This concept introduced the idea of the robots built with layers of complex machinery, covered by protective armor. When removing those layers, the core functional elements should be revealed to the eye.The different shape and color from those elements should separate them visually from the rest of the mechanical parts, allowing the player to identify weak and valuable points.Head Design Study
These are some of the stages of Deathbringer concept design.
The Deathbringer, moving through the morning mist.
This painting is based on an early version of this concept by Miles WilliamsA cloud of nanobots emerges from this early concept of the DeathbringerProduction 3D concept developmentDeathbringer, body functionality conceptDeathbringer, body functionality conceptDeathbringer, leg functionality concept.
These are some of my early concepts for the robots in Horizon.
This sketches not only were a research about the shape and form of this robots but even more important, about what was the function of this machines in the Ecosystem. For example, the idea behind the Grazer was that it was able to collect and transform grass into biofuel. This biofuel was used later in the robot Foundry to print other robots. When the Scrapper became later a debris scavenger, we developed the jaws in the design, in order that it can rip apart abandoned materials. The Stormbringer was a protector of other robots, and the Strider, a long distance scout for resources.
This is one of the first Horizon Zero Dawn concept paintings. Much later it evolved into the Trampler robot design.The goal behind the Trampler was to develop an excavator robot that uses its horns to dig rocks. The rocks get later transformed, inside of a plasma furnace, into raw materials.Because of the design being based on a furnace, I wanted it to have a “furious” character. I added vents to exhaust the heat from the plasma oven, hoping they would made the design look like breathing through them.At some point I started blocking the design in 3D. This 3D mockup process is the next stage on the concept process. This step it is not a race to a finished model, but a move of the concept development to a different domain.The concept evolves and changes in many different directions, integrating the vision from art and game direction, and the input from all departments involved. In this stage I still had the horns attached close to the shoulders. I wanted to experiment with those, unfolding in a way that is closer to a machine instead of an animal. I gave it a big heavy head, in order that is able to charge with weight against the ground or rocks and break them into parts. On this model, still many test were done, like clearance of movements of all the functional parts.
These are some of the concept stages for the Shell Walker. Its main function was to transport resources to the Robot Foundry. Over that function, in the early concept version, I gave it more personality, by making it handling and protecting the box like if it was a precious treasure. I added a shield that he could handle in its arms and experimented with some ideas on it loading the box showing effort, like a person loading a heavy object.Early ConceptEarly Concept3D Concept StudyFrom this point on, I started iterating on the concept, integrating art and game direction.While this final concept iteration look much more detailed than the starting one, the overall idea and main functionality, stayed quite intact during all the design process.In the last version we substituted the hand shield by a gravity shield system and added a weapon based on a “pistol shrimp”Shell Walker In Action, Concept
Excerpt from the RTVE program Zoom Net on Horizon Zero Dawn.
You can find the complete program and previous ones at: http:///www.rtve.es/television/zoom-net
Fragmento del programa Zoom Net de RTVE sobre Horizon Zero Dawn.
Podeis encontrar programa completo y otros anteriores en: http://www.rtve.es/television/zoom-net
This painting shows a weapon production facility. In the background a Helghast war robot is being assembled. In the foreground lines of ammunition are loaded into the cruiser that is docked on the exterior. In the painting I was looking for an strong contrast between the cold and technical light inside of the factory and the natural light coming from the exterior, like the sunlight coming into a dark and wet jail cell.
How to put in orbit the ISA cruisers? While developing Killzone 2, after the Cruiser design was finished, an update to the story described the cruisers being launched from a location similar to Cape Canaveral. The thrust and propulsion systems on the Cruiser were supposed to be used for small changes of position and orientation while in the upper layers of the atmosphere, just giving corrective burst of push, enough to keep the machine in a low orbit. Those thrusters were not looking adequate for the new assignment: move into orbit.
At that point into the development it was not possible to made changes into the cruiser design. The challenge was, how to move it into orbit. To provide that thrust I imagined that the ISA engineers in Killzone, may have had to improvise a solution. I came with a sort of a jetpack, that attaches on the back of the cruiser (first cruiser from the left), by means of an elevator (second cruiser from the left). A jetpack of this size should have been incredibly efficient, being that small and powerful, and still able to move the massive Cruiser into the upper layers of the atmosphere.
If you zoom into the image you can see some unfortunate crew members getting expelled out of the ship, due to the decompression, through the holes in the hull. I imagined that this objects coming from inside, will be propelled through these beams of light (coming from the lighted cruiser interior), into the darkness of Space.