Godzilla: Unleashed Designer Diary #3 - Krystalak

Pipeworks Software producer Shelby Stair Wills talks about one of the original monsters that Godzilla will be doing battle with on the Wii later this year.

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It's not often that Godzilla comes up against a previously unseen monster nowadays, but when Godzilla: Unleashed for the Wii arrives in stores later this year, the irradiated dinosaur will come up against two all-new foes in Krystalak and Obsidius. In this, our third designer diary for the game, producer Shelby Stair Wills talks about the creation of Krystalak.

Designing Krystalak


By Shelby Stair Wills
Producer, Pipeworks Software

Welcome back to our GameSpot designer diary. In this installment, we will take you through the process of designing and bringing to life one of the all-new, original, Pipeworks-designed monsters that will soon be joining the venerable Toho cast of monsters.

First off: a little history. This is actually the first time that anyone outside of Toho has ever been allowed to design monsters for the Toho universe. So it was quite an honor when, after working together on the previous two Atari/Pipeworks Godzilla games, Toho allowed us to add two new monsters for Godzilla: Unleashed. We were very excited and took very seriously the responsibility of adding something new and faithful to the Toho universe.

For our first new monster, we knew we wanted to create something that specifically tied into the storyline of Godzilla: Unleashed. As you may have gathered so far, our story is about crystals--lots of crystals--where they came from, and the havoc they're wreaking on the world and on the monsters. So, we started with the idea of creating a crystal monster, spawned by the same meteor shower that started the strange crystal growths all over the world.

An early concept drawing for Krystalak from September 2006.

We felt that this monster (above) was far too anthropomorphic. Although there is a lot of charm in the Toho monsters who look like guys in monster costumes, we didn't want to go for that with this one. So, the next concept piece kept many of the basic elements of this first piece while reducing the anthropomorphic aspects of the monster.

A less anthropomorphic version of Krystalak was also rejected.

We really liked the purple spiky crystals in this drawing (above), as well as the white body that takes on the colors of the environment around him. This monster was also much less anthropomorphic, which was good, but we really wanted this monster to be something special; he was just too close to the other four-legged monsters in the game, such as Anguirus.

So, to really make our crystal monster special, we decided that we needed to create a totally new skeleton type. In the following sketch, you can see that the crystal monster is two-legged, with a catlike leg structure, which we had never used for any of the other monsters. While Krystalak is crouching, he's slightly shorter than Godzilla. But when he stretches up to his full height, he's actually taller than Godzilla.

The final version of Krystalak is quite unlike any other monster in the game.

Finally, we needed a name for our crystal monster. With only a little confusion about how his name should be spelled, we quickly settled upon the name Krystalak.

The next step was submitting our various monster concepts to Atari and Toho for approval. Krystalak was not the only monster we submitted during that first round, but Krystalak was approved immediately, and none of the other monsters from that round made it into the game. While the other monsters in that batch had potential, everyone felt very strongly about how unique, cool, and perfect Krystalak was for the story.

Here is Krystalak's final biography:
Krystalak is a semisentient crystal organism, spawned by the same meteor shower that threatens to rip the earth apart. Born from the crystals, Krystalak seeks to bring all of their energies together to make himself into the ultimate monster. Like the crystals that spawned him, Krystalak is quite resistant to most forms of energy weapons, forcing opponents to fight him tooth and claw. Krystalak can expel crystal shards in a solid stream, bludgeoning foes from a distance. Krystalak can also overload his crystal heart--sacrificing his own physical integrity to damage everything nearby. With no ties to any existing alien or terrestrial powers, Krystalak seeks power at any cost.

Although Krystalak arrived on Earth riding a meteor from outer space, he has aligned himself with the Mutant faction.

Once we had our monster approved and his fiction written, we set about creating his model, animations, sounds, and particle effects. The process of creating his assets was a lot of fun because he's completely new and he's so strongly crystal-themed that we could do some very cool things.

This '3-view' render shows the front, side, and back of Krystalak's 3D model.

Each monster has a large set of sounds particular to them. Krystalak's full set of sounds includes six different grunts, a charge-up sound, nine different growls, two kinds of "oof" sounds, six shouts, and two roars. We loved being free to create our interpretation of what a very evil crystal monster would sound like. Krystalak's sounds were created at our sister studio in Seattle by mixing various big cat sounds (lion, tiger, bobcat, ocelot, etc.) with some wolf and bear samples using a vocoder, which basically takes certain characteristics of one sound and blends them with another sound. Then, we used a customizable sound-effects processor program called Reaktor to tweak the sounds to final.

I hope you've enjoyed hearing about the creation of our lovably evil crystal monster from outer space, Krystalak. In upcoming designer diaries, which we will try to do every few weeks from here on out, we'll be talking about the creation of our other original monster, Obsidius, the creation of our all-new Wii fighting system, and the story mode's graphic novel cutscenes.

Discussion

58 comments
oshaun123
oshaun123

i cant wait to get my hands on this one

yeapstab
yeapstab

I got to play this game at comiccon this year and it was a lot of fun. Graphics aren't that great but the gameplay is there. The more you attack the city, the more they attack you. Look forward to playing it more on its release.

Blazing2007
Blazing2007

Hopefully this game is good. I'll buy because I have a Wii.

gameaddict190
gameaddict190

The new monster looks awesome, But im worried about the controls and the camera because if those are bad it could make the game very confusing. Multiplayer would be fun though.

Sunrie
Sunrie

Reminds me a bit of R.A.D (Robot Alchemic Drive), where everything is destructible and the camera view depends on your character, rather than presets. Might be interesting, but I'm concerned about the control

Vexx15
Vexx15

Oh you meen the needler? Yeah he definately looks similar. If he was a character in the Halo games I'm sure that the needler would have been created by his alien race or found on his planet.

blargamuss56
blargamuss56

the new monster reminds me of the gun from halo that fires little crystals.

danopix
danopix

"He picks up a bus and he throws it back down as he wades through the river towards the center of town!" Looks like a bunch of fun. Don't think I'll buy a Wii just for this, but if I had a Wii I'd buy it. The textures do look pretty last last gen though.

playstation_wii
playstation_wii

The final Krystalak figure should have him bending down more. I can't wait to see Obsidius! :D

friutpunch
friutpunch

i actually have to admit that i as well loved the godzilla games. really just because of multiplayer

Hex008
Hex008

I hope this game shows people that Godzilla games are amazing. Save the Earth and destroy all monsters were awesome. I really can't wait for another one. Krystalak is like Icing on the twelve-layer cake.

GigaKaiser
GigaKaiser

"AH HAHAHAHAAHAHA!! are you kidding me? one of the best looking games on wii? if that's true, then wii games must look pretty bad cause this game STINKS." I'm not seeing it. "honestly, you'd think the game developers would learn not to churn out the same godzilla crap year after year. rather than making us play as the stupid ass dino on roids and fighting stupid ass aliens on roids, why not mix it up a bit more. " Obviously they keep doing it because people keep buying it. Even though you may not enjoy it, a lot of people DO in fact enjoy playing as monsters. "sorta like the hollywood movie that was released wayyyyy back." Stopped taking you seriously right about there. "lol. are you trying to make that sound like a good thing? that's honestly pathetic. 26 sounds for one momnster alone? that's just slack. may as well mute the bugger cause your gonna get sick of hearing the same sound effects time after time." 26 sounds is a lot more than most characters in fighting games get.

omegakie
omegakie

I love godzilla he kicks ass

DaRkNeSs2393
DaRkNeSs2393

Dude, that guy is freakin' sweet. I love Godzilla, and I've played both DAMM and StE and they were excellent. This looks really awesome :D

quetzalcoatl45
quetzalcoatl45

I Own DAMM (Destroy all Monsters Melee) for the cube and i still play it today, it's a good game, but it's Small roster(it was made in '02), Stale Movesets, Rubber Band AI in adventure mode and Collision Detection problems really take away from it. I also had StE (Save the Earth) when i had an Xbox, it's Larger Roster Helped alot, but it still had the same stale Moveset's and Some Collision Problems, the AI was better, but not by much. still a great game. Im glad to hear that G:U will NOT be built on StE, but a Brand new Engine all it's own. The controls so far sound great, Chuck for Movement, Mote for attacks and being able to attack 3-ways at once. The Story mode sound really interesting with this "Encounter Day's" System, and how you beat a match well set what path you go on. Graphic Novel cut scene's sound good, but it's about time for some FMV's. With 23 Kaiju beging the Least we will get, and assuming everyone from StE comes back along with Biollante(who was cut from StE Last Minute), we will get 4 New Kaiju for sure, maybe even more Plus the Two Original's, Krystalak and Obsidius. Im pulling for Zilla, because he got PW3Ned in Final Wars and i want a Re-Match! Im a Huge Godzilla fan, so ill buy it if it's crap or not................

dave_dbz11
dave_dbz11

never-named "This is probably one of the Wii's best lookers." AH HAHAHAHAAHAHA!! are you kidding me? one of the best looking games on wii? if that's true, then wii games must look pretty bad cause this game STINKS. honestly, you'd think the game developers would learn not to churn out the same godzilla crap year after year. rather than making us play as the stupid ass dino on roids and fighting stupid ass aliens on roids, why not mix it up a bit more. how bout you completely change the perspective of the game and make the player take the role of a soldier or something. the task could be to wipe out godzilla and his offspring or something. sorta like the hollywood movie that was released wayyyyy back. and at least make it look as good as the king kong game. i can't stand all these crap monster games with really bad graphics. reminds me too much of tv wrestling. but instead of homo men in tight spandex, we have homo dinos vomiting on each other. "Each monster has a large set of sounds particular to them. Krystalak's full set of sounds includes six different grunts, a charge-up sound, nine different growls, two kinds of "oof" sounds, six shouts, and two roars. " lol. are you trying to make that sound like a good thing? that's honestly pathetic. 26 sounds for one momnster alone? that's just slack. may as well mute the bugger cause your gonna get sick of hearing the same sound effects time after time.

clickryan
clickryan

What's the power of this monster :-?

VG_Executioner
VG_Executioner

I'm not gonna lie. I like the past Godzilla games.

freek33
freek33

I doubt this game will be any good.

funkymonkey4710
funkymonkey4710

I like how they said they are going to try to put every monster from every Godzilla movie into the game.. including American Zilla.

Tanjo22
Tanjo22

I hope the damn game doesn't turn out like every other 3D godzilla game. In other words a fighting game that doesn't give you enough time to destroy everything. What do I care, it's coming out on the wii.

CybranMaster
CybranMaster

Whoa, that monster looks freakin' awesome. Hope the game doesn't suck, tho...

martin95
martin95

Wow! l've never seen or played Godzilla games before but l'm sure this one will be loaded with challenges and fun.

martin95
martin95

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

CaptainDingo
CaptainDingo

The monster is nice, but the Godzilla games have, in all honesty, been crap. Would be nice if that changed, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

funkytaco44
funkytaco44

great... another goddamn godzilla game to make me cry

Luwker
Luwker

The final "sketch" is cooler than the models shown afterwards, but the monster's really nice. I ownthe previous Godzilla for GC, and they're gonna have to put a lot into this one to compete with the upcoming releases like Brawl and Tenkaichi 3, which are at the top of my list. They should really put in a lot more monsters, because the little number of selectable creatures on the first one was really a letdown. I'll definitely rent it, but i'm not sure about buying. Hope it comes out nice, it sure does have potential.

webbut
webbut

Oh god why another Godzilla brawler! They all end up being crap. This one looks a lot less crappy then the rest. Maybe a rental...

zaid55
zaid55

this makes me look forward to this game

never-named
never-named

This is probably one of the Wii's best lookers. The monsters' character-models look really good, and the environments seem very clean and sharp, there's something to be said about the lighting though.

TheGigan
TheGigan

The enviroment in the Krystalak video looks so fricken apocholyptick. F'in A!!!!!!!!!!!

powerplasma
powerplasma

I like him a lot. I hope Zilla gets in too.

arubasupersmash
arubasupersmash

duuuuuuuuuude that thing looks coooool, cant wait for the game.

coleorionjordan
coleorionjordan

Will this be the first console godzilla game to get over 7? Here's hoping!

Wild_Card
Wild_Card

realy looking forward to this game. i was a huge godzilla fan as a kid some 15 or 20 years ago. i remember how much fun i had with the godzilla game on the SNES back in the day.hopefully this will be a good game with some deep gameplay and nut just a shallow cash in fighter.As far as this monster goes i actualy like it alot. i love the use of the color.