A large section of Bayonetta 2 takes place in a city named Noatun, which is filled with water. In order to seek inspiration for the city’s design, PlatinumGames travelled to Belgium and Italy, lead environmental artist Hiroki Onishi reveals.
“Our journey began with a 12-hour flight from Kansai to Brussels,” Onishi writes on the PlatinumGames blog. “We planned on visiting Bruges and the Cathedral of Our Lady first, but when we arrived, we heard the Royal Palace was currently open to the public, so we rearranged our schedule to make that our first stop.”
The Belgium Palace (left) and Bayonetta 2 (right).
“The Royal Palace was perfect for helping us figure out the some of the game’s grander architecture,” Onishi explains. “A lot of the places we visited prohibited photography, so we were thrilled that the palace allowed cameras as long as the flash was off.”
“It was a great start to the trip. The building we created for Bayonetta 2 ended up being a little more stylized than we originally planned, but I’m happy with how it turned out. I think its impact on the player is stronger than before. Look forward to seeing it in the game.”
Florence (left) and Bayonetta 2 in-game (right).
Meanwhile, Italy provided its own contributions to Bayonetta 2, Onishi says. The stone walkways in Florence provided reference material for ground textures in the game. Since it’s more beneficial to the player to have the camera looking downward during combat, Platinum placed a particular emphasis on realistic ground textures.
Venice (left) and Bayonetta 2 in-game (right).
Naturally, during their trip to Italy, Platinum also stopped by in Venice for research. “In Venice, there were no roads for cars to run on, because there were no cars—everything was handled by boats,” Onishi writes.
“There were no gates in the rivers to make sure travel was simple. Even refrigerators and laundry machines were carried to houses on small boats before being loaded up on push carts. We had to carry all our equipment on a boat to our hotel, and then drag everything along bumpy stone paths. It was a new experience for all of us, and it gave us some slight culture shock.”
That said, Onishi continues, it is precisely things like this that give Venice its artistic quality—one that made its way into Bayonetta 2 as well. You can read the rest of his write-up over at that PlatinumGames blog.