The Last of Us Part 2 Reveal's Art Planning Was Something Else
The Last of Us Part 2's Art Director showcases some of the analytical artwork and deep considerations ahead of the E3 2018 gameplay reveal.
Let no one tell you that designing an E3 demo is an easy job, especially when it comes to one of the most anticipated games of the generation. In that vein, the Art Director of Naughty Dog tipped his hand in showing off some of the planning that went behind The Last of Us Part 2‘s reveal.
So I’ll set the stage: it’s 2018, we are all sitting down for E3’s PlayStation Showcase. The audience is seemingly in a room, covered in string lights, wondering what the new title is going to be. A guitar warms the entrance to the new trailer, seen below:
It was obvious from the get-go that most of the PlayStation marketing team had focused the event around this specific trailer. With a totally matching room, there was even an odd pause to the presentation where the audience and presenters had to shift rooms before the performance continued.
While the gameplay and the venue planning seemed to take center stage in much of the conversation around the event, one thing was notoriously missing from the dialogue: the art decisions in the preview. Following the recent release of The Last of Us Part 2, Art Director John Sweeney has outlined what that process looked like and the heavily considered elements that may pass by unnoticed.
Seen in the Tweet and graphic below, you can see what this looks like:
For anyone interested, here’s one of the overviews for our gameplay reveal for #TheLastofUsPart2
It was fun mapping this sequence out! Thinking about everything from shape, palette/lighting, and overall progression/image systems was a fun process. pic.twitter.com/b5FOtVQyhR
— John Sweeney (@johnsweeney2147) July 7, 2020
From a technical aspect, this color script is phenomenal — it not only breaks down the range of colors used throughout the E3 demo but dives into the explanation of why they are using those colors. For example, the choice of colors was used to showcase the unease through the demo:
Warmth will transition from a welcoming element in the palette, and transition to a threatening element over the course of the demo.
When push comes to shove, many in the gaming space tend to look at the game Directors, programmers, story designers, and gameplay creators while overlooking some of the analytical design behind the art. And the artists at Naughty Dog are undoubtedly some of the best in the industry.
The Last of Us Part 2 is available now exclusively on PS4 (and soon to be PS5). The game was one of DualShockers’ favorites of 2020; make sure to check out the official DualShockers (generally spoiler-free) review. Also, feel free to grab the game physically on Amazon to help support the site.