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Inside the Developers Studio: Nina Kristensen

Nina Kristensen's Avatar + Posted by Nina Kristensen on Jun 29, 2007 // Co-founder of Ninja Theory Ltd. & Chief Development Ninja


1. What game do you have at E3 this year?
Heavenly Sword – I saw that you, the readers here, have given us 3,700+ votes in the poll on this blog as one of the most anticipated titles of the year, so thanks!!!

2. Tell us more about your game. What’s the story?
The game is a blast to play, we’ve been flattered by the great write-ups so far. We have a great story line as well so here it is: Heavenly Sword is a story of revenge and redemption centering around our heroine Nariko…she’s the one in the screen shot above. She was born into a clan who had been guarding the Heavenly Sword for generations. They had been expecting a god to be born to reclaim the sword, but instead got Nariko. She has been seen as a curse on the clan ever since and when King Bohan invades, the idea of her being an omen of evil fractures the clan. As the King persecutes and decimates them, Nariko is the one that many blame. In a moment of desperation she decides to take charge and use the Heavenly Sword to destroy King Bohan and his army…

3. What did you do on this game that you couldn’t do on another platform?
We’re exploring how to utilize as much of the power of the PS3 as we can to create a powerful atmosphere. There’s a lot of stuff in there, and everything in the game is designed with this in mind. With the level of fidelity we have been able to achieve in performances (detailed facial animations etc), we’re looking to draw you in, to emotionally engage you. Within the combat (which is comprised of thousands of animations), we introduce cinematic cameras to show off your coolest moves. The environments are huge and filled with atmospherics to make it feel alive and real. You can smash up pretty much everything in the environment and all these objects behave naturally under physics. There’s a colossal amount of things going on at once, and you’ll know it from the moment you pick up the controller!

4. What do you think is the coolest aspect of this game?
The super-style moves are the coolest. They’re big and dramatic, you have to work quite hard to get them (especially the level 3 ones) and they completely annihilate the enemy. It’s just so much fun. My personal fav is the one where you drag a guy massively up into the air, ride him back down, slam him into the floor, and while you’re cart wheeling off him, a huge shockwave from his impact with the floor wipes out everyone else.

5. Describe it in five words or less.
Big Sword, Hot Girl!!

6. If you could sit one person in front of your game for an hour, who would it be?
Wentworth Miller (assuming I was there helping him out of course!)

7. What game do you most want an hour to sit in front of yourself (besides your own)?
Assassin’s Creed – I’ve had my eye on that for a while and can’t wait to play!

8. How many E3′s does E3 2007 mark for you?
I’ve been to ten E3’s. Does that make it E30?

9. Describe the pre-2007 E3 experience in five words or less.
Deafening, intense, fun, booth-babes, mullets.

10. Most over used phrase or expression during E3 season.
“Convergence” and “synergy.”

11. You are asked to make suggestions for an E3 survival kit- what three items HAVE to be included?
Redbull, Nurofen, a chiropodist (see my next answer)

12. What advice would you have for someone who has never experienced E3?
Don’t wear heels over three inches, you’ll regret it by lunch on the first day!

13. What’s your favorite part about developing games for a living?
The best thing about my job is being paid to have some of the most truly bizarre conversations. I can’t tell you how many very serious (and heated) conversations I’ve had about the pros and cons of dismemberment. Also, the word “bollocks” has come up in conversation a lot recently… “Bollocks” is a common term used here in Britain; it’s not a particularly naughty word, and Europe’s fine with it, the ongoing debate is whether or not the word should be present in the game for America? I love my job!

//Add Your Own

166 Comments

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1

+ K on June 29th, 2007 at 1:02 pm said:

New video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skjw37keeZ8

Looks great in action, great work.


2

+ GFXology.com on June 29th, 2007 at 1:03 pm said:

“I saw that you, the readers here, have given us 3,700+ votes in the poll on this blog as one of the most anticipated titles of the year, so thanks!!!”

That’s because Killzone 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4 weren’t choices. ;) This game looks good, but I’m going to wait for God of War 3.


3

+ jonabbey on June 29th, 2007 at 1:06 pm said:

Bollocks for us, please!


4

+ Floyd Bishop on June 29th, 2007 at 1:09 pm said:

From what I have seen so far, this game is amazing. I’m anxious to play it.


5

+ Conch_Bubby on June 29th, 2007 at 1:10 pm said:

When are we going to see the demo on the PSN. Heavenly Sword is a must have for me in 07.
Aaahhhh, Heavenly!


6

+ GFXology.com on June 29th, 2007 at 1:14 pm said:

I wish there was an edit button for these posts, but I’ll revise what i said before. . .

This game would be a must-have for me, but with the prices of games rising ($60 right now), and if this game comes out around the same time as Warhawk, I’m more likely to buy Warhawk and focus my time on it. I give props to development team for making a kick-ass looking game though, I wouldn’t mind picking it up later in the year, or maybe having my mind changed by playing a demo of it (*hint *hint).


7

+ Cagalli on June 29th, 2007 at 1:15 pm said:

This game is looking fantastic. Definitely one of my most anticipated for 2007.


8

+ rickyraveen on June 29th, 2007 at 1:16 pm said:

Been itching to play this since E3 last year……Please pretty please put a demo up on PSN!


9

+ PKM on June 29th, 2007 at 1:20 pm said:

Every person in the “other camp” should have to play this game..along with everyone else that doubts the PS3, it will make them eat there words.

Great interview and another example of Sony getting great developers to create Next-Gen franchises that most likely will snatch of awards, record sales, and spawn a series of innovative sequels


10

+ Duke on June 29th, 2007 at 1:24 pm said:

please put a demo on the psn


11

+ TyranX on June 29th, 2007 at 1:26 pm said:

Yes finally an interview with the UBER Ninjas, ha ha I love you guys!! I can’t wait to play this I love it, it’s…so sweet to the eyes. The colors and the beautiful scenery! I also like what you guys did with Nariko, I hope you release a demo soon!


12

+ Thomaticus on June 29th, 2007 at 1:28 pm said:

Can you guys add a survival mode… where you just fight hoardes of enemies continuously… and perhaps add a mode where the game records some of your most high combos and saves them on the ps3 HDD, and later allow ps3 owners to upload those into their home. Oh yeah, please allow Nariko to have different outfits for download or for selection.


13

+ KEFIOX on June 29th, 2007 at 1:33 pm said:

AWESOME!!! I can’t wait til E3 to hear more about this game, this is definately one of the games that sold me the PS3


14

+ Solace on June 29th, 2007 at 1:36 pm said:

holy carp. can’t wait for this game!


15

+ TheDevilsJoker on June 29th, 2007 at 1:37 pm said:

Im sure they are already thinking of a survival mode, it would fit so well.

But yea, I cant wait for this game, ive voted it on the poll of the right and im happy i did so. Looks like a blast to play and everytime i see it it takes my breath away more


16

+ PBJ on June 29th, 2007 at 1:42 pm said:

This looks great and can’t wait to play – A demo would be great. Thanks!


17

+ rickyraveen on June 29th, 2007 at 1:53 pm said:

just imagine how insane this is going to online, WOW!!!


18

+ Kaze88 on June 29th, 2007 at 1:56 pm said:

Its true that this game is the one of the most anticipated game of the year! In every top10 of the most waited games on E3, heavenly sword were on all of them.
I love the devil may cry series and now i will definately get the ninja gaiden: sigma. Ofcourse dmc4 is on my list and this…heavenly sword!!
Graphically its amazing and the fighting skills and styles are incredible. Well be waiting for this!


19

+ nuffmon on June 29th, 2007 at 1:58 pm said:

Bollocks is one of my favorite words, it can be used on so many levels. Let the US have it or they’ll just be missing out. Really looking forward to this game, even more so now i know it’ll have BOLLOCKS in it!


20

+ severeon on June 29th, 2007 at 2:02 pm said:

I really don’t have a witty post to add; all I can say is: “I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL E3 TO SEE THIS GAME IN ACTION AGAIN!”.


21

+ Joe on June 29th, 2007 at 2:14 pm said:

I can’t wait to see what will be at E3. Heavenly Sword looks like it will be great.


22

+ SonnyJim on June 29th, 2007 at 2:15 pm said:

Gigiddy gigiddy gigiddy. Awwright. can’t wait to get this game


23

+ TristanMike on June 29th, 2007 at 2:18 pm said:

With a description in five words of less like “Big Sword, Hot Girl!!” You’ve just sold me. :P

Good luck with the release over at Ninja Theory and keep up the great bloogin’ Sony.


24

+ Snake_Doctor on June 29th, 2007 at 2:25 pm said:

I agree with Thomaticus, a the survival mode would be fun. Maybe a time attack too.
It sounds like a great story btw, any plot twists or surprises to keep things interesting?

And now you have to use Bollucks in the game or else everyone will be disappointed.


25

+ Globox82 on June 29th, 2007 at 2:30 pm said:

Ok, I have a question and i hope it gets answered.

IS THIS ARENA BASED BATTLE GAME?

A lot of people are wondering abut this, so i don’t understand why can’t someone give us answer on that question!?


26

+ sayonara on June 29th, 2007 at 2:31 pm said:

give me the demo!!


27

+ PSheddy on June 29th, 2007 at 2:34 pm said:

Lmao.. So I check the PS Blog and look at the newest post.. and I see Limecat..

Hilarious!

Looking forword to this game too! Thanks!


28

+ nmc75 on June 29th, 2007 at 2:46 pm said:

Thanks for making Heavenly Sword a quality product. This is one out of a handful of PS3 games that are must buys in my book.

Hoping to hear soon: “Nevermind the Bollocks…here’s the Heavenly Sword demo on PSN!!”


29

+ pspdemoboy52 on June 29th, 2007 at 2:54 pm said:

This will be a pretty sweet game! I can’t wait to get a PS3 and then get this game!!


30

+ deadxbabiesxinc on June 29th, 2007 at 2:55 pm said:

with the last ps store update…i somehow doubt they will disappoint us…its only a matter of time when they drop the demo on us :)


31

+ fireras on June 29th, 2007 at 2:56 pm said:

Hey Nina great job on the game so far and I’m glad you guys stuck it out…you really wanted to make this game…I mean taking out a second mortgage on you’re house?

Kudos to you man….I only have one question…exactly how much exploration do we have to look forward to in this game? Obviously I know it not gonna be GoW like in terms of the platforming and puzzle solving…but are we gonna have to do alot exploring?


32

+ omegasyde on June 29th, 2007 at 3:04 pm said:

**Nina Kristensen***

Nice interview and thanks for the info!!!
Btw since you guys are in New Zealand (my wife is a kiwi from Masterton), did you guys find the inspiration from the plot of “Whale Rider” and “Once We are Warriors”? Nariko sounds like the girl from the Whale Rider :) Excellent movie about the Mauri culture!


33

+ PSFaithful on June 29th, 2007 at 3:09 pm said:

I will definitely be picking this game up day one! It has been one of my most anticipated games since launch. HS, LAIR, Warhawk & NGS are the sexiest games coming out for the next 3 months & I can’t wait to play them!


34

+ StormLord on June 29th, 2007 at 3:12 pm said:

“Big Sword, Hot Girl!!” .. :/ i wouldn’t say hot girl.. average at best.. if thats all the game has going for it, its going to be disappointing.


35

+ MasterCharged on June 29th, 2007 at 3:20 pm said:

give me the demo and stop delaying the game


36

+ blizzard182 on June 29th, 2007 at 3:22 pm said:

Nice update. I can wait to put my hands on this. After a long wait of almost not having any good title at all, we are finally getting a lot of good ones and I can not decide where my money is going.


37

+ Agriel on June 29th, 2007 at 3:23 pm said:

Everyone is saying all we see is area type fighting will there be more to the game then that? No matter what I will be buying it.


38

+ Sixpack3 on June 29th, 2007 at 3:26 pm said:

can’t wait for this game


39

+ JimmyHACK on June 29th, 2007 at 3:30 pm said:

please…
we need a demo on PSN


40

+ dragNdrift on June 29th, 2007 at 3:36 pm said:

I say use Bollocks.
Then again, I’m Australian, and we have a rather… robust approach to the english language…


41

+ missionAvs on June 29th, 2007 at 3:55 pm said:

Great work on Heavenly Sword!! This game looks great, every time I watch a video of this game it amazes me that we’ll see these kinds of graphics in a game.


42

+ sneakattack28 on June 29th, 2007 at 3:57 pm said:

you guys worked so hard for this game i have to give props. Can u guys put a demo on psn so we can try out this unbelievable game?


43

+ Godofwar55555 on June 29th, 2007 at 4:06 pm said:

This has to be one of the best ps3 games out there, I cannot wait for it to come out. Hopefully at E3 07, there is a new demo with unreleased footage. Yes, I would love the demo of this on the PSN.

[]^XO


44

+ haran_elessar on June 29th, 2007 at 4:06 pm said:

You have to use the word bollocks!!! It’s a pretty cool word so use it!!! I hope a demo come soon and that you guys finally show a playable build of the level shown in the screenshot above…can’t wait to play this game.


45

+ mcpeepants80 on June 29th, 2007 at 4:18 pm said:

This game has looked unbelievable up to this point. In fact, I don’t think that I’ve seen a game that can compare graphically. I hope the gameplay is just as good.


46

+ TheDevilsJoker on June 29th, 2007 at 4:18 pm said:

The word bollocks is so english that using it in the context of a fantasy clan against a japanise looking army would be GENIOUS. Must do it! ‘You must use the wing wang’
‘BOLLOCKS TO THAT, IM USING THE AK-47 NARIKO’


47

+ mcpeepants80 on June 29th, 2007 at 4:22 pm said:

Speaking of bollocks. This game is going to be the dog’s bollocks. That’s good for those of you that don’t know.


48

+ Dno on June 29th, 2007 at 4:23 pm said:

hottest game cant wait love sony and all things Playstation bye bye


49

+ West End Matt on June 29th, 2007 at 4:29 pm said:

By the looks of this game and the work that’s gone into it, it should set the standard for true Next Gen gaming.


50

+ Gothdom on June 29th, 2007 at 4:32 pm said:

Awesome! I hope we get a demo of this soon, but I’m sure I’ll buy this game anyway ;)


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