The Authentic Characters of Horizon Forbidden West
The highly anticipated game, Horizon Forbidden West, promises an immersive and captivating world filled with breathtaking landscapes, colossal machines, and vibrant cultures. However, the game’s true essence lies in its authentic tribal inhabitants. Each character in Horizon Forbidden West has been meticulously crafted to have their own unique personality, motivations, and journey.
The process of developing these compelling characters involved collaboration across multiple teams at Guerrilla, the studio behind the game. In a recent post, the development team delved into the intricacies of character creation, from the narrative foundations to the implementation of performances through cinematics and conversation design.
Building Compelling Characters
The narrative team at Guerrilla begins the process of creating a character by asking a fundamental question: what does this person want? Starting with conflict allows the team to flesh out the character’s personality and explore how their desires and motivations intersect with the story.
Examining a character’s relationships with others and their surroundings helps to develop cohesive worldviews and believable interactions. In Horizon Forbidden West, characters evolve and their attitudes towards the protagonist, Aloy, change throughout the main story. This dynamic treatment of characters adds depth and realism to the game’s narrative.
Bringing Characters to Life
Once the narrative team has established the groundwork for a character, other teams at Guerrilla step in to bring them to life. Casting plays a crucial role in finding the right actors who can effectively portray the desired traits and add depth to the characters.
Working with actors in video games presents unique challenges, as they don’t have physical costumes or sets to help them get into character. The director must work closely with the actors to provide context and keep them engaged with the material.
Once the performances are captured, the cinematics team takes over to ensure that the emotional beats of the story are conveyed effectively. Camera angles and techniques are carefully considered to complement the actors’ performances and enhance the intended emotional tone.
Crafting Memorable Moments
The cinematics team at Guerrilla strives to elevate the quality of the cutscenes in Horizon Forbidden West. They focus on cinematic camera work, utilizing motion capture technology and paying attention to subtle details to create a more immersive experience.
The team carefully selects camera lenses that best suit each scene, providing wider shots to showcase the environment and close-ups to capture the characters’ emotions. By approaching each scene from Aloy’s perspective, the player is fully immersed in her journey and the interactions she has with other characters.
Conversations about Conversations
Guerrilla assembled a conversations design team to enhance the quality of interactive dialogue scenes in Horizon Forbidden West. By handcrafting these conversations, they aimed to bridge the gap between cinematics and character interactions, resulting in a more immersive and seamless experience for players.
The design team pays attention to character-specific details, such as their emotional state, cultural gestures, and hidden motives. They work closely with the narrative and quest teams to ensure that the conversations are tailored to the specific context of the game.
The End Result
The collaborative efforts of multiple teams at Guerrilla have culminated in a truly immersive and realistic world in Horizon Forbidden West. The characters, with their intricacies and relationships, add depth and authenticity to the game’s narrative.
As players embark on Aloy’s journey, they will have the opportunity to meet a diverse cast of characters, each with their own stories to tell. Whether players love or hate them, getting to know the characters of Horizon Forbidden West will provide unique insights into the world and its vibrant inhabitants.
Horizon Forbidden West is set to release on October 6 for PlayStation 5, with a PC release planned for early 2024.