On February 2017 Guerrilla Games released ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’, a new IP featuring a large open world. Before that, the studio was known for the Killzone franchise, which consisted of a series of linear shooter games. When the studio started working on Horizon Zero Dawn, Guerrilla Games’ “Decima” game-engine was highly optimized to for linear shooter experiences, but did not yet support the tools and systems required to create a large open world game. Learn how the studio managed to deal with technical art and tools challenges in this situation. And how a focus on systemic and procedural solutions were pivotal in making it possible. In addition, hear what challenges a studio like Guerrilla Games is currently facing that are likely to have solutions in Computational Intelligence.
Maarten van der Gaag studied Industrial Design Engineering at the TU Delft and already during his studies started at Guerrilla Games in 2007 as a concept art intern. He worked on the Killzone games as a concept artist, but transitioned to art direction during the development of Killzone Shadowfall. Having always been interested in code and game technology, during the development of Horizon Zero Dawn he spent a lot of time on technical art solutions. This eventually led him to transition into his current role of technical art director.