Inside the Developers Studio: Nina Kristensen

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1. What game do you have at E3 this year?
Heavenly Sword – I saw that you, the readers here, have given us 3,700+ votes in the poll on this blog as one of the most anticipated titles of the year, so thanks!!!

2. Tell us more about your game. What’s the story?
The game is a blast to play, we’ve been flattered by the great write-ups so far. We have a great story line as well so here it is: Heavenly Sword is a story of revenge and redemption centering around our heroine Nariko…she’s the one in the screen shot above. She was born into a clan who had been guarding the Heavenly Sword for generations. They had been expecting a god to be born to reclaim the sword, but instead got Nariko. She has been seen as a curse on the clan ever since and when King Bohan invades, the idea of her being an omen of evil fractures the clan. As the King persecutes and decimates them, Nariko is the one that many blame. In a moment of desperation she decides to take charge and use the Heavenly Sword to destroy King Bohan and his army…

3. What did you do on this game that you couldn’t do on another platform?
We’re exploring how to utilize as much of the power of the PS3 as we can to create a powerful atmosphere. There’s a lot of stuff in there, and everything in the game is designed with this in mind. With the level of fidelity we have been able to achieve in performances (detailed facial animations etc), we’re looking to draw you in, to emotionally engage you. Within the combat (which is comprised of thousands of animations), we introduce cinematic cameras to show off your coolest moves. The environments are huge and filled with atmospherics to make it feel alive and real. You can smash up pretty much everything in the environment and all these objects behave naturally under physics. There’s a colossal amount of things going on at once, and you’ll know it from the moment you pick up the controller!

4. What do you think is the coolest aspect of this game?
The super-style moves are the coolest. They’re big and dramatic, you have to work quite hard to get them (especially the level 3 ones) and they completely annihilate the enemy. It’s just so much fun. My personal fav is the one where you drag a guy massively up into the air, ride him back down, slam him into the floor, and while you’re cart wheeling off him, a huge shockwave from his impact with the floor wipes out everyone else.

5. Describe it in five words or less.
Big Sword, Hot Girl!!

6. If you could sit one person in front of your game for an hour, who would it be?
Wentworth Miller (assuming I was there helping him out of course!)

7. What game do you most want an hour to sit in front of yourself (besides your own)?
Assassin’s Creed – I’ve had my eye on that for a while and can’t wait to play!

8. How many E3’s does E3 2007 mark for you?
I’ve been to ten E3’s. Does that make it E30?

9. Describe the pre-2007 E3 experience in five words or less.
Deafening, intense, fun, booth-babes, mullets.

10. Most over used phrase or expression during E3 season.
“Convergence” and “synergy.”

11. You are asked to make suggestions for an E3 survival kit- what three items HAVE to be included?
Redbull, Nurofen, a chiropodist (see my next answer)

12. What advice would you have for someone who has never experienced E3?
Don’t wear heels over three inches, you’ll regret it by lunch on the first day!

13. What’s your favorite part about developing games for a living?
The best thing about my job is being paid to have some of the most truly bizarre conversations. I can’t tell you how many very serious (and heated) conversations I’ve had about the pros and cons of dismemberment. Also, the word “bollocks” has come up in conversation a lot recently… “Bollocks” is a common term used here in Britain; it’s not a particularly naughty word, and Europe’s fine with it, the ongoing debate is whether or not the word should be present in the game for America? I love my job!

Comments are closed.

166 Comments

  • Yes keep the word “bollocks” in the American version please.

    It’s not like “nice” makes sense in the Gears of War universe anyway.

  • I hope Sony sees how many people want a -GOOD- demo :).

  • How about the violence in the game?
    I’ve heard that you guys are aiming for T rated…

    I just think its…weird…to play a game like this one w/o any blood/violence at all…
    Well, blood/violence adds a lot of realism in the game.
    Please consider it.

  • self.confessed.cynic

    Fantastic looking game – we all know that combat system plays very well, and the quicktime events are overly cinematic. The main issue bugging me and a heap of other people is if the game will feature some extensive actual platforming (like God of War) or if it’ll just be a bunch of fights separated by quicktime events : (

    We haven’t seen enough of this game for that to come through, so all we’ve seen are what you guys know is cool, but without any of the stuff which makes for truly deep gameplay. Hopefully you guys have looked into what other SCE divisions and affiliates are doing (like naughty dog and SCEA Santa Monica) with the platforming genre and taken some serious notes.

    But, doubts aside, this game has heaps of potential – especially with Andy on board (will he EVER stop being the best?) – so I wish you guys best of luck with the rest of the dev time and those reviews. (and I believe everyone speaks the truth in saying we need a demo on the PSN store – and one which has meaty gameplay, not just a couple of battles)

  • Can’t wait to get this game! Often, people comment that it’s just a God Of War knockoff. I don’t know what’s so bad about that! We’ll just have to wait and see.

  • it would be nice if you put some male characters to play in the game as well, im tired of all this games with the hero being a female… nothing against women of course, its just there are too many….

  • Heavenly Sword is looking spiffy!

    The thing that captures me the most though is the art-direction, the guys and girls in the art-department get my compliments for that!

  • Game of the year

  • Just watched the new video(see post #1).
    There is no blood at all…
    It’s lame to see Nariko “stabbing” people with her sword w/o a single blood spill…

    I won’t buy this if you keep it in this lame way…
    Come on…do you really believe that you are going to sell more with it being a T rated game?

    I guess we really need to wait for GoW 3…

  • i second that game of the year 4 sure

  • Bollocks is a perfectly cromulent word. I think its inclusion in the U.S. version will embiggen us all.

  • …I don’t know… the game looks a little “Chick Flicky” to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for scantily clad buxom bouncy bottomed bimbettes running hither and yon with their wobbly bits frolicking in the sun…as long as there’s plenty of it…but I’m not getting a sense that there is.

  • @Yokashi

    There is some blood, how much do you want? This game isn’t about blood and gore, God of War is.

  • Testicles……..That is all

    oh and this game is slowly catching my eye. Looks like it will be as button mashing fun as dynasty warriors but this time with a good story to go behind it. Online CO-Op…i need.

    Me, my brother, bro-in-law, cousins think we are the best in every game. And i love having ONLINE CO-OP when i dont have time to go back to my hometown of bronx new york and prove it to them. Online co-op or versus is needed greatly in all games.

  • Bollocks should be perfectly acceptable. I remember playing the Thief games and always hearing the word “taffer”. It was always funny when you hear a guard coming after you calling you a “tiff taffing taffer”. lol

  • I am going to be serious for a moment. This game better get over 9.0 especially from that crappy scoring gamesite gamespot. Go Jaffe. But anyway i really like what i am seeing and thats the thing i am only seeing what about a demo, that would be fine for July. You know to get feedback. I a member of Gamer Advisory Panel (GAP) name: stennex. Maybe you could give some of us a go since we are one of your biggest feedback critics.

  • Heavenly sword is looking good, very good, BUT can you guy give Andy Serkis a break and focus more on the gameplay. I have some few questions:
    1. Have you managed to push it to 1080p/60 yet?
    2. Are we gonna be getting atleast 8hrs of gameplay?
    3. Is there a jump button by any chance?
    4. Have you thought of having super star moves for each of the fighting stances plus the cool cinematic throws?? Just incase the enemies start to get too intelligent or in the case where you stand against 100s of enemies, a pay of superstar move will be good. Maybe do this holding down the square or the triangle button.(like in ninja gaiden)
    5. Is there gonna be a limited edition with all the behind the scenes and stuff (and please remastered in 1080p)?
    6. The E3 GAMEPLAY demo last year SERIOUSLY STILL looks far better than any of the INGAME demo you guys have shown so far. It was by far more fluid, the physics was great, the sound played as it’s suppose to and was in short perfect. The aerial combos have worsen and there was a point in the NEW Gameplay where after an aerial combo she was still stuck in thin air for like 5 seconds. PLEASE FIX THAT.
    7. When are we getting a demo?
    8. Final one: the Cinematics look Perfect its time to focus more on the GAMEPLAY, fix the bugs and push this baby to 1080.
    GOOD job anyway.

  • The way you described the story it sounds awesome. Really Intriguing. Unlocking super-style moves sounds great and very addicting. I am definitely looking forward to this game.

    Speaking of unlocking: If we beat the game in super-duper very hard mode can we unlock a picture of you(Nina) in a Nariko outfit. You are gorgeous and smart.

    Keep Bollocks in the final game. Somebody will make a Wiki for what bollocks means and you won’t have to worry about us Yanks not understanding what it means.

    Thanks for the interview.

  • Awesome game! I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

  • sorry but i already preoredered warhawk and imnot going to blow 60 dollars on a game that albeit looks amazing , but as people have said all over the internet its basically goddess of war, but instead of monster pec and tattoos the main character has boobs

  • I MUST HAVE this game…with R&C Drakes fortune and Lair is heavenly Sword the must haves this Year GOOD WORK HS team!!!!!

  • Oh man so many good games coming out this year and Heavenly Sword is definitely on the list of MUST-HAVES for me. Great Job Nina and everyone at Ninja Theory! :)

  • I for one can’t wait for this game. I hope it doesn’t get delayed anymore, but hopefully all these delays make it even better.

  • I can not wait to get this game that’s all i can say.

  • I CAN’T WAIT! Thank god we have Ninja Gaiden Sigma and Lair coming out in the meatime. What a summer to be a PS3 fan.

  • I just wanna say…Nariko and her Crazy sister are the hottest VG CG charachters ive ever seen, and heavenly sword is on my most wanted list. Long live Ninja Theory

  • Regardless of the [DELETED] talk, this game looks great. More gameplay videos, please?

  • I want this game so badly!

    currently im saving for a ps3

  • Beautiful looking game Nina. Very nice interview. a must buy for me.

  • The game looks incredible. I cannot wait to get my hands on it. A definite must-buy.

  • looks nice, wonder if it’ll hit this year

  • Ahh Summer is here and PS3 is looking real good. Heavenly Sword is looking heavenly as well.

    P.S. Trade in your iphone for a PS3.

    No 3G, no discount for a 2yr contract, lack of reasonable space. How do you justify buying 8Gb for $600 and not buy a PS3 .How ridiculous.

    Asia is laughing at us.

  • Awesome game.

  • This was a great interview, I can’t wait for this game, this is a launch day, must buy title :).

    I do have some questions hopefully they get discovered and answered, first question, Will there be a Collector’s Edition for Heavenly Sword? I know its probably not likely, but I would definitely shell out the money for this game, to see added material that wasn’t able to make it into the final game.

    My next question is about, Heavenly Sword, and does the game host any Merchandise? I would love to have a Heavenly Sword Shirt, with Nariko on the front or back of it, as well as I would love to have poster, I hope there are plans to make some Heavenly Sword Merchandise, as I see it doing well.

    Last Question, in an article posted about the game (http://www.psu.com/node/11407?s=3994e5f20ae02e55353121392f106bf4) there was mention of a beta. Now my question is, is the beta for in house producers/game testers to do, or will it be a short public Beta? Hopefully the latter, as I would enjoy Beta Testing, Heavenly Sword.

  • n.e.e.d a d.e.m.o…

  • Liked the interview a lot, Nina Kristensen is really cool.

    (is she Danish btw? has a danish name at least).

    I’m really excited about this Heavenly Sword. I looks absolutley awsome. Can’t wait.

    Keep up the good work Nina.

  • I’m dying to play this game. Judging by the gameplay videos, the action is some of the best I’ve seen. Heavenly Sword rocks!

  • Can’t wait for E3. Game looking and sounding nice as usual. Just try to get a solid framerate.

  • DEMO DEMO DEMO!! Also can the PS3 run a 60fps because now madden 08 is only running at 30fps. What frame rate does Heavenly Sword run? Probably 30 to.

  • This is a prime example of what the Ps3 is capable of, I want this game Now!!!!!!.

    It is kind of ironic that one of the Ps3’s best looking and playing games was originally designed for the Xbox 360, Ninja Theory pitched the idea of this game to Microsoft but they rejected it, then Sony saw the potential and picked it up. That was a major mistake by Microsoft, I bet they are regretting it now that they have seen the game in motion. Suckers, they missed out on a big one. Great Decision by Sony to pick it and I really cannot wait for Heavenly Sword or as some people call it Goddess of War.

    []^XO

  • this aint got notin to do with this post at all……
    i just wanted to say that after weeks of moaning about how rubbish the ps3 is i have now changed my mind, been playin rainbow 6 online and its fantastic……. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE FRIGGIN HHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! this should keep me happy till fifa 08.

  • @ahh bisto

    lol, glad your happy :o)

  • @lildre09

    the PS3 can easily run games at 60FPS. its up to the developers to optimize their codes. madden only runs at this framerate because EA sux

  • nah. I don’t think EA sux.

    I think they don’t want to invest the time and money into a PS3 version that will sell a lot less than the x360 version.

    I think it’s more of a business decision, money talks.

  • i hear that charged. EA thinks that by releasing a new madden game every year, with basically the only things changed being the rosters, they make a good name for themselves…uh ah, no way. They BETTER have brought back owner mode and create a team, or this game will not be on my shelf. as for HS…i cant wait to blow people up with that cannon.

  • There are some lame questions here. “Are there going to be more than 8 hours of gameplay”. Well for sure since its not a 360 game it would probably very long, maybe even longer than god of war. The reason for this is hence, the developers can utilize the ps3’s blu-ray technology, giving them more storage than a normal dvd, in conclusion this game would surely have at least 12 hours of gameplay.

  • I pre-ordered this game when PS3 was released. I can’t wait for this game :).

  • thanks kraken……..fifa is by EA, that seems to improve each year, look at 2005 and then at 07 and you can see big differences (i can anyway) i hope they do a good job of fifa 08 on the ps3, ive been waiting a long time!

  • The latest screens look amazing. I can’t wait!

    http://gamers-creed.com/?p=201

  • Easily my most anticipated game with Creed, HS will make me buy a PS3 (student wage). Can’t wait to see the level of variety in combat

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