Dutch public television has released a 47-minute documentary about the making of Horizon Zero Dawn. Its designer is Amsterdam-based Guerrilla, which Sony acquired in 2005. Horizon Zero Dawn sold more than 2.6 million copies in its first two weeks after its February 28 debut on the PlayStation 4, and the gaming community considers it one of the best games of the 2017.
In the game, you play as Aloy, a young hunter in a post-postapocalyptic world overrun by dinosaur-like machines, but humans have managed to scrape out a low-tech tribal existence. Aloy tries to uncover the mystery behind the machines that roam the land and discover what triggered the apocalypse.
Much of the film by Vpro is about how modern gamers can lose themselves in virtual worlds. The documentary also shows the elaborate process of creating art and beautiful scenery in the open world of Horizon Zero Dawn (Turn your English subtitles on in the video settings, as it has large parts in Dutch).
“That was the goal: to make a world so beautiful that you simply want to be in it and explore it, and have an adventure in it,” said Hermen Hulst, CEO of Guerrilla Games.
Too many post-apocalypse worlds are set in dreary desert worlds like Mad Max, but the makers of Horizon Zero Dawn wanted to create something that was like a beautiful wilderness ripe for exploration. The developers wanted you to get lost in the world and appreciate it, rather than just shoot everything in sight. It also shows the anticipation from the point of view of fans. It also shows how difficult it is to capture the characters in a motion-capture process and translate that into the right action sequence in the game. The film also shows how hard it is to get the action right in an open world where the player has more control over what happens.
The documentary makers had access to the Guerrilla Games team and followed them around for months. The filmmakers captured footage at PSX 2015 in the U.S., and captured other exciting moments leading up to the launch.