Fire, Fistfights and £20 Bills: Brand New Uncharted 3 Interview

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Fire, Fistfights and £20 Bills: Brand New Uncharted 3 Interview

In case you haven’t seen my video interviews with Insomniac Games and thatgamecompany, I was at the PlayStation Experience press event in London last week, talking about the most anticipated PlayStation games of 2011.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception will be right at the top of that list for many fans and I got the chance to sit with Arne Meyer, Community Strategist at Naughty Dog. After half an hour of idle chatter about ice hockey and London’s historic markets, we got on to the game and discussed what Naughty Dog is doing to ensure Drake’s third adventure is the most immersive yet.

To kick things off, which Uncharted 3 level are you showing here today?

We’re showing an extended version of a stage called The Chateau – you may have seen footage of it in the Internet, but what we have here today shows off some of the technical things we’ve been working on, new character interactions and a few gameplay mechanics that people haven’t seen before.

We’ve also brought the 3D trailer that was only previously seen at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.

Care to elaborate on those new gameplay mechanics?

I think that the key ones are the new melee options and an expanded repertoire of stealth movement, one of which sees Drake jump from above for a stealth kill. I’m personally excited about the new brawling moves, which let you take on many enemies at once and use the environment, whether that’s grabbing a chair, slamming an enemy into a wall or even removing their gun and dispatching them that way.

We’ve also taken a look at the traversal gameplay and made some improvements there, many of which are physics based, so objects react more realistically when Drake climbs on top of them. A lot of the work we’re doing is on animation, so that there’s more realism when you start running from standing, for example. Essentially, we’re adding more steps to each character animation so that it blends better when you switch from one routine to another.

Everything we do is aimed at blurring the line between the game and reality, and making the player believe in this world.

Do you do all of your motion capture in the studio?

We have two motion capture captures – a smaller one in the studio that let’s us pick up smaller pieces, like idols, and then we have a dedicated stage at Sony Studios, and that’s where we get both the motion capture and the audio – because we do all of the dialogue at the same time – for both gameplay and cinematics.

It’s big enough for us to set up and perform everything from rehearsals to the final performances, and that approach, which is basically the same as producing a major motion picture, is what makes the performances so fluid and realistic in our games. When we’re in full swing, we’re doing new motion capture every week.

Uncharted 3

The actors you work with always seem so generous with their time, whether that’s rehearsing or appearing at ComicCon, more so than other game actors?

We truly feel that they are part of the studio and they come down a lot on their own. Between working with them solidly for such a long period of time, and giving them input into what their characters are and should be, it’s a lot more collaborative and totally in the spirit of how Naughty Dog operates.

They feel invested in Uncharted, and it’s really appreciated when they take the time out to come along with us to events. They’re popular around the studio and we generally just like having them around.

Uncharted had water and jungle, Uncharted 2 had snow and ice. Which element are you working to perfect with Uncharted 3?

We’re always on the lookout for new technical challenges and we’re really happy with what we’re achieving with our fire effects. It’s not just a static asset – the fire deteriorates the wood realistically and there are blowback effects, like you would expect. The smoke is looking much better this time around.

Uncharted 3_4Uncharted 3_3

If the fire is eating away at the wood in the chateau, will it burn to the ground if you take too long?

You could sit down and watch the chateau burn around you, if you sit there long enough; however, we want the player to proceed through the game at a decent pace so that’s not going to happen. Even in this demo, you can see beams deteriorating as they burn, and you can even take cover behind them when they give way and fall to the floor, only for that cover to disappear when the beam has burned away completely.

Procedural fire is a pretty difficult technical challenge, especially on top of everything else you’re trying to get in the game, but it produces some brilliant effects, like the corners of the wallpaper starting to roll and then igniting, and then the embers flickering in the air. Essentially, we’re programming oxygen and then having the fire follow it around the environment.

I caught a glimpse of a wad of £20s in the teaser trailer we released at the end of last year. Does this mean Drake is coming our way?

Drake is going to be exploring many locations across the world. We’ve only shown two of them, the desert and the chateau, but he’s going to be exploring many different places. We like to drop hints everywhere so you should probably keep your eyes peeled.

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2 Author Replies

  • I was just reading this on the EU blog. I’m really excited to say the least. Keep up the great work guys :)

  • SOLD X 1000!!! 8)

  • UNCHARTED 3 needs to hurry up and get here already. Hopefully we’ll some new details at E3 and GamesCom.

  • Man that looks fantastic. I can’t wait!

  • Thank you guys good work!!! Uncharted 3 Looks Great.


  • “take on many enemies at once and use the environment, whether that’s grabbing a chair, slamming an enemy into a wall or even removing their gun and dispatching them that way.”

    WHAT!?!?! Like in Jackie Chan movies?!?! TOOOO AWWESSOMME!!!!

    Have you guys seen Armour of God 2: Operation Condor?

  • I see Drake Fortune is still up to his mass murdering ways!

  • Uncharted 3 is going to be an Freakin Epic Game for a very long time.

  • I cant wait till 11/1/11!!!!

  • YEAR OF THE PLAYSTATION.OW MY GOD their so many ways to love ya OMG!!!!

  • I love you Drake , No Rainbow

  • I am so excited about this game. Uncharted 2 was the main reason why I bought a PS3… now, three playthrus later and it still impresses me.

    I can’t wait for Uncharted 3

  • In case anyone’s interested…

    In England, a “£20 bill” is what you get after a meal at Pizza Hut

    A “£20 note” is what you see in the trailer :)

  • Very nice post. Love the videos and the content. Thanks a bunch!

  • Would be awesome if they posted the 3D trailer on the psn store

  • The animation of Sully crossing that beam is excellent

  • Awesome! I’m a big Uncharted and naughty Dog fan and I really hope you got something huge for the MP part too!

    Really looking forward to what you guys have to offer in U3’s MP! =) U2 had one of the best MP’s ever!

  • TOTALY AWESOME you just HAVE to realese this demo soon!!!!!!(for free ofc) ;);) rally wish i had this game in my hand right now! but uncharted 2 is also TOTALY FREAKING AWESOME!

  • I hope Naughty Dog releases a COLLECTOR’S EDITION as I would easily fork over $150+ on it… A great series deserves my great money!!!

    U3 is gonna take over my entire 2011 holidays… Not that that’s a bad thing…

    @Stinger_Inc – follow me on twitter & i’ll follow back

  • I’m a Brit now living on the other side of the pond, and the term “£20 bills” tickles me. Still finding these Americanisms adorable after 5 years :-D

    PS. looks great, of course.

  • I’ve just noticed it was posted by a SCEE manager, is was the “bills” quote a localization attempt lol

  • I like it! Now next could you shed some details on the multiplayer soon? Like if Infamous 2 will get the Uncharted 3 beta with it? I must play it as soon as possible!

  • @Mr Gallagher

    I hope they didn’t need to use Google for that translation

  • Can you guys please put the 3D trailer up on PSN :D

  • I want a collectors edition for Uncharted 3 for sure

  • Is it just me or does anyone else feel that there’s too much already being revealed for this game already? I’m afraid it may take the element of surprise for me as I hate spoilers on pretty much anything. Just wondering if anyone is on the same boat…

    Still, I can’t wait for this game. Gonna be nuts!!! I’m just going to try to avoid as much as possible.

  • So awesome, just so awesome. Please do some kind of killer collectors edition…

  • sweet … more info on UC3; keep it coming.

  • Soooo, how about that MP Beta? :)
    Honestly, Uncharted 3 is a really beautiful game.

  • Uncharted 3 just keeps looking amazing!

  • It would seem you guys are tackling on the elements in the third game. Glad you are, because what you’ve done with fire is simply gorgeous.

    There is only one negative thing I can say about the gameplay clip, and that’s the wood chunks simply falling off the wooden column as it burns. From the perspective of animation, it doesn’t look great. I hate saying something negative though, because this game looks beyond amazing.

    Naughty Dog, I also hope you keep the multiplayer pretty close to home. Please don’t alter it substantially for the sake of competing with big names like Call of Duty, because let me tell you; those multiplayers are far too unbalanced. I hope you pretty much stick with what you started with. I place U2’s MP on par with Halo’s. It’s that good.

  • Naughty Dog, you know you’re so wrong for showing this absolutely gorgeous, amazing, and tantalizing footage this early. :P

    I can’t wait to play it!!!

  • I honestly…. cannot WAIT FOR THIS GAME!!!

  • Awesome stuff, I can’t wait to play this, but the wait wont seem too long because at least I’ll be occupied with many great games throughout the year until the main even, Uncharted 3!

  • Polish animations are the most exciting thing in video games. I can’t wait to see how this turns out. Hope some MotionScan tech goes in it.


  • Damn… 10 months to go …

  • thank u ti all uncharted 3 team, we’re expecting the best

  • Can’t wait, looks great as usual. U2 is one of the best games I’ve ever played. Looking forward to hearing more info! Day one buy for me!

  • Naughty Dog, we’re all expecting the best from you. Looking forward to this game!

  • please have move capability as an option i’ve played uc1&2 i don’t mind have extra features as a plus but nevertheless i’m buying it anyways :D

  • I cannot wait for this game its so badass

  • I would like to see an all-melee action adventure from Naughty Dog.
    Never cared for Uncharted I’m afraid.

  • Please Naughty Dog/Sony make a collector’s edition to Uncharted 3.
    (Sucks that the Uncharted 2 Collector’s Edition was for Europe Only. Had to make a special order just to get it.)

    Uncharted 3: Collector’s Edition (Ideas.)
    1.) Uncharted 3 (Obviously.)

    2.) Sound Track.

    3.) Art Book.

    4.) 2X Multiplayer Cash the first 1-2 weeks of release.

    5.) Playstation Home Avatar/Costume.

    6.) New Dynamic Theme.

    (Make it happen.)

    I really want one.

    Uncharted 3 is my most anticipated game for 2011.

    Uncharted 3 will also be my most played online game on PSN.
    (Uncharted 2 I’m a level 51 right now. Trying to beat Co-Op on Crushing now.)

    At least get the fan base to vote on it.
    (Please this time around make the Collector’s Edition worldwide.)

    Nice interview.
    (Naughty Dog = Naughty Gods)

  • Video looks great of course. Keep up the good work.

  • Dear Naughty Dog,

    Can you please fix the matching in Uncharted 2 multiplayer co op? I want to play crushing and whenever one person in the group has easy or normal or anything below crushing on we have to play at that level which is not fun. Then you punish us if we quit more than once. If we don’t quit we end up sabotage the mission. Also if we just stand there and try and wait it out you make us automatically quit and then we still get penalized. Can you set it where it will only search for the difficulty we have set?

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