Bleed and Beyond (Interview with Ian Campbell)

2_level1_bBy Chris

I recently had the chance to interview Toronto-based developer Ian Campbell about  Bleed 2, his current project. As the original Bleed was one of my earlier reviews, as well as one of my favorite indie games on Steam, it was a pleasure to get gain some insight into what we can expect from the sequel, as well as get answers to a few burning questions of my own.

On Bleed 2

Let’s start off with the obvious. Are we looking at a possible 2015 release for Bleed 2?

I was really hoping it’d be out in 2015, but… unfortunately not.   😦   The campaign should be fully playable, start-to-finish, by the end of the year, but there’s a lot more to do after that to prepare it for release!

You’ve mentioned your storytelling aspirations for Bleed 2 in a recent blog article. How much more insight into Wryn’s character are we likely to see in this next installment?

I’d say Wryn develops about as much as she did in the original, maybe a little more! You’ll see her grow and learn a thing or two, although, like the first game, much of it will be implied and not shoved too hard in your face.

The rivalYou said that it would be The Rival (in his Mirror Core Mk II) that would get cut if you absolutely had to take out a boss fight. So far, does it look as though he is still going to be an opponent?

Oh absolutely! Even if I cut that fight (which I almost certainly won’t) he still appears for battle in a couple other places. He’s definitely in the game.   🙂


On Wryn

I’ve noticed some Wryn fan art on sites like Deviant Art. Did you expect her to have inspired this when you were creating the original Bleed?

I’ve seen some too, there’s some really fantastic fan art out there! I grew to really like Wryn over the course of development, but no way did I expect other people to be as enthusiastic about her. It’s incredibly flattering and exciting to see!

If we were to swipe Wryn’s iPod, what would we discover to be her five most played songs?

Haha! Cool question! I bet there would be at least two mainstream pop songs, a metal song, an industrial song, and a song by Tom Waits. Anything more specific would probably be projection.   🙂

If you had to do a visual reboot on Wryn, similar in proportion to how they reworked Dante from Devil May Cry, how would the new Wryn look?

Oh God. Uh. I guess she’d be a more realistically-rendered human instead of a stylized cartoon. She’d probably have brown hair and prominent smokey-eye makeup. Maybe some bandages on her hands and feet if we’re going really nuts!

While we’re on the subject, how much would you pay to see a Wryn/Dante death match?

If we’re talking classic Dante, then a whole bunch! Let me see how Bleed 2 sells and I’ll get back to you!   ;P

On the future

If Bleed 2 is a success, can you see yourself continuing the series?

I’m honestly not sure! I love working on Bleed, developing the mechanics and canon and boss fights, but I’m putting absolutely everything I have into Bleed 2 right now. At the very least I’d need an extended break to come up with good new ideas.

You mentioned in a previous interview that you originally had the idea to create a darker story line for your arcade action game. Might we see a grittier rival to Bleed in the future?

Never say never, but… probably not. Dark and gritty doesn’t really come naturally from me. I’d have to have a good reason to try.   🙂

Hypothetical: Bleed 2 becomes a runaway success, spawning several sequels of AAA status. What would be the most shameless pre-order incentive you can invent for Bleed 5?

The Ultimate Hero Pre-Order Bonus: Start the game with 1000 extra bullets! (You have to wait or pay for more when you run out, naturally.)

What genres are you hoping to experiment with in the future?

I’d love to try making an arcadey first-person shooter, or maybe a very short role-playing game!

Ian’s Website
Ian’s Twitter

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