Developer CCP Games announced this month that World of Darkness had been canceled, but a document dump corralled on Reddit by user Idoiocracy today appears to show CCP Atlanta's game as it existed in a recent alpha state.
According to a confidential document from CCP referencing a March 2104 playtest, the game included four vampire clans — Brujah, Toreador, Tremere and Ventrue — each of which brought players clan-specific powers. In World of Darkness, players could hunt humans, send their minions (referred to as "ghouls") on missions to manipulate society and engage in player-versus-player combat.
The document, which includes a full walkthrough of World of Darkness' features, indicates that the recent version of the game differed significantly from pervious versions and urged players to "read this entire manual" to learn the differences.
"There have been significant changes since all previous playtests, and many features do not function even remotely similar to previous playtests," the document reads.
An Imgur gallery from makingofgames includes 16 images from the open-world game, including screenshots of World of Darkness' dark and foreboding city landscape.
We've reached out to CCP Games to verify the veracity of the documents and will update this post with more information as we have it.
Based on the Vampire: The Masquerade universe, a tabletop role-playing game created by Mark Rein·Hagen and first released in 1991, World of Darkness was a massively multiplayer online role-playing game first revealed in 2010 with a trailer. As recently as EVE Fanfest 2013, senior producer Chris McDonough, creative director Reynir Harðarson and CCP chief marketing officer David Reid discussed the game and its future in a Q&A.
CCP announced its cancellation earlier this month, a decision that led to 56 layoffs at CCP Atlanta.
"The decision to end the World of Darkness MMO project is one of the hardest I've ever had to make," CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Petursson said alongside the game's cancellation. "I have always loved and valued the idea of a sandbox experience set in that universe, and over the years I've watched the team passionately strive to make that possible.
"... To our current and former employees and fans of World of Darkness, I am truly sorry that we could not deliver the experience that we aspired to make. We dreamed of a game that would transport you completely into the sweeping fantasy of World of Darkness, but had to admit that our efforts were falling regretfully short. One day I hope we will make it up to you."