PAX East 2010: The “Naughty Dog LIVE – Game Design with the Dogs” Panel

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We’ve all returned – and mostly recuperated – from our trip to Boston this past weekend to attend PAX East. It was both a pleasure and an honor to make it out for the inaugural PAX on the East Coast, not only to attend the show, but also to participate in panels. Everyone at Penny Arcade deserves all our gratitude for putting together such a smooth first –- and completely sold out PAX in Boston. We’re looking forward to PAX East 2011!

Naughty Dog at PAX East 2010_2

We weren’t expecting the massive turnout for our panel on Saturday, “Naughty Dog LIVE: Game Design with the Dogs.” When I got to the Naga Theater to setup for our panel, the line waiting to get in was insane – and it was a whole half-hour before our panel was due to start. I heard some people had been waiting in line for over an hour at one point. It was sad to hear that PAX Enforcers had to turn away a ton of people waiting to get in by the time they started to fill the theater. There is no doubt that it was awesome for us to see that kind of turnout, but it was also a little bittersweet that we couldn’t get in everybody who wanted to attend.

Our panel focused on showing the inner workings of how game design works at Naughty Dog, led by game designers Richard Lemarchand, Jacob Minkoff and Justin Richmond. We picked a spot in UNCHARTED: Drake’s Fortune that had a minor narrative hole – between Chapters 3 and 4 – and used that as the basis to explore a fictional Chapter 3.5 we titled “Strip Search.” The first half of the panel was spent laying out the objectives for the design of this chapter and the type of structure and pacing that was important for us to maintain so that everything would fit neatly into the UNCHARTED universe in look and feel.

Jacob fired up Autodesk Maya for the second half of the panel and loaded an example blockmesh level for Chapter 3.5 that he sketched out in his spare time over the couple of weeks leading up to PAX East. It was Jacob’s responsibility on the panel to pitch his level to Richard and Justin, explain his game design choices, and receive feedback to demonstrate our collaborative and iterative design process. We also stopped briefly and turned to our audience to let them give us their ideas on how to solve a specific design challenge within the level.

Naughty Dog at PAX East 2010_1

Unfortunately we started to run out of time towards the end, because we wanted to talk about how to turn this level into one that works in our multiplayer game and also open up the floor one more time to get suggestions from our audience. Perhaps we can get to that another time if we ever get a chance to do a similar panel.

Once it was all over, we met with a lot of our fans in the audience that came up to chat. We’re really grateful to have such awesome fans and we owe you all thanks for attending our panel and coming up to say hi!

If you were at PAX East and weren’t able to get into our panel – and I know there were a lot of you – you can read a recap of our panel on Joystiq. In addition, we should have the full video of our panel available on sometime in the next couple of weeks. Check back later on to check it out!

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6 Author Replies

  • We all love the dogs. Keep up the great game design.

  • Screw the so called dogs. They had a GREAT game until the screwed it up with so called updates. Now it’s like everyother shooter game. Why do people feel everygame need to be like Camp of Duty.

    • We made updates to our game to have it play the way we wanted it not play, not to compete or emulate any other game. Sorry you don’t like it now – you can’t keep everybody happy all of the time.

  • NaughtyDog For The F’in Win!!! Great job Dogs!

  • sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

  • Gaara_Of_TheFunk

    You guys are awesome Keep up the good work. @2 please keep the negativity to yourself;)

  • Free Country last I checked

  • Great job Naughty Dog. The only thing I wanna complain about is if you can release free DLC with trophies. Other than that. keep up the great work.

  • I haven’t been able to play uncharted 2, it keeps freezing on the initial loading screen, any way of fixing it? =/ the problems started a week ago, i bought the dlc that same week and haven’t been able to play it.

  • Naughty DOg rocks! I hope you guys are ready for Uncharted 3! :D
    All i can say is, don’t rush it, keep the games great!

  • Tarnation.. I was hoping for a video.

    • We have video and we’re working on editing it right now. It will take us longer than a few days, and we didn’t want to wait to write up a blog post.

  • OMG they are using a Mac! Does he realise Media Go isn’t Mac compatible :(

  • Looking forward to the video. Please post it here as well!

  • @BusyManDan is right, competitive multiplayer is crap now, i hardly even play uncharted 2 anymore if i do i’ll go for the survival and gold rush co-op games! its unfair to the community that they keep changing the game with these so-called “updates”! its not the game we bought in Oct. 13 for 60$ they should add a seperate playlist to the competitive multiplayer (like 1.04 and 1.06) That would satisfy both parties!

  • i always thought ur game was the best until 1.06 (tho its SP is still awesome). this is not an online beta so don’t change core mechanics, just tweak it because im really not liking these updates changing the damage system

  • awsome games but i would love to see a new crash bandicot its been awhile i know please by the way looking forward to next weekend getting my copy of uncharted 2 i really like the first one those monsters unexpected lol

    • We don’t own the Crash Bandicoot property anymore. It was originally owned by Universal Interactive when we were working for them and, after some owner changes through the years, is now owned by Activision and thus, we won’t be able to work on Crash anymore.

  • I was in the second row, glad to see this make it online because it was definitely the best panel at PAX last weekend. Tried taking some pictures and audio, but look forward to the video!! Thanks for delivering an awesome panel again, guys.


  • I wanted, more than anything, to visit the Naughty Dog panel. :( But unfortunately for me, I had to represent Ubisoft as a Frag Doll Cadette, so I wasn’t able to attend! :/ Work, work, work. Blah.

    But I really love NaughtyDog, and when I saw that line queued up waiting for your panel, I wished more than anything that I was just an attendee and not an exhibitor just so I could go!!

    I’ll for sure read the Joystiq article, and I can’t wait to see what you guys put up on your website! :) Love Uncharted TONS!

    • We’ll have video of the full panel eventually, so hopefully that will make you feel less blah about missing it

  • Lost another ‘Famous Game’ ? As we lost our ‘OtherOS’ …

  • Uncharted 2 was awesome. Any chance for a Jak game on the PS3? :D

  • Any plans on completing this 3.5 level and implementing it into the game?

    • No, that was never in the plans and we’re not going to be working on it. Would have been cool if we could have done something you could get somehow – say as an MP map or something, but for this panel it was all just an exercise.

  • Why is it that Naughty Dog rocks so much? Maybe you guys can have a panel about that.

  • How come they got pax first this year? I thought Seattle always gets it first?

  • you guys still upset over 3.21. If you miss the OtherOS feature so much why not request for it to return in PSblog share the next big update, and stop trying to threaten Sony. Bad enough you users are constantly insulating them by asking for hardware and software from the xbox360 which implies you hate the Ps3 so much you want them to turn it into an xbox.

  • insulting*

  • First, I see that Arne is answering to our comments, and it’s totally cool of you !

    Uncharted 2 is the best game I ever played on PS3, and I think ND is doing the best job we could ever hope for this game, there is some trouble with the 1.06, it doesn’t matter, I’m sure they are working on it !
    That kind of initiative is really awesome, too bad it’s not happening in Paris :D, I’m waiting for the video !

    Plus, when do you think we’ll now more about the next DLC planned april 15th?

    Thanks !

  • Sweet, I love you NaughtyDog. I’m on my 3rd play-through of Uncharted 2 and enjoying every bit of it. I am also enjoying online as well.

    My only complaint about online is that the finding players action takes forever, but never stops me from playing :).

    Stay cool ND.

  • good job!!! when i bought uncharted 2 it was hands down the best game i have ever played. good luck in the future

  • I love your game and the new updates make it so much better. Please give us more maps, I can’t get enough of U2!

  • I really enjoyed Uncharted 1 and 2 up until the monsters appeared. I really hope Uncharted 3 will not have those. If I wanted monsters, I’d get doom or some other game. Strange how bad childhood memories stick?

  • I would like to play some more coop missions them 3 are gettin Old now. B.O.N

  • Has the video been uploaded yet? Really want to see it! :)

  • Arne wrote: We made updates to our game to have it play the way we wanted it not play, not to compete or emulate any other game. Sorry you don’t like it now – you can’t keep everybody happy all of the time.

    Bullshіt. You made the game you wanted to play and released it on October 13, 2009. Then you made a poll asking regular idiots if they wanted reduced health, and being the CoDfags they are, they votes yes. Then you broke the game. People bought and want the game they got on October 13, 2009. Get your heads out of your asses, wipe the shіt off, an realize we don’t care about you saving face or worrying about embarrassment. We want the game we bought back, or we want our money back + reimbursement for our wasted time. Stop with your spinning of information, and make up for your sins.

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