Stellar Blade Video Game Releases

A Legendary Korean Monster Movie Designer Lends His Talents to Stellar Blade’s Monster Designs Thanks to an Almost Forgotten Traditional Method – Clay Models

Stellar Blade is one of the biggest games launching this month thanks to developer Shift Up’s approach to borrowing the elements of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and the Nier games into its unique vision with players very excited for the release. In anticipation, the PlayStation Blog has shed some light on the game’s grotesque monster designs in an interview with Korean movie monster designer Hee-Cheol Jang, who designed the game’s enemies Eve will face in her adventure, the Naytiba.

Jang is better known for being behind the monsters of iconic monster movies like Okja and also worked on the 2013 Snowpiercer movie as a conceptual artist. Going into Stellar Blade, Jang originally came on board as a consultant, but that transitioned to becoming more involved in the actual design and production of the Stellar Blade‘s monster enemies.

One factor that brought him on was the studio’s approach to using traditional clay models via 3D scanning to create their designs in the development of Stellar Blade. This spoke to Jang as he emerged in the movie industry, starting as a clay modeller through scannable maquettes. However, digital modelling became the standard as technology progressed, so going into the game project seemingly was a no-brainer.

The actual design process of bringing the Naytiba to life in Stellar Blade was easy for Jang as he revealed that he opted out of going for a realistic approach; instead, they went for a more alien approach that ties into the game, saying, “We actually wanted them to look like different species or race.” Jang added that if you look closely at the game’s original enemy designs a number of them are inspired and related to animal life and nature on Earth while teasing that players will see why when playing the game.

On a question about the team’s fears while bringing the Naytiba to life, Jang said, “It’s the human element. Something that’s human but different, that’s more terrifying than just an ugly lump. When it comes to the difference between creating monster designs in games versus film, Jang had an interesting anecdote on his unique perspective on his monster design approach for both mediums

“In a film, you can experience and understand the creatures throughout the runtime. In games, we’re often forced to interact with a large number of creatures repeatedly in a relatively short amount of time, which is not always well thought out. For example, I personally have a habit of throwing in before/after twist gimmicks, which are often unnecessarily complicated or prolonged, making them inappropriate for resource creation or play,” Jang said in a PlayStation Blog post.

The interview goes on, delving more into detail about Jang’s approach to creating the actual models like creating a head too big will lead to cracks in the head and how a monster will move in the game leading it to attack the player. I’d recommend reading the whole interview if you are interested in the design process in video games as this discussion was a treat to read, all interesting stuff.

Stellar Blade is set to launch exclusively for PS5 consoles on April 26th.