The Weapons of Bayonetta

Bayonetta

Filed: Bayonetta, Games, PlatinumGames

Hi, everyone. I’m Muneyuki “Johnny” Kotegawa, and I am in charge of the design and modeling for all of the weapons in Bayonetta.

I was also involved in designing the weapons for Devil May Cry and Resident Evil. This is my first project with Kamiya-san since Devil May Cry.

I wanted to blog about Scarborough Fair, Bayonetta’s beloved handguns that you may have seen in our trailers and other advertisements.

First I want to cover how we approached design in general, not just limited to weapons. Kamiya-san’s direction for the character was pretty much;

1. A female lead character
2. A modern witch
3. Guns on hands and feet

I think that Shimako covered this in an earlier blog.

After going through an intense bit of back and forth between Shimako and Kamiya-san (I sit between them…) they came up with a color balance based around pitch-black clothing, white skin, gold ornamentations, and the red ribbon accent. It was then that it was decided that the guns in her hand should be red. While there is an element of color balancing to it, this game has intense action that hasn’t really been seen up until this point in gaming, so having the red guns makes it easier to pick up the position of Bayonetta’s limbs in combat. By the way, her gloves (palms), and soles are also red.

We also had to make this easy to pick up on because Bayonetta uses her guns in her primary for of attacking – via melee.

With all this in mind, I went to work to come up with some weapon designs based on real world guns. I do this because if I base something on gun parts that are familiar, it will remain convincing even if the final product is a complete work of the imagination. Movie prop guns like the blaster in Blade Runner, or Han Solo’s gun in Star Wars are examples of this style of design.

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I suppose gun-lovers will be able to figure out which gun is based on what real world weapon. The strange base guns are the traces of trial and error included because I wanted to make something that no one had ever seen before. You could also say they reflect my personal taste as well.

The guns that aren’t red were actually created before we had locked down the final design specifications. I made them silver or gold to make sure they stood out to the eye.

After working on the various designs, Kamiya-san’s eyes stopped at a gun based on the Derringer. It must have been because great minds think alike, and he could see it would be a gun capable of rapid fire; a simple, rugged gun. Or so I thought. “This design would look hot in a girl’s hand.” Hmph.

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1. The first image sees the design taking into account the gun’s use as a melee weapon, as well as making it giant to fit in with the action game requirements we talked about earlier. I also made the small parts gold to impart some elegance. The part underneath the grip is formed and inspired by a high-heel.

2. The second image is even more of a melee weapon, adding some spikes and other ornamentation, as well as a jewel on the side. This was all to give the gun an overall accent.

3. I was told to make the gun less spikey, so redesigned with something a bit more subdued, while thinking of the design elements once again. This is also where I added the final logo for Scarborough Fair.

4. Since the gun will be used for melee attacks, I wanted to add something akin to a knuckle guard onto the gun. I also shrunk things down to make the entire gun seem stronger.

5. I felt I may have gone too far, so I went back to some previous elements. The high-heel silhouette that was removed in design #4 makes a comeback.

6. Here we move even closer back towards the original Derringer silhouette. I added a rail onto the top of the guns so that they could be equipped on Bayonetta’s feet. They slide into the gap in her high heels. The knuckle guard is meant to remind you of an old pair of scissors, an idea that came from Kamiya-san. This is the design I used to make the final guns.

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As a little addition, if you put two of the guns together, they will form the Witch’s mark. I used this design to begin production on the CG model.

But even then, I kept toying with the design as I created the model, doing retakes as I added ideas or the use of the weapon changed.

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Scarborough Fair is an old English ballad that focuses on four herbs – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme. These herbs became the names of each individual gun. Witches and herbs are closely linked. (This even comes up a bit in the game’s story.) I also changed the color of the gem on each of the gun to match the flower of the herb, which Bayonetta then uses to summon/expel the bullets that allow her to fire limitless rounds of ammo. (You can’t really see it, but there is a bullet in the gem.) Underneath the grip, we also added a charm (designed by Shimako) that is also linked with the herbs.

The gun can also be opened at the breach to be loaded with different bullets and fired single-shot. You’ll just have to look forward to the game to figure out how we use this…

So that pretty much sums up how we went about the design and creation of Scarborough Fair. It took a long time to arrive at Bayonetta’s main weapon, but once we had that clear direction, the rest of the weapons were a smooth design process. The first time is always the hardest, right?

And of course, as you have seen in the trailers, this isn’t the only weapon that Bayonetta will wield. You can look forward to playing with weapons that range from the standard to the absolutely outrageous.

Next time I blog, I will give you a look into the design of some of the other weapons, as well as the guns used by the mysterious woman in red, Jeanne.

(NOTE: See high resolution versions of these pictures on PlatinumGames’s Flickr account.)

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35 Comments Add Your Own

Pheonix03 Posted on June 10, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Just Amazing!!! I can't believe so many creative people all work together. Bayonetta is gonna be the most stylish and unique game ever created, and its all thanks to you all at PlatinumGames!!!

Thank You!!!

DancingRobot Posted on June 11, 2009 at 12:00 am

That was a fun read. As fans we almost never get to see the creative process in action, which is totally why I love this blog so much. Very cool to see the guns evolve in to their final form.

You guys should add in a model viewer in to the game so we can get a close look at the weapons.

And you should totally have it like in Resident Evil, where we can see them go through their firing animations. 'cause that'd be pretty sweet.

baberific Posted on June 11, 2009 at 2:43 am

Wow…the amount of work that goes into the pre-production of these weapons is crazy!! It seems that the design process is a bit of a tricky one.

Either way, the final product is one that I think perfectly fits the world of bayonetta. And Johnny, You said you also did the weapons designs for DMC??? Then I guess I have you to thank for ebony and ivory!!!

Cause all this bayonetta has me going back to the classics.

Black Chamber Posted on June 11, 2009 at 3:11 am

As DancingRobot said above – an item viewer [like in Resident Evil and the Resident Evil Gamecube Remake] would be great! To be able to zoom in to examine the intricate details of every weapon or item in the game of Bayonetta would be superb!

I have written some interesting research about Bayonetta's "Scarborough Fair" and Jeanne's "All 4 One" guns that I would love for you to read – if for no other reason than to see if I am spot on or even close to the meaning and research that went into the guns on your end. ;)

[these are all found on the Bayonetta U.S. Forum]:

Bayonetta's Guns: http://forums.platinumgames.com//showthread.php?t

The Meaning Behind Bayonetta's Guns: http://forums.platinumgames.com/showthread.php?t=… [Post #29]

Jeanne's Guns: http://forums.platinumgames.com//showthread.php?t

I love it when game companies [especially Hideki Kamiya games] put tons of effort into the little things – like logos and writing on the weapons that actually mean something or translate into subjects that tie into the game's storyline.

That – is the mark of a great game – and a great design team.

Devil May Cry was awesome. Bayonetta will top that effort in every respect. I am so excited to play your amazing game!

;)

gpsato Posted on June 11, 2009 at 9:48 am

REALLY GOOD, you're great designer, and the team also! !!!!!

…..

and … OMG OMG thankyou thankyou so much! I'm doing a fanart of bayonetta, but I stopped at her weapon, **'cause i'm not good drawing guns, so I can't finish the draw orz **, thankyou thankyou m( __ __)m

Mister 庭 Posted on June 11, 2009 at 11:20 am

The Scarborough Fair, this weapon is a badass looking weapon, i really like the previous concept ideas but in the end, its always the best!

Amazing work! Thanks for showing us this, and i hope the other weapons will just look as badass and fitting for Bayonetta. :D

twenty1 Posted on June 11, 2009 at 11:28 am

very interesting read…..you guys keep up the good work with these blogs……from Mad World 2 Bayonetta HERE I COME!!!!!!

MonkeyMagic Posted on June 11, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Good read, as usual. It's nice to see input on even just the weapon designs of games, especially when they are very creative in terms of theme and design. I do like the idea of baseing items and weapons on real world ones (being in an art related feel, I would like to work in an entertainment industry one day), as you said, even if the final product is a work of imagination, it does remain convincing. I guess considering how rediculous some of weapons can get in terms some games (such as most of the Final Fantasy weapons that were in the ones Tetsuya Nomura was involved in, especially the Gun Blade), it's nice to see ones that are unique and believable.

Anyways, I can't wait to play Bayonetta, and I really like the work you guys put into your games. On a note outside the subject, for fans of Final Fantasy, I don't hate the series (I do like it) and I don't think Nomura is a bad artist, it's just many of Nomura's designs and ideas don't seem believable, or convincing, in any world to me.

Mr Ecks Posted on June 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm

The final design is incredible to say the least. Aside from the intricate details on the final version, I like how the guns come together to form the Witch's mark. Hopefully it serves a purpose in the game.

Keep up the fabulous work Johnny!! And keep blogging!!

Rizhall Posted on June 11, 2009 at 8:02 pm

WOW This blog was amazing. I've never considered this much thought and process going into making simple guns. But now that I look at it, this gun is oozing with subtlety, and the design is amazing, both in a complex and simple way. I can't wait to see the swords!

You designed the DMC1 weapons, you say? Time to go look at them under a microscope. =P

prfx Posted on June 12, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Very cool design..

Fox Posted on June 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm

I can't wait for this game! Everything looks so polished!

Knosmirc Posted on June 12, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Great read on the creative process. Can't wait for the game to ooze with style and rock my socks off.

tortacular Posted on June 13, 2009 at 2:03 am

That's one bad ass gun. Great insights on the creative process!

thepenks Posted on June 13, 2009 at 9:11 pm

great design… it is possible be real gun?

RVR- 42 Posted on June 15, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Oh yes! Awesome, awesome! So loving those guns. Bayonetta is indeed, going to look hot firing those bad boys. ;)

FAUNA Posted on June 27, 2009 at 2:55 pm

The weapon design is indeed superb. Her guns remind me of Hellboy's gun (which is really cool because Del Toro has some of the best art direction out there). I love seeing the evolution from initial concepts to the final design render.

Patrick Posted on January 27, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Wait, but if the gun is a derringer, how can it shoot that many bullets so fast? Derringers only hold 2 bullets at a time. Beautiful guns, but they don't make sense.

Body Detox ` Posted on October 12, 2010 at 11:15 am

i love both the gamecube and the nintendo DS, two of the best stuff you can get`.-

Jen} Posted on October 7, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Thanks Muneyuki "Johnny" Kotegawa for the share

sudo Posted on February 18, 2012 at 3:22 am

Nice post, thank you!

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