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Uncharted 3 development

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Nathan Drake Uncharted Render 2 History can be wrong, you know.

The title of this article is a placeholder; the article is about a canonical subject that was not officially named by Naughty Dog.



While Uncharted 3 has yet to be released, Naughty Dog has already given insight into the two year development period since the release of Uncharted 2.

This article is a work in progress and will be refined and structured as more information becomes available.

Overall DevelopmentEdit

The open development process and flattened hierarchal structure at Naughty Dog means that any member of the core team of ninty could contribute to any aspect of the game. The hive of workers continually improve each chapter until the game's release. The collaborative and iterative process is one of the keys that allows Naughty Dog to polish, rework, and tune every aspect of the game.

In an excerpt from a GameIndustry.biz interview, co-lead game designer Richard Lemarchand explains:

"Everyone is in everybody else's business all the time. Nobody leaves anyone alone at Naughty Dog, and that's part of what makes it work."

A Eurogamer Crafting Uncharted 3 - Interview with Richard reveals:

"We are keen not to repeat ourselves with the Uncharted games. When you're making a game based on tropes from another well-respected forms - in our case pulp action adventure - it might be easy to fall into one kind of rut or another. So with this game we decided to switch things up a little bit, and it has seen us shift the focus we have on the different elements of the gameplay. We've been talking about the way we've put an increased focus on the fist fighting in the game, because that's an important part of pulp adventure."

Another interview from ClickOnline with Richard shows how the team works together:

"We’re very much indebted to our creative director and writer Amy Hennig for helping us in that regard. We always end up with long shopping lists of places that we would like to see in the game and some fall by the wayside, some we use later. Sometimes our selection is driven by a piece of technology that we want to include. This time it’s the system for showing sand..."

The team identified goals, created prototypes, and evaluated their feasibility both in areas of technology and concept art. Those ideas that were deemed worthy continued development and eventually would become plot elements or settings for the game as the story was written to incorporate them. As the story evolved, actors would rehearse and perform scenes for cinematics, character moves for motion capture, and game dialog as well as contribute their ideas to help improve the story and their performance.

DLC: Downloadable ContentEdit

The single player campaign development concluded when Uncharted 3 went gold, however Uncharted 3 multiplayer and co-op content will continue to be developed through updates and DLC.

In the Eurogamer interview conducted by Martin Robinson titled Why Uncharted 3 won't get single-player DLC, game director Justin Richmond reveals:

"Whenever we sit down and think we should do some single-player DLC, someone pitches something and we realize - that's a five hour level. We'd rather build out another game than we would do episodic content. We're so small that we can't afford to have a whole team working on DLC. That's why we don't do it, we'd much rather be working on the next game, producing the game quickly and having people play another adventure."

In addition, it was revealed that Uncharted 2 DLC maps such as The Highrise and The Flooded Ruins were initially developed during Uncharted 3 multiplayer experimentation. [source:]

Software DevelopmentEdit

The progression from game to game has been constant, game director Justin Richmond has told VideoGamer.com Naughty Dog could make games on PS3 forever

"We've really refined our tools on [the PS3], so making games on it is kind of a dream.
In Uncharted 1 ..... We were using about 50, 60 per cent of the [PS3's] power and there was a bunch of stuff we hadn't optimised yet. While the machine was running at full capacity, there was a bunch of stuff that was super, super un-optimised. And then with Uncharted 2 we moved everything over onto the SPUs, which are the six processors which run in parallel. When you do that, you can accomplish a lot more in the same amount of time, in a given frame.
With this game, we already had that technology. It was, 'How can we take what's running in that bit right here, and optimise it even more, put even more things in there?' That's how we get more out of the machine. Right now our code is 100 per cent optimised to run on the SPUs, which is amazing. It lets us do things that no-one else can do."


Story and Character DevelopmentEdit

GamePro's John Gaudiosi interviewed Emily Rose in an article titled {C}The Voice of Elena Fisher Talks Uncharted 3 and Motion-Capturing where she described the process and progress:

"We meet with Amy [Hennig, creative director at Naughty Dog] and we read the script before we shoot a scene and we give our input. It's always fun to see Nolan [North] just drift on his lines. We know these characters so well now. I focus on making sure not to make Elena too hard or too soft... But the game team is like a family. We've been doing these games for about five years now. What excites me about each new game is that the stories and the visuals and the characters all get better over time. That's neat and I don't ever want to be on something that sort of flattens out over time.
With each new game it gets more similar to live action. Of course, we're wearing the body suits, but we also use props and makeshift sets. The technology is constantly getting better and that allows us to have more actors working together to bring bigger scenes to life. You can see the progression in each game."

Additional SourcesEdit

  1. Interview with Richard: [1]
  2. Three part Geoff Keighley interviews Amy Hennig, Justin Richmond, Robert Cogburn, Josh Scherr: [2]

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