Shuhei Yoshida Was Horrified After Playing Early God of War Prototype

During his keynote at the opening of Devcom today, God of War game director shared many interesting tidbits on the behind the scenes development and the making of the game. We had our first look at the concept art for the Egyptian mythology but Cory had a lot more to share regarding the game including the very first prototype.

GearNuke had the chance to attend this keynote and we have summarized some of the key points in this article. (Images courtesy of PakGamers)

  • The very early prototype was rough. SIE WWS’ president Shuhei Yoshida played it and left horrified without saying anything to Cory Barlog.
  • The first prototype featured low frame rate, terrible visuals and no ax throwing and recall mechanic.
  • The second prototype was tested again by Shuhei after improvements were made and it was at this point that Yoshida started to like it.
  • Cory Barlog wanted the world serpent to be bigger in scale since the original design was smaller. The tech team was worried about this change.
  • Atreus was the brainchild of Cory and he wanted him to be a companion in the game. The development team strongly opposed it.
  • Atreus’ AI was considered a tough challenge by the AI programmers. The lead AI programmer even took Cory to visit Naughty Dog to show how they faced difficulties during creating the AI for Ellie in The Last of Us to prove that it might be hard for God of War, but Cory was adamant in putting this in the game.
  • In God of War, when you clear certain story segments, the water level lowers to reveal new locations. This was an afterthought and they had to deal with a lot of issues when trying to implement it.
  • They didn’t have a dedicated UX designer so the UI looked off with smaller text. Note: It was later patched after launch.
  • An early version of the game had human enemies and they had voice-overs for them as well. It was all removed once they were replaced with mythical creatures. This disappointed the scriptwriters who had to scrap their work.
  • In the early prototype, Atreus only followed Kratos and didn’t feature his own individual pathfinding.
  • Cory wanted him to be intelligent enough to stay on-screen, but there were bugs and issues that resulted in
    Atreus sometimes being off-camera.
  • There was a huge concern regarding how God of War would be cinematic with the more up-close camera. Cory faced a lot of opposition to his vision. One team member even said he was ruining the franchise.
  • They settled on a live demo for E3 2016 and kept it a secret inside the studio by only telling about it to a select few people to prevent early leaks.
  • Cory worked on a vertical slice for E3 and played it for a month to make sure he doesn’t mess it up on stage. He was still afraid of issues leading to the eventual reveal that thankfully played out perfectly.
  • Cory said good producers play a vital role in the successful development of a good game. He always broadened the scope of things, and his studio would get unhappy, as they’d have to implement it.

God of War is out now on the PS4. It has managed to sell through 5 million copies worldwide in its launch month making it the fastest selling PS4 exclusive. It is also one of the highest rated exclusive this generation for the PS4.

Danial Arshad Khan

Founder of GearNuke.
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