Development Diary 6: Camera, Controls & Combat

10 Nov Development Diary 6: Camera, Controls & Combat

This week’s Development Diary focuses on some of the first areas that we have been prototyping in Hellblade. The gameplay camera, the controls and the combat:



We hope you’ve enjoyed this dev diary. Please let us know what you think. Your feedback will help to make future diaries even better.



  • Tsakane
    Posted at 16:55h, 10 November Reply

    I love you guys! Keep doing what you’re doing; I’m definitely buying this game 🙂 & Hopefully after that we can get DmC 2 PLEASE! 🙂

  • Pep González
    Posted at 17:05h, 10 November Reply

    I didn’t know something as “simple” as choosing a camera style would be that troublesome. But thanks to these Dev Diaries I can see your inner struggles and the reason behind your decisions. BTW I can see a pattern between Nariko’s, Monkey’s, Dante’s and Senua’s attacks… it kinda made me giggle. Anyway, keep it up, Ninjas! (:

    @Tsakane: As much as we’d like to see a new DMC game coming from Ninja Theory, the rights of the franchise are still Capcom’s.

  • Dewi
    Posted at 17:09h, 10 November Reply

    Another very interesting dev diary, which I have to say is raising my expectations even more! That may not be a good thing, but we’ll see when the game comes out. All I can say is that I extremely enjoyed Shadow of Mordor, and if this game comes at least close at that in terms of gameplay, I’ll be satisfied. (Also, yay for lock-on!)

  • Zubin
    Posted at 17:20h, 10 November Reply

    Looking good guys!

    Posted at 17:40h, 10 November Reply

    Can’t get enough of these Dev Diaries. The game kind of came out of left field, but instantly became one of my must haves!

  • delphino
    Posted at 17:43h, 10 November Reply

    The more , I see about these videos and the more I think this game could be something special.
    I’m hoping that you guys are taking clues from the aestetics of Platinum Games or Devil M C games in term of responsivness and incopromising 60 fps gameplay..
    Looking good guys. Keep the outside of the box thinking!

  • André Vila Franca
    Posted at 17:57h, 10 November Reply

    This game looks more and more promising!! I love how the camera feels and also the lock on looks pretty cool, it gives us a sense of realism.
    I’m looking forward to see the figting mechanics, i want it to be really special and rewarding to the skilled ones.

  • Arthur van Damme
    Posted at 19:16h, 10 November Reply

    I was wondering if the camera system of DMC is completed can’t you put the parameters or behaviour of the camera not in this game? (noob question).

    ps. can you guys create a theme for ps4 ? because the current theme’s on the ps4 bl*ws.

  • John
    Posted at 19:29h, 10 November Reply

    I think this looks alredy better than some AAA Games.
    I really love these dev. diarys, for me it’s almost like watching a TV series, I’m always waiting for the next episode 😀

    • zagham Karim
      Posted at 22:44h, 10 November Reply

      But then again, it is like we are watching how the game is being developed in such an unique way. I wouldn’t call it anything less prominent than a TV series

      • John
        Posted at 18:04h, 13 November Reply

        Exactly, i think it’s really awesome that they are going through all the effort of making these diarys to share the development process with us.

  • Ruben Planas
    Posted at 19:58h, 10 November Reply

    really like the slower, more realistic pace of the combat. Maybe show us the script writing process next?(if there is a script at this stage) both my brother and I want to get into writing for games and we’d really like to see a professional approach.

  • Mr Verbosity
    Posted at 20:31h, 10 November Reply

    Really interesting seeing the behind the scenes work on Hellblade. I have previously really enjoyed your approach to games finding them both entertaining and intelligent. What especially caught the eye in this episode was seeing God Hand as an inspiration for using the over-the-shoulder camera view. God Hand had many good ideas seldom replicated in other games which always baffled me. I think if your combat turns out to be as much fun as God Hand was then you’re on to a winner. Keep it up guys and hope things go well for Hellblade.

  • zagham Karim
    Posted at 22:41h, 10 November Reply

    Taking risks, and yet making such an appealing game. It just shows how hard they are working to make such a budgeted game into something worth much more. I wonder if there might be a demo, but even if they don’t I’ll definitely be first in line to get the chance to play this game.

  • Tuan
    Posted at 04:57h, 11 November Reply

    So much work goes into making a good game. Makes me cherish them even more.

  • Dean
    Posted at 08:15h, 11 November Reply

    Keep these videos coming NT they are great and just love to watch this game come to life….will be buying this for my PS4 .

  • Brian Reynolds
    Posted at 13:23h, 11 November Reply

    Senua’s going to have a teleport attack?

    MY FAVORITE THING. See Shadow of Mordor’s suite of poers.

    Also, one recent, comparable game I can think of that uses melee mostly pretty well with an over-the-shoulder camera is Warframe.

  • André
    Posted at 19:37h, 11 November Reply

    Controls and combat mechanics were always the bread and butter of Ninja Theory to me, i expect nothing less with Hellblade.
    Keep these diaries coming!

  • Mark Griffin
    Posted at 23:46h, 11 November Reply

    Love the camera. I hope it is manually rotatable as well. I mostly play games for the art / story / cutscenes / characters so I like to check out the environments & models. Please include an in-engine model viewer & please be 60 fps! Amazing work

  • Niccelson
    Posted at 13:13h, 12 November Reply

    Couple of details that you bring to mind:

    (1) With a camera position that isn’t on a character’s vertical axis of symmetry, many players appreciate the ability to actively swap the “handedness” of the camera ( i.e. the side of the screen taken up by Senua) in order to get a better view of their blind/obscured flank during a critical moment of action. This is done in other 3rd-person action games – such as Infamous 2 – by binding a “Change Hand” action to the R3 thumbstick button.

    (2) Regarding the lock-on for the camera: are you using a “soft-lock” system (where locking on to a single enemy still allows players to pan the camera, but will spring back to the locked-on enemy as soon as the right thumbstick is released), or a “hard-lock” system (where once locked-on the right thumbstick doesn’t move the camera at all, only allowing the player to change targets by moving the stick in the direction of the new enemy they wish to target)? If you’re using a hard-lock system, I must place emphasis on the importance of increasing the Field of View when locking on. Many developers do not even consider FoV as a necessary variable, putting it aside as “an option in FPS to reduce the effects of simulation sickness for some people.” Whilst it is true that far fewer players suffer from simulation sickness due to low FoV in 3rd-person vs 1st-person, a high FoV also has gameplay benefits that stem from an increased awareness in one’s surroundings: a FoV of 90 degrees allows one to see 1 quarter of the total radial space around themselves in a single moment, whilst a FoV of 120 degrees will show 1 third of total radial space in a given instant. All in all, high FoV just makes situational awareness of the current fight that much easier, reducing the likelihood of that “un-seeable” attack which causes so many players to ragequit. In my opinion it is far more elegant than some of the other potential workarounds (such as the mini-map in God Hand, an on-screen QTE to counter-attack enemy backstabs or an AI routine that prevents off-screen enemies from attacking at all).

    This video series continues to be very interesting; keep up the hard work ninjas!

    • Brian Reynolds
      Posted at 20:40h, 17 November Reply

      On the note of FoV and attacking enemies, I’d also like to mention Bayonetta — I haven’t played it, but I saw a recent article that talked about how it’s possible to counter enemy attacks “blind,” i.e., without even seeing them, thanks to audio telegraphs. This drastically reduces the instances of cheap, offscreen shots happening, even when not every attack in the game features said audio cue — at least according to the folks who’re familiar with that system.

      I know it’s a super different camera in Bayonetta, but I just thought it was worth mentioning. I agree wholeheartedly, too, with your sentiments regarding FoV.

  • Daniel Prem
    Posted at 19:27h, 12 November Reply

    Nice idea to use the over-shoulder-camera. Sounds a bit awkward but there is always a first time. I am sure they you know what you are doing because your last 3 games were awesome. Keep going guys – I am with you.

  • Dom
    Posted at 17:16h, 13 November Reply

    Thanks for the support everyone! We’re working on a new dev diary right now, so it won’t be too long to wait for the next one.

  • Kristian Olsson
    Posted at 17:30h, 15 November Reply

    I love these videos, it’s great to hear the developers thoughts during the development.
    I am currently studying to become a computer graphics artist and this is really inspiring and informative, keep them dev diaries coming!
    Great work Ninjas!

  • Sharvil Salve
    Posted at 06:23h, 18 November Reply

    This is a great and inspiring approach to the industry and it just might spark a much needed revolution in today’s development trend. I have been following this from day one and it fits the Ninja Theory identity that I just love. I wish I was richer so I could chip in to the project, but all I can contribute now is my support 🙂

    On a side note its crazy that I was thinking that an Over-the-shoulder would be perfect when I was watching Dev Diary #5. Maybe the protagonist has a pet to guide her and is the only one that understands her? A friend more than a pet. A Hawk maybe? I dunno just an idea. She looks like someone who would have that.

  • Sérgio Nehama
    Posted at 22:11h, 20 November Reply

    You guys are amazing!
    I have seen lots of dev diaries but yours for some reason i can’t pinpoint really gets me going.
    I love how connected i feel to the game, to your struggles and how committed you all are

    You guys are dropping the ball in just one aspect: preorders aren’t up yet 🙂 i’m willing to bet your 300k quota would be met very fast

  • Looking ahead to 2015 – 49 Action and Adventure Games | World 1-1
    Posted at 02:48h, 04 January Reply

    […] based on Celtic myth as Senua makes her journey through a hellish underworld. According to one of one of Ninja Theory’s development diaries, it looks like it will feature an over-the-shoulder camera (such as in Resident Evil 4 or God Hand […]

  • Darla
    Posted at 21:09h, 03 August Reply

    I love what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the great works guys I’ve added you guys to our blogroll.

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