Ahead of the Ember Lab-developed action adventure Kena: Bridge of Spirits receiving its free anniversary update for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on September 27, 2022, the team published an official PlayStation Blog post detailing the creative processes behind the protagonist’s new outfits.
The developer wanted these new cosmetics to feel rewarding to obtain, so they tied their achievements to Spirit Guide Trials, which are another new feature arriving in this update comprising challenges at the Central Mask Shrine.
Moreover, these new costumes are inspired by characters Kena met during her journey, such as the Archer and Bombmaker outfits representing Rusu and Hana. Color variations of the base game’s costumes were also implemented, earned by completing Spirit Guide Trials’ bonus objectives.
Further, Animation Director Hunter Schmidt provided the following comment regarding the technical challenges of crafting an immense variety of unique outfits:
Of course another big aspect of the new outfits is how they move… and it was an opportunity for our team to get more practice with cloth and physics. We found the most success with bone drivers and Unreal Engine’s Anim Dynamics.
But Kena’s original animations presented some challenges when combined with the layered clothing like we see in these designs. Sometimes, for an exaggerated, stylized effect, the animations push her posture beyond what’s normally possible, with some leaping or twirling at unnatural speeds. Even sitting cross-legged while meditating, resting, or some of the new poses we added in the enhanced Photo Mode were particularly tough.
So while Anim Dynamics and bone drivers offered a good blanket solution for most cases, we wanted to ensure Kena and the new outfits looked good at all times. In these scenarios we selectively animated these details by hand, blending between physics and hand-animation where needed. Old habits die hard.
You can read more details regarding Kena: Bridge of Spirits‘ anniversary update cosmetics via PlayStation Blog.
You can view newly revealed images of Kena’s incoming costumes via our gallery below:
If you missed it, check out our review of the game’s initial PlayStation 5 release state.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits has players assume the role of Kena, a Spirit Guide who is on a quest to uncover the mysteries surrounding the fall of her village. With her staff and loyal companions, players will set out to unlock new skills, uncover secrets, and restore the land’s beauty.
To further Ember Lab’s narrative skills, Kena: Bridge of Spirits will feature a bond between Kena and her Rot companions. Throughout the adventure, the bonds between them will evolve as Kena’s skills gain power. The creators tried to create a memorable tone and atmosphere to provide an emotional degree of immersion.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via the Epic Games Store.
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