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Hellblade’s World Is Being Built By Just One Person At Ninja Theory



In a new developer diary, Ninja Theory briefly discuss how they’re going about creating the world for their upcoming action game, Hellblade.


In the past, Ninja Theory say, they would typically put a team of 20 artists and designrs to work on building the world in their games. The world-building process would be based on the game’s script, and account for the various stages and action sequences that were planned for the game. This isn’t the case with Hellblade.


In the case of Hellblade, the game’s world is being designed by just one person, since the entire game is being self-funded and developed by a team of less than 15 people. Furthermore, since the game’s combat system is still in its conceptual stages, the world is being created so that it can hold its own even without a combat system to accompany it. The idea, Ninja Theory say, is to create a world that’s just fun to explore, and to add the combat system in later once it’s complete.


As part of the early world design process, Ninja Theory’s world-builder referred to Google satellite data of Nordic fields (Hellblade is heavily influenced by Viking lore), and imported this data into Unreal Engine, using it as the basis for terrain for in-game environments. You can view part of the process in the video above.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.