Horizon Zero Dawn: Building a Scorcher for The Frozen Wilds

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Horizon Zero Dawn: Building a Scorcher for The Frozen Wilds

The secrets of one of Guerrilla's most dangerous new machines revealed

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds is an expansion for Horizon Zero Dawn that adds an additional chapter to Aloy’s journey. Taking place in the icy wastelands to the north, it includes a brand new environment to explore, a new mystery to uncover, and dangerous new machines to hunt. Among the latter is the wolflike ‘Scorcher’, a fast and tenacious machine with a damage output close to that of the Thunderjaw.

We asked four members of the Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds development team – Principal Designer Dennis Zopfi, Lead Animator Richard Oud, Lead FX Artist Marijn Giesbertz and Audio Lead Bastian Seelbach –to provide details on the creation of the Scorcher, as well as tips and tactics for dealing with the machine and its ferocious attacks. Watch the video above for their insights.

It can take months to develop a single machine from concept to final in-game creature. The process usually begins with a concept art and ideation phase, where the developers figure out the most important questions: What does this machine look like? Why does it look the way it does, what is its personality and purpose? How does it move, and how does it behave when angry or alerted?

Some Guerrilla artists have engineering backgrounds, which means they don’t stop at just the look or feel of the machines. They work out how their designs could interact with the laws of physics, and how locomotion is determined or constrained by limbs and appendages. Their efforts, combined with many other disciplines like animation, AI, and Visual FX, ultimately make it possible for a machine like the Scorcher to leap off the concept board and into the Cut, to challenge Aloy on her adventures.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds launches on November 7, but you can pre-order a copy from the PlayStation Store today to receive an exclusive PlayStation 4 avatar. To stay up to date on the latest developments surrounding Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds, keep an eye on the PlayStation Blog and remember to follow Guerrilla on Twitter and Facebook.

Make sure to come back tomorrow morning, when we’ll reveal the creation process behind Horizon Zero Dawn’s most enigmatic tribe. At the same time on Friday, new characters, environments and enemies will be shown off in the first The Frozen Wilds play through video!

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  • Fantastic! Of course now I’m wondering how this DLC interacts with the game. I mean when you beat the game it does that weird reset thing so do we have to redo the end again or is this like, plugging in before the end?

    • I have been cautious to complete this game just yet because of the level cap and DLC. I’m playing Until level 60 once I get this and am just going to be patient.

    • They said it’s a recommended level of 30 so at least a good way through the game before you want to go there. I think it’s a northern area of the map that opens up. You don’t even have to beat the game or main missions to play the DLC. I still haven’t beat it but I’m at the level cap of 50 & won’t play till Tuesday so I can rank up with whatever I do instead of gaining no levels or XP by playing now.

    • I completed a Plus Mode game to get all of the new Adept armor and weapons, like they recommended doing before playing it. It was fun to revisit the game again too, especially now that I’m “adept” at sliding under machines and attacking from underneath for high damage. BTW, on my first play through, I completed absolutely every side quest, except for the hunting lodges, prior to the final fight. At the time, I had just reached level 50 and received the Shield Weaver armor, which made it easier, but I did die twice, as that fight has machines coming at you from ALL sides simultaneously. ENJOY!

    • “monkeyboy3008 said:
      They said it’s a recommended level of 30….”

      Who said? Where? I hadn’t seen that yet, and it’s intriguing.

      I’m very early in my New Game+ mode, and haven’t opened enough to get where I need to be, if the new content is part of the existing world and not just a new menu item to select. I’ll have to get back to it.

  • Looks incredible. Can’t wait to play this in next week. Game of the Year contender gets even better than before.

  • Cool, can you implement Stereoscopic 3D in this game as well? If so, I will go buy it, otherwise it’s a $20 game for me on eBay.

    Also, you need to bring us a patch for Killzone Shadowfall, and give the game 3D like Killzone 3, and PS4 Pro support! Please make your games shine like they did on the PS3, I have waited so LONG for real support for my Killzone Shadowfall that I never even got passed the train area, as I’m waiting for a real patch to give me something amazing to look at as I play it. Playing it in a simulated 3D just is not the same, and I keep going back to Killzone 3 on the PS3 instead.

    Also, please bring us Killzone 1, 2 and 3 to the PS4 with Pro support like the package deal on the PS3, only give us the intro to KZ1 like the PS2 had, and perhaps give the game some music as wel play and kill Helghast in 4K with 3D support! That would be so awesome!

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