It’s not just next generation hardware that’s prompting Killzone: Shadow Fall to look so good – the studio’s also been working hard to master its artistic craft. And one area that it’s been practicing is natural cloth animation and clothing designs. Chatting with the PlayStation Blog about the Black Hand, a rebel faction in the upcoming PlayStation 4 launch title, art director Dan Calvert explained that the studio engaged in a spot of digital embroidery to ensure that the game's garments appear accurate.
“Instead of sculpting the character’s clothes out of digital clay, we now cut and sew digital clothing patterns and then pre-compute how they would hang on the character to get the most natural folds and seams possible,” he said. “We’ve also improved our ability to render cloth-like materials and simulate in-game cloth behaviour.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be entirely possible without the added horsepower of the PS4. “There were a couple of important things that we wouldn’t have been able to achieve on older consoles, and if we’d lost these they would have really compromised our vision for the Black Hand," he continued. "Having all of those loose-fitting elements move naturally, respond to the motion of the character, and collide with one another would have been impossible without the advances in our simulation and character rigging.”
For those out of the loop, the Black Hand are a splinter group that are disgusted at the decisions made by the Helghast. Unlike the government of the New Helghan, these menacing zealots are out to reignite a war with the Vektans, who they consider to be hypocrites. It’s nice that we’re getting a bit of political strife in the upcoming release – but let’s hope that Guerrilla Games can successfully pull it all together.