Horizon Zero Dawn AMA Reveals Which Machine Was Designed First, Difficulty of Transitioning From Killzone & More

March 17, 2017Written by Mack Ashworth


Over on the Horizon Zero Dawn subreddit, Guerrila Games’ AMA received almost 600 comments from fans. There are some questions relating to the story, but I won’t be including those in this post. Instead, I’ve highlighted the more interesting non-spoiler questions and answers.

Why was the game called “Horizon”? I get why it was called “Zero Dawn” after beating the game, but the name “Horizon” escapes me.

“For us, “Horizon” represents a boundless new world, and also the passage of time (where the Sun rises and sets) that is so fundamental to the setting and story.” Ben – Lead Writer

How difficult was it for the team to transition from making a shooter game like Killzone to making such a stellar open world game like Horizon? I just want to say I absolutely loved the game, and it is now in my top 5 favorite games of all time, your team hit it out of the park with this one, the entire Horizon world was so addictive and fun. Cheers.

“In a word – Very! We had to build a quest system from the ground up, and then we had to figure out what quests in Horizon Zero Dawn even look like. We didn’t have any HZD books, movies, prior games, or any other example to look at to tell us what a quest in this game was supposed to look like. We had to find that ourselves. What we did was focus on telling great stories, from the main quest all the way down through errands, and focus on integrating the game mechanics like traversal and combat in a satisfying way. The strength of the game engine, and the strength of the team here at Guerrilla was the key to being able to make this game. I’m beyond pleased by how it turned out, and blown away by what we were able to accomplish given the challenges that faced us.” David – Lead Quest Designer

In the early planning stages of the game, which machine was thought of/ designed first?

“The first machine we made was the Thunderjaw, it was made out of simple very bright colored shapes that represented the different components and we also used old Killzone assets for it. If for example you shot the red big blocks on its back which represented the disc launchers the pickup was the Killzone VC9.” Dennis – Principal Machines Designer

For QA people: What were the wildest glitches you experienced during development? Open world games usually have some really funny ones.

“The build where about 5% of quest NPCs faces just completely broke during conversations with no clear link as to who exactly was affected so we had to check everyone. Poor Petra deserved better than that.” Jess – QA Tester

“During early development, whenever you entered Mother’s Heart all the NPCs in the crowd would spawn… on a roof. So we watched them have some wild rooftop parties!” Ana – QA Manager

For the full AMA, click here. Though do be wary of spoilers!

With 2.6 million copies sold since launch, Horizon Zero Dawn has been picked up by a huge number of gamers. In a tweet, Game Director Mathijs de Jonge shared some of the in-game stats achieved by players:

That’s a lot of carnage caused in just two weeks! Are you responsible for part of this?

[Source: Reddit via Wccftech]