REBORN – Mixing Japanese legends with the cyberpunk genre

reborn1Founded in 2010, Elemental-Labs, Inc. was led by Franz Tissera and his vision of what would become “REBORN“. Gathering various top-notch talent, Franz and his team understood that quality story, concepts, and animation would pave the way for a AAA title with the spark of the mainstream, but with the imagination allowed by being an indie developer. Franz emphasizes REBORN‘s design to possess the depth of traditional RPG, with the element of real-time combat. And if we’ve learned anything in the last decade with Mass Effect, this combination is very powerful.
reborn2To capture the kind of narrative and dialog that Franz envisioned for this project, he understood that there would be key areas in development where he would need to focus on. Tapping script writer Eric Thuan, a story was crafted to depict the legend of Miyamoto Musashi in the cyberpunk future. Eric shares that in this cyberpunk future, where the meaning of humanity, machine, integrity, and power are ripe for weaving into an elaborate story, it matches and contrasts the values that Musashi represents.

reborn3Given the opportunity to elaborate on a Japanese cyberpunk future and in the tradition of Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell and Deus Ex; George Hull, Li Yichuan and Jason Slavin led their team of concept artists to create the world of REBORN. Establishing the mood and environment, George’s direction and detailed work gives the framework to which the 3D modelers and level designers can assemble their material. Jason points out that ensuring the quality of their designs and their functionality helps to create believability and cohesion to the project. In coordination with the concept designers, Piotr Rusnarczyk and Mike Nash oversee the 3D artwork and assist in developing the material to making the 3D models as close to the 2D material for next-gen platforms.

reborn4To create the high-quality animation for characters, Jimmy Corvan of House of Moves was enlisted to empower the project. Having worked with many top productions ranging from Call of Duty, Dead Space, to Gears of War, and God of War, Jimmy is a veteran of motion-capture animation for video-game developers. With mo-cap being used to help animate the project, the animation is given the sharpness and accelerates production time within the animation department itself.

reborn5While the project is focused in third-person perspective to allow you full view of Musashi’s actions, Lei Shi and his team of programmers have allowed players to see the world in first-person so that the detail of the environment isn’t lost on them as they see the world through Musashi’s eyes.

reborn6To accent the journey and the gameplay, producer and composer Erik Desiderio brings the essence of historic Japan to the tones of futuristic Neo Tokyo to life, creating an original sound unique to the setting. Making sure that each of his team of composers played to their strengths, Brian Morales coordinated with Erik to tell the epic tale through music.

reborn7It is not often we, as a nerd and gaming culture, get the opportunity to bring projects like these up into our world. But through Kickstarter, many projects that would otherwise not see the light of day due to publisher’s lack of vision, are given a chance with our funds to change the environment of our gaming platform.

Check out their Kickstarter and spread the word!

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