During the “How to Become a Game Designer ” panel at PlayStation Experience, Naughty Dog Game Designers Anthony Newman, Emilia Schatz and Doug Holder were asked how the house of Uncharted chooses what content gets to go on the initial shipment of a game and what gets to be DLC.
Newman started by explaining that the answer is quite complicated:
A big part of it just comes down to schedule, and then a lot of times… like in a single player game like Uncharted you’re trying to sell a specific story, so that story has got to be complete. And then it becomes kind of like… it’s a long term strategy.
There’s a lot of stuff you have to consider like production curves over the course of the game and the next sequel and staff… Giving enough people enough stuff to do… So a lot of time a DLC is like a bridge product in between your two bigger releases. That’s what a lot of the times the strategy kind of amounts to.
Schatz mentioned that normally DLC are elements that were thought about, but weren’t really part of the core product:
Typically DLC stuff is like stuff that we thought about and it didn’t really belong to the core experience of the project, but it was still a cool idea.
Newman continued the train of thought:
A lot of time it’s what you wish you had gotten into, but just haven’t been able to.
Holder then provided a final note:
I just wanna add on to that,that probably contrary to popular belief, at our studio DLC isn’t something we totally planned on and it’s already on the disk, and we’re just hiding it from you or something like that.
We bust our asses to get like the best experience we can out there to the player, and then afterwards we’re kind of winding down production but we’ve still got a lot of pent-up energy and a lot of stuff we don’t feel like we accomplished in what we ended up releasing, and you know, that’s what the DLC might come from.
If you want to check out the full panel, which is definitely interesting, you can watch it here.