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Horizon Forbidden West: The making of Machine Strike

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When building Horizon Forbidden West, a massive focus for the team at Guerrilla was making the world feel alive and authentic. To create the feeling of a living world, we offered more ways than ever for the player to interact with it. This meant going beyond just offering breathtaking action and adventure, also including smaller moments that flesh out the culture of the tribes dwelling within the Forbidden West, adding an extra layer of realism.  

Please note this article contains some spoilers for Horizon Forbidden West.  

As Aloy explores this new frontier, she discovers many exciting things to do: Melee Pits in settlements, Salvage Contracts in the wilds, Outposts and Camps teeming with rebels, Cauldrons, Ancient Ruins, and of course: Machine Strike.  

A tactical approach

Machine Strike is a piece-based board game that Aloy can play against characters across the Forbidden West. In this tactical game, players move miniature pieces representing iconic Horizon machines around the board, ‘battling’ them against one another. Invented by the battle-minded Tenakth, the aim of Machine Strike is to clear the board of your enemy’s machines. To claim victory, the player must not only hold the strongest pieces but also execute a strong strategy. And the further west you go, the more challenging your opponents become. 

Bart van Oosten, World Design Lead at Guerrilla, is one of the masterminds behind this mini-game that is new to the sequel. “We started prototyping right after the Frozen Wilds! Many open world RPGs use these types of activities to create immersion into the world, which always speaks to a group of players, so we decided to flesh out the concept from there.’ 

‘Initially, it was just random cubes with random rules, but we wanted to incorporate individual machine statistics, meaning the board had to be scalable to accommodate those ideas. That’s how we arrived at the tile system. Each tile has an assigned value that influences the stats of any machine piece that lands on them, for example, increased attack from the Grassland tile. Next, we created a paper prototype of the game, which we played a lot! This helped us figure out the ruleset and reasoning. It took us almost a year to finalize the entire mini-game.”  

“We stripped back the design to be as minimal as possible. This kept the board overview clear and allowed players to create their own strategy,” says Bart. “Readability was important, so with the art direction, we tried everything from simple discs to ornate designs and landed somewhere in the middle: the game feels like it was

Share of the Week: NPCs of Horizon Forbidden West

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Last week we asked you to turn your Focus onto the colorful characters and NPCs of Horizon Forbidden West. From trusted companions to unknown threats, here are this week’s highlights:

BBSnakeCorn shares Erend wielding his hammer.

XxPAGZxX shares Varl using his Focus.

coalabr14 shares a portrait of newcomer Tilda.

SindyJ_B shares a profile portrait of Kotallo.

thegaymerTW shares Gaia re-emerging. 

horizon_addicts shares a portrait of sun prince Itamen.

Search #PSshare #PSBlog on Twitter or Instagram to see more entries to this week’s theme. Want to be featured in the next Share of the Week? 

THEME: Deathloop – Photo Mode
SUBMIT BY: 11:59 PM PT on June 8, 2022

Next week, we’re headed back to the stylish world of Blackreef to explore Deathloop’s newly released photo mode. Share moments as Colt or Julianna using #PSshare #PSBlog for a chance to be featured.

Everything revealed in the June 2022 State of Play

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What a show. Where to begin? Today’s State of Play gave us our first look at Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 and Street Fighter 6, plus a spectacular new Final Fantasy XVI trailer. And between, nonstop new reveals and surprises, including the debut of titles in development for PlayStation VR2. 

If you missed (or want to rewatch) the show, you can find it below: 

Everything revealed in the June 2022 State of Play

Many studios who have partnered with us on today’s State of Play offer more information and additional insight about their games in the below PS.Blog articles. Click through to get the full story on each, direct from the creators. 

  • Resident Evil 4 is coming to PS5 next year: get the first gameplay and story details.
  • Street Fighter 6 has been fully revealed: first details on new fighters coming to its roster, the Drive System, World Tour, and more.  
  • Final Fantasy XVI launches summer 2023. See the new trailer and get new story and gameplay details. 
  • New weapons and bigger threats are promised for Read more

Discover the gameplay and story of Season: a Letter to the Future

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High in the mountains, there is a village safe from the turmoil of changing seasons. No one has left in a generation, no one until Estelle. In her world, a season is a period of history, an era. This season is about to end. Riding off into the unknown, she leaves her home to try to capture this moment for the future. Estelle navigates through a strange yet familiar world, witnessing life on the brink of an impending but mysterious change. 

Discover the gameplay and story of Season: a Letter to the Future

The gameplay of Season: A Letter to the Future focuses on exploring, recording, meeting people, and unravelling the strange world around you. At any point, you can hop off your bike and equip a tool from your bag. Each captures a different layer; sounds and music, art and architecture, voices of old people, vanishing religious practices, the traces of seasons long past. Your tools help you peel back these layers until you’re able to grasp the culture, history, and ecology underneath everything. 

Your camera can capture anything you see. Your microphone can capture and playback anything you hear, through directional sound recording. This action also prompts moments of reflection and inquiry as you understand your surroundings, sparking thoughts and investigation from Estelle. Use these recordings of the present to unlock answers for the future.

Your time spent with other people is crucial. You help them through moments of quiet crisis. In their lives, the change coming to the world is not abstract, it is immediate. They are trying to navigate, to survive, to find a way to live. You help them. You remember them. The choices you make reverberate and the importance of what you’re doing becomes increasingly tangible. Showing your recordings to these characters you meet can also yield useful pieces of information or a moment of connection. 

Read more

Tunic is coming to PS5 and PS4 on September 27

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Stranded in a ruined land, and armed with only your own curiosity, you will confront colossal beasts, collect strange and powerful items, and unravel long-lost secrets in Tunic, the celebrated action RPG created by Andrew Shouldice and an all-star team that helped make Chicory: A Colorful Tale, Cuphead, Celeste, Night in the Woods, and Dustforce.

Tunic is coming to PS5 and PS4 on September 27

Tunic’s journey began in 2015 with Halifax’s own Andrew Shouldice fondly remembering those profound shared experiences of playing strange and inscrutable video games before the age of the internet and fan sub rom hacks. What is this strange item I just found? How do you beat this bizarre boss? Who is this old man in the cave? Is that creature even an enemy? Also, how do you recreate this experience for … everyone?

So Shouldice, who helmed the vast majority of Tunic’s level design, characters, puzzles, animation, combat, programming, lighting, and story, started prototyping a little orange triangle-headed hero who had all the charm of a classic retro protagonist but a set of moves that was inspired by the tumbling heroes of  modern Soulslike masterpieces.  All that remained was to make a “little” world for the fox to explore…

…As well as an incredibly detailed in-game instruction manual that doubles as a puzzle book (or triples as a strategy guide), complete with strange notes from some previous owner. It’s hard to summarize how the manual works in this game without spoiling some of the most interesting puzzles to hit video games in a good long while, but it is dense with information, delight, and mystery.

The last step was to assemble a team of brilliant collaborators to bring the lush world of Tunic to life. Rebekah and Adam Saltsman (Finji) joined long-time collaborators Kevin Regamey (Powerup Audio), Terence Lee (Lifeformed), and Felix Kramer (Burndown Productions) in 2017 before inviting level artist and programmer Eric Billingsley, Finji’s wonderful QA and marketing staff, the PR team at ICO, the porting engineers at 22nd Century Toys, and various other geniuses to join the party.

While Tunic is designed to be a si

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