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Heavenly Sword Prequel: Episode V – The Day Of The Warrior

Ben Hibon's Avatar + Posted by Ben Hibon on Sep 05, 2007 // Director, Blinkink

Now that the mini-series is coming to an end and the game is finally about to be in the shops, I wanted to share a couple of the ideas and concepts that lead to the creation of the animations, and, of course, the final episode.

From the outset it was clear to all of us that we wanted to create a worthy addition to the game; giving depth and meaning to its story and by offering a different visual experience. Sony and Ninja Theory wanted to supply something extra that the fans could enjoy both visually and thematically.

One of my first ideas for the series was to use 2D animation and a much more stylized and simple look than the game itself to allow the story to be viewed from a new perspective. The CG animation and graphics of the game are some of the nicest out there, so it made more sense to expand the Heavenly Sword universe by using different techniques. This also opened up the possibility to visually re-interpret the world and its inhabitants. Very early on in the production, I had access to all the great pre-existing game concepts and artwork. I always kept aware of the overall look and feel of the game whilst designing the look of the anime as this was very important in order to tie the whole project together. We worked closely with the team at Sony and Ninja Theory to make sure we created a homogeneous universe.

I really feel, as I am a hardcore gamer myself, that expanding a game’s universe in creative and engaging ways can be so much more rewarding for the fans. The Heavenly Sword series has been an amazing project to be involved in, and I hope some of you gamers out there embraced its concept and enjoyed the ride as much as we did making it! Enjoy the final episode, and don’t forget to watch it on the big screen after you download it from the PlayStation Store tomorrow!

For more background, check out this interview I did with It’s Art Magazine.

//Add Your Own

32 Comments

1

+ lakaihigh on September 5th, 2007 at 11:00 am said:

awesome vid love them all 1st


2

+ RoAcH2285 on September 5th, 2007 at 11:16 am said:

Nice to have these videos they’ve filled me in on the story.


3

+ reson8er on September 5th, 2007 at 11:16 am said:

I have totally enjoyed the series to date. Great job. Hopefully you can collaborate with Sony on future Products *cough* Killzone 2 *cough*


4

+ Kratos_ate_Snake on September 5th, 2007 at 11:25 am said:

This is not the last one is it?
I MUST SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!! lol

anyways I can’t wait for the game it looks so awesome.


5

+ Davitr0n on September 5th, 2007 at 11:30 am said:

This might have been asked or stated before, but any chance these videos are going to be on the retail disk of Heavenly Sword for those of us who want to save our precious HD space? :)

Granted I am planning on buying the game anyways, but it would be nice to get some of that concept art and those videos on disk when I do.


6

+ 40cal on September 5th, 2007 at 11:40 am said:

Great job with the Heavenly Sword mini series. I have enjoyed it. I have been looking forward to HS for two years now and next week we will finally get to play it. I hope they start working on the second game soon. The games have been great. I would give Warhawk a 8.5/10 and Lair a 7.75/10. I am sure that after I play HS it will be worth a 9.5/10. Keep these games coming.


7

+ wolverine81 on September 5th, 2007 at 11:47 am said:

I have loved the HS prequel it’s been great! You guys have done a great job!


8

+ Kratos_ate_Snake on September 5th, 2007 at 11:53 am said:

@ 5

you get to unlock all of that stuff in the game. :-)


9

+ wolverine81 on September 5th, 2007 at 11:54 am said:

@8

That would be pretty cool! Crossing my fingers!


10

+ Stoph00 on September 5th, 2007 at 12:13 pm said:

@9

It’s true. You can unlock all these videos and I believe the “making of” videos too, but I’m not sure about that one.


11

+ RandomEarthling on September 5th, 2007 at 12:17 pm said:

I’ve loved all of these vids. Great style and I now know the back story. Thanks!


12

+ Kratos_ate_Snake on September 5th, 2007 at 12:33 pm said:

lol @ this @ that

@ 9

I am pretty sure they already confirmed this. I read it somewhere, so put your fingers to rest. ;-)


13

+ Morock on September 5th, 2007 at 1:04 pm said:

I love it.


14

+ joel on September 5th, 2007 at 1:11 pm said:

You guys should make a cartoon, and air it in cartoon netowork.


15

+ wolverine81 on September 5th, 2007 at 1:12 pm said:

@12

Good! Now my fingers can be used for something else.


16

+ lakaihigh on September 5th, 2007 at 1:18 pm said:

@ joel – totally agree with you dude. This series takes me back like 3 years ago when cartoon network aired those 1 minute mini episodes for the clone wars. I loved those. They are on the same level as this in terms of showing the universe of HS. You guys did a great job and I would love to see them aired on Cartoon Network. and would love it even more if you would expand upon this story, I’ve read rumors of this turning into a series and if that’s true you should make the mini series a gap between each of the games to fill in the stories. That would be “ballin”


17

+ Jeigh on September 5th, 2007 at 1:19 pm said:

@ 14

Yes, I would so watch that!~

Anyway, thanks Ben! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these and if you were to make a cartoon out of this, you can be sure you’ve got a viewer in me! :D


18

+ sectionz on September 5th, 2007 at 1:20 pm said:

god i really hope these are on the BD // and the sound track .. can you tell us if we can expect that?


19

+ terminatorvsmtrx on September 5th, 2007 at 1:24 pm said:

jeeez these animes are better than most ive ever seen… people are right in saying that these could sell on their own.. even without the backing of a mainstream videogame


20

+ Raziel Dune on September 5th, 2007 at 1:30 pm said:

see you should hype this on cartoonnetwork make it a series and have the game tie in to it. It’d be Genius and a good PR move.


21

+ nmc75 on September 5th, 2007 at 1:30 pm said:

OK, this more or less confirms episode #5 is on the PSN store.. however, what else are we getting today, besides a Stranglehold demo? Oh yeah.. best wishes to Mr. Karraker. We hardly knew ye.


22

+ joel on September 5th, 2007 at 2:13 pm said:

Today? The update is tomorrow…

People will buy heavenly sword because of that cartoon.


23

+ Enedok on September 5th, 2007 at 2:29 pm said:

Let me just say;

Best. Marketing. Ever.


24

+ wizardpsp on September 5th, 2007 at 3:55 pm said:

Wow!! thats a good way to start playing a game!!
i have to buy it!!
good job!! keep it coming!


25

+ Queso on September 5th, 2007 at 7:09 pm said:

this should be made into a series, it straight rocks out with it’s cock out.


26

+ Davitr0n on September 5th, 2007 at 9:03 pm said:

@ Kratos_ate_Snake

Thanks for that info.


27

+ Woot on September 6th, 2007 at 1:32 am said:

I enjoy these kind of racers quite a bit. Fond memories of Supercars and Ivan Ironman Stewarts Off Road Racing come flooding back.

I still love 2D and good pixel work and think there’s still plenty of scope to employ it in HD games.

Having said that, looking at the screenshots in this topic, it seems to me that an oppurtunity has been missed. Much of the artwork seems to lack character to me. It comes across as functional and workman like. I’m not wanting to sound overly critical and I appreciate the game is not finished and that it’s necessary to have clarity in game graphics so that gameplay isn’t compromised.

However, one of the reason I still love 2D is that it lends itself so well to expressing character. The incidental detail around the tracks just seem a little bland compared to what pixel art and high resolution might offer.

Perhaps there is lots of character in there that can’t be conveyed by static images, perhaps not.

Clearly, the most important aspect is that the game is fun to play and I’d favour that over any other characteristic. It just seems a little out-of-sorts that the full potential of 2D graphics, in an article about using 2D graphics for games, doesn’t appear to have been realised based on the images shown.

Good luck with the rest of the project and with your other projects.


28

+ coolasj19 on September 6th, 2007 at 4:38 am said:

BOO SHAAAAAAAAAAA
what i tell youll i KNEW it was Nariko. as soon as my online gets back on im gonna download it. also do youll mind combining hem all and THEN puting them on the store.


29

+ Woot on September 6th, 2007 at 4:42 am said:

Erm.. I think I must have commented in the wrong post.

How embarassing.


30

+ djchayan on September 7th, 2007 at 12:36 pm said:

nice work keep it up…XD


31

+ haseeb on September 7th, 2007 at 5:26 pm said:

Cant wait for this game.


32

+ 40cal on September 11th, 2007 at 1:41 pm said:

Heavenly Sword is only two days away now. This is going to be a long two days:)


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