The day is sort of right here! The free “Anniversary Replace” for Kena: Bridge of Spirits can be reside on PS4 and PS5 on Tuesday, September 27. We have been very excited to see followers’ constructive response to the announcement final month, and now we are able to’t wait for everybody to expertise the brand new content material!
To have a good time the discharge, we wished to share an inside take a look at the inventive and technical course of behind the creation of Kena’s new outfits for the “Anniversary Replace.” For those who missed our announcement detailing all the opposite new content material, be sure you test it out!
Our method in creating cosmetics for Kena actually boiled down to 3 most important targets. First, it all the time feels good when an outfit takes some actual experience to acquire. We wished sporting them to really feel like badges of honor. Subsequent, we felt that every one ought to remind us of the story and characters encountered alongside the way in which – fixed reminders of who we’ve met and the place we’ve been. Lastly, we love having a superb number of choices that allow self expression and the power to modify issues up as we go. With these concepts in thoughts, we started working!
To verify all the outfits represented an actual sense of success, we determined to tie them to the Spirit Information Trials, (one other main new addition included within the “Anniversary Replace”). As gamers progress via the primary story, new Trials develop into accessible on the central Masks Shrine. Solely by succeeding at these challenges can gamers unlock the brand new outfits. Gamers who’ve mastered every of the Trials will in the end acquire entry to the total array of outfits, signifying their notable abilities.
We subsequent turned to the visible designs. Throughout preliminary improvement, we devoted lots of consideration to the design of our solid of characters. We determined these characters supplied excellent inspiration for Kena’s outfits. Every new outfit gamers unlock takes inspiration from a distinct spirit that Kena helps throughout her journey, however reworked and uniquely catered to her. This manner, even after gamers have moved on from a selected story, they nonetheless get to maintain a memento they’ll put on.
For instance, one of many earliest new outfits gamers can unlock takes inspiration from the village apparel worn by the twins Beni & Saiya and their older brother Taro. Afterward, different cosmetics develop into accessible, just like the Archer and Bombmaker outfits impressed by Rusu and Hana. Each takes particulars from their inspiration character like Hana’s distinctive satchel or Rusu’s owl-crested cape. (We gained’t spoil all of them.)
These new outfits supplied a superb alternative for our artwork workforce and character artist to shine. Incorporating such a wide range of new textures, materials, and accouterments whereas nonetheless balancing the designs with Kena’s design actually introduced out our workforce’s consideration to element. We’re very proud of the outcomes!
But it surely’s not nearly visible design. Hunter Schmidt, our Animation Director, shares extra particulars concerning the improvement of Kena’s cosmetics:
“After all one other massive side of the brand new outfits is how they transfer… and it was a possibility for our workforce to get extra observe with fabric and physics. We discovered essentially the most success with bone drivers and Unreal Engine’s Anim Dynamics.
However Kena’s authentic animations offered some challenges when mixed with the layered clothes like we see in these designs. Generally, for an exaggerated, stylized impact, the animations push her posture past what’s usually potential, with some leaping or twirling at unnatural speeds. Even sitting cross-legged whereas meditating, resting, or a number of the new poses we added within the enhanced Picture Mode have been notably robust.
So whereas Anim Dynamics and bone drivers supplied a superb blanket resolution for many circumstances, we wished to make sure Kena and the brand new outfits appeared good always. In these eventualities we selectively animated these particulars by hand, mixing between physics and hand-animation the place wanted. Outdated habits die onerous.”
Lastly, as soon as we’d landed on our outfit designs and labored out the animations, we nonetheless wished to verify we have been offering a superb quantity of selection. We determined one of the simplest ways to maintain the standard of all of the cosmetics excessive whereas additionally getting extra versatility was to create particular coloration variants for every base-game outfit.
At first we weren’t certain if this is able to yield the range we hoped for, however by actually curating the colour variations, we ended up with an thrilling array of various outfits that permit for a fantastic feeling of range and expression. The colour variants may be unlocked by finishing Bonus Goals inside the Spirit Information Trials.
We even created a complete outfit solely for Deluxe Version house owners! (featured on the high of this weblog).
We hope our current and new gamers get pleasure from all the brand new content material included in our “Anniversary Replace,” together with Kena’s new cosmetics. It has actually been a incredible first yr sharing Kena: Bridge of Spirits with the world.