While many game developers would be happy to publish a successful title and enjoy some much-earned relaxation, Naughty Dog is doing things a little differently. With the first two entries in the Uncharted series, the developers received more than a handful of nods for Game of the Year, but that isn't slowing them down one bit. For Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Naughty Dog is taking the technical strengths of the series even farther, and trying to give players the most realistic gaming experience they've ever seen.
In a recent interview posted to the PlayStation blog, Naughty Dog's Community Strategist Arne Meyer outlined the upgrades that fans will be able to see to the already-impressive graphics of Uncharted. There's no question that the game won't be lacking where the nuts and bolts are concerned, as the last gameplay video showed how realistic and physics-based the environments will be.
Real physics and environment deformation are key in creating a realistic playing experience, according to Meyer.
We've been told how combat and traversal have been expanded for the third game, but the tools given to the player are just one art of the equation:
"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."
We're all for the refinement of animations, especially now that we know how large a game world Naughty Dog will be producing in their new desert locale. Anyone who has seen the games being made know that the actors are just as committed to the vision as the developers.
It takes real confidence in the project to tackle one of the most problematic elements of programming for their world premiere. The burning chateau sequence put the game's fire effects front and center, and Meyer revealed that fans may have a very smoky game ahead of them:
"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.
"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."
It's no surprise that Uncharted 3 is one of the games we're most looking forward to, and to hear that the tech will be just as well-developed as the story is fantastic news. But at what point do we choose between a game that strives to recreate realism, and one that pursues its own unique style?
Do you want the future of Nathan Drake to be free from the constraints of the real world, or one that walks the line between gameplay and cinema?
We'll see how close we've come to escaping the uncanny valley when Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception releases on November 1 for the PS3.
Source: PlayStation blog