Relic Ruins: Creating Environmental Puzzles for ‘Horizon Forbidden West’


Daniel Wewerinke is a Senior Game Designer at Guerrilla who loves to dive into the minds of players and provide them with interesting challenges that make them think. With over eight years of design experience and having created puzzles in games like Metrico+ and the String Theory webgames before, he successfully applied his skills to Horizon Forbidden West in the designs of the Relic Ruins, Tallnecks and Salvage Contracts activities.


Horizon Forbidden West takes place in a massive open world filled with mysterious activities for players to encounter. Among such activities are the Relic Ruins: environmental puzzle spaces set in Horizon's ruins of the Old World, meant to challenge players to solve its mysteries. Senior Game Designer Daniel Wewerinke guides us through the design process for the Relic Ruins that players can find in Horizon Forbidden West as well as its DLC Burning Shores; from concept to block-outs, interdisciplinary work, playtesting, and iteration. He discusses both design challenges and lessons learned while aiming to create interesting, unique, and surprising puzzle spaces for the players.


Daniel Wewerinke will share certain techniques that worked to attract players from an open world into a puzzle space, and to create challenges that really resonate with Horizon players as an inherent part of the game's world as well as an overall memorable experience.

Intended Audience

This talk is intended for all who are interested in Guerrilla’s design process for creating successful environmental puzzle spaces and is targeted to anyone who wants to add challenges and surprises in content designed for an open world or open area.

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