Hellblade Development Diary 11 Shows the Road to Vertical Slice

Hellblade is a game that has us both intrigued and curious. Ninja Theory is developing a AAA game with a small team and an indie size budget.

If they nail this, it may change the face of AAA game development as we know it. Developers are now in a stage where they are working on how the game will feel and play.

Sony has asked the development team to get the game in the hands of journalists at a pre-E3 event. Meaning they have little over 2 weeks to create a vertical slice for the event. Ninja Theory’s indie triple-A model is about to be put to a test!

The vertical slice will be around 10 to 15 minutes in length and Ninja Theory wants to make sure they bring the best possible version at the event. However, they believe that they are biased when it comes to their work and as we know, judging your own work is a tough ask.

The developers have a small room set-up in the studio where a different team, not related to Hellblade, comes and playtests the game. Meanwhile, the Hellblade team sits in a different room to watch the proceedings via a camera and a mic.

The first session turned out to be a “disaster” for Hellblade team as many of the gameplay aspects weren’t working the way they hoped.

Four weeks later, they ran another playtest and this time things started to work. Still, they have a long way to go. You can see their process of creating a vertical slice in the video above.