One of the most relevant “duos” of the gaming industry is formed by Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley, that co-directed The Last of Us and have now taken up the same roles with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. During the latest episode of the PlayStation Blogcast they were asked to explain what makes them work so well together.
I think that we think alike. I think we both have the same standards of quality. We have common interests as far as film, stories, books, types of characters and stories that we get invested in. It seems that we have that kind of commonality and… I think that we’re both perfectionists and workaholics and push each other, and I don’t think we really accept sub-quality sort of work so we just kind of keep pushing, keep pushing and… I know that whenever I’m questioning something that he’s a good sounding board. It’s the best to have.
It’s just the best. We really respect each other’s opinion and we know that if we can impress the other person we’re on to something, and if not there’s something not quite working with it that we have to kinda hash it out.
It’s like if I’m questioning something in my head and even if I don’t say something, but he says it, it re-emphasizes or solidifies like “Oh right, what I was feeling is correct.” I can trust him. He’s kinda like an outer-inner me.
And because Bruce focuses really on gameplay and art while being concerned with story, and he has a very good story sense, and I’m focusing on story and characters, we keep each other in check for not straying too far and really making sure story has a good merit with gameplay.
Yeah I really trust his design instinct, working with him as Lead Designer on Uncharted 2 I totally trusted his design instincts. For me it’s really easy to run something by him and get his feedback.
Considering the results, it’s quite clear that Straley and Druckmann share a rare bond. In any creative industry it’s always hard to have strong creative minds live together under the same roof, and synergies like this are difficult to create.
It’ll definitely be interesting to see what they’ll be able to accomplish with Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. If the trailer we saw at E3 is any indication, we’re in for a real treat.