FRESH START

EDGE - - HORIZON: ZERO DAWN -

The early pro­to­type we see was pro­duced by a small team as­sem­bled af­ter the pro­ject had been green­lit, and de­vel­oped quickly. “I’m a very strong be­liever in build­ing things as soon as pos­si­ble,” game di­rec­tor Mathijs De Jonge says, “and get­ting them in col­leagues’ hands. [Then] we can have a dis­cus­sion about what we’ve been play­ing, and ideally be inspired by what we’ve cre­ated our­selves. I think that’s the ul­ti­mate thing: if you get inspired by your own cre­ations, then you can go off on your own track, while still be­ing aware of what other [stu­dios] are do­ing.”

Team size fluc­tu­ated ac­cord­ing to the de­mands of the in-pro­duc­tion Shadow Fall, but one con­stant was lead pro­ducer Lam­bert Wolter­beek-Muller, who joined the com­pany in 2005 and rel­ished the chance to work in a small, ex­per­i­men­tal team. “I thought it was great,” he tells us. “I had this small-com­pany, garage feel­ing again, like we had an empty piece of pa­per and could fill it all in with a small group of peo­ple. And to me, it il­lus­trated how dif­fer­ent mak­ing some­thing en­tirely new is, as op­posed to tak­ing some­thing that ex­ists and im­prov­ing on it.”

With pro­duc­tion now in full swing, things are a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, but Wolter­beek-Muller con­tin­ues to feel the thrill of the new. “The most fun thing about the phase we’re in now is that you look the other way for three days, you go back and start the game, and you find some­thing com­pletely sur­pris­ing and new. So much is hap­pen­ing – it’s in­cred­i­ble to see.”

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