“I took puzzle design to the next level by incorporating a set-piece moment and using buddy interactions”

Puzzle Activity “Murmuring Hollow”

For the Burning Shores I wanted to take the Relic Ruin puzzle experience to the next level. I was inspired by big set-piece moments that happen during puzzles in games like Uncharted and I started researching on how this could be applied to an ancient puzzle ruin in the Horizon universe.
After a lot of pitching and designing, we ended up building a puzzle in an underground tunnel system, that features an exciting train collapse sequence.

Side Quest “A Friend in the Dark”

Another challenge was to create a side quest that relies heavily on interactions with a buddy NPC. Whilst the focus here was also on exploring and puzzle design (and a bit of combat design), I had to think about what the buddy Gildun would do for each action the player can take. This resulted in a complete different way of designing.

Since Gildun is a fan-favorite character, I wanted to put references in to his introduction quest from Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds.

Additionally, I wanted to connect the quest with Murmuring Hollow, so players that explored the underground tunnels would be rewarded with more gameplay.

Traversal design for a Main Quest

Finally, I’ve also been involved in the early designs for the tower climb in the Main Quest “To The Burning Shores”. The game director approached me with the task to make a climb route that relies less on “magnetized” climb annotations and feels challenging and dangerous. While I only worked on the original block-out, a lot of the original design ideas are still visible in the final product.

To The Burning Shores traversal process

Note: for all the content mentioned above, I worked close together with other departments, including Writing, Art, Animation, Cinematics, Tech Design, System and Tools Programming.

©2023 Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe. Developed by Guerrilla. Horizon Forbidden West is a registered trademark or trademark of Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC.