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Barlog:  God of War 's 'single shot' camera trick was a tough sell for devs

Barlog: God of War's 'single shot' camera trick was a tough sell for devs

April 23, 2018 | By Alex Wawro

April 23, 2018 | By Alex Wawro
More: Console/PC, Production

"Forty percent of the team came to me after the game was done, and they played it, and they finally ... said, ‘oh I get it now'."

- Sony Santa Monica's Cory Barlog, speaking to Polygon.

Sony Santa Monica's new God of War is out this month and earning a fair bit of acclaim, in part for the way its camera system seems to frame the game in a close tracking shot which never appears to cut.

It's a neat (if seemingly work-intensive) trick, and it seems to be the first time that a big-budget game has tried to implement a camera system which looks like a continuous shot. 

But in a recent conversation with PolygonGod of War lead Cory Barlog said it almost didn't happen; the team wasn't sold on it and, lacking other 'one shot' games to study, didn't know quite how such a camera system would work.

"They had to take it on faith," said Barlog. "That when I was saying like, ‘Look, you’re gonna get a sense of immediacy and connection to these characters, an unrelenting feel, to the adventure that you can’t get in any other way, and I can’t cite something else."

It's a small but interesting peek at how the design of God of War came together, and while the Polygon article doesn't go into much detail about how the game's camera was designed (Barlog does note that it's not an authentic continuous shot since the team used "six to eight tricks" throughout the game), he does claim that a good chunk of the team came around to his way of thinking in the end.

"Forty percent of the team came to me after the game was done, and they played it, and they finally ... said, ‘oh I get it now,'" said Barlog. "'I didn’t agree with any of your decisions on this. I thought we were wasting a lot of time. I don’t want to do this ever again, but now I play it, and I get it. OK, this is cool — this is how we should totally do this from now on.’”

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