When designing Horizon Forbidden West, the guerrilla team initially focused on creating a vibrant, authentic world. To give the impression of a vibrant world of life, we have greatly increased the chances of interacting with it. In addition to a full experience of action and fantastic adventure, the game has many details that deepen the culture of the Forbidden West tribes and give an extra touch of reality.
Warning: This article contains spoilers about Horizon Forbidden West.
While exploring this new frontier, Aloe encounters many interesting things: settlements, settlement agreements in the wild, full rebel outposts and camps, ancient ruins, and of course: mechanical knockouts.
A strategic approach
Mechanical Knockout is a miniature board game that can be played against a variety of Allo Forbidden West characters. In this tactical game, the pieces depicting the iconic Horizon machines move across the board, causing them to “fight” with each other. Expected from a game invented by Paganasius Tenakath, the goal is to destroy all of the opponent’s machines. It is not enough to field strong teams to win, because strategy is also important. And the farther you go west, the stronger your opponent will be.
Bert Van Austen, Guerrilla’s leading game world designer, is the “father” of this new minigame, launched at Horizon Forbidden West. “We built the first prototype right after The Frozen Wilds! Many Open World RPGs use this type of activity to make the world more attractive, which is always appreciated by a certain type of player, so we decided to go this route. “
“Initially there were only generic cubes with sketchy rules, but more dynamic boards were needed to incorporate the features of individual machines. So the idea of a box system. Each square has a value that affects the parameters of the part ending on it, such as the attack bonus given by a lawn square. Then we made a paper prototype… which we played a lot! It took a long time to develop the basic rules and mechanics. It took us about a year to finalize the whole minigame. “
“We have chosen a design that is as minimal as possible. The scoreboard reads clearly and players are free to create their own tactics, ”Burt explained. “Readability is very important, so from a graphic perspective we tried different solutions, from simple discs to more elaborate decor, to a middle ground: the game has the appearance of a handicraft object of Western prohibition.”
Forbidden is a real product of the West
The implementation of Mechanical Batostar involved a collaboration between different teams, ranging from AI to visual design through narrative and interface. Concept designer Christian Auer Batosta was part of the team responsible for the overall appearance of the mechanic. “All the pieces had to have an interesting breeze, but did not explicitly mention a specific tribe, as the game was popular among many communities in the forbidden West, from the inventor Osaram to the Tenakath army. Each piece must have a special aura, as if it were a collector’s item and therefore aroused a certain prestige. “
“The piece size represents an interesting challenge. The metal parts were much smaller than the materials we usually use, so we prefer to insert simpler details that completely enhance the design. Initially, the wood materials were much rougher, so that The symbols can be imitated. Then, however, we realized that this artisan wind can be excessive, so we bet everything on simplicity. So the pieces better reflect our initial intent. ”
“This did not prevent us from adding a certain layer of wear to the pieces to make the wood surfaces a bit more vibrant. Makes it realistic: They really seem to be made by experts in the crafted Western artisans!
One of the first settlements he explored was Aspraktena, an Osama mining town, before taking appropriate action in the Alloy Forbidden West. Here, inside the lively inn in the city center, Alay can meet Salma, a very friendly Osaram and willing to explain to her the rules of the game. “A tutorial was the key to getting interested in mechanical knockouts,” Bert said. “We wanted to make it as spontaneous as possible, like a normal chat between friends talking about their new hobby. The narrative team has done an exceptional job of conveying all the necessary information in a light and understandable way. ”
“Like any board game, the basic rules are simple but the information can be a lot. In order not to bother with long strings of information, we have divided the tutorials into several sections. The basic concepts are explained immediately and the rest are learned through play, consultation with vocabulary or taking additional tutorials. You can press L3 during the mechanical bit to quickly access all this information. “
Let’s start the challenge!
Mechanical beating is one of the many activities available in the Forbidden West, but Bert and Christians are particularly proud. “We are thrilled with the success of the game,” said Bert. “I am very happy with what we have been able to create and I hope more players will be enthusiastic in the future. We knew that Mechanical Batosta wasn’t a game for everyone, so we worked to make it as intrusive as possible. ”
“If you can’t beat a specific opponent, I always advise you to look for the best position for your units, be it high points or out of range of enemies. And don’t be afraid to overload. As Salma herself says: ‘This is often the best way to turn a game upside down’.
It was also great for Christians to see the community’s reaction to the game. “For us, as artists the goal was to create something authentic and believable, it was the best response we could get. It’s nice to know that everyone enjoyed our game as much as we enjoyed making it!
Many residents of the Forbidden West are keen to compete against the Alloys by mechanical beatings. And you? Do you accept challenges?