Learning how to bring characters to life with all the nuances of personality, habits, quirks and mannerisms was really Sony Bend’s first and most important job when we started to work on UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss. We have an awesome example in the Uncharted series, and we wanted to give the characters a level of depth that transcends the screen. These videos show just a glimpse of our process and how we worked with our eclectic cast of characters.
I’m no stranger to writing, having written all the Syphon Filter games, but this title taught me some new tricks. By the time we started shooting in February 2011, I had gone through over 40 revisions, changing everything from setting, characters, names, dialogue and action. If we count all the in-game VO dialogue, we ended up with over 400 pages of script for Uncharted: Golden Abyss.
Of course, writing and performance capture was just beginning. What followed was an intense year of motion capture clean-up, animation, camera work, set building, lip-synching, prop building, editing, sound and music, by a team of over 50 artists working across five different studios.
Yes, Uncharted’s stunning visuals require next-gen hardware, but in the end, Uncharted’s charm comes from its characters, their friendships and chemistry. The great thing about story is that it’s hardware independent. Players can tell a good story from a bad one, great production values from not-so-great. We knew that the end result – all of that effort by all those people – would pay off in an Uncharted experience that would lose nothing simply because it was on a portable console. It’s the main reason I was so excited to learn the Uncharted approach to cinematic storytelling. On February 22nd, you’ll be able to see for yourself.