Developer Afterthoughts: Heavenly Sword Interview
- Posted September 12th, 2007 at 21:34 EDT by
- 28 Comments
With Heavenly Sword now out on store shelves (well, sorta), PSU thought it would be great to get some comments from one of the game's developers and afterthoughts on their feelings about the game and how it's being accepted by the public.
Our interview was done with Nina Kristensen, Co-founder of Ninja Theory and Chief Development Ninja for Heavenly Sword. Nina has been in the gaming industry for almost 12 years and her work (along with many others) has helped Heavenly Sword to become one of the the best PS3 titles available to date.
PSU: After working on the project for more than 4 years, how do you feel about finally finishing the game and getting it out to store shelves?
It feels completely surreal! A bunch of my rather excitable friends called me last night saying they'd just seen the ad for Heavenly Sword on TV – it's amazing and slightly terrifying when something you've spent so much of your life on is suddenly in the public eye.
PSU: We've read that Heavenly Sword is a trilogy and now that the first title is shipping soon, have you already started pre-production on the next game in the series or is the team moving in a new direction with a new franchise?
We haven't announced what we're doing next but we'll certainly keep you posted...
It has been confirmed that Heavenly Sword will be supporting PlayStation Home. What items, trophies, and additional content are planned and will they be available the day Home launches?
We have not announced anything at this time. We'll keep you posted...
What are your thoughts on some of the harsh early reviews? IGN has given Heavenly Sword a 7/10 and Edge a 6/10? Would you agree with their critiques and what does Ninja Theory have planned to perhaps improve in the next title?
I think a 6 is harsh but you can't take it too personally. The team's put an enormous effort into Heavenly Sword and I'm proud of what we've been able to achieve this time around. We'll certainly be looking at the criticisms as well as feedback generally for our next games. There's always room for improvement and we already have some cool ideas about where we want to take combat next to make it even more engaging and dramatic.
PSU: Was there anything you wanted in the game but time constraints or budget kept out? Could we see any of this perhaps in future downloads as additional content? (Perhaps an unlockable bikini costume for Nariko…haha)
We would have loved to do downloadable content but when we sat down and thought hard about where our efforts should go, it became very clear very quickly that we should put all our focus into the single player offline experience and make that as good as we possibly could.
What was the most difficult aspect of development of Heavenly Sword?
We faced a lot of challenges, new platform, new caliber of cinematics, new combat systems – new just about everything! One area that was more challenging than expected was actually the art pipeline. For example, to get the level of fidelity into the characters we wanted, we needed to learn new techniques and software. We hired extensively out of film and television seeking people with skills that hadn't traditionally been used in games. We worked closely with Weta Digital (famed for their incredible work on Lord of the Rings, King Kong & many others) to understand their techniques for believable facial animation and translate that into realtime.
PSU: What part of the game are you most happy with?
For me it's the combat. I'm quite a selfish games player and mostly want to feel powerful and cool at every opportunity ;) In Heavenly Sword, when you pull off a particularly good move, you get to see what you're doing in considerable detail via "cool cams" which pan around to show off the move often with some ... (continued on next page)
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- 4:54pm EDT - September 12th, 2007
i finally played this, and god of war is easier, the ai kicked my ass, but that made it better in my opinion.
- 5:06pm EDT - September 12th, 2007
i played a demo at a kiosk it was pretty sweet, I played god of war, I'm not sure I'll get this, for the pure reason that hack and slash games wear my thumbs out, I like a little more skill than button tapping, i mean the combos are fun and all, idk...it just gets a little repetitive. But if I were to play them I would play this game, it was fun while i played it, collisions seemed pretty good, and the graphics are amazing.
- 5:14pm EDT - September 12th, 2007
Nina theory? Come on PSU! Get it right or hire me...
Anyway, great interview, very informative, cant wait to see what Ninja Theory has up their sleeve.
- 5:18pm EDT - September 12th, 2007
cool intereview. I need to pick up this game for sure even tho it is short. I'm looking forward to the sequals, too.
and where does it say Nina theory?
- 6:22pm EDT - September 12th, 2007
The game is the $hits nits.. Its a must have..
- 7:37pm EDT - September 12th, 2007
this game is really great i can't wait to pick this up on friday. evenythough people say its short, that really does'nt make a game good or bad cuz HOME and the trophies and stuff will keep you interested. its great buy for ps3 users and people thats also anticipated to jump in HOME
- 8:45pm EDT - September 12th, 2007
rinmatt.....dude the problem is that ur not good....during the whole game i died at MOST 6 times...i beat this game already and i just got it....its ur opinion that GoW is easier but honestly dude GoW is far better then HS...why? story is better...game is longer....music is WAAAAy better....HS i admire the sixaxis add-ons for shooting arrows..the bazooka...even throwing w/e u pick up its pretty fun....but the trilogy for HS!? thats bull5hit...why? cuz nariko dies at the end and kai is in charge of hiding the sword so wth...if its sum1 else like they did with DMC4 it will be a load of crap
- 10:11pm EDT - September 12th, 2007
sounds like a sweet game, liked the demo (too short). I really dont think the similarity with GOW is a coinsidence accept that GOW is actually a longish game that got really difficult at some points, its such a good game, 1 and 2.
- 10:21pm EDT - September 12th, 2007
THANx for the spoiler
- 6:48am EDT - September 13th, 2007
psn id: gingo... i cant wait to play this tomorrow it's going to absolutely awesome
- 7:22am EDT - September 13th, 2007
WTF.....the game is already said to be short, why would you feel the need to give us a spoiler on the release day of the game?? Thank you for the warning, but was a spoiler really called for at this time? Some people really know how to F-up a good thing.
- 11:20am EDT - September 13th, 2007
@rofl and who told u to read it? it said spoiler....... and yet u read it so have a coke and a smile and stfu...if u dont like it well too bad get used to it....and on top of that if u really want the game the spoiler would mean nothing to u regardless u will still get it and see it for urself...and i repeat "STFU"
- 4:10pm EDT - September 13th, 2007
Ahhhhhhhhhh, man!! So the game has been in development for 4 freakin years and it's only a 6 hour game? wtf, Ninja Theory get your act together and pump out a game that will last at least 30 - 40 hours. Come on, this game does look good, but it's not worth it's $60 price tag for only 6 hours of game play. I guess I'm just spoiled with Oblivion's 100+ hours of game play.
- 8:10pm EDT - September 13th, 2007
The game is not all that good... Almost regretting spending the $60....The mocap was indeed beautiful... but what good is it when the frame rate sucks....I've played halfway through the game and I can't understand for the life of me why can't developers have a secure frame rate?? It made me a little upset that something that is so beautiful to look at is marred by jaggies, horrible shade reflections of characters faces (more jaggies), inconsistent frame rate which would make you think the game was developed by EA. Also there was collision issues but many might think that I'm nitpicking. As for the characters look in cutscenes??? Is it just me or Did they uses all the polygons for Bohan and his son Roach?? The other characters look fit to be played on a PS2.. The faces were fine but the rest of the body was angular and totally disatisfying to look at...As much as I wanted to love the game it was a let down... Especially when so much money was pumped in for mocap... but nothing else really screams PS3...Don't think they tried hard enough to avoid making the game all about arena fights. Looks like I might just be getting rid of it as soon as I'm done with it....
- 11:23pm EDT - September 13th, 2007
I don't know why this game would get and flak. The cinematics alone are fun to watch as though I am watching and playing in a movie.
- 3:01am EDT - September 14th, 2007
I'm worried that I may finish this game too quickly. GOW took me a while to complete and if I must spend $60, then I'd much rather get DMC4 when it drops next year. But, I'll keep an eye out for it - just incase I'm convinced to buy it.
- 3:59pm EDT - September 14th, 2007
And one more thing.... Has anyone finished this game??/ **SPOILER*** Can you tell me why the burial seen for Nariko looks sooo **BLEEPING*** amazing that the other cutscenes couldn't look that good?? I mean the textures, the shading, it was freakin beautiful.. No jaggies no choppy playback, no collision issues... I mean damn near perfect!!
- 6:18pm EDT - September 14th, 2007
Because the last scene was CG... You couldn't tell?
- 10:13pm EDT - September 14th, 2007
I did but I'm wondering why they didn't go all out on all the cut scenes and have them all look like the final one...Some were close and others were not but the last one is the par for what they all should have been
- 6:26am EDT - September 16th, 2007
@mystik4l06 - At no time did you write "spoiler' anywhere in your spoiler. stupid.
@ the games duration - this just goes to show that people are trying more to make interactive movies with overkilled graphics rather than video games with some type of replay value. if the game has no on-line play, secrets, or multiple endings, then its gonna be dead on arrival. sure it looks really good, but what else? well, now that they know they can make a really good looking game like this, lets put it into an MMO format that can go on for ages. heck, look that games like Counter Strike:Sorce, Unreal Tournament(the old one), Resistance FoM, and other similar multiplayer games that support more than 30 online at one time. Plus being able to mod it like CSS (zombie hunt ect) and UT (Rpg Mods, Survior mode, Unlimited Jumping, ect), people will continue to play it for years on end until they make an upgrade like UT3. I hope some devs read this and stop half assin games. thanks to that moron mentioned above, i dont want to buy this game now. Looking good is one thing, but im not paying 60+ bucks for a movie.
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