V Rising Interview – New Blood Types Planned For Update 1.0 & More

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We discussed V Rising and its future with Stunlock Studios, going into details about the upcoming console release and in-game mechanics.

Story Highlight
  • V Rising made a name for itself in the survival genre during Early Access and has sold millions of copies.
  • We interviewed Stunlock Studios ahead of the upcoming full launch in Q2 2024.
  • The team went over various in-game systems, plans for the console release, and requested features like crossplay.

V Rising sets players loose in a vampire-ridden world where they must explore, fight, and devour their enemies for survival. With a focus on personal growth through a fortified castle and evolving abilities, V Rising presents an epic vampire survival experience unlike any other.

Initially launched as an Early Access title in 2022, the game became a hit in no time. With the survival adventure poised to leave Early Access in Q2 2024 and arrive on PS5, we sat down with Jeremy Fielding, the Community Manager at Stunlock Studios, to discuss the studio’s ambitions for the future.

V Rising
V Rising Image Via Stunlock Studios
Congratulations on the recent announcement of V Rising for PlayStation earlier this month. Are there any plans to bring the game over to Xbox consoles? Have you thought about exploring subscriptions like Game Pass?

Jeremy: Thanks a lot! Being our first-ever console release, we’re currently just focused on doing this one as well as possible and giving our players the best experience we can on the PS5 before looking into other options.

V Rising is set to receive a major visual overhaul once Update 1.0 rolls around, particularly to the lighting. Toward that end, do you plan to improve the lighting through ray tracing?

Jeremy: I wouldn’t exactly label it a visual overhaul, but there have definitely been some noticeable improvements in the visuals department. We’ve been looking forward to implementing the changes to our lighting because they let us add different levels of detail in places we weren’t able to do before.

It lets us better differentiate indoor locations from outdoor locations and even adds differences between indoor locations in different regions! All a bit technical, but we’re passionate about it. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include ray tracing.

Following Update 1.0, do you see V Rising’s success leading to a sequel as the franchise grows?

Jeremy: It would be interesting to take the lessons we’ve learned developing V Rising and be able to build the next installment from the ground up with those lessons in mind. As a studio, we’re always thinking about how we could do things better.

However, we haven’t even gotten to the full release! It’s probably good not to get too far ahead of ourselves, and it’s extremely important for us as an Early Access title to deliver on our promises and give players the full game they deserve for investing so much time and faith into us.

How will the game evolve after leaving Early Access in terms of monetization and ongoing content?

Jeremy: In terms of ongoing monetization, our only additional paid content, as of now, is strictly cosmetic DLCs, though this may shift in the future.

While we have one more update after 1.0 in mind and more improvements to the game we want to do, we also strive not to plan too far ahead. The success of each update helps dictate our direction, and it’s dangerous to get too tied down to one way of thinking.

With the console release coming up, do you plan to support online cross-play between PC and PS5 for multiplayer? Can we expect some form of cross-progression in the future too?

Jeremy: This is something we’ve been asked about a lot, and I’m actually a bit surprised to see that it’s pretty controversial. Some people want to be able to play with their friends; others are worried about the disparity between players on controllers versus those who are on keyboard and mouse.

We won’t be offering crossplay for a number of… frankly pretty boring technical reasons, but it’s been a pretty fascinating experience keeping up with the debate in the active community.

V Rising experienced the biggest surge in player counts at launch and during the release of the Secrets of Gloomrot content update. Have you made any specific preparations to accommodate the next wave of players once the game leaves Early Access this year?

Jeremy: Just keeping up with opening servers on V Rising’s release was a pretty harrowing experience! We had our engineers quite literally opening servers as fast as they possibly could just to keep up with demand.

Now that we’ve weathered those storms, we’re as confident as we can be going into 1.0 launch! And if there are problems, we’re ready to tackle them.

Can you provide an overview of the roadmap for V Rising after Early Access?

Jeremy: Not at this time, sorry! We’ve still got a lot of things to announce for the 1.0 update, and I’d like to keep us focused on the present. It’s going to be a very exciting year as is, and we’d hate to ruin the surprises we have in store for you!

What are the biggest challenges the team is facing in terms of delivering the planned roadmap?

Jeremy: We’re always pushing ourselves to deliver as much as we can, and there are so many amazing things and ideas about what V Rising can be that it can be very challenging to leave features and concepts on the cutting room floor.

I think that’s the most difficult part of every patch cycle for us. I’m always blown away with what our team manages to get done in the amount of time we have, but that doesn’t stop it from hurting when you have to leave one of your favorite ideas behind.

We’re still quite a small team for the kind of complex open-world game we’re creating, so we need to be a little selective about the ideas we choose to bring to life.

What are you personally most excited about for the future of V Rising?

Jeremy: Releasing the complete game for sure! It’s been a long but very exciting journey to get to this point. I wish I could get more specific here, and I guess it’s kind of cheating to say, but I’m excited to show more of what we’re working on.

The biggest reveals are coming up just around the corner, and it’s been agonizing to keep it under wraps. Every dev blog is a huge relief for me.

How do you consider the current balance between the existing blood types? Are there any concerns about the specific types needing to be stronger or weaker?

Jeremy: I guess it depends a lot on what you mean when you say balance.

For PvE players on their first run-throughs, to speedrunners, to PvPers, there’s a huge difference between what they consider balanced. It’s my job to understand how everybody feels and all of their perspectives and bring that to the studio without coloring it with my biases.

Currently, in PvP, there are some bloods that outperform others in certain situations, but with the massive shakeup 1.0 is going to bring it’s hard to say if that will still be the case. Thankfully, we’ll be having testing to experiment with that.

Are there any plans to introduce new blood types in V Rising after Early Access? If so, can you give us any hints about their potential effects?

Jeremy: We’ll be introducing at least one new blood type in 1.0! After that, I really can’t say. As for a hint…well, let’s just say it’s got teeth.

Are there any other features or mechanics the team is considering to enhance the blood system and its impact on the gameplay?

Jeremy: There are a lot of potential ways to expand on the way blood affects the player, but like I mentioned before, sometimes we have to make some hard cuts for the sake of time.

What aspect of V Rising are you most proud of, and why?

Jeremy: Every time someone messages me that ours was their game of the year, or that they genuinely had an incredible time, or that V Rising gave them something to play with their kid that led to some amazing, quality time that they were otherwise struggling to find, it really, deeply, affects me.

V Rising is a game that connects a lot of different kinds of players who might otherwise not have a lot of games they can play together, and being something that facilitates that is something that really strikes me.

So when we do succeed at that, I try to really enjoy that moment because I am just… really proud to be a part of this team and a part of this game that has managed to connect with so many people.

Which V Blood Boss fight do you enjoy on a personal level, and what elements of the fight contribute to that enjoyment?

Jeremy: Personally? Frostmaw, a giant sasquatch-like monster. The first time I played through V Rising, I did the majority of it as a duo with a long-time friend of mine from back in my Battlerite days (Shoutout to Teldo!), and for me, Frostmaw was the first fight that actually challenged us and forced us to coordinate.

The moments when our screens frosted over and obscured our sight, while this gigantic monster started diving in from just off-screen to hit us like an 18-wheeler truck, were really exciting, and there were a lot of clutch moments where we had to support each other to survive. I think about that a lot, actually.

What's your go-to build for your vampire when playing?

Jeremy: I tend to switch my build up a lot from boss to boss, but my favorite one is just dumping everything into attack speed abilities so I can go really savage with the axes for short bursts.

Dodging until you nail a perfect attack window to see a massive chunk in an enemy’s health just disappear is really satisfying for me. It’s probably no wonder I tend to play a lot of glass cannon and assassin characters in games.

Do you have any tips for the beginners who will start out with V Rising during the full release? Any specific message for the community as the game continues its growth?

Jeremy: Tips for beginners! That’s a good question, especially because some of the tips I would normally give are being made kind of moot with some of the conveniences we’re going to be adding.

I would say… don’t worry TOO much about where you place your first castle, save the coins you find for later, and really try to take your time on your first play-through. There’s a lot to do, and there’s no pressure to rush through it.

Also, if you’re interested in playing with or against others, there are a lot of people who are really happy to help you get started! We have a great community! Please come join us on Discord!

Oh, and wishlist us on PS5 and Steam. Thanks!

V Rising
V Rising Castle Art Via Stunlock Studios

V Rising is headed toward a fresh start with the incoming full launch later this year. With the game now expected to be bigger and better than ever, we encourage readers to give it a shot, especially if they enjoy survival experiences.

To conclude, we would like to thank Stunlock Studios for the interview. We wish them the best of luck for the full launch and all future ambitions for V Rising.

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