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Jul 31 2013
By: AKyemeni Naughty Host 9022 posts
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Reddit AMA: Questions and Answers

[ Edited ]
27 replies 2693 views Edited Aug 1, 2013

What are your plans for the future of The Last of Us?

Currently working on single-player DLC. Talking about other ideas.

Can we please have some more?

DLC is going to amazing! Just wait! We’re happy with what we’ve come up with.

 

Was The Last of Us ending controversial internally? How many possible ideas did you have for it?

Initially, yeah… ending we ultimately went with didn’t sit well with some members of the team. Once it was more fleshed out, it became an easier sell. We went through about 3 or 4 ideas before finding the ending that worked best for the story we wanted to tell.

 

What were some of the other endings?

 

We had a happier ending at one point… where Ellie & Joel were driving completely contented & satisfied with their adventures off into a glorious sunset… but that didn’t feel right. It just wasn’t honest to the world or the characters we created. This ending felt right for us.

 

Can you elaborate on the alternate endings?

 

We’ll share some of them at a panel Bruce and I are doing at PAX. More info to come.

 

I’ve heard that, according to the Japanese instruction manual, Joel and Ellie’s last names are Miller and Williams. Is this true?

 

Those were names that were used in early docs, but we decided to remove all last names for main characters pretty early in development — no sure how they made it to any released manuals. So no, Ellie’s and Joel’s last names aren’t revealed.The only main character who’s last name you can find is Riley’s.

 

How difficult was it bringing this new IP to the PS3 so late in its life cycle and where’s UnKarted?

 

1) It was surprisingly much easier that we thought It’d be. Sony has a lot of trust with us.2) UnKarted: Train Combat Racing X is on it’s way. 

 

Is it difficult to fully immerse yourself and enjoy the gameafter you’ve spent years making it?

 

Well, it’s always hard playing a game that we’ve been so ‘attached at the hip’ to for so long without seeing the flaws. I mean, “art is never finished, just abandoned”, right? And with video game development it’s even worse. But I can say when playing through the game more strung together, I teared up at moments that I KNEW were actually going to happen. That was cool! I think some of it was the relief of 3+ years and a lot of blood, sweat & tears manifest on the joystick. What a relief!

 

If you’d made the game for PS4, what would you have done differently? Who is sexier, Troy Baker or Nolan North?

 

1. Memory wouldn’t be as much of an issue. we had to jump through so many hoops to get this game streaming (no load screens in our games still. YAY!)2. Ashley Johnson 

 

Will there ever be more story content from the universe thatEllie and Joel live in centering around the two characters?

 

It’s possible. We’re playing with some ideas, but no direction has been set yet for the next game.

 

What was the biggest challenge Naughty Dog as a team had to go through?

 

Growing to become a multi-project company has been extremely difficult.

 

Do you plan on making more comics after The Last of Us: American Dreams?

 

Don’t know yet. Entertaining some ideas, though.

 

Do you guys plan on making a big entrance into next-gen with your next game?

 

We always make a big entrance.

 

When can we expect any DLC news?

 

News is on the way about the first DLC drop. Should hear about it this month [Ed. he probably means August].

 

Why weren’t there any 3 way fights between Joel, hunters, and infected in the single player? Was it a technical issue?

 

Not a technical issue. We actually had the tech to do it, it just never fit with the story.

 

Was any sequence cut from the game that either of you wish could have made the final cut?

 

Infected vs humans would’ve been awesome, and there were 3 (I think? hard to remember right now) areas in the game we had it slated, but as we got deeper in production & animations & models started getting fleshed out, it came down to such a huge memory hit that we couldn’t afford it without rather large re-jiggering… so we opted to cut it. Yeah… I know 

 

Why would the Firefly’s not give Joel an opportunity to talk to Ellie? Why rush the surgery? Why not give Ellie the choice to have the surgery?

 

All off screen, so we’re leaving all this for your interpretation… BUT you COULD say Marlene was weary of Joel and/or you don’t reeeeally know how long Joel was unconscious for.And regarding the choice – 1. it’s just the story we wanted to tell and 2. it’s not a story-choice-based game, so to cram a major choice in at the last, final, epic set-up would’ve felt forced (to us).

 

What is your guys’ favorite games?

 

Neil: Ico, Resident Evil 4, and Monkey Island 2 (best ending for a videogame).Bruce: In no order: ICO RE4 Yoshi’s Island hmmm… Fatal Frame II (only because no game has scared me like that ever before) what else… why are all these old japanese games? I just played Hotline Miami. That was some good fun! Not on the all-time list, but on a 2013 best of for sure OH! Limbo was awesome… ’nuff…

 

Would you rather fight 1 Joel sized Ellie, or 2 Ellie sized Joels?

 

Bruce: 2 Ellie-sized Joels.

 

Did story come before gameplay?

 

The concept of structuring an entire game around a relationship between two characters came first and was always at the heart of development.

 

Is there any truth to the rumors of the film?

 

Nope.

 

Were there any scenes that you guys wrote that later on that you decided were too brutal or intense and had them removed?

 

No. We were shocked no one ever asked us to tone down or censor any scenes.

 

What made you want to use Joel for the main character of a post-apocalyptic tale, as opposed to more ‘rugged’ names?

 

His original name was Ethan, but we felt it was too close to Nathan. I’m sure that can lead you to find out where the name Joel came from. 

 

Is there anything you would change about the game if you could or do you still believe it is as good as it can be?

 

With the time/resources we had… I truly believe we made the best game possible.Are there things we could’ve iterated on with more time/budget? Of course.

 

Can you talk about some of the hurdles and/or compromises the team had to make in order for the AI to help or challenge the player? How do you see this system evolving over time with regards to newer technology?

 

1. AI is **bleep** hard. 2. Our programmers are amazing. 3. AI is STILL reeeally **bleep** hard even with amazing programmersAll sorts of trials & tribulations with our adventure in making great AI. maybe too many to get into here – but a couple things… having an Ally with the player in stealth encounters is probably the most difficult problem we could have tried to solve, and “we” (the royal industry we) need time to implement, iterate, and find solutions to the problems that will only come up by having actual set-ups in the game to help steer the tech direction… dunno if I’m answering this well… another early goal for the enemies what we had to create a “dynamic front” due to the flexibility we wanted the players to be able to take with our more wide-linear layouts. it meant the AI had to be able to recognize a new “front” where they’d be safe – and analyze the environment & collision to create new dynamic flanks based on wherever the player was… ok I’m rambling. Max Dyckhoff did an AMA earlier, maybe he said something smart about the AI! haha

 

Was it easier to create a completely fictional world like Jak & Daxter or was it easier to create a world based on real life like in The Last of Us?

 

AREYOUKIDDINGME?!?! haha. Jak and Daxter would be a luxury to design in that world again. Story would be hard to have depth though. Those characters are who they are now – it’s hard to infuse them with the motivations & choices we’d need them to have to make a compelling story (we tried early before we decided to make TLOU). A grounded world is a difficult solution space to design in though. But nothing good comes for free…

 

Can we please get Jak 4?

 

We tried and failed.  Maybe in the future we’ll try again.

 

What was the most emotional moment in the game for you?

 

I usually tear up during the giraffe sequence. I’m really proud of what we accomplished with that moment.

 

When you first played the game when you where finished with development, how many of the doctors did you kill at the end?

 

Neil: I kill all three every time. :smileymad:

 

Whatever happened to the concept art of Joel and Ellie laughing there **bleep** off by a fire? Or Joel teaching Ellie to fire a gun at a nearby farm?

 

They were inspirational images for the tone we were after. They were never meant to be specific moments in the story.

 

Did you shape the world around Joel and Ellie as characters or was it the world you created that formed the characters?

 

Ellie and Joel were first. Then came story genre and world.

 

As female Hunters/cannibals/Fireflies/military exist in concept art and in the multiplayer mode, why do we only fight male humans in the game?

 

Development time & memory prevented us from seeing the female hunters to completion.

 

What were some infected concepts and stages that you cut from the game?

 

Fungus growing on the environments that shot poison darts at the player were at one point in the game.

 

Why are there no pictures of Sarah’s mother in Joel’s house? Is it because even before he lost Sarah, Joel wasn’t one for holding onto the past?

 

The backstory was that she left Joel after Sarah was born. Not someone he looked up to to keep a picture around.

 

Did David always have such tastes or was that just a byproduct of post-pandemic lawless living conditions?

 

David’s cannibalism came after the outbreak. His other traits (both good & bad) were always there.

 

What made you decide to keep the original ending for The Last of Us even though it did not necessarily test well with your focus groups?

 

It felt honest. Anything else felt like we were pandering.

 

Any chance of patching the censored multiplayer in England and the rest of Europe?

 

The censorship came from standards in Europe. Nothing we can do about it. Sorry.

 

What made you guys decide to switch from the more upbeat tone of Uncharted to the gritty, realistic and emotionally draining The Last of Us?

 

We’re fans of the genre and felt we could create a good character driven experience in that tackled more mature themes.

 

Was there anything you wanted to put into The Last of Usthat was too dark or morbid for the game?

 

Nope. We got a lot of morbid out of our systems. We did tone down some of Ellie’s deaths during the David boss fight as they felt like too much to us.

 

Do you think your team can make a game of this quality again?

 

We always try to top our last game. So that’s the plan.

 

What was the hardest thing to program in the game?

 

Ellie. All of Ellie. and more specifically ally AI in stealth combat.

 

Do you have any plans on expanding Ish’s story?

 

Not yet, but we really liked what we found with that story-within-a-story concept.

 

Have you considered adding any infected game mode in multiplayer?

 

Bruce: We’ve considered it…Neil: Yes, but they didn’t pan out.

 

What game was better to work on, The Last of Us orUncharted?

 

Bruce: **bleep**. Both have their ups and downs (in production terms). For me [Uncharted 2] was my first time stepping into the Game Director role, so that was a fresh & exciting (maybe naive but super open) time, but [The Last of Us] was something special, and challenging. I saw a video of [Uncharted 2[ the other day and had some pleasant feelings of nostalgia bubble up, and seeing the fan art and people's reactions to [The Last of Us] has been extremely exhilarating. They both win! Neil: Jak X 

 

How come the cover system and running while crouched ended up being removed from the final game?

 

Design decisions. We wanted the game to be as fluid as possible & a cover button just wasn’t flowing with the stealth. Regarding crouch-sprint, it just complicated the controls too much & people just ended up crouching around the entire game. It looked funny, and there wasn’t any risk-reward to the decision to either crouch, stand, or sprint… so being more discreet made it clearer for the players what the consequences of their choices were going to be.

 

Bruce, is it true that you draw power from those around you with your beard?

 

Neil: It was true, until he slayed the demon that inhabited his beard. Now I have to look at his bare face every day. Yuk.Bruce: Yes. All true. Though since the game shipped I felt I had TOO MUCH POWER, so I shaved it.

 

Do you think your team can make a game of this quality again?

 

Funny thing, is we really just make games that we think would be fun to us. Sure, there’s a gap we saw in the industry, that there hasn’t been a really good character-driven story in the survival genre done yet, but when kicking around the ideas for the game with Neil, it just sounded awesome. So we made that. That’s all we should hope for any developer! Make what you want to play!

 

Were the Jak & Daxter easter eggs to commemorate the fact that The Last of Us was almost going to be Jak 4 instead?

 

It’s somehow become an unspoken Naughty Dog tradition to put a Precursor Orb in all of our games. So no, nothing is being said with that.

 

What phases of development did the Naughty Dog team have to go through when creating The Last of Us? Was any code reusable from the Uncharted series?Phases?

 

Pre-production and hell. And yeah, the foundation we started with was the Uncharted engine. We ended up rewriting the AI system from scratch and added some features to our rendering engine (along with misc other stuff), but most of the core tech was the Uncharted engine.

 

http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1jg952/hi_were_neil_druckmann_creative_director_and/

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Fender Bender
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Re: Ish DLC hinted by Druckman?

Jul 31, 2013

Yem-Yems, can we make this thread the official Reddit Q & A thread to avoid the inevitable clutter of people rushing here after the Q & A is over?

http://images.wikia.com/uncyclopedia/images/b/b9/Garfreakeld.png


I luv kitty cats cuz they're very furry n cute. meow!
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Naughty Host
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Re: Ish DLC hinted by Druckman?

Jul 31, 2013
Sure, but I'm on mobile at the moment. Will get to my computer in about an hour.

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Fender Bender
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Re: Ish DLC hinted by Druckman?

Jul 31, 2013

Soon-ish

 

Soon-ish

 

Soon-ish

 

I choose to believe

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Re: Ish DLC hinted by Druckman?

Jul 31, 2013

If this is true. 

 

All of my YES......ISH.


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Re: Ish DLC hinted by Druckman?

Jul 31, 2013
Ish >>> fish.
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Re: Ish DLC hinted by Druckman?

Jul 31, 2013
What are your plans for the future of The Last of Us?

Currently working on single-player DLC. Talking about other ideas.

Can we please have some more?

DLC is going to amazing! Just wait! We’re happy with what we’ve come up with.Was The Last of Us ending controversial internally? How many possible ideas did you have for it?

Initially, yeah… ending we ultimately went with didn’t sit well with some members of the team. Once it was more fleshed out, it became an easier sell. We went through about 3 or 4 ideas before finding the ending that worked best for the story we wanted to tell.What were some of the other endings?We had a happier ending at one point… where Ellie & Joel were driving completely contented & satisfied with their adventures off into a glorious sunset… but that didn’t feel right. It just wasn’t honest to the world or the characters we created. This ending felt right for us.Can you elaborate on the alternate endings?We’ll share some of them at a panel Bruce and I are doing at PAX. More info to come.I’ve heard that, according to the Japanese instruction manual, Joel and Ellie’s last names are Miller and Williams. Is this true?Those were names that were used in early docs, but we decided to remove all last names for main characters pretty early in development — no sure how they made it to any released manuals. So no, Ellie’s and Joel’s last names aren’t revealed. The only main character who’s last name you can find is Riley’s.How difficult was it bringing this new IP to the PS3 so late in its life cycle and where’s UnKarted?1) It was surprisingly much easier that we thought It’d be. Sony has a lot of trust with us.2) UnKarted: Train Combat Racing X is on it’s way. Is it difficult to fully immerse yourself and enjoy the gameafter you’ve spent years making it?Well, it’s always hard playing a game that we’ve been so ‘attached at the hip’ to for so long without seeing the flaws. I mean, “art is never finished, just abandoned”, right? And with video game development it’s even worse. But I can say when playing through the game more strung together, I teared up at moments that I KNEW were actually going to happen. That was cool! I think some of it was the relief of 3+ years and a lot of blood, sweat & tears manifest on the joystick. What a relief!If you’d made the game for PS4, what would you have done differently? Who is sexier, Troy Baker or Nolan North?1. Memory wouldn’t be as much of an issue. we had to jump through so many hoops to get this game streaming (no load screens in our games still. YAY!)2. Ashley Johnson Will there ever be more story content from the universe thatEllie and Joel live in centering around the two characters?It’s possible. We’re playing with some ideas, but no direction has been set yet for the next game.What was the biggest challenge Naughty Dog as a team had to go through?Growing to become a multi-project company has been extremely difficult.Do you plan on making more comics after The Last of Us: American Dreams?Don’t know yet. Entertaining some ideas, though.Do you guys plan on making a big entrance into next-gen with your next game?We always make a big entrance.When can we expect any DLC news?News is on the way about the first DLC drop. Should hear about it this month [Ed. he probably means August].Why weren’t there any 3 way fights between Joel, hunters, and infected in the single player? Was it a technical issue?Not a technical issue. We actually had the tech to do it, it just never fit with the story.Was any sequence cut from the game that either of you wish could have made the final cut?Infected vs humans would’ve been awesome, and there were 3 (I think? hard to remember right now) areas in the game we had it slated, but as we got deeper in production & animations & models started getting fleshed out, it came down to such a huge memory hit that we couldn’t afford it without rather large re-jiggering… so we opted to cut it. Yeah… I know Why would the Firefly’s not give Joel an opportunity to talk to Ellie? Why rush the surgery? Why not give Ellie the choice to have the surgery?All off screen, so we’re leaving all this for your interpretation… BUT you COULD say Marlene was weary of Joel and/or you don’t reeeeally know how long Joel was unconscious for.And regarding the choice – 1. it’s just the story we wanted to tell and 2. it’s not a story-choice-based game, so to cram a major choice in at the last, final, epic set-up would’ve felt forced (to us).What is your guys’ favorite games?Neil: Ico, Resident Evil 4, and Monkey Island 2 (best ending for a videogame).Bruce: In no order: ICO RE4 Yoshi’s Island hmmm… Fatal Frame II (only because no game has scared me like that ever before) what else… why are all these old japanese games? I just played Hotline Miami. That was some good fun! Not on the all-time list, but on a 2013 best of for sure OH! Limbo was awesome… ’nuff…Would you rather fight 1 Joel sized Ellie, or 2 Ellie sized Joels?Bruce: 2 Ellie-sized Joels.Did story come before gameplay?The concept of structuring an entire game around a relationship between two characters came first and was always at the heart of development.Is there any truth to the rumors of the film?Nope.Were there any scenes that you guys wrote that later on that you decided were too brutal or intense and had them removed?No. We were shocked no one ever asked us to tone down or censor any scenes.What made you want to use Joel for the main character of a post-apocalyptic tale, as opposed to more ‘rugged’ names?His original name was Ethan, but we felt it was too close to Nathan. I’m sure that can lead you to find out where the name Joel came from. Is there anything you would change about the game if you could or do you still believe it is as good as it can be?With the time/resources we had… I truly believe we made the best game possible. Are there things we could’ve iterated on with more time/budget? Of course. Can you talk about some of the hurdles and/or compromises the team had to make in order for the AI to help or challenge the player? How do you see this system evolving over time with regards to newer technology?1. AI is **bleep** hard. 2. Our programmers are amazing. 3. AI is STILL reeeally **bleep** hard even with amazing programmersAll sorts of trials & tribulations with our adventure in making great AI. maybe too many to get into here – but a couple things… having an Ally with the player in stealth encounters is probably the most difficult problem we could have tried to solve, and “we” (the royal industry we) need time to implement, iterate, and find solutions to the problems that will only come up by having actual set-ups in the game to help steer the tech direction… dunno if I’m answering this well… another early goal for the enemies what we had to create a “dynamic front” due to the flexibility we wanted the players to be able to take with our more wide-linear layouts. it meant the AI had to be able to recognize a new “front” where they’d be safe – and analyze the environment & collision to create new dynamic flanks based on wherever the player was… ok I’m rambling. Max Dyckhoff did an AMA earlier, maybe he said something smart about the AI! hahaWas it easier to create a completely fictional world like Jak & Daxter or was it easier to create a world based on real life like in The Last of Us?AREYOUKIDDINGME?!?! haha. Jak and Daxter would be a luxury to design in that world again. Story would be hard to have depth though. Those characters are who they are now – it’s hard to infuse them with the motivations & choices we’d need them to have to make a compelling story (we tried early before we decided to make TLOU). A grounded world is a difficult solution space to design in though. But nothing good comes for free…Can we please get Jak 4?We tried and failed.  Maybe in the future we’ll try again.What was the most emotional moment in the game for you?I usually tear up during the giraffe sequence. I’m really proud of what we accomplished with that moment.When you first played the game when you where finished with development, how many of the doctors did you kill at the end?Neil: I kill all three every time. :smileymad:Whatever happened to the concept art of Joel and Ellie laughing there **bleep** off by a fire? Or Joel teaching Ellie to fire a gun at a nearby farm?They were inspirational images for the tone we were after. They were never meant to be specific moments in the story.Did you shape the world around Joel and Ellie as characters or was it the world you created that formed the characters?Ellie and Joel were first. Then came story genre and world.As female Hunters/cannibals/Fireflies/military exist in concept art and in the multiplayer mode, why do we only fight male humans in the game?Development time & memory prevented us from seeing the female hunters to completion.What were some infected concepts and stages that you cut from the game?Fungus growing on the environments that shot poison darts at the player were at one point in the game.Why are there no pictures of Sarah’s mother in Joel’s house? Is it because even before he lost Sarah, Joel wasn’t one for holding onto the past?The backstory was that she left Joel after Sarah was born. Not someone he looked up to to keep a picture around.Did David always have such tastes or was that just a byproduct of post-pandemic lawless living conditions?David’s cannibalism came after the outbreak. His other traits (both good & bad) were always there.What made you decide to keep the original ending for The Last of Us even though it did not necessarily test well with your focus groups?It felt honest. Anything else felt like we were pandering.Any chance of patching the censored multiplayer in England and the rest of Europe?The censorship came from standards in Europe. Nothing we can do about it. Sorry.What made you guys decide to switch from the more upbeat tone of Uncharted to the gritty, realistic and emotionally draining The Last of Us?We’re fans of the genre and felt we could create a good character driven experience in that tackled more mature themes.Was there anything you wanted to put into The Last of Usthat was too dark or morbid for the game?Nope. We got a lot of morbid out of our systems. We did tone down some of Ellie’s deaths during the David boss fight as they felt like too much to us.Do you think your team can make a game of this quality again?We always try to top our last game. So that’s the plan.What was the hardest thing to program in the game?Ellie. All of Ellie. and more specifically ally AI in stealth combat.Do you have any plans on expanding Ish’s story?Not yet, but we really liked what we found with that story-within-a-story concept.Have you considered adding any infected game mode in multiplayer?Bruce: We’ve considered it…Neil: Yes, but they didn’t pan out.What game was better to work on, The Last of Us orUncharted?Bruce: **bleep**. Both have their ups and downs (in production terms). For me [Uncharted 2] was my first time stepping into the Game Director role, so that was a fresh & exciting (maybe naive but super open) time, but [The Last of Us] was something special, and challenging. I saw a video of [Uncharted 2[ the other day and had some pleasant feelings of nostalgia bubble up, and seeing the fan art and people's reactions to [The Last of Us] has been extremely exhilarating. They both win! Neil: Jak X How come the cover system and running while crouched ended up being removed from the final game?Design decisions. We wanted the game to be as fluid as possible & a cover button just wasn’t flowing with the stealth. Regarding crouch-sprint, it just complicated the controls too much & people just ended up crouching around the entire game. It looked funny, and there wasn’t any risk-reward to the decision to either crouch, stand, or sprint… so being more discreet made it clearer for the players what the consequences of their choices were going to be.Bruce, is it true that you draw power from those around you with your beard?Neil: It was true, until he slayed the demon that inhabited his beard. Now I have to look at his bare face every day. Yuk.Bruce: Yes. All true. Though since the game shipped I felt I had TOO MUCH POWER, so I shaved it.Do you think your team can make a game of this quality again?Funny thing, is we really just make games that we think would be fun to us. Sure, there’s a gap we saw in the industry, that there hasn’t been a really good character-driven story in the survival genre done yet, but when kicking around the ideas for the game with Neil, it just sounded awesome. So we made that. That’s all we should hope for any developer! Make what you want to play!Were the Jak & Daxter easter eggs to commemorate the fact that The Last of Us was almost going to be Jak 4 instead?It’s somehow become an unspoken Naughty Dog tradition to put a Precursor Orb in all of our games. So no, nothing is being said with that.What phases of development did the Naughty Dog team have to go through when creating The Last of Us? Was any code reusable from the Uncharted series?Phases? Pre-production and hell. And yeah, the foundation we started with was the Uncharted engine. We ended up rewriting the AI system from scratch and added some features to our rendering engine (along with misc other stuff), but most of the core tech was the Uncharted engine.


SOMEBODY FIX THIS!!!

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Gaming Beast
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Re: Ish DLC hinted by Druckman?

Aug 1, 2013

^ Not it.


Joel: That's alright. I believe him.
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Fender Bender
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Re: Ish DLC hinted by Druckman?

Aug 1, 2013

I'll take one for the team.

 

What are your plans for the future of The Last of Us?

Currently working on single-player DLC. Talking about other ideas.

Can we please have some more?

DLC is going to amazing! Just wait! We’re happy with what we’ve come up with.

 

Was The Last of Us ending controversial internally? How many possible ideas did you have for it?

Initially, yeah… ending we ultimately went with didn’t sit well with some members of the team. Once it was more fleshed out, it became an easier sell. We went through about 3 or 4 ideas before finding the ending that worked best for the story we wanted to tell.

 

What were some of the other endings?

 

We had a happier ending at one point… where Ellie & Joel were driving completely contented & satisfied with their adventures off into a glorious sunset… but that didn’t feel right. It just wasn’t honest to the world or the characters we created. This ending felt right for us.

 

Can you elaborate on the alternate endings?

 

We’ll share some of them at a panel Bruce and I are doing at PAX. More info to come.

 

I’ve heard that, according to the Japanese instruction manual, Joel and Ellie’s last names are Miller and Williams. Is this true?

 

Those were names that were used in early docs, but we decided to remove all last names for main characters pretty early in development — no sure how they made it to any released manuals. So no, Ellie’s and Joel’s last names aren’t revealed.The only main character who’s last name you can find is Riley’s.

 

How difficult was it bringing this new IP to the PS3 so late in its life cycle and where’s UnKarted?

 

1) It was surprisingly much easier that we thought It’d be. Sony has a lot of trust with us.2) UnKarted: Train Combat Racing X is on it’s way. 

 

Is it difficult to fully immerse yourself and enjoy the gameafter you’ve spent years making it?

 

Well, it’s always hard playing a game that we’ve been so ‘attached at the hip’ to for so long without seeing the flaws. I mean, “art is never finished, just abandoned”, right? And with video game development it’s even worse. But I can say when playing through the game more strung together, I teared up at moments that I KNEW were actually going to happen. That was cool! I think some of it was the relief of 3+ years and a lot of blood, sweat & tears manifest on the joystick. What a relief!

 

If you’d made the game for PS4, what would you have done differently? Who is sexier, Troy Baker or Nolan North?

 

1. Memory wouldn’t be as much of an issue. we had to jump through so many hoops to get this game streaming (no load screens in our games still. YAY!)2. Ashley Johnson 

 

Will there ever be more story content from the universe thatEllie and Joel live in centering around the two characters?

 

It’s possible. We’re playing with some ideas, but no direction has been set yet for the next game.

 

What was the biggest challenge Naughty Dog as a team had to go through?

 

Growing to become a multi-project company has been extremely difficult.

 

Do you plan on making more comics after The Last of Us: American Dreams?

 

Don’t know yet. Entertaining some ideas, though.

 

Do you guys plan on making a big entrance into next-gen with your next game?

 

We always make a big entrance.

 

When can we expect any DLC news?

 

News is on the way about the first DLC drop. Should hear about it this month [Ed. he probably means August].

 

Why weren’t there any 3 way fights between Joel, hunters, and infected in the single player? Was it a technical issue?

 

Not a technical issue. We actually had the tech to do it, it just never fit with the story.

 

Was any sequence cut from the game that either of you wish could have made the final cut?

 

Infected vs humans would’ve been awesome, and there were 3 (I think? hard to remember right now) areas in the game we had it slated, but as we got deeper in production & animations & models started getting fleshed out, it came down to such a huge memory hit that we couldn’t afford it without rather large re-jiggering… so we opted to cut it. Yeah… I know 

 

Why would the Firefly’s not give Joel an opportunity to talk to Ellie? Why rush the surgery? Why not give Ellie the choice to have the surgery?

 

All off screen, so we’re leaving all this for your interpretation… BUT you COULD say Marlene was weary of Joel and/or you don’t reeeeally know how long Joel was unconscious for.And regarding the choice – 1. it’s just the story we wanted to tell and 2. it’s not a story-choice-based game, so to cram a major choice in at the last, final, epic set-up would’ve felt forced (to us).

 

What is your guys’ favorite games?

 

Neil: Ico, Resident Evil 4, and Monkey Island 2 (best ending for a videogame).Bruce: In no order: ICO RE4 Yoshi’s Island hmmm… Fatal Frame II (only because no game has scared me like that ever before) what else… why are all these old japanese games? I just played Hotline Miami. That was some good fun! Not on the all-time list, but on a 2013 best of for sure OH! Limbo was awesome… ’nuff…

 

Would you rather fight 1 Joel sized Ellie, or 2 Ellie sized Joels?

 

Bruce: 2 Ellie-sized Joels.

 

Did story come before gameplay?

 

The concept of structuring an entire game around a relationship between two characters came first and was always at the heart of development.

 

Is there any truth to the rumors of the film?

 

Nope.

 

Were there any scenes that you guys wrote that later on that you decided were too brutal or intense and had them removed?

 

No. We were shocked no one ever asked us to tone down or censor any scenes.

 

What made you want to use Joel for the main character of a post-apocalyptic tale, as opposed to more ‘rugged’ names?

 

His original name was Ethan, but we felt it was too close to Nathan. I’m sure that can lead you to find out where the name Joel came from. 

 

Is there anything you would change about the game if you could or do you still believe it is as good as it can be?

 

With the time/resources we had… I truly believe we made the best game possible.Are there things we could’ve iterated on with more time/budget? Of course.

 

Can you talk about some of the hurdles and/or compromises the team had to make in order for the AI to help or challenge the player? How do you see this system evolving over time with regards to newer technology?

 

1. AI is **bleep** hard. 2. Our programmers are amazing. 3. AI is STILL reeeally **bleep** hard even with amazing programmersAll sorts of trials & tribulations with our adventure in making great AI. maybe too many to get into here – but a couple things… having an Ally with the player in stealth encounters is probably the most difficult problem we could have tried to solve, and “we” (the royal industry we) need time to implement, iterate, and find solutions to the problems that will only come up by having actual set-ups in the game to help steer the tech direction… dunno if I’m answering this well… another early goal for the enemies what we had to create a “dynamic front” due to the flexibility we wanted the players to be able to take with our more wide-linear layouts. it meant the AI had to be able to recognize a new “front” where they’d be safe – and analyze the environment & collision to create new dynamic flanks based on wherever the player was… ok I’m rambling. Max Dyckhoff did an AMA earlier, maybe he said something smart about the AI! haha

 

Was it easier to create a completely fictional world like Jak & Daxter or was it easier to create a world based on real life like in The Last of Us?

 

AREYOUKIDDINGME?!?! haha. Jak and Daxter would be a luxury to design in that world again. Story would be hard to have depth though. Those characters are who they are now – it’s hard to infuse them with the motivations & choices we’d need them to have to make a compelling story (we tried early before we decided to make TLOU). A grounded world is a difficult solution space to design in though. But nothing good comes for free…

 

Can we please get Jak 4?

 

We tried and failed.  Maybe in the future we’ll try again.

 

What was the most emotional moment in the game for you?

 

I usually tear up during the giraffe sequence. I’m really proud of what we accomplished with that moment.

 

When you first played the game when you where finished with development, how many of the doctors did you kill at the end?

 

Neil: I kill all three every time. :smileymad:

 

Whatever happened to the concept art of Joel and Ellie laughing there **bleep** off by a fire? Or Joel teaching Ellie to fire a gun at a nearby farm?

 

They were inspirational images for the tone we were after. They were never meant to be specific moments in the story.

 

Did you shape the world around Joel and Ellie as characters or was it the world you created that formed the characters?

 

Ellie and Joel were first. Then came story genre and world.

 

As female Hunters/cannibals/Fireflies/military exist in concept art and in the multiplayer mode, why do we only fight male humans in the game?

 

Development time & memory prevented us from seeing the female hunters to completion.

 

What were some infected concepts and stages that you cut from the game?

 

Fungus growing on the environments that shot poison darts at the player were at one point in the game.

 

Why are there no pictures of Sarah’s mother in Joel’s house? Is it because even before he lost Sarah, Joel wasn’t one for holding onto the past?

 

The backstory was that she left Joel after Sarah was born. Not someone he looked up to to keep a picture around.

 

Did David always have such tastes or was that just a byproduct of post-pandemic lawless living conditions?

 

David’s cannibalism came after the outbreak. His other traits (both good & bad) were always there.

 

What made you decide to keep the original ending for The Last of Us even though it did not necessarily test well with your focus groups?

 

It felt honest. Anything else felt like we were pandering.

 

Any chance of patching the censored multiplayer in England and the rest of Europe?

 

The censorship came from standards in Europe. Nothing we can do about it. Sorry.

 

What made you guys decide to switch from the more upbeat tone of Uncharted to the gritty, realistic and emotionally draining The Last of Us?

 

We’re fans of the genre and felt we could create a good character driven experience in that tackled more mature themes.

 

Was there anything you wanted to put into The Last of Usthat was too dark or morbid for the game?

 

Nope. We got a lot of morbid out of our systems. We did tone down some of Ellie’s deaths during the David boss fight as they felt like too much to us.

 

Do you think your team can make a game of this quality again?

 

We always try to top our last game. So that’s the plan.

 

What was the hardest thing to program in the game?

 

Ellie. All of Ellie. and more specifically ally AI in stealth combat.

 

Do you have any plans on expanding Ish’s story?

 

Not yet, but we really liked what we found with that story-within-a-story concept.

 

Have you considered adding any infected game mode in multiplayer?

 

Bruce: We’ve considered it…Neil: Yes, but they didn’t pan out.

 

What game was better to work on, The Last of Us orUncharted?

 

Bruce: **bleep**. Both have their ups and downs (in production terms). For me [Uncharted 2] was my first time stepping into the Game Director role, so that was a fresh & exciting (maybe naive but super open) time, but [The Last of Us] was something special, and challenging. I saw a video of [Uncharted 2[ the other day and had some pleasant feelings of nostalgia bubble up, and seeing the fan art and people's reactions to [The Last of Us] has been extremely exhilarating. They both win! Neil: Jak X 

 

How come the cover system and running while crouched ended up being removed from the final game?

 

Design decisions. We wanted the game to be as fluid as possible & a cover button just wasn’t flowing with the stealth. Regarding crouch-sprint, it just complicated the controls too much & people just ended up crouching around the entire game. It looked funny, and there wasn’t any risk-reward to the decision to either crouch, stand, or sprint… so being more discreet made it clearer for the players what the consequences of their choices were going to be.

 

Bruce, is it true that you draw power from those around you with your beard?

 

Neil: It was true, until he slayed the demon that inhabited his beard. Now I have to look at his bare face every day. Yuk.Bruce: Yes. All true. Though since the game shipped I felt I had TOO MUCH POWER, so I shaved it.

 

Do you think your team can make a game of this quality again?

 

Funny thing, is we really just make games that we think would be fun to us. Sure, there’s a gap we saw in the industry, that there hasn’t been a really good character-driven story in the survival genre done yet, but when kicking around the ideas for the game with Neil, it just sounded awesome. So we made that. That’s all we should hope for any developer! Make what you want to play!

 

Were the Jak & Daxter easter eggs to commemorate the fact that The Last of Us was almost going to be Jak 4 instead?

 

It’s somehow become an unspoken Naughty Dog tradition to put a Precursor Orb in all of our games. So no, nothing is being said with that.

 

What phases of development did the Naughty Dog team have to go through when creating The Last of Us? Was any code reusable from the Uncharted series?Phases?

 

Pre-production and hell. And yeah, the foundation we started with was the Uncharted engine. We ended up rewriting the AI system from scratch and added some features to our rendering engine (along with misc other stuff), but most of the core tech was the Uncharted engine.

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Monster Hunter
Registered: 12/18/2010
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Re: Ish DLC hinted by Druckman?

Aug 1, 2013
yah, im the guy who replied to that lol
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