Hellblade: Capturing performance

Ninja Theory might be targeting the triple-A/indie niche, but that doesn't mean it’s got the budget to play around with that you’d find within Ubisoft or EA. No, Ninja Theory has to keep costs down, and there are various ways of doing that keeping things you’d normally outsource in-house, for example.

Instead of hiring out a motion capture suite offsite somewhere, meaning the small team would have to break up and travel across the country to get the vital animations for the game, Ninja Theory opted to build a suite itself… by ripping out the boardroom and constructing it in there.

The team nipped to a local hardware shop, bought shelving struts and supports, mounted the cameras on the custom scaffold, and began filming ‘Senua’s’ performance right next to where the game is being coded. Talk about efficiency!


Hellblade has just gotten an interesting new trailer showing off motion capture.


The Rise of the Valkyrie
“It’s much more fun to make a female character,” art direction ninja Taini tells us when we ask if Hellblade was always going to have a female lead, or if it was something decided on later in development. “I think it’s much more interesting to see a strong woman and her story than to just see a strong, muscle-man you know? I’ve never been interested in the stories of typical strong men. You look at Senua, she looks super strong and vicious, but actually she’s fragile it’s really interesting, because straight away you want to know why, you want to know about her past. And we love that. It makes you care more.”

“We didn't take any direct influences when designing Senua, either,” Taini replies when we ask whether Suena was inspired by any other characters. “To base her on someone like that makes it a fantasy, you know? And this is about emotions and realism. We wanted to make some allusions to Heavenly Sword because that’s what our fans would like but when I do a character, I just feel it, you know? You watch a Miyazaki movie and his characters look similar, but that’s because his hands are drawing it… it’s funny to see people comment [that Senua] looks like previous characters, but that’s just my style.”

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