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Strip Search

Framework of the level, showing the hangar with the plane outside

Strip Search was an Uncharted: Drake's Fortune chapter designed and shown at PAX East 2010 in front of a live audience. It's purpose was to fill in the gap between chapters three and four, as well as giving Atoq Navarro a larger part as a villain.[1]

DevelopmentEdit

Designed as the game's "third-and-a-half" chapter, it saw Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher sneaking into an airstrip that was full of Navarro's mercenaries and stealing Sully's plane. Armed with this basic plot premise, the four Naughty Dog representatives that were present (game designer Jacob Minkoff, community strategist Arne Meyer, lead game designer Richard Lemarchand and lead multiplayer designer Justin Richmond) began to render the basic framework for the level, taking audience suggestions. Stealth was to play a main role in the level, a feature that was present yet under-utilized in Drake's Fortune.

Plot synopsisEdit

After leading Drake across a mountain path (during which time he loses his gun, forcing the player to use stealth), the player comes to a control tower they must climb around without attracting Navarro's attention. At this time, the Naughty Dog panelists took suggestions from the audience as to what should happen next. Suggestions ranged from having Elena get impatient and drive her Jeep into the crowd of pirates to having Drake fall from the tower, only to be saved by Navarro at the last moment.

After Drake eventually made it down into the hangar, he faces an overwhelming group of enemies. The game's creators explained that this would be a great moment for the player to be acclimated with destructible environmental hazards, such as shooting a cluster of exploding barrels. It was quickly pointed out by the audience that Drake did not have a gun.

After locating a firearm, Drake began shooting his way out of the hangar while Elena attempted to get the plane on the runway. After the plane began taxiing, the pair were attacked by Navarro, who was firing upon them with a chain-gun. The player could only take out Navarro and his armored truck by shooting some nearby exploding barrels, toppling a telephone pole onto the truck. Elena and Nate take to the skies, beginning chapter four.

Level designEdit

The audience was shown the considerations Naughty Dog takes into account when designing a level, for instance, curving the mountain path so the player is constantly facing the objective, creating "valves" the player can't return through, deciding which segments will be in-game cutscenes, and how to effectively achieve the chapter's narrative objective without making the player feel like his or her hand is forced.

ReferencesEdit

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