Ever since its delay, Uncharted 4 developers have taken a step back on releases about the game hence we’ve have not had a good inflow of news from either Sony or Naughty Dog recently. But now, during a livestream to support Operation Supply Drop 2015, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Environment Artist Andrew Maximov and Character Concept Artist Richard Lyons shared a bit about their role in the Naughty Dog team.
Going Into Detail with the Uncharted 4 Developers
The character concept artist Richard Lyon mentioned the outline of his work as a concept artist for Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. He mentioned that his job involved a lot of communication where he had to brainstorm for ideas with the designers and the Creative Directors Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley. He also mentioned that they worked on how to reproduce the characters visually into 2D artwork for the Character Artists to execute the drawings. He explained through an example of his work experience, how a small new IP required required 140 different sketches and images for just a small bit of work and contrasted it with the huge amount of work that would be put into Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
He also went into some of the “Designer Terms” which I personally thought were quite interesting and they actually have names that fit. “Blue Sky” would be the part where the ideas are explored and tested, where you have the horizon to yourself and you can go anywhere. “Closing Doors” is the part where the developers start to actually scrutinise them for which idea is doable according to their vision and their respective possibilities.
He also included some developer considerations where they have to scrutinise factors like stylisation, technicality and their targets in accordance with what they’re trying to achieve.
On the other hand, Environment Artist Andrew Maximov has a sort of duality in his work where he also helps teams solve technical issues in the game. Like he explained how he started working on Drake’s chest hair in the Uncharted 4 and learned that it created a problem with the hair animation for the characters and how the idea of reusing the foliage tech helped to fix it. I know it sounds odd when the developers put it this way but they definitely know what they’re doing if they made it work.
He also explained how they were making newer developments on the game on a daily basis and how exciting it is to know that the work they’re doing is so interestingly innovative.
“That’s one of the things I really love about Naughty Dog, it’s that it’s always like how can we step it up a notch, how can we do it the way no one has ever done before, what can we do that no one has ever done before. And that’s I think the most fun part of my job. It’s coming in every day and knowing that the challenges we’re going to be solving, probably no one has ever solved before, and that’s really cool.”
Where Lyons added how this translated into a positive attitude helping to lift everyone and really create a challenging environment for them. He mentioned how every time something that seems “a little bit outrageous” comes up, the team tackles it as a challenge.
Maximov also mentioned how the studios at Naughty Dog is coming up with the very best experience you can find. He said that there were no time and budget constraints, you won’t hear someone telling you not to try something innovative just because it’s costly or time taking. The attitude at Naughty dog is like “It has to be there, somebody might notice, let’s go put it in, let’s come up with something and make it awesome.”
Well, that’s all we have to share with you. I hope the article was a good read. I certainly had a lot of fun working on such an insider piece. Do let us know your take on the article and the reveals that it covers!