Hellblade Development Diary Covers Procedural Animations

A new development diary from Ninja Theory covers the game’s dynamic movements and procedural animations that adjust, adapt and change based on environmental conditions, weather and other effects.

The development diary can be a little bit pretentious at times but it’s always fascinating seeing a behind-the-scenes look at how characters and core game mechanics are built for a game. You can check out the seven minute dev diary below.

So instead of hand animating everything, they decided to mo-cap every single animation variety that the protagonist would utilize throughout the gameplay. This was both less time consuming and more challenging for the team to squeeze in four days worth of shooting and a whole lot of tweaking, cleaning up and modifying to get the animations to look right proper in the game itself.

I’ve always loved games that utilize conditional animations based on where a character is positioned, how close they are to walls other obstructions, and whether or not they interact with them. For instance, Naughty Dog implementing animations for Drake in Uncharted 3 to automatically touch walls and other objects when he gets too close was a great little gameplay mechanic that added to the immersion.

Here we see that fire will effect the way Senua reacts to the environment and the heat emanating from the fire, as well as how she wades through water and deals with the depth and resistance. These kind of conditional mechanics really add flavor visual and responsive immersion to the game because players will now have to react and adjust their approach based on how the character is reacting to certain elements on-screen. It’s a shame we don’t see this more often in games.

In a previous developer diary they discussed how they went about getting a proper model into the game that best represented Senua and using the tech to ensure that she renders and animates as realistic as the PS4 will allow.

I can’t say I’m excited to play the game because I haven’t seen enough actual gameplay that makes me want to play the game. Horizon: Zero Dawn on the other hand looks pretty cool from a gameplay perspective.

Anyway, you can keep track of Hellblade, which is due for release on the PS4 and PC, by paying a visit to the game’s official website.