The western release of Gravity Rush is just around the corner; the game was the highest rated Vita launch title by Famitsu. With it’s unique cel-shaded art style, mind bending gravity mechanics and an evolving storyline, it’s become one of the key titles to watch.
Sony Studio Japan have been highlighting their thoughts in creating Gravity Daze (it was renamed in the west), with credit going to the PlayStation Blog for this content.
Coming up with Kat
In Gravity Rush we challenged ourselves to create a strong yet introverted personality that is different from other video game characters. We wanted someone players could almost see as a friend, and whom they would want to support and cheer for.
From a story point of view, we wanted to focus on a lead character who was initially lonely, yet soon gained skills, made friends and won people’s confidence. We also wanted to create a character that players could get attached to, so we eventually decided that a young, clumsy yet endearing female would match our concept well and fit with the design of the game.
The gravity of designing a heroine
One of the most important things we wanted was to give our female lead universal traits that would be easy to relate to – a design that would be timeless and not just fit present-day trends.
We were careful not to give her overly anime style expressions or obviously heroic features, which you sometimes find in some American comic books. We concentrated on removing any specific resemblance she might have with other people, cultures or eras to go with her unusual world perspective. And finally, we made an effort to design her in such a way that she would fit into the many situations – from light-hearted to the serious – that Gravity Rush has to offer.
“A gleam of supernatural power…”
When creating Kat from a playable point of view, we thought that a strong, exotic character type would be well suited to the game. We fashioned her in a ninja-like image, gave her a small frame and made her agile with various skills. We polished off her design by adding a visual touch of style typically seen in American comic book heroes – a gleam of supernatural power in her eye.
A retro gravity groove
Some of the elements we put into Gravity Rush, such as Kat having a cool rival, or having to complete undercover infiltration missions, were inspired by television series such as The Bionic Woman and anime from the 70s. We had a lot of fun and went to great lengths to create a game that was unlike others, easy to related to, childlike and yet mature all at the same time. That was the type of nostalgic feel we aimed for and we hope we succeeded.
This is only scratching the surface of what the spectacular Gravity Rush has to offer.