Guerrilla Games is getting ready to launch its newest IP, Horizon Zero Dawn. The upcoming open-world RPG is set in a massive, beautiful world and it truly feels amazing to explore. Everything from its streams to trees help bring this world to life and Guerrilla Games opened up about how exactly they made that happen.
When creating a game the size of Horizon Zero Dawn, Guerrilla Games knew they had to find ways to populate it practically. Simply going around to every single part of the world and hand-crafting each blade of grass wasn’t an option. Developers knew they had to be more efficient.
The studio created a way for them to populate the massive world with detail, while still being mindful of time. Joel Eschler, who is a senior producer on Horizon Zero Dawn, recently spoke about how Horizon Zero Dawn‘s beautiful world was ultimately created.
“We didn’t have time to hand place every tree and every bush so they had to build a procedural system that would interact with the location in the world, that would determine what the weather would be, that would tell them what type of trees and bushes would be there. The programmers had a real field day testing themselves and coming up with systems that could build a world that didn’t need any hands to touch it. I thought that was really cool,” Eschler told Stuff.
Procedural creation is a tactic a lot of developers use to create game worlds these days. Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky is a recent example of this, though Guerrilla’s implementation is for nature, not planets.
Telling a story in Horizon Zero Dawn included several key facets for Guerrilla Games. The studio was focused on creating a deep and rich lore for the world, while establishing a current structure for its society. Eschler detailed some of the things they kept in mind when creating Horizon‘s narrative.
“The approach to the narrative was kind of two-fold: There was the world building, which was the tribes that are around Horizon’s worlds, their history, their beliefs, their political structure, that sort of thing, and then there is Aloy’s story, and then on top of that the more personal stories of the inhabitants of the world. So there was definitely a huge focus on building the narrative,” Eschler said.
Horizon Zero Dawn will launch this coming Tuesday, Feb. 28 exclusively for PS4. Our review of the open-world will be live in the days ahead, as I’m working on it currently. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Horizon Zero Dawn.
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