“We wrote the script for a 12 months and it was the flawed script.”
In a presentation given throughout GDC 2019, God of Battle director Cory Barlog revealed how he actively approached the sport as a continuation relatively than a reboot, that the sport’s script had been rewritten after a 12 months of labor, and the way he repeatedly pitched the sport throughout the course of growth.
Earlier than writing the sport, Barlog wished to determine that SIE Santa Monica wasn’t rebooting the sequence, however increasing upon it. He in contrast the mythologies that exist in God of Battle to “galaxies unfold all through an entire universe,” saying all of them “exist collectively concurrently, and they’re merely separated by geography.” Utilizing that as a foundation, he had to determine the best way to describe this recreation, desirous to avoid calling it a reboot.
A slide from Barlog’s presentation.
“I used to be calling it a reboot, however I knew that I didn’t need to proceed to name it a reboot as a result of… lots of people would have these misconceptions and all this baggage that comes together with what a reboot is,” Barlog stated. “We’re gonna proceed the timeline and reinvent the texture. We did a lot work growing the character of Kratos, why would we throw all that out? We’re type of treating the primary seven video games like chapter one among this character’s life.”
Initially, there have been gameplay pillars that the workforce adhered to, together with conserving the sport enjoyable and accessible, specializing in unflinching shut and private fight, and setting it in an actual, immersive and interactive world. These pillars would evolve as Barlog and the workforce repeatedly labored on and pitched the sport.
“The primary 12 months, there are a number of factors that I ignored that I used to be telling different individuals ‘we have to do that’ after which I completely screwed up, so I ended up having to reboot the reboot of the script, so we wrote the script for a 12 months and it was the flawed script,” Barlog stated. “I wasn’t paying consideration, I wasn’t making this about the primary characters and the story began to meander slightly bit.”
Barlog made certain to stick to some guidelines he set for himself, together with the way it must be all a couple of easy story with advanced characters and the narrative ought to revolve round “breaking the cycle,” each for the developer and for Kratos as a father.
“It was breaking the cycle for us as a studio, kinda getting caught in that rut of [building on top of the last game, and breaking the cycle of Kratos] being an absolute crap father, him blaming the remainder of the world. The important thing to breaking that cycle was gonna be this father-son story… I ended up writing a narrative that assumed you already knew the connection of the daddy and son.”
As soon as the script re-write started, Barlog centered on key tenets within the recreation, all revolving round character progress: narrative, fight and exploration. To perform this, all the things wanted to tie again into character progress, whether or not it’s weapon and armor upgrades or witnessing Kratos train Atreus the best way to be a god, and Atreus instructing Kratos the best way to be human in flip.
Ultimately, Barlog reworked these tenets when pitching the sport to president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida. He modified “Narrative” to “Father and Son,” additional exemplifying how necessary this relationship could be to the core of the story, and to their character progress.
Throughout this pitch, Barlog centered on the fight being shut, intimate and private, and it at all times having context within the drama. Equally, the pitch implored that exploration ought to empower the participant and emphasize discovery. Character progress as a complete would see Kratos and his son change via mechanics and actions, with him instructing his son as they progressed.
Barlog additionally spoke about how George Miller, greatest recognized for creating Mad Max, instructed him “You’ve at all times obtained to dramatize your exposition,” a easy adage for writers to comply with that implies filling in backstory is greatest delivered in an energetic, dramatic approach. For God of Battle, this translated into taking part in the story as a substitute of watching it, in the end participating within the drama because it unfolds.
Different tidbits in regards to the recreation’s growth have been revealed throughout the presentation, together with how Barlog hadn’t settled on the title Atreus till the tip of 2016, how he didn’t reveal his intentions of utilizing a single shot all through the sport at first, and that he was uncertain of merely calling it God of Battle to start with, and initially referred to it as God of Battle four.
For extra on God of Battle’s growth, examine its fight designer breaking down the sport’s first intense boss struggle, SIE Santa Monica sharing entertaining bugs from the sport’s growth and the way Barlog’s concepts for DLC would have taken too lengthy to make.
In the end, rewriting the sport’s script appears to have solely helped it, because it gained recreation of the 12 months on the 22nd annual DICE Awards and The Recreation Awards 2018. It was additionally IGN’s recreation of the 12 months 2018.
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Colin Stevens is a information author for IGN, and now he simply needs to play God of Battle once more. Observe him on Twitter.