Dishonored 2 – Creating Karnaca

Posted by @GarySteinman on Bethesda

It would have been easy to stay put – to stick with same location – especially considering how much fans had enjoyed their time in Dishonored’s original alt-Victorian setting. But Art Director Sebastien Mitton wanted a change of scenery. Having recently wrapped up his work on the first game, Mitton was probably looking forward to a vacation – perhaps somewhere sunny. So when Creative Director Harvey Smith approached him about Dishonored 2, Mitton’s mind quickly traveled to Karnaca.

“My wish was to go to the edge of the world,” Mitton says. He wanted to take players to a place where the sun cuts through in a way that it rarely did in the gloomy skies of Dunwall. He wanted something with a different mood, a distinct vibe based on both its history and its proximity to the equator. Which was perfect because Smith and the rest of the team at Arkane Studios also wanted to take players to a new location in the Empire of the Isles – and after some more discussion, they quickly agreed that Karnaca was the perfect fit.

But choosing a new location is one thing. Next, the entire team at Arkane – including art, gameplay, story and level designers – set to work on building this city from the ground up. Working together, they developed the history of Karnaca, going two centuries back, including everything from the waves of settlers who inhabited and changed the nation to the very shape of the landmass itself. They considered the industry there, and how the silver quarries shifted the landscape and shaped the districts. They studied the architecture, and as a result built a more vertical city, allowing the player to not only see something different than Dunwall but also navigate through the game’s open-ended levels in wholly new ways. And, as always, they focused on every detail imaginable – from the massive windbreakers that protect the Dust District from the devastating windstorms, to the way a typewriter will move and sound when if you happen to tap its space bar.

Welcome to Karnaca, the bold new setting for Dishonored 2. “I really think that returning fans and new players will be blown away by the richness of this new city and this world 15 years later,” Mitton says. Take a tour of Karnaca with our new video (above), and get ready to take back what’s yours when Dishonored 2 releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on November 11.


For more insights into Dishonored 2, check out these features:
Dishonored 2 – Karnaca Art Gallery
Dishonored 2 – The Evolution of Emily & Corvo
Dishonored 2 – Creative Kills Gameplay Video


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