Can you believe it? It’s been two whole years since Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor was released on the PlayStation 4 and impressed us enough to bag our 2014 Game of the Year award.
To mark this occasion, Monolith has shared quite a few interesting Shadow of Mordor stats over the two course of two years, and yep, there’s a lot of Uruk heads that got killed along the way. Additionally, the devs themselves share a fair bit during their time developing the game.
“For the intro stealth tutorial I was in charge of hooking up the animations. (The sequence where you’re tasked with sneaking up on Talion’s wife and surprising her with a bouquet of flowers.) We didn’t have the finished animations right away, so I needed to find something placeholder to get the tutorial playable. I looked through all of our existing combat animations for the most romantic paired animation between two characters. The first pass that went out to the team was Talion’s sneaky surprise being greeted by a firm headbutt from Ioreth.”
-Brian Frantz, Designer, Systems
“During development, it was so much trial and error to get Captain showdowns to work. And when we finally saw the first examples, we could see that those moments were going to be great! Getting the camera framing just right, the Uruk’s eyes looking directly at the camera, their lips synced, and the right dialog hooked up made the showdowns way more emotionally powerful than I admittedly thought was possible.”
-Chris Hoge, Lead Designer, Systems
“It was difficult to pick out just one memory from working on SoM. Every day in the QA department was outstanding. Imagine, everyone you work with having a smile on their face for weeks and weeks, knowing they were helping make something great – something they could be proud of in the end. In the beginning, we were cocky fighter pilots, ready to do battle. By the end, we were war-weary soldiers, trading stories at the local saloon.
The most important experience for me was getting to work with such talented, creative, and funny people. Talion gave us all mountains of valuable experience, but more importantly, tons of friendships to carry with us when our journey had ended.”
-Drew March, QA Analyst
“I remember one of my tasks was to verify presentations from Captains. Now normally this wouldn’t stand out, however one Captain – Nazû, decided to say Hi. “Cool,” I thought, “say ‘Hi,’ then I’ll come defeat you.” Well, when the presentation was all said and done, the camera panned back to me, all the way from across Núrn. Turns out, Nazû is an omniscient being and was able to spot me from nearly a mile away. From Executioner’s Watch, all the way to where you first enter the zone. I saved a photo of him, and named him “Nazû, the Showdown Sniper”. Became my email signature for a while.”
-Donald Filmon, QA Analyst
“I have particularly fond memories of our 2014 E3 experience… We had recently announced. and E3 was the first time the public was getting a chance to really check it out. Mike Forgey and Ryan Ladeen were giving round after round of packed gameplay demos and the crowds wereloving it. I was on line duty and the level of crowd excitement and anticipation was amazing! It was so cool to hear all the positive comments coming from people awaiting (patiently!) their chance to see the demo.
To top it off, the steady stream of awards arriving at the booth was crazy! It was overwhelming to see and feel all the love being focused on the game – from critics, members of the press, and the public alike! Mike was losing his voice from non-stop demo commentary, the lines were constantly packed. I’m pretty sure I wore a pair of shoes out during the event, but it was beyond worth it. I felt very privileged to be a part of such a kick-ass project.”
-Dayna Smith, Associate Producer
“Out of all the things I implemented to get mounted movement working, the seemingly simple act of dismounting the damn Beasts was the part that was iterated on the most, because it broke the most. There was a period during development where it seemed every week QA found a new way to horribly break dismounting, and I’d have to rework huge chunks of the logic to account for a new edge case that would send the player falling through the world or something. You’re welcome!”
-Ian McCoy, Senior Designer
“Among other things, I made all the bugs in Shadow of Mordor! Or, rather, I made all the insects. People typically don’t like to hear about buggy games.”
-Matt Rapelje, Senior Technical Artist
“During the launch of Lord of the Hunt, I came in one weekend and whipped together a quick and dirty prototype of Photo Mode. I showed Matt Allen (Director of Technical Art, and all-around nice guy) on Monday morning and he loved it! It was approved to be a real feature, and I even got to do the VO for the announce video.
But now, revealed for the first time, is the very first Photo Mode picture from the prototype. Enjoy!”
-Reed Gonsalves, Software Engineer, Gameplay
The Shadow of Mordor stats, which is compiled in an infographic, can be seen below. You might want to avert your eyes if you’re part Uruk or know an Uruk.
Given this update, are we nearing the official announcement of Shadows of Mordor 2? Let’s hope, no? We’ll make sure to give the latest update if and when Monolith shares any news.
[Source: Monolith (Tumblr)]