Gaming - News
What God Of War Looks Like Without Special Effects
Concept & Design
During the first "God of War" game's development, concept artist Charlie Wen went through numerous drawings before creating Kratos. For the 2018 reboot, early concept art toyed around with keeping his goateed look, and his Leviathan Axe was originally envisioned as a mundane weapon. Once the concept art was finalized, modelers translated the art into 3D assets.
In order to create the majority of cutscenes and animations in "God of War," the staff used a method called "previsualization." This process primarily consists of planning out where characters will stand in a scene, acting them out live, and filming the results. The videos can feel a bit comical, since previs shots rarely involve trained actors.
During a previsualization fight, the stand-in for Kratos threw their axe at an enemy. Lead Gameplay Designer Jason McDonald wondered what would happen if players never retrieved the axe after throwing it, but Lead Systems Designer Vince Napoli suggested adding the power to recall the axe with the press of a button — and the Leviathan Axe was born.
The animation team for "God of War" used many props for mocapping and live previsualization — for instance, Kratos' axe was either a foam axe or a Nerf mace, his Blades of Chaos were foam rubber pool noodles, and his and Atreus’ canoe mechanical rigs. Beanbags also cushioned blows for mocappers simulating grapples.
For the soft reboot of "God of War," Santa Monica Studio turned to MotionBuilder, a motion capture and keyframe animation program. Its Virtual Camera transposes every actor wearing a mocap suit into the game world. Santa Monica Studio leaned heavily on this feature to give cutscenes a handheld camera documentary feel.