Creating Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is not an easy challenge even for a team as seasoned and acclaimed as Naughty Dog, but the pressure to excel doesn’t come from outside, as Co-Directors Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann explained on Game Informer.
Straley mentioned that everybody in the team feels like the project is their baby. They invest so much that for instance they feel that “that texture, I have to make it the most amazing texture in the world.” Everybody is putting their hearts and souls in the project.
If you don’t feel like “I want to play this” you certainly don’t want to make it.” It’s simple as that.
Druckmann continued by saying that the team has a “hunger” for something else compared to the first three Uncharted games. They played them, and if they wanted to go back to them, they’d just play those. The challenge is trying to find that and to make sure all those new systems work in order to make a game they’ll be proud of playing themselves.
Straley agreed that the drive to do better than before is internal, more than pressure from outside. They indeed want to create something they’re proud of, and about which they can say “This is Uncharted 4.” He continued by mentioning that it’s a fight to makes games like Uncharted 4. Trying to find the fun and to respect the schedule and hit the right frame rate is challenging, but they want to be proud at the end of the day of the fact that all that fight was worth it.
Druckmann added that at times during brainstorming there’s someone saying that something is too hard to accomplish, but then someone says “we’re Naughty Dog,” and that statement has so much weight, and the pressure is to make sure that that statement continues having meaning going forward.
We’re Naughty Dog. We’re trying to make one of the best games out there.
Straley also explained that Naughty Dog has so many people that are just astounding at what they do. They’re passionate and trustworth. And that’s important, because not everything goes smoothly all the time:
According to Straley, the PlayStation Experience demo was “broken in so many different ways” just a while before it was showcased. There were many mechanics and things that weren’t working and animations that were glitching (Scott Rohde probably was talking about this when he said at PlayStation Experience that two weeks before, the demo didn’t look like what we saw), but once again the team proved that they could pull it off and get there.
We are so privileged and lucky to work with this team, to have people as passionate as they are. We trust them immensely. That’s the cool thing about Naughty Dog.