Developer Ninja Theory was an early pioneer of performance capture, but with a team of just 13 people working on their new PS4 and PC title Hellblade, they’ve had to discover new ways to implement the technology without spending too much cash or manpower.
Their impressive solution is outlined in a fascinating new developer diary, which walks through every major challenge in capturing and digitizing and actor’s performance and the hacky, DIY solutions the team implemented to get there. Whereas most dev diaries tend to focus on how impressive a game is and how many resources the team had at their disposal, this is a refreshingly open look at the limitations Ninja Theory had to work around, and it’s actually a great watch as a result.
I won’t spoil the specifics of their homebrew setup—it’s much more fun to watch it all unfold in the video—but I will say that it involves wardrobe poles from Ikea, a flowerpot, iPads, and lots of stickers. Even more impressive is the glimpse at the finished product at the end, which is every bit
Sure, it’s a little depressing seeing a developer who’s been responsible for great, highly polished games like DmC: Devil May Cry butting up the constraints of a smaller budget, but there’s something heartening about their refusal to cut back on their vision. Who doesn’t love a good underdog story, right?
Hellblade is due out on PlayStation 4 and PC later this year.