Naughty Dog Made ‘Stupid Mistakes’ Moving To PS3, But It’s Ready For PS4

Naughty Dog Made ‘Stupid Mistakes’ Moving To PS3, But It’s Ready For PS4
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The guys responsible for Nathan Drake’s adventures have made some of the PlayStation 3’s best games. But the excellence of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted franchise came after a lot of hard lessons. Just as a probable reveal for the next PlayStation looms, a new interview on Eurogamer reveals that the development studio had a rough time moving from PS2 to PS3.

Most of the talk in the Eurogamer piece is about The Last of Us, with Naughty Dog co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra talking about how that game moves the company’s output into darker territory. Balestra says:

We’ve gone really mature, and really we just wanted to see two characters bond. How can they get through this journey, and this world, which isn’t an easy world. How them being so different in the beginning – how can they learn from each other? That was really our main focus in the beginning. It’s in those moments, those situations where you will be forced to make tough decisions.

But the interview is more intriguing when it turns to the struggles that Naughty Dog had jumping to the PS3. Balestra again:

“We had a pretty bad experience when we moved from PS2 to PS3, because we made some stupid mistakes. And that was totally our fault.

… the shaders were different and things like that, and we had a lot to learn. I think we’ve caught up though – I think our games look pretty good, so I feel like we’re fine right now. But it’s always scary, because you don’t know what to expect just to do something.

“It’s about the quality of the tools, and about whether you can make something smarter. My guess is that they will expand – you’ll have more this, and more that – you’ll always have something more. In terms of our art, we always create our assets at a higher resolution than what you see in-game. A lot of our pipelines are already ready to move to something superior to the PS3. But it’s scary.”

Naughty Dog is a two-team studio now, which means that work on another game — either the next Uncharted or something new altogether — could well be underway, possibly for Sony’s upcoming console. Whatever game it is, that’s where we’ll get to see how well Naughty Dog has learned its lessons about leaping to next-gen.

The Naughty Dog difference [Eurogamer]


    • I agree. Yes they’ve made mistakes but we didn’t seem them and they were still successful. Honestly they have done a superb effort of using the PS3 hardware efficiently with fantastic results. They’ll have no issues with ‘next-gen’ hardware that’s for sure,

    • I was just thinking, even as a Xbox fan I fail to see how they made any stupid mistakes. The Uncharted series were a great bunch of games and Last of Us looks very promising. Only thing I feel Naughty Dog made a bad call on was the loss of Crash Bandicoot.

      • I think he means stupid mistakes they made along the way in development – I’m sure they fixed them up before releasing anything. I think he’s just saying that it made things harder than they needed to be.

  • The only mistakes Nuaghty Dog make is making their sequels inferior to the originals.

    Uncharted, Jak and Daxter and Crash. Originals were never surpassed imo.

    • I’ve never played any of those except for the Uncharted series (didn’t have a PS2), but I felt that each Uncharted game was clearly superior to the one that came before it. Uncharted 2 was such a leap from Uncharted one in quality, the gameplay, graphics, and story were all vastly improved. Number 1 has some really weak elements, levels and some control frustrations. Uncharted 3, while not as dramatic a jump, was still a better game than the second, especially in regards to the story. Uncharted 2’s story was cool, but number 3’s story was cool AND believable (which probably comes down to me not being a fan of the ‘magical’ elements in the first 2 games).

      • I agree, Uncharted 1 was a flawed masterpiece.

        My problem is, that all the issues in the first, carried over to 2 and 3. Sloppy controls (Drake seems to ice skate), average gunplay, poor melee combat, are all present in 2 and 3.

        Except 2 and 3 exacerbated those issues by having poorer level design that was far more linear than anything in 1.

        The levels in 1 were designed in such a way that made me want to explore them. The levels in 2 and 3 just funnel me to the next set piece/cut scene.

        • Yeah I see what you’re saying. Though in my mind they improved the ice skating in 2, and the melee in 3. Removed the sixaxis grenades thankfully as well. The gunplay has always been a bit less than stellar in my opinion, it’s always been the level traversal and story that I enjoyed more.

          I can’t speak to the level design as I don’t recall finding the levels more linear in 2 and 3, but it’s been a while. I do remember not liking several of the levels in 1, especially when the zombies (whatever they were, zombie nazis? I can’t remember) first get introduced. I definitely enjoyed the spectacle of 2 and 3 more though.

          • Don’t get me wrong. I own all 3 and they’re quality games.

            I just ADORED the first one so much, and overlooked it’s flaws because the first game of a new franchise gets that sort of leway from me.

            Story? Meh, I’ve never really cared for story in games. If it’s there, great, if it isn’t, but the game rocks, do you care? Mario has almost zero story, but it doesn’t stop me from loving New Super Mario Bros U. So yeah, 2 and 3 may have a better ‘story’, but that to me is secondary to all the gameplay issues. Ditto for the graphics.

            Visually, 2 and 3 are a notch or 2 above 1, but again, I’m not worried about then when I didn’t enjoy them as much as 1. I gushed over 1 so much I basically sold 2 PS3s on Sony’s behalf thanks to the first game. Funnily enough, those 2 guys also feel the same about 2 and 3. They prefer 1. It was just a more….fun game.

            I thin Naughty Dog worried too much about story and cut scene/acting quality, and less about the game. Which concerns me for Last Of Us.

            Where Gears of War not only improved the graphics and….story (lol) for each game, but they refined the gameplay aspects down to a fine art. So much so that 3 makes 1 and 2 hard to play. The same can’t be said for Uncharted. At least in my opinion.

      • I reckon Uncharted 2 was easily the best in the series. It had the love triangle, a far more interesting story (in my opinion) and whilst the action was ramped up, it wasn’t ramped up beyond believable extremes like it was in 3. UC3 had some amazing moments – such as the desert sequence, Drake’s backstory, and the plane crash – but it felt like it was trying too hard to top the previous game.
        Whilst the game improved in almost every applicable area, I didn’t feel it was as complete a package as 2. I think it’s primarily down to my lack of investment in the Drake / Elena backstory. Didn’t they go through their trials in 2, and came out better for it? I don’t think their relationship was developed enough in 3 to make me care that Elena was missing for most of the action. I also loved UC2’s structure – the pacing after that jaw-dropping opening just made the game. As soon as one of the characters said, “trainyard”, I knew the crash was coming up and was on edge and tense for the next forty minutes or so.
        Of course, the fact that I’m so picky about characterization, pacing, and plot in a videogame series really shows how excellent Naughty Dog are at making games. I have no doubt that whatever they’re working on for PS4 – and we all know they’re working on SOMETHING – will be incredible, too.

        • Also, I agree with the “inferior sequels” angle, except for Uncharted 2. Jak and Crash 1 were better games than the sequels, if only for the fact that the winning gameplay was diluted by superfluous gameplay features.

    • I disagree. Having played the Jak and Crash series, the second and third games were just as good as the originals. Yes, they added more features – sometimes to the games’ detriment, but they also added more polish and the features rarely did much damage. Although I wish the Jak games had better collision detection and that Warped had more platforming levels.

    • I beg to differ for Jak & Daxter. I enjoyed Jak II and 3 much more than Jak and Daxter. J&D 1 felt like the spiritual successor to Crash Bandicoot and Spyro to me, whereas the sequels were much more. Jak X was a bit of a waste of time, though. With the massive gameplay variation the franchise had to offer, they chose what was essentially a grittier novelty kart racer? Daxter was also excellent (while truer to the original), although I wasn’t such a fan of the PSP J&D (Lost Frontier IIRC?)

      Granted, I can understand why people like the purity and design choices of the first game, but it’s all a personal choice.

      As for Crash, I feel they went downhill once they started releasing games on the PS2, but I wouldn’t say the original was the clear-cut best. The original trilogy as a whole were much better than the PS2 games. Then we have Crash Team Racing, which I still hold as the best kart racer ever made. Nitro Kart and Tag Team Racing paled in comparison.

  • Naughty Dog are easily in my top 2 or 3 game studios for anything. Crash Bandicoot was one of the first games I ever played. They’re basically the Pixar of video games; their games are almost always a day-one preorder for me. If they think they can do better going ahead?

    Well, I can’t wait.

  • Whatever Naughty Dog release for the PS4 will be excellent. I hope it’s either a new IP, or a new Jak game.
    But keep the weapons out of it – I want a beautiful, purist, Jak 1 – style 3D platformer.

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