Title: Killzone 3
Clients: Guerilla and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Services: Cinematics, UI & UX
Designed with blockbuster production values, the third installment of the successful FPS franchise was the first to be designed in stereoscopic 3D to showcase PlayStation 3’s capabilities.
With a brief to create in-game graphics for the Helghast forces, we worked closely with Guerilla Amsterdam’s Art Director to define a visual language that would be incorporated into in-game environments and cutscenes to embellish story points, support narrative development and enrich gameplay.
As Killzone is set in an off-world future, we spent a lot of time researching how to reflect this in the UI. The challenge was to create an experience that feels futuristic but is believable. For this project we looked at the latest ideas in interaction and military HUD technology. We were fascinated by the aberrations that actually occur in the displays.
Drawing on concept art that referenced the laser burn look of vector based arcade games, we developed a visual language with a red, yellow, orange and purple colour palette that really stands out as UI in the game environment, and a bespoke graphic monospaced typeface for their language system. Glitches and imperfections were intrinsic to the 3D data elements, lending the Helghast world a uniquely ‘analogue meets digital’ texture, where rich digital imagery bled through the interfaces. The Guerilla team were so pleased with that work and the collaborative relationship that we were asked to design displays and views for Helghast vehicles and a view through a Helghast HUD display, where the gamer could get a sense of how they see, analyse and engage with the world around them. We created style guides that we passed on to the development team for how the Helghast graphics would look and feel in the context of in-game environments and gameplay. We were also asked to get involved with an extended cinematic - a 90 minute feature of cinematic content that they would capture from the game engine to build up this huge narrative, that would include holographic tables, including holographic characters and maps, floating screens and other elements. The PS3 also allowed for the illusion of depth, we crafted these holographic elements and transparent wall screen displays to take advantage of that feature. It was a great project for us - it really defined our ideal collaborative relationship in which we work in partnership with the game developers teams to create graphics that really add value, details and textures to the gameplay.
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