As Ubisoft Montreal was wrapping up work on Far Cry 3, it was tasked with thinking about its requisite post-release DLC. "Sure, we could've made another island with new weapons," Blood Dragon creative director Dean Evans said. But instead, he took the opportunity to pitch a concept he's always wanted to do.
Inspired by the "VHS era" of 80s action movies, Evans went to Ubisoft execs with a 50-page presentation. On page three, he immediately received a "go."
From there, Evans was given a small team to work on Blood Dragon for the next six months. Ubisoft didn't give them much time, but that's an aspect of the game that actually benefited, Evans argued. "I think it helped the process in this case, because we had to approach it in a B-movie style, like 'fuck, we only have three nights to shoot this shit.'"
That B-movie attitude carries forward in the game's costumes, for example. "We decided to give our character artists a real world budget of $150," Evans explained, noting that the character models are constructed out of cheap props, such as toasters, vacuum cleaner parts, and cut-up salad bowls.
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As the game was taking shape, it was time to reveal it to the public. Announcing the game on April Fool's was always part of the plan, in order to revel in the over-the-top silliness of Blood Dragon's presentation. "We've had a lot of fun promoting this game. We went a little renegade," Evans told us, hinting that some of the early leaks of the game were, in fact, intentional.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon will be released as a standalone downloadable game on May 1st. The decision to make it standalone instead of a DLC expansion that requires the original game was simply the smart choice. "There's nothing that connects any of the Far Crys except for the gameplay style and the systemic open world," Evans pointed out. And not only does Blood Dragon's standalone release open it up to a potentially larger audience, it might get people interested in the main Far Cry 3 campaign. "If you like the shooting experience and the core open world experience, if you enjoy that, you'll probably enjoy Far Cry 3. So go buy it now," he joked.
Blood Dragon will be available on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 on May 1st.