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Neil Druckmann interview from SCPR

Dragon1893

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Feb 20, 2013
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Pretty good interview with Neil Druckmann.


http://www.scpr.org/programs/the-frame/2016/07/13/50456/a-peek-into-naughty-dog-game-creator-neil-druckman/

Some quotes:

We're entering an era of augmented reality and virtual reality. Where do you think things are going and how do you see yourself fitting into that future?

It's a big unknown right now. You see this Pokemon Go thing and I don't think anyone could have predicted how explosive this could have been where you have hundreds of people lining up at a fountain to try to train their Pokemon on their iPhone. And at the same time, VR has just come out on PC and the Playstation VR is about to come out this October. I think we're going to see a revolution of sorts of a new kind of medium. I don't think it's going to replace the kinds of games that we make. I think it's going to create new kinds of experiences that people are now just starting to figure out like, how do I move in VR? Right now VR has an issue where if you walk in a traditional way like you would in a normal way where you have a screen in front of you, it's so immersive that your brain is telling you, this is real. You're moving through a space but your inner ear, because you're not moving, is saying, no you're not. Then you get nauseous. People are struggling to figure out, how do we move in a VR space? What are the different experiences that we can create? What are the tricks we can do to fool the inner ear? That's what I love. It's this big unknown and you're going to see all sorts of new experiences and all sorts of new ways to tell stories in this new space.

Hollywood, like games, has had a problem in empowering women as protagonists and empowering people of color. Is it important to you as a writer to make sure that the people in the game are women or people of color?

Absolutely. I've been talking more and more about this recently with the team. When you make a game, you have these different pillars that you're trying to balance. It's graphics, it's gameplay, it's story and you're trying not to let any one pillar overwhelm the other. You're trying to just keep all of this stuff in your mind like, how does it all work together? Recently, I realized that there's this other pillar of diversity. That's just as important as any one of these other pillars. I've kind of empowered people on the team that have made this their top priority, one of which is someone I have to give a lot of credit to, is Ashley Swidowski, our lead concept character artist, which in film terms would be our costume designer. She is constantly challenging me and pushing for diversity in our cast. Can this be a person of color? Can this be a woman? I see myself as a pretty progressive person and yet my default is a white, straight, christian male. That's interesting because I'm Jewish and yet that's the norm for me right now. It's a challenge and it requires energy to deviate from that. Therefore it's important to empower people on the team that are going to push for this pillar.
Please lock if old.
 

wapplew

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Mar 1, 2012
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I hope ND make a limited interactive VR short movie or something, try to tackle VR story telling with their tech and talents.
 

SomTervo

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Jan 19, 2015
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Facepalm when the writer writes 'Why the Last Man' for 'Y: The Last Man'.

When you make a game, you have these different pillars that you're trying to balance. It's graphics, it's gameplay, it's story and you're trying not to let any one pillar overwhelm the other. You're trying to just keep all of this stuff in your mind like, how does it all work together? Recently, I realized that there's this other pillar of diversity. That's just as important as any one of these other pillars.
What a fucking guy

I hope ND make a limited interactive VR short movie or something, try to tackle VR story telling with their tech and talents.
It would be unreal. Even if it was just like a scripted sequence from Uncharted/TLoU but with you standing looking around in 3D, and the sense of size/presence for the character. Would enhance it a million times.
 

SomTervo

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Fuck, the three massive paragraphs where he describes their exact process for writing the script and hiring actors

I know what I need to do now
 

Garrett Hawke

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Jan 24, 2014
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Recently, I realized that there's this other pillar of diversity. That's just as important as any one of these other pillars. I've kind of empowered people on the team that have made this their top priority, one of which is someone I have to give a lot of credit to, is Ashley Swidowski, our lead concept character artist, which in film terms would be our costume designer. She is constantly challenging me and pushing for diversity in our cast. Can this be a person of color? Can this be a woman? I see myself as a pretty progressive person and yet my default is a white, straight, christian male. That's interesting because I'm Jewish and yet that's the norm for me right now. It's a challenge and it requires energy to deviate from that. Therefore it's important to empower people on the team that are going to push for this pillar.
<3 <3 <3
 

Kralamoonard

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Mar 23, 2015
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I see myself as a pretty progressive person and yet my default is a white, straight, christian male. That's interesting because I'm Jewish and yet that's the norm for me right now. It's a challenge and it requires energy to deviate from that. Therefore it's important to empower people on the team that are going to push for this pillar.
inb4 feminist agenda hindering artistic freedom

I like that, as a creative director, he owns it. Good to see.
 

Llyrwenne

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Apr 2, 2013
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Great read. Further reinforces my feeling that he is truly one of the best people in the industry today. ^w^
Neil Druckmann said:
Recently, I realized that there's this other pillar of diversity. That's just as important as any one of these other pillars. I've kind of empowered people on the team that have made this their top priority, one of which is someone I have to give a lot of credit to, is Ashley Swidowski, our lead concept character artist, which in film terms would be our costume designer. She is constantly challenging me and pushing for diversity in our cast. Can this be a person of color? Can this be a woman? I see myself as a pretty progressive person and yet my default is a white, straight, christian male. That's interesting because I'm Jewish and yet that's the norm for me right now. It's a challenge and it requires energy to deviate from that. Therefore it's important to empower people on the team that are going to push for this pillar.
<3
 

Dragon1893

Member
Feb 20, 2013
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Great piece. There's a lot of equally interesting input on videogame directing in general too. Thanks for sharing
Great interview tks OP
No prob :)

Man, looks like he had been holding on to the pitch for TLOU for quite a while.
I wonder if the TLOU/Uncharted movies will ever come out of limbo, I'd prefer if they didn't to be honest.

His answer regarding the diversity issue is refreshingly honest, I think it's to be expected that when creating a character your "default" idea will be the same race and gender as your own. The fact that other people at the studio are pushing things in a different direction and seeing how receptive he is to that is very cool.

Doesn't sound like they have put much thought into VR yet at this point.

It's interesting to know that he was very resistant to the influence of the actors on the characters at first, since now we know that he ended up embracing it completely and giving them a lot of freedom to bring their own personal touch to them. With how great the performances were I'm not surprised though, with talent of that caliber it's better to let it flow than trying to constrain it and he probably realized that shortly after starting the recording sessions. The chemistry between Troy and Ashley must've been palpable from the start.
 

Creamium

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Mar 10, 2005
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Preacher and Y: The Last Man are his favorite comics? Good guy Druckmann

'Why the Last Man' though