On the latest episode of Points of Interest, host Rubi Bayer was joined by Content Designer Matthew Medina and Game Designer Andrew McLeod. Matthew is working on the story instances for Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™, and Andrew is part of the team developing creatures to populate the Heart of Maguuma. They both helped bring to life two of the new allies players will meet in the jungle— the Itzel and the Nuhoch, two tribes of hylek that are something of an odd couple.
Rubi showed off footage of the ferocious amphibians in action. The Nuhoch are gigantic—taller than two norn—while the Itzel are quite tall compared to the player races but tiny in comparison to their bullfrog-like allies. The Nuhoch attack with slow, heavy movements that deal immense damage if not avoided. The Itzel are spry and thief-like, attacking at range, using stealth, and swapping to daggers in close melee combat. While players are introduced to these two tribes as allies, not every Itzel or Nuhoch in the Maguuma Jungle will be friendly. There’s a good chance you’ll find yourself testing your skills against theirs!
Andrew described how ArenaNet’s creature creators use a collaborative process to build combat NPCs like the jungle hylek: artists create a design; modelers build it; animators determine how it moves; effects artists add details like the motion of a hammer moving through the air or a frog landing on the ground with a belly flop; and designers set up things like movement speed, damage, and attacks.
Matthew’s favorite thing about the jungle hylek is their treehouse home, which inspired comparisons to The Swiss Family Robinson. Andrew especially enjoys the jungle hylek animations, such as Nuhoch looking for beetles to eat or Itzel doing airy backflips in combat.
The episode ended with a reminder that the Overwolf Guild Wars 2 App Challenge is ongoing and will be accepting submissions until May 15. The Endless Interface Crafter Golem Tonic revealed during the episode’s intro will be one of the available prizes, so take a look at the official announcement for more information, and sign up today!