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IGN's The History of Naughty Dog Feature

Tagg9

Member
Colin Moriarty has written an incredibly in-depth feature for IGN that covers the entire history of Naughty Dog. I assumed everyone has been reading this, but I couldn't find a thread.

I've copied some of the best quotes here, but I would encourage everyone to read through the entire article - it's really interesting stuff. Probably the best piece of journalism I've seen at IGN. Note that there's still one part left to cover the development of TLoU.

Part 1 - The Beginning
http://ca.ign.com/articles/2013/10/04/rising-to-greatness-the-history-of-naughty-dog?page=1

“For being 12, [my games] were very advanced code-wise, and Jason’s looked great, because he had this artistic inclination. He could draw really well. But his didn’t run very well and mine didn’t look very good. So really quickly, we were like, ‘Hey, we should get together.’” They began working with each other to create projects that were more complete using both of their specialities.

Instead of making their own game, they decided to copy Nintendo’s. And like bold kids that didn’t know any better, they began making a facsimile of the game in 1983... “It never occurred to us that you can’t just put out a game that copies characters exactly.” But that didn’t stop them. The boys used 1000 ISO film to record all of the game’s moves, and then began to copy it verbatim using their chops for programming and art. They worked on their unofficial PC port of Punch-Out!! for a year. “It was actually pretty good,” Gavin noted proudly.

"...I remember EA saying to us that we probably shouldn’t have gone with comedy, after the fact. That kind of stung me, because it was one of those things where we didn’t have an opportunity to decide what was going on. We had already signed up, and they had the right to do this.”

These makeshift Genesis dev kits would alter the signal of any electronics around it, which was at first frustrating, but eventually became a useful tool of development. “When you turned it on, all the TVs on the same electrical circuit started to spit and get a ton of noise on them. People would complain in my dorm about their reception... You could tell, in someone else’s dorm room, even, what the Genesis was up to. When it crashed, the noise pattern would change. I could see how busy the graphics hardware was from the interference patterns. I would leave the TV across the room on because it was a useful debugging aid,” Gavin said, laughing.

The folks they got to help them on Way of the Warrior were from all walks of life... And their lead tester? He was the Valedictorian of the Harvard class of 1994, a guy named David Liu... He was a prolific, professional Street Fighter II player... [he] was [even] on wanted lists at casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City for card counting.

During production, the two nearly ran out of money. Rubin had $6.37 in his bank account. “I was eating ramen noodles with Andy,” he recalled. Gavin had it just a little better; he was getting paid $14,000 a year to go through MIT’s masters program. They sold their remaining belongings, like a stereo, to get by while they finished the game.

“Andy’s toilet froze and shattered,” Rubin noted abruptly. “It was a disaster, okay? We went all-in on this game, in the sense that startups go all in... The last $10,000 that we had, effectively we bought a three-by-three square foot spot at the 3DO booth at CES, because the game show was still at CES. Nine square feet.” And in their tiny, modest space, surrounded by “crap” multimedia games, drum-up interest they did. In fact, so much interest was drummed-up that a bidding war erupted over Way of the Warrior between three companies. All of them wanted a piece of Naughty Dog’s project.

Part 2 - Crash Bandicoot
http://ca.ign.com/articles/2013/10/04/rising-to-greatness-the-history-of-naughty-dog?page=5

“Way of the Warrior came out. It was what it was,” Rubin said, obliquely referencing the game’s mediocre quality and soft sales. “But Universal said to us, ‘pick a platform, pick an IP, pick a type of game, and we’ll fund it.’”

“First, we were like, ‘what genre should we do?’” Rubin explained. “Character action games were some of the biggest games out there. Sonic and Mario. This was before the PlayStation was announced. So let’s do one of those.

We eventually had what we jokingly called the ‘Sonic’s Ass’ idea.” In other words, a platformer with a camera behind the main character that would follow him around.

“For the longest time, Crash’s name was Willy the Wombat. That’s what we had settled on. No one really loved it,” Kurosaki admitted

“The head of [Sony Computer Entertainment America] was like, “’What is that?! That looks so good!’... After seeing the tape, Sony “sent down people and they looked at it, and their jaws dropped,” Rubin continued... Sony had no mascot. From alpha, two or three months before E3, they kicked their number one product off the number one slot, right next to Nintendo’s booth, and put Crash there. [Sony] signed a deal with Universal to be the publisher.

"...The thing that makes Mario 64, from a consumer standpoint, perhaps not as competitive, is that visually it was nowhere near what Crash was. That was because as soon as you open up, you have a lot more polygons to draw in the distance. Just visually, it was never where Crash was.”

“Crash was the first game where Sony had found a western-developed game that was critically and commercially successful in Japan. That had never happened before,” Thompson said. “For Crash to sell more than a million units in Japan was a huge deal. That was the one defining moment where the promise of what western development could be was finally attained.”

“[Universal] had given us money to do the first game. By the time the second game came around,” Rubin said, “Sony was funding it. We were making it. Universal was just pushing through the money. They would get it from Sony, sit on it for 90 days, and then give it to us. We would spend it. There was really no use for Universal, with one exception, and I have to be very clear that this is very important. Mark Cerny was an incredible talent, and we were working with him continually on these titles.

Because Universal owned Crash, before Sony bought Naughty Dog, Sony thought that in case Crash went away, they needed to have an engine that could do what we were doing,” Rubin said, “and they actually internally started working on a ‘Crash Killer,’ they called it, that was eventually Harry Jalapeno, believe it or not.”

Eight people in total made the original Crash Bandicoot. Somewhere between 16 and 19 people at any one time were toiling away on Crash 2. That grew to 23 for Crash 3, and in the low 30s for Crash Team Racing.

CTR we also self-funded. [We] gave it to Sony with blockheaded characters and said, ‘God, this would be a great Crash game, but you know our relationship with Universal.’ So Sony went to Universal and cut a deal so that could be a Crash game

“It’s unfortunate in a lot of ways that Universal then became what Universal was, and [then] Vivendi, and then eventually sold it off to Activision… [Crash has] become lost in the shuffle, because it could have been one of the great characters of all-time, based on where it was in 1998 or 1999,” Rubin said.

Part 3 - Sony Acquisition / Jak and Daxter
http://ca.ign.com/articles/2013/10/04/rising-to-greatness-the-history-of-naughty-dog?page=9

“Around [the time CTR came out], we went to Tokyo. We were sitting there with [Game Informer’s] Andy McNamara, Andy Reiner… and Kelly Flock. Kelly used to run SCEA, basically. We were really drunk in the Lexington Queen at maybe four or five in the morning... Kelly looked at me and Andy and said, ‘so when are you guys selling the company?’” Rubin recalls. “And I said, ‘why would we sell the company?’ We were on top of the world, right? He said, ‘because you made the number one game. There’s no where to go but down from here.’”

Moving from PlayStation to PlayStation 2 hit Rubin and Gavin like a ton of bricks. They were accustomed to funding their own projects, going all the way back to the 1980s, but it just wasn’t possible anymore. Jak & Daxter required $14 million to make – a fairly paltry sum by today’s standards – but that doesn’t take into account that Gavin and Rubin each put $2.25 million into its development, accounting for about a third of Jak’s overall cost.

The only way Sony owning Jak & Daxter made sense to Naughty Dog’s co-founders and Sony itself was if Sony simply purchased the studio outright. “They said, ‘write up a document with what you think the company’s worth and we’ll talk about it.’ Unfortunately, when I wrote up that document, THEY ACCEPTED IT WITHOUT NEGOTIATION,” Rubin explained with a laugh. “Which tells me that either they’re as generous as I always thought Sony is, or I underbid. Based on what’s happened, I underbid, but who knows?”

“The finances Sony can put behind a game took away a lot of the risk and the fear off of management,” Rubin admitted. “That allowed management to take risks. Not crazy risks, but risks that they couldn’t take with their own money… That’s why this company, unlike a lot of other companies out there, is still creating content that’s so different, unique, and individual.

“I think because of the success of Crash, they wanted to get us the earliest prototype PS2 hardware they could,” he continued. “At the time, they couldn’t even import the machines. It couldn’t get through customs. It was this supercomputer. It had to be searched and made sure that you’re not using it for nefarious purposes or something. They actually had to sneak it in. They sent us to the airport and we had to drive over into some weird warehouse and pick it up and take it back to the office.”

“It was really hard to get the engine up and running on the PS2,” Wells later said. “We thought we could continue to do games every year like we had done on the PS1. Six months in, we’re like, ‘okay, we can barely even render this thing at one hertz.’”

“The guy who was the sound designer at the time basically came right out and said how he felt the game was terrible and how none of us knew what we were doing and we all really needed to rethink the entire approach. That was an interesting introduction to the Naughty Dog corporate culture,” Scherr said, laughing. “He left about two months later.”

Thompson specifically discussed the original Jak & Daxter’s development, identifying it as “hectic” and noting that the original schedule was slipping through their fingers. “The Precursor Bot, the last boss fight in the game, I believe went in 48 hours before final,” he said, chuckling. “I think we had a day to tune it before it went into the can.”

“Near the end of Jak 1 was when Grand Theft Auto III came out,” Scherr said. “While we were trying to finish the game, we were all sitting around in the lounge trying to rack up a five-star rating as quickly as possible. If you played Jak II, that set off some light bulbs in Jason’s head. Jak II, we really went all out in terms of the ambition. Everybody pushed everything.”

Jak II launched on October 14, 2003 in North America. “There’s a fair amount of debate as to the quality of the final game. I know some people love its scope and the breadth of all the different activities you can do. Other people feel that it was just way too spread out, lost a lot of the charm, or lost a lot of the platforming stuff, anyway,” Scherr admits. “I think one thing everybody can agree on, though, is that that game is just way too fucking hard

Unlike the debate over the quality of the game, there’s no debate on how it performed, at least in Japan, where Naughty Dog previously found a strange level of success for a western developer. “Jason felt strongly that we should make the move to a darker play in Jak II, which completely alienated Japan,” Thompson recalled. “The sales were horrendous for Jak II in Japan

The studio was “disheveled” during the Jak & Daxter period, according to Mosesian. “There were a lot of people strewn around. There wasn’t any real organization… It just didn’t seem like that triple-A studio from first impression.” Mosesian didn’t even have a computer waiting for him on his first day. On the second day, one was at his desk, but it was covered in food and stains.

Interestingly, while crunch is part of the culture, it’s not forced upon anyone. Yet, everyone stays and crunches regardless. “We don’t mandate crunch,” he said. “I personally don’t force people to crunch. You’re here on your own.” Environment Artist Reuben Shah jumped into the conversation. “I’ve never gotten an e-mail saying ‘you better be here these days or these hours!’”

One thing that surprised Shah when he began at Naughty Dog was the accessibility of everyone in the company, from the highest people all the way down to the lowest. “Early on, I remember I had to go talk to Andy Gavin, the lead programmer, the second-in-command with Jason. [Someone] said, ‘just go talk to him.’... I’m like, ‘really? I’m gonna go talk to him?’ I felt stupid. This guy is like the smartest motherfucker in the world, and I had a one-on-one with him. It was amazing.”

“Because you’re used to structure, you’re used to hierarchy,” Pangilinan suggested. “Exactly,” Shah answered. “I wasn’t supposed to go to The Boss. I was supposed to go to my lead or my supervisor and take it up and maybe I’ll hear something back in a week. No, it was that day. Go talk to him now. We have to figure it out today. It was in the game by later that night. That was really refreshing. That’s how it works? Awesome. You compare that to a lot of the corporate places around here,” Pangilinan said. “You could get fired for something like that

“I remember specifically, Evan [Wells] had come in and he had asked how to do something on Crash 3. I’d given him five minutes of instructions in this difficult script file that I never expected him to absorb, because I had given the same instructions at length to a zillion people and no one ever absorbed it. Evan comes back an hour later and he’s done this huge amount of stuff in it already. He was just asking some refining questions. I’m like, ‘whoa.’ I went over to Jason and said, ‘you know, I think Evan might be the find here. He got this.’”

“The other programmer that came with Christophe… I remember, the same day Andy promoted Christophe, when I was in a meeting where Andy told him he was going to be number two in the company, and his salary more than doubled. It was night and day, because he was now a senior person at one of the best game companies in the country. That same day, we had to fire the other programmer for being utterly inept. Christophe said, ‘this is what’s great about America. I come here as a junior programmer and I’m a senior programmer.’ The other guy says, ‘this is what sucks about America. In France, I could never be fired!” At this point, both Gavin and Rubin erupted with laughter.

Part 4 - Uncharted
http://ca.ign.com/articles/2013/10/04/rising-to-greatness-the-history-of-naughty-dog?page=13

Making matters more complicated, Sony and Naughty Dog decided to cut the studio in two. The famous split that resulted in the concurrent development of Uncharted 3 and The Last of Us wasn’t the first time Naughty Dog became a two project studio. It was just the first time the split actually worked well enough to broadcast it to the world.

“The other thing was, all the PlayStation 2 engine was basically completely architected by Andy. It was GOAL and LISP and all these other arcane languages, half of which he had basically invented. How do you move all of that code to PlayStation 3? The answer is, you don’t. We were starting from nothing.”

“The PSP game was interesting,” Thompson recalls. “[Naughty Dog] had this other idea for a Jak game. At the time, they were really excited about PSP. The real issue with PSP, and in general with the studio, is that Naughty Dog is a group of industry professionals that craves cutting-edge technology, bleeding-edge technology. At the time, the PSP, even though it was really popular and successful, it just wasn’t enough to keep the people here satisfied and focused. They needed a bigger challenge.”

“First off, the PSP team was awesome,” McIntosh said. “It was so much fun. That was the most fun I ever had making games. We got that game up and running in like three months, straight port, and it was a full vertical slice. That was a lot of fun… [But] the reason the PSP team was killed was not because of the PSP project. It was because of Uncharted. It was because we needed those people on Uncharted. It just wasn’t working.”

But as for the Jak & Daxter project that Naughty Dog never got to see through, there’s some regret. “At the time, it looked like [High Impact Games was] going to be able to do a pretty good job with it,” Thompson said. “I don’t want to say anything disparaging. I like the guys at High Impact. [But] if we had had to do it all over again, we would have done some things differently in the execution of The Lost Frontier. I’m not happy with that being Jak’s swan song. I think we could have done a lot better.”

[On Uncharted concepts -] “There was a concept art folder,” Neil Druckmann added, “and I would keep going in there and looking at stuff. Early on, it was like this open world, Victorian era. It had a mixture of steampunk and flying vehicles. It was kind of a mishmash of a bunch of ideas. Then the main dude, I remember, he looked like Marty McFly from Back to the Future. He had this orange vest when I first saw him running around.”

But the idea of saying that your main character [Nathan Drake] was going to be a guy in a t-shirt and jeans, and that’s it, was pretty scary for Sony, because how do you turn that into an icon, a mascot? For them, a character like [God of War’s] Kratos is so much easier to wrap a [marketing] campaign around."

“There were a lot of people who started working at Naughty Dog because that was the game they wanted to make. They wanted to make Jak or Crash. So there was that faction of people who were disillusioned with the direction the studio was going in. There was a wave of people who left because of that…”

Even a month or two before the E3 [2007] that we actually showed it playable, we still had a reticle-based aiming system where you’d auto-target. You could flip between targets like Zelda. Then, at some point, somebody said ‘this isn’t cool, let’s try something else.’ Then we ended up with the cover-based stuff that we always see now.”

If there was one thing that I wish we could have done, it’s getting the screen tearing taken care of. That’s still my biggest regret on Uncharted. That’s the one thing that’s just painfully obvious, that we could have corrected.”

“I think this is true for a lot of companies and a lot of engines,” he later said, “but if we go back now and look at Uncharted 1, compared to the sequels or The Last of Us, it’s just like, ‘oh my god.’ It’s hard to believe it’s on the same hardware. We didn’t even have a skin shader on Uncharted 1. Everyone looks like these waxen dolls. There’s no screen space ambient occlusion, so nothing looks like it’s really grounded in the environment at all…”

It seemed that Naughty Dog’s newest game was winning every award out there. “It was just Uncharted 2,” Pangilinan said. “When it came out, suddenly everyone knew us.” “It was pretty amazing,” Reuben Shah added. “When we were getting BAFTAs, I was like, ‘holy crap, I’m holding a BAFTA.’ We had like six of them.”

…There are a lot of games out there that are really amazing. It was almost embarrassing, with Uncharted 2, because a lot of our competitors just got shutout. They got nothing. We might as well have just stayed up on the stage.

“Obviously, review scores and public response are very important, but you want to distill that stuff down and take the most important aspects out of it, rather than just being completely reactionary to things that you read online,” Josh Scherr said. “If you read [online gaming forum] NeoGAF, Uncharted 3 is simultaneously the best and worst game ever made. It’s kind of like Scrodinger’s cat in a way.”

“There’s also something about success painting a bigger target on your back,” Wells interjected. “Now it’s hip to hate on what’s successful. Once all those awards were given to the second one, now people are just going to look for reasons to pick on the next one that comes out. The gaming culture has a tendency to try to dog-pile on successful games

“When you’re a game developer and people say, ‘oh, they’re lazy developers, they try to take advantage of the consumer, they’re phoning it in.’ No. None of that is ever true. At least not in my career in this industry, and certainly not here at Naughty Dog. Everybody just pours their souls into everything they work on. That doesn’t mean it’s always going to be brilliant, but that’s a lesson you learn as you get older, or as you’ve been doing something creative as a career.
 

soultron

Banned
If anyone's interested in more early ND (circa Crash 1) stuff, this long-form piece on Andy Gavin's blog is a nice complement to the IGN series. It focuses entirely on the development of Crash Bandicoot. Both Andy and Jason speak in the link I posted.
 

jWILL253

Banned
 
I hope part five comes soon. I have been reading these and I absolutely love this kind of stuff, Makes me feel like I am watching a documentary. Praise to Colin and NaughtyDog. I had no clue the PS3 transition was that difficult for them. And it was interesting reading that they had two teams, one for PS3 and one for PSP, making a Jak game. But Uncharted needed too many resources and they had to scrap the PSP game. But, I am glad they did. The Uncharted series turned out very successful and they were able to later do the two team feature with Uncharted 3 and The Last Of Us. I wonder if the two teams will migrate and work as one, now? Also, I really hope their transition to the PS4 is no where near as brutal as the PS3. The PS3 transition almost killed NaughtyDog. I cannot wait for Uncharted 4. Does anyone know when they started development on that? Some people think it was after Uncharted 3 in November 2011, but some people think it was after The Last Of Us, meaning not much development has started and the game could be quite a bit away.
 

Blackthorn

"hello?" "this is vagina"
These articles don't get nearly enough attention here and I have no idea why. If there was ever an answer to Gaf's cries for more journalistic games coverage, it's these.

Looking forward to part 5. There's also a history of Insomniac feature for others waiting.
 

xxracerxx

Don't worry, I'll vouch for them.
Fuck me at the quoting.....guess I will actually go to IGN.com for the information.

Thanks for the link.
 
Wow, EA cutting the Naughty Dog guys loose and refusing to order a second printing after their game sells out its initial printed run because sports games were cheaper to make and easier to sell... amazing how nothing has changed since over 30 years ago.
 
The section about how hard the PS3 transition for them was is really good. They've talked about it before but never as in depth as this. It sounds like it was absolutely brutal.
 

TripOpt55

Member
This is really cool. I thought it was interesting to read about the Jak PSP game. There was plenty of evidence that they had worked on it, but I'd never heard them actually discuss it. Plus them actually saying they weren't totally happy with it is cool I mean just for them to be honest.
 

Tagg9

Member
Fuck me at the quoting.....guess I will actually go to IGN.com for the information.

Thanks for the link.

Haha, I think I went a little crazy with the quotes. Here's my favorite quote, where they talk about the Sony buyout.

The only way Sony owning Jak & Daxter made sense to Naughty Dog’s co-founders and Sony itself was if Sony simply purchased the studio outright. “They said, ‘write up a document with what you think the company’s worth and we’ll talk about it.’ Unfortunately, when I wrote up that document, they accepted it without negotiation,” Rubin explained with a laugh. “Which tells me that either they’re as generous as I always thought Sony is, or I underbid. Based on what’s happened, I underbid, but who knows?”
 
Awesome work from IGN. I really can't wait to see some Uncharted 4.

That same day, we had to fire the other programmer for being utterly inept. Christophe said, ‘this is what’s great about America. I come here as a junior programmer and I’m a senior programmer.’ The other guy says, ‘this is what sucks about America. In France, I could never be fired!” At this point, both Gavin and Rubin erupted with laughter.

DAMN.
 

I-hate-u

Member
“This is probably one of the most successful acquisitions, probably in both directions, in the history of the game business,” Gavin said. “Here it is... years later, and they’re still making world class games. It’s even gotten better. They’re still exclusive. The same basic management is here. The corporate culture is intact and not absorbed. It’s so frequent that these things just all fall apart a few years later.”

“See EA,” Rubin said, referencing the many closed, discarded, or forever altered studios the massive publisher left in its wake.

“There’s just nothing left,” Gavin continued. But with Sony, Naughty Dog didn’t become weaker. It became stronger, more solid, and more reliable, especially because a lot of the people running Sony’s PlayStation brand at the time – like Kaz Hirai – were known quantities to Naughty Dog, and vice-versa. Shuhei Yoshida was also an intermediary between the two sides. Even the lawyers, marketing people, and PR were familiar enough to Naughty Dog for such a move to be comfortable.

So very true. The contrast of what has become of Naughty Dog to some of EAs acquisitions is night and day.

Also shame about Crash. Sony seemed really pissed about losing the IP but it seems Universal was the middle man that both parties did not want anymore except for Mark Cerny.
 
The section about how hard the PS3 transition for them was is really good. They've talked about it before but never as in depth as this. It sounds like it was absolutely brutal.

yeah that part was crazy:

"We were a company of 60 or 70 people, and I think 25 people left in the span of that year. We were bleeding talent."

and look at them now. kings of the world.
 

BocoDragon

or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Realize This Assgrab is Delicious
I have to really wrap my head around the fact that the same company made Way of the Warrior, Crash Bandicoot and The Last of Us.
 
One part I love is about them catching data out of the frame buffer by crashing their system and pulling that data out of the buffer before losing it because the old computer they worked on had no save feature lmao.

The shit these wizards pulled off in the old days always amazes me.

E3 is going to be insanity when we first see Uncharted PS4. I still remember watching the building collapse scene over and over again from Uncharted 2 in pure awe of it all.

Wonder if Andy and Gavin will ever go back? Maybe they can take a team and do what they want while Neil and crew do what they want.
 

Endo Punk

Member
I have to really wrap my head around the fact that the same company made Way of the Warrior, Crash Bandicoot and The Last of Us.

That isn't that hard to believe or that uncommon for devs who made their start in the 80's/ early 90's. ND have grown into a fine studio but I feel something was lost in the transition to realism. Wish ND would have a smaller team working on experimental download titles that hark back to their platforming/zany past.
 
Gotta give IGN and Colin Moriarty a lot of credit for putting this out. It was a really good read. Looking forward to reading about the The Last of Us development in part 5.
 
We had an early idea – before Uncharted became Uncharted – that was almost a hybrid idea of The Last of Us and Uncharted. In hindsight, we were talking about being a kind of Nathan Drake figure, but in the future, and the relics he was looking for were the relics of our civilization, in this overgrown wilderness of the ruins of our world.”

“It was post-apocalyptic,” she continued, “but not scary, in the sense that it was kind of a beautiful post-apocalyptic world, with its own dangers and all, but the beauty of nature reclaiming our architecture and our relics. I still think that’s a cool idea, but we went another way with that.”


holy fucking fuck that would have been amazing o_O
 

Loudninja

Member
We had an early idea – before Uncharted became Uncharted – that was almost a hybrid idea of The Last of Us and Uncharted. In hindsight, we were talking about being a kind of Nathan Drake figure, but in the future, and the relics he was looking for were the relics of our civilization, in this overgrown wilderness of the ruins of our world.”

“It was post-apocalyptic,” she continued, “but not scary, in the sense that it was kind of a beautiful post-apocalyptic world, with its own dangers and all, but the beauty of nature reclaiming our architecture and our relics. I still think that’s a cool idea, but we went another way with that.”


holy fucking fuck that would have been amazing o_O
Yeah that sounds awesome as well.
 

jett

D-Member
I have to assume Bruce Straley will be a bio profile for TLoU...a silly thing to do since he had the same role in Uncharted 2. Seems IGN is not exploring the Straley/Druckmann duo dynamic if that's what they're going to do.

Read the whole thing, so far. It's all right. The apologetic nature of the UC3 part was surprising. Deep down, despite what they say, they know they shipped a disappointing product.
 
I have to assume Bruce Straley will be a bio profile for TLoU...a silly thing to do since he had the same role in Uncharted 2. Seems IGN is not exploring the Straley/Druckmann duo dynamic if that's what they're going to do.

Read the whole thing, so far. It's all right. The apologetic nature of the UC3 part was surprising. Deep down, despite what they say, they know they shipped a disappointing product.

fuck that, Uncharted 3 was amazing. Bigger and better than U2, except the last encounter.
 
man it's a lot of text, haven't finished it all, still in crash bandicoot era, and how they sometimes missed crash and then I'm reminded of this ongoing rumor of Crash coming back to Sony....
 

I-hate-u

Member
Josh Scherr said. “If you read [online gaming forum] NeoGAF, Uncharted 3 is simultaneously the best and worst game ever made. It’s kind of like Scrodinger’s cat in a way.”

I am not surpirsed. Some of the hyperbole comments regarding U3 on this board can get out of hand.

It surprising that ND is making another Uncharted after they felt let down by U3 critical performance. That tells me that either is a "Sony" thing or, they want to redeem themselves and blow us away.
 

soultron

Banned
That isn't that hard to believe or that uncommon for devs who made their start in the 80's/ early 90's. ND have grown into a fine studio but I feel something was lost in the transition to realism. Wish ND would have a smaller team working on experimental download titles that hark back to their platforming/zany past.

But you could argue that many entertainment mediums exhibit tonal shifts like the gaming industry did from the '90s focus on character platformers to the present day, where many games mimic the film industry's current fixation on the "dark gritty" aesthetic. Another reason this happened is that, with advancements in industry technology, the virtual actors became more lifelike and photorealistic via a lot of visual techniques and refinements.

I'd argue that characters like Crash (or Jak) benefitted, aesthetically, from the limitations of the tech at the time. The artists behind those characters and environments made the tech work the best they could to produce a cool, cohesive feel. Looking forward to today, if you attempted to do Crash with a really high polycount and slick shaders, and smack him in a similarly HDified jungle setting (think Crysis foliage) with realistic lighting, it wouldn't look right, in my opinion.

My point is basically that because of the maturation of technology, so too has the content matured.
 

keuja

Member
Major props to IGN.
Great in-depth articles.

That part about the lack of V-sync in Uncharted 1 made me chuckle.
“It was really funny, because the lead programmer of [Sony-owned developer of Killzone] Guerrilla at the time, I forgot his name, Evan and Christophe had just ran into him at GDC. They just happened to be talking about V-Sync. He was like ‘oh yeah, we fixed that a couple of weeks ago. Here’s the code insert.’ Evan called me and he’s like, ‘I can’t fucking believe it. We could have just fixed it if we’d known.’ We just didn’t know.”
 
We had an early idea – before Uncharted became Uncharted – that was almost a hybrid idea of The Last of Us and Uncharted. In hindsight, we were talking about being a kind of Nathan Drake figure, but in the future, and the relics he was looking for were the relics of our civilization, in this overgrown wilderness of the ruins of our world.”

“It was post-apocalyptic,” she continued, “but not scary, in the sense that it was kind of a beautiful post-apocalyptic world, with its own dangers and all, but the beauty of nature reclaiming our architecture and our relics. I still think that’s a cool idea, but we went another way with that.”


holy fucking fuck that would have been amazing o_O

That sounds awesome. Maybe it's their new space IP. /wishful thinking.
 
Josh Scherr said. “If you read [online gaming forum] NeoGAF, Uncharted 3 is simultaneously the best and worst game ever made. It’s kind of like Scrodinger’s cat in a way.”

Which ultimately means you likely shipped a product that didn't live up to expectations.

Uncharted 2 had no backlash like that. It was universally loved on GAF

I enjoyed UC3 for what it was, but it was essentially just a weaker version of Uncharted 2. Same basic plot structure, weaker gunplay mechanics, AI, and gameplay scenarios. Poor pacing which makes it a chore to go through on replays. An MP that just tried to ape CoD and lost the simplicity that (prior to patch) made Uncharted 2 great.
 

Shrennin

Didn't get the memo regarding the 14th Amendment
It surprising that ND is making another Uncharted after they felt let down by U3 critical performance. That tells me that either is a "Sony" thing or, they want to redeem themselves and blow us away.

Regardless of whether or not that is a Sony thing, I fully expect Naughty Dog to blow us away with U4.
 
Because Universal owned Crash, before Sony bought Naughty Dog, Sony thought that in case Crash went away, they needed to have an engine that could do what we were doing,” Rubin said, “and they actually internally started working on a ‘Crash Killer,’ they called it, that was eventually Harry Jalapeno, believe it or not.”

Harry Jalapeno? lol

OMG, no wonder this was canceled...
 

sn00zer

Member
Wow GREAT article....some good stuff in there...especially interesting with the Uncharted 3 stuff....totally agree that Uncharted 3 would have been as highly regarded as 2 had it come out after Uncharted 1
 

AniHawk

Member
wow, scherr's comments about some people not liking how jak ii might have lost its charm is the first time i've seen someone at naughty dog admit they hadn't created 'the next evolution of platformer' with that game.
 

Ravage

Member
Despite its lack of polish, UC3 is still my favourite out of the 4 games. The story is engaging (minus the finale) and i really like its relatively open-ended combat.
 

Loudninja

Member
Despite its lack of polish, UC3 is still my favourite out of the 4 games. The story is engaging (minus the finale) and i really like its relatively open-ended combat.
Agreed hopefully with UC4 they combine the best elements of UC2 and UC3.
 
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