The trailer of Uncharted 4: a Thief’s End showcased at E3 impressed many, even due to the amazing facial animation shown by Nathan Drake, who led many to believe that they were looking at a pre-rendered cutscene.
Today star coder and graphics programmer Corrinne Yu mentioned on Twitter that she is developing a new facial animation tech for the game, and that she would love to discuss it after the game will ship.
I would love to discuss and share the facial animation tech I develop for U4 after Uncharted 4 is shipped. 2015 isn’t that long : )
At the moment, though, she’s working on the PS4 version of The Last of Us, and she’ll be back on Uncharted 4, after her work on Joel and Ellie’s adventure will be finished, even if she’s already having meetings on the new game’s visual features she’ll be working on.
I will be right back coding Uncharted 4 after The Last of Us. Already had a meeting about u4 graphics features and coding I’ll do.
Yu also fiercely defended the crunch time she has done on Uncharted 4‘s trailer (which was criticized by a few sources), mentioning that “Naughty Dog crunch time is self-imposed. We love what we do here.”
Her words were echoed by Programmer Drew Thaler, who also mentioned that the final push for The Last of Us is way easier than what he had to do for the PS4 itself, when he created the PlayGo system (which allows you to play games as you download).
Family time is strongly respected and protected
FWIW, TLOU’s final push is way easier than what I did for PS4. Not flying every other week, no 13hr jet lag, no conf calls at 3am.
Both Yu and Thaler cited Naughty Dog Programmer Max Dyckhoff’s blog post on crunch time, which we featured yesterday. If you didn’t read it yet, I strongly suggest you do it now, as it’s definitely eye-opening. Dychkhoff himself kindly paid us a visit and added a bit more insight with his comments:
“When you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.” Very true. I haven’t not wanted to come to work for even one day in the last decade or so. It’s liberating.
After the first time of doing that [not sleeping for long periods], most developers on AAA titles realize that it’s counter productive and start figuring out a better work-life balance. Your employer will appreciate it too, as you’ll be more productive and happy!
It’s definitely refreshing to hear from those that are often the unsung heroes of the gaming industry. Directors and Leads may be the creative face and voice of the games we play, but programmers and engineers more often than not are the true wizards behind the magic.