How an authentic and lively game world was created

The next developer article from Guerrilla Games is online. Here the community manager named Bo de Vries reports in detail about the authenticity of the open game world.

In the sequel to “Horizon Zero Dawn” you will also explore a huge and varied game world. Dangers lurk everywhere in the form of highly developed machines. To escape them and to arm yourself for the fight against them, you can visit different tribal settlements. There Aloy’s skills and equipment can be improved and items (sold) can be bought.

Visual storytelling for authenticity

In these settlements, a believable environment is to be created through visual storytelling. For example, the Nora tribe is technically not so well equipped, which is why their settlements are built of wood and rope. In addition, because of their sparse equipment, they cannot really communicate with the outside world. The Tenakth tribe, on the other hand, have settled in an old ruin and are focused on fighting.

You will also notice differences among the traders in the various settlements. With the Oseram tribe you have a blacksmith in front of you who can produce high-quality weapons. Should you strengthen yourself with the Tenakth tribe, you will be holistically equipped. The same applies to the chefs, who also have an individual character. It is particularly important to one of them that the food tastes good. Another takes on the matter more seriously and makes sure that Aloy is optimally equipped for the fight.

Of course, each tribe has its own combat mechanics. Nora hunters are geared towards long-range combat and hunt silently, while the Carja prefer to fall back on traps and the Oseram members use brute force with their hammers. By the way, the outfits that you can get from each of the tribes will reinforce the preferences mentioned.

As you can see: The individual tribes will all be very different from one another. Thanks to the various animations, you should be able to recognize this from a great distance.

But not only tribal members are characterized by unique behaviors. Every peaceful NPC in the game world is part of a group system. The developers have thus defined rules for their routes, behavior and animations. The system of attitudes in turn determines the personality, which is how “unique people” emerged.

The main story shouldn’t be neglected

The lead Living World Designer then explains how such an extensive game world can be created without distracting from the actual plot. After all, post-apocalyptic America offers enough detail to devote hours exclusively to exploration. The Living World and Story teams are working closely together on this project.

In order to be able to satisfy every player, the progression system has been balanced as best as possible. The ecosystem primarily rewards players who spend as much time as possible in the open game world. Each raw material collected serves a specific purpose. However, players who want to concentrate on the story should also be able to achieve motivating progress.

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The game world will be bursting with details, which is why the development team is proud of the work they have done. By observing the countless NPCs, you will find various details, which is why you should take your time. Fans of open world games will definitely get their money’s worth.

Source: PlayStation Blog

More news about Horizon: Forbidden West.

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