Hello everyone around the world. I’m Kudo, an effects designer here at PlatinumGames.

My main job here is adding special effects to Bayonetta.

I’ve been in the games industry for quite a while now, and I’m a right old man now because of it; however, when you feel you are surrounded by games every day as you work, it’s a kind of fun that it seems nothing can change. (However… There are the rare instances when you feel like, “I’ve had enough of this!”)

Now that E3 is over and more people than ever are paying attention to the Bayo Blog, I am really nervous to be writing my post here. I hope you are all with me on this.

So now that I’ve introduced myself and told you that I work on effects, it leads to an important question many of you may have:

“What are effects anyways?”

When I introduce myself to people outside the industry, I explain by keeping things simple, saying, “I add the fire and smoke, etc. inside a game.” However, it doesn’t seem like very many people “get it.”

I figure it has to be my explanation has to be what is throwing people off, but not being able to express this is actually somewhat upsetting. (After all, it is a really fun job.)

Which is why I’ve capture some simple movies for you all.

This is what you normally see when you are playing Bayonetta.

Now this is what happens when I turn off all the effects in the game.

Everything that went missing in the second video is the responsibility of an effects designer to create.

Bayonetta’s weapons, the impact of the hits, the enemy attacks, the smoke flowing out in the background, etc… When you have effects on, I think you can see that things seem more exhilarating, enemy attacks are easier to understand, and the atmosphere is played up more, amongst other things.

I can’t really explain in too much detail without venturing into spoilers, but in the scenes we feel fit to call Climax Action the effects change pretty substantially.

Like other creative sections making the game, when making effects I consult and make decisions on various things with our director, Hideki Kamiya.

Below is a conversation regarding how to illustrate damage on Bayonetta:

Kamiya-san: Hey Kudo, when Bayonetta gets damaged…

Kudo: Yeah.

Kamiya-san: …We should do something special with that.

Kudo: Yeah, we should.

Kamiya-san: Maybe something like Okami’s hit effects, where flower petals flew off.

Kudo: Yep! That’s a great idea. So Bayonetta would use…

Kamiya-san: A rose, of course.

Kudo: OK. But it’s damage, right? So isn’t there supposed to be blood?

Kamiya-san: If it isn’t pretty, then it isn’t Bayonetta!! Even the blood that flows out of her body can be turned into a rose with magic!!

Kudo: Whoa!!

Kamiya-san: She just goes, “Wuhhh!!” (He’s imitating Bayonetta’s damage voice.)

Kudo: …

Kamiya-san: You know… “Wuhhh!!” (He’s really getting into it here.)

What resulted from this conversation is the hit effect below:

This is pretty much representative of how we went about making Bayonetta’s effects.

So what did you think about this introduction to special effects? I’d be really happy it gave you even just a slightly better understanding of my work.

And if you are really interested, maybe you can try doing this work one day! You can apply here! (Note: Fluent Japanese is required.)

Once you all get on your hands on Bayonetta, it might be fun to give it a play while trying to imagine what is and isn’t a special effect…

Until next time!!