Cory Barlog has spoken time and time again about people's reaction to God of War. The sense of pride and accomplishment never gets old. Speaking with Noclip, Barlog reminisces on some of the design decisions that went into the game, watching Stargate and his proudest moments.
God of War is the 2018 Game Awards’ Game of the Year, beating out stiff competition from games both big and small including Red Dead Redemption 2 and Celeste. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Spider-Man, and Monster Hunter: World also came up short in the category, though a few of them picked up honours elsewhere during the night.
Documentary series Noclip does deep dive documentaries on games. From Doom to Fallout 76, they reveal a unique perspective of the game development process. They also take the time to sit down with game developers and directors to have friendly chats.
In a video released today, Noclip sat down with God of War director, Cory Barlog.
Barlog compares the video games industry to the early film industry. At first it was all about the shiny new things that people could do; movement, then sound, then colour. Adding in all of these new features to entice punters. Games started off in a similar fashion with a heavy focus on 'back of the box' features boasting whatever new thing the developers had concocted.
Then The Last of Us made him realise that there could be more. That players could connect with characters and that there were a lot of emotions that games could use to tell their stories. Not that The Last of Us was the first game to allow for an empathetic connection between player and character, as Barlog was quick to point out, just the one that helped him understand that.
During the interview, Barlog talks about the process of casting Christopher Judge as Kratos, the rapport between actors and how they managed to sneak in an "indeed" as a nod to Stargate SG-1, which stars Judge.
Game design decisions come up, and the issue of boss fights comes up. Turns out that trolls weren't meant to be boss fights, there just wasn't anywhere else to put their health bar. The original plans were for far more boss fights but that proved to be too ambitious as it would've taken 30 developers 18 months to achieve just one.
Sometimes, it's easy to forget the physical and emotional toll that game development puts people through.
Towards the end, Barlog recounts some of his proudest moments from the game. One that stood out was a man he met at a party during PAX. God of War helped that man finally understand his estranged father and that understanding lead to him reaching out to his father. The two are now working on rebuilding their relationship.