Between an impressive cosplay scene and massive fan art community, few outside of Guerrilla Games’ could imagine the instant popularity of Horizon Zero Dawn‘s heroine straight out of the gate.
Aloy’s rise has been incredible to observe, given that for most of the world she didn’t even exist until June 2015. It’s a testament to her excellent design (something Horizon Zero Dawn is lavished with on a whole) — but like many iconic characters, there’s a distinct feeling that Aloy wasn’t so much created as she was discovered.
“In the initial concept art there was this young hunter with red hair,” says John Gonzales, Lead Narrative Designer. “And in one particular image she’s seated on a hillside looking out at this valley which has these ancient ruins… it seemed like she stepped out of the concept art and said ‘I’m going to be the lead character in this game'”.
Integration between character, narrative, and gameplay is something vital to …