A Ridiculous Little Detail In Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Maybe a video game can have too much detail?

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is plenty likeable, with lots of scenic vistas, exciting car chases, and all the other expected Uncharted trimmings. It's also extremely good-looking, especially if you pay close attention.

Early in the game, protagonist Chloe Frazer and her partner Nadine Ross arrive in the Western Ghats of India to search for a long-lost artifact. It's a larger, more open area than in past Uncharted games, so much so that the game gives Chloe a map to help her navigate. Like in a lot of other games, if you press the map button, the game will pause and you'll go to a map screen.

Each time you find a new point of interest or temple, Chloe takes out her map and writes on it. Maybe she'll cross off an area they have already visited, or mark a new location based on new information.

It's a nice-looking animation on its own, but it's even more impressive if you use photo mode to pause the game and check out the map she's holding:

Here's what the map looks like when I press the "map" button right around the same area and go to the actual map screen:

Red circles added by me. Notice how Chloe has put red marks through a few of the map markers.

Now let's go back to the in-game map and zoom in:

She's holding the same map, complete with the marks she's added and even including the tiny red arrow that indicates her current location. That means that every time Chloe takes out her map, the game is taking the current status of the map in the map screen and superimposing it in minute detail on the map she's holding in-game.

I have little doubt that someone — probably a small team of someones — spent a lot of time getting that working, just so the game would be a little bit more detailed. Good lord.


Comments

    I have little doubt that someone — probably a small team of someones — spent a lot of time getting that working, just so the game would be a little bit more detailed.
    I'm no 3D developer but I imagine that it's the same code that generates the texture and maps (hah! Puns.) it to the surface. It would be even easier if they store it in memory because both sequences would fetch it from the same place. Either way though it's evidence just how far computer games and 3D technology has come.

      Can pretty much confirm this. It would be the same render target that they use for the actual map. Single memory location. Pretty trivial to setup in game (assuming their engine is roughly the same as other commercial engines).

      Yup, I'm an intermediate-level graphics programmer at best and I could do this myself without breaking a sweat. It's a nice touch and shows the focus on polish that they put into the series, but by no means a big ask.

    I don't feel that this is very impressive. A lot of games have in game maps that were in the vehicle and updated as you drive for ages.

    Technology is called "Render to Texture". It's a well known technique. For this simple example, should take a decent graphics programmer an hour or two to nut it out.

    Buying it for Laura Bailey as Nadine. Vex is my celeb crush... even if she doesn't read her spell book.

    Would be similar to how the mobile phone works in GTA V. It's definitely not some new breakthrough. It is awesome though. Love when developers care about the details.

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