Horizon Zero Dawn is an upcoming PS4 exclusive and it was recently revealed at E3 2015. It is currently in development by Guerrilla Games, who are known for their work on the Killzone series.
In their SIGGRAPH 2015 presentation based on the real-time Volumetric Cloudscapes in Horizon Zero Dawn, Principal FX Artist Andrew Schneider details their methods for rendering the clouds in Horizon Zero Dawn, also explaining the importance of them in an open world game.
According to Andrew, their aim with Horizon Zero Dawn was to create an open world game where the players can “traverse large distances.” This was obviously a challenge for them considering their track record with the Killzone series.
“In the past, Guerrilla has been known for the KILLZONE series of games, which are first person shooters, ” said Andrew in the presentation. “FPS usually restrict the player to a predefined track, which means that we could hand place elements like clouds using billboards and highly detailed sky domes to create a heavily art directed sky.”
Andrew also detailed the key points that they had in mind for Horizon Zero Dawn.
•Horizon is a vastly open world where you can pretty much go anywhere that you see, including the tops of mountains.•Since this is a living real world, we simulate the spinning of the earth by having a time of day cycle.•Weather is part of the environment so it will be changing and evolving as well.•There’s lots of epic scenery: Mountains, forests, plains, and lakes.•Skies are a big part of the landscape of horizon. They make up half of the screen. Skies are also are a very important part of storytelling as well as world building.
“They are used to tell us where we are, when we are, and they can also be used as thematic devices in storytelling, ” explained Andrew when talking about the Skies of Horizon Zero Dawn.
You can see a beautiful Time Lapse of the world in Horizon Zero Dawn from the presentation revealing the Volumetric Cloudscapes below.
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Horizon Zero Dawn is currently aiming for a 2016 release exclusively on the PS4.
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