The Xbox controller has long been a gateway to many worlds. For the Special Edition Controllers from Xbox, we sought to make each iconic controller design into a world of its own. Whether we drop in on a Cyberpunk concert, explore the depths of an electronic ocean, or escape a frozen battleground, each controller presents to us a world of vast possibilities.
For the release of Cyberpunk 2077, we were tasked with bringing alive a version of Night City that lived on the surface of the limited edition controller. Flying in, we have to feel the buttons as they become massive architectural structures as they defy their handheld scale. We drop in on a concert featuring Johnny Silverhand complete with a lightshow and a massive crowd.
We created a few elements that produced a dark, futuristic atmosphere. Neon signs and lights illuminate a dense futuristic mist that covers the stage and the crowd. Motion graphic symbols activate the screen behind the stage, call out the band that produced the music and provide a dramatic back light for the main action.
Looking at the surface of the Phantom Magenta Controller is like looking through purple water to an ocean floor made up of the electronic insides of the controller. The world we envisioned for Phantom Magenta became a vast and alien ocean full of exotic life that was half organic, half circuit board.
For Phantom Magenta, we designed two separate moments; the ocean surface with its massive joystick rock formations, and then the ocean floor with circuit board coral, electrified jellyfish and schools of transparent, electrified fish.
We gave our electric sea life translucent magenta exteriors that revealed waves of pulsing energy coursing through their bodies. This gave them a ghostly, sci-fi presence that felt unique and epic. This became a balancing act where the sea life still had to be recognizable as sea life, and feel just alien enough to feel like a brand new world we’ve never seen before.
As you soar above the ice and the rocks, you notice that wreckage of starships litters the landscape. It is a frozen battlefield. What emerges from the ice is a starship ready to escape this arctic no-man's land. It breaks through the ice, back from the dead and onward to fight another battle.
The hero of this whole thing is the starship emerging from the ice. It is one single shot, one epic moment as the starship rises from its icy grave. This put our effects team to work in conveying both the scale of the starship, and the vast amounts of simulated shattering ice.
What better world for Arctic camo than a frozen battle ground? We designed a world that looked like a bone yard of starships covered in snow—the scene of an epic battle. The camo pattern was interpreted to create the topography of the landscape as vast plains of snow met towering rock formations, forming a pattern like camo when seen from the air.
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