You may have wondered, from time to time, how designers have come up with the many, many Mortal Kombat Fatalities through the years. We always figured the finishing moves were borrowed from the margins of 5th grade boys' spiral notebooks -- and that might not be too far off. NetherRealm director of art Steve Beran has detailed the Mortal Kombat reboot development team's design process for Fatalities, which starts with a brainstorming session. He notes on the PlayStation Blog that ideas can come from anywhere, including "gruesome murder news stories, old horror movies and actual nightmares" -- and even a 5th grader's doodles, we suppose.
Once an idea sticks, MK co-creator Ed Boon storyboards the concept, as seen above. The storyboard is then used as the basis for a motion capture session and, finally, the motion capture wire-frame data is fleshed out for use in the game by the animation and cinematics groups.
The whole process essentially boils down to good, old-fashioned spit balling. Hmmm, that actually sounds like a good Fatality for Reptile: "The Spit Ball." Pardon us while shoot an email off to Ed Boon.