Evan Wells Talk Uncharted 2

December 31, 2009Written by Kyle P.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves sure has gotten a lot of praise and attention after hitting the PS3 last month. The PS3 exclusive is winning Game of the Year awards left and right, and our own Anthony Severino called the game: “not only is it easily the game of the year, but it quite possibly is one of the best games of all time.” Evan Wells, co-President of Naughty Dog, the studio behind the game, recently sat down with G4TV, and in the interview he laid out everything about the development process, and things many people did not know about the game.

In the interview, Wells said that the most disappointing part of the game, for Naughty Dog, was the Museum. According to him:

Not the whole museum, but people kind of lumped it all into the museum. I think it was primarily it was that second courtyard. When you got in there and there were all the guards around, and you had to follow Flynn through that area. We knew it wasn’t 100% polished but we had to get it out there. We playtested it and knew there was going to be some hang-ups there, but we just didn’t have the time to address it.

When asked what part of the game Naughty Dog was most proud of, Wells responded:

From a gameplay-specific point of view, I think it’d have to be the train, because that was something that when we started we said we wanted to create these set piece moments, and a train was sort of a classic experience in these stories. But we wanted to do it differently than most people had done trains before where the train is actually static, so all of your movesets and enemies and AI and everything works because you’re traditionally are not playing on moving geometry — you’ll just move the background and that creates the feeling that you’re on a train. But you can only go on a straight line.

You can’t go around turns and bends and up hills, and we wanted to really capture that feeling that you’re on the roof of the train and you see it curling around the mountainside up ahead, or you’re in one car and the car in front of you is oscillating back and forth, making you adjust your aim. We knew that it was going to be a huge technology effort, and we’re going to have to rewrite all of our systems for the AI, for the hero, for the physics…everything was going to have to be revamped. It took a long time to get all of that working, and it was basically the very last level in the game we finished.

Finally, when asked whether adding a multiplayer segment was a good idea, Wells replied:

Extremely. It was met with a little bit of trepidation by our fans when we first announced it, because they were afraid it was going to take away from the single-player experience, but we stayed the course and we thought we had something pretty unique. Of course, there are a lot of online shooters out there, but not a lot of online shooters that have the extensive traversal moveset that Drake has, and to allow all the players to be able to climb and maneuver around the environment like Drake, I think, gives Uncharted a pretty unique flavor in the online multiplayer venue.

Once people got over that initial concern and that they saw that we wre not compromising the quality of our single-player game, and they actually got to play the game in the beta and though “Wow, this really isn’t an afterthought, they really thought this through and created a fully-fledged experience,” they jumped on board. Now we’ve got hundreds of thousands of people playing every week, and it’s just a really strong and supportive community.

Any fan of the Uncharted series should definitely give the interview a good read through, as it really contains a lot of unknown information. Stick with PlayStation LifeStyle as we are soon going to reveal whether Uncharted 2: Among Thieves won our presitigious Players’ Choice Awards.