Naughty Dog Not "Itching" For New Hardware
We all know that Uncharted 2: Among Thieves was a rip-roaring success in the eyes of gamers and critics alike, but how do the developers feel about the experience? Well, not surprisingly, they're satisfied with the effort.
In a lengthy G4 interview with Naughty Dog co-founder Evan Wells, we get the inside scoop on how the studio feels about every aspect of the multiplayer, how the ideas for the sequel first came about, the decision to opt for a linear adventure, the difficulty in creating puzzles and the ending, and much more. Feel free to read it all - it's well worth your time - but we'd like to point you to the question of new hardware. G4 asked Wells if he was more comfortable with the PS3 and if he was "itching" to try some new hardware, to which Wells replied:
"We're pretty comfortable with the PS3, and we made a very big advancement between the first game and the second game, we're really tapping into the Cell processor, but there's more there. The first game, it was idle about 70% of the time, which we rectified for the sequel, and now it's at least busy 100% of the time, but it's still not fully-optimized code. I mean, in order to get to that 100%, it was more about making sure the pipeline was filled, and we weren't running into one of the processors becoming idle because there wasn't a job ready for it. But now we have to go into all of those routines and optimize them so we that can get even more done using that Cell processor. It really feels that sometimes it's this bottomless pit of processing power, you find the right kind of job for it and it can just churn through those things so fast, which really helps with a lot of our rendering and post-processing effects.
So yes, we're getting comfortable. No, we're not itching for new hardware. I would love to keep working on the PlayStation  for 5 or 6 more years...I think there's still a lot to get out of it. We're not really feeling limited by the hardware, it's more about the hours of the day and how quickly we want to get the next game out."
Naughty Dog has spoken about their work with the PS3 in the past, and they've continually said they're happy with the console. This latest statement only proves that this particular team certainly plans to keep Sony's machine as a primary focus for future projects. Wells also spoke about what he was "most proud of," and that includes "the accomplishment of the team" and his favorite gameplay portion: the train.
...when we started we said we wanted to create these set piece moments, and a train was sort of a classic experience in these stories. But we wanted to do it differently than most people had done trains before where the train is actually static, so all of your movesets and enemies and AI and everything works because you're traditionally are not playing on moving geometry -- you'll just move the background and that creates the feeling that you're on a train. But you can only go on a straight line. You can't go around turns and bends and up hills, and we wanted to really capture that feeling that you're on the roof of the train and you see it curling around the mountainside up ahead, or you're in one car and the car in front of you is oscillating back and forth, making you adjust your aim. We knew that it was going to be a huge technology effort, and we're going to have to rewrite all of our systems for the AI, for the hero, for the physics...everything was going to have to be revamped. It took a long time to get all of that working, and it was basically the very last level in the game we finished."
Doesn't that make you want to be a developer? Who wants to sign on for Uncharted 3? Hmm...maybe they'll be hiring for it.
Related Game(s): Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
12/28/2009 8:59:32 PM Ben Dutka