Though not as ludicrous as a Victorian-esque assassin impersonating a British actor impersonating an American vigilante with halitosis (opens in new tab) , the idea of a speaking Corvo Attano flitting about Dunwall's dankness in Dishonored seems unfeasible—especially after we learned his brooding silence brushed close into " creepy as hell (opens in new tab) " territory. But that's what Dishonored co-creators Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith told OPM UK (opens in new tab) , even revealing the displaced royal protector's original incarnation as a ninja.
"We added some text input options for Corvo around alpha but never really went further," they said. "To this day, we wonder what the other version would have felt like in the game."
Colantonio and Smith both explained that an anchoring design element throughout Corvo's gradual reworking was the choice to stay your blade and seek non-lethal solutions. Corvo's acceptance of both slayed or spared outcomes was a deliberate decision to let players mold Corvo's personality as they wish. "If we portrayed Corvo angry and seeking revenge, it might offend the non-lethal player who is seeking a stable outcome for Dunwall and vice versa," they said.
The rest of OPM UK's report (opens in new tab) details interesting concept iterations for the mighty Tallboys (once a meek streetlamp lighter) and Corvo's signature Blink ability (initially an optional power). Well worth the read.