tales of Dunwall?
We’ll let you know about any future plans.
Is the Outsider the only existing supernatural being in the world of Dishonoured? Or does he have any rivals?
So far, only the Outsider and those marked by him have been revealed.
Can you elaborate on some of the ability tiers, particularly Bloodthirsty and Devouring Swarm?
Limited details can be found in the game UI.
With revenge being the major theme of this game, and as a by-product the consequences of the actions taken during the game affecting the outcomes, will we see any other major themes to the story. Will redemption, loyalty, honor, deception, betrayal and so forth be elements explored in as much depth? If so, could you possibly elaborate on this?
RWe see some of the themes as related to the consequences of revenge and how exacting it changes a person and others; also the way people use or abuse power in general, including social class and authority; the way actions repeat through the next generation.
Could you elaborate on any potential DLC that we may see in the future?
Nothing announced yet.
Have you made any tweaks to the PS3 or PC versions of the game to improve controls, visuals, etc?
There were no ports of Dishonored; all versions were done at the same time by Arkane, in house. The PC has higher-res textures and can run at 60fps.
I was absolutely amazed by what we could glimpse of the concept art/paintings for the game in the developer diaries. Will these be released in some way, be it for free or as part of a DLC/special edition?
Nothing announced yet.
Is there any chance of more "Tales of Dunwall" episodes in the future?
Nothing announced yet.
What can you tell us about any cut content? What did you want to implement, but couldn't or what never made it into the game?
All through development we add and subtract things, experimenting with various models and ideas. We merged two characters who were members of the Loyalist and cut a couple of support staff there at the Hound Pits Pub, for instance, because it felt a little crowded initially. Things changed constantly.
Why was the decision made to not allow you to attack/kill others as guards/NPCs or force guards/NPCs to kill themselves while possessing them?
Most decisions inside a project are made not only based on what we want to accomplish, but also based on many, many constraints related to time, manpower, and anticipated impact on end-of-project bug complexity. This is one of the key things that people outside the team struggle to understand, because even if they get it intellectually it's hard to know just how constrained any single decision is based on the tech, the way content was authored, the manpower, the schedule, etc. In that case, there were numerous reasons that allowing combat during Possession would have created too much work for our team to handle. (Every new feature must be weighed against time, because that time is also used later to stabilize the game.)
How did you create the magic sign on Corvo's hand? How many signs did you go through before settling on the right one?
This was a team effort, we went through numerous versions before deciding on the final one.
Can we get a real-world replica of Corvo's mask, or any other Dishonored gear?
We've seen some cool DIY versions of the mask.
“Raf, if you are reading this, reboot The Crossing!” Raphael: We loved that project and the prototype is still fun to play!