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