Monday, November 16, 2009

Naughty Dog Plays Nice

Uncharted 2 developer Naughty Dog has not only made an amazingly beautiful game, but have also proved not to be so naughty after all— reports via that Naughty Dog is developing tools that it shares with other 1st and 3rd party developers, giving others a shot to get their graphics looking as good as Uncharted 2’s.

In the game’s end credits, several other developers are thanked, including Bungie, Xbox developer of the famous Halo series that put Microsoft on the map. It’s great to see developers so willing to share their ideas like that, and I’m glad Naughty Dog is so supportive of collaboration at the tool level. In the end the difference between games should be in their artistic elements—style, mood, tone, music, dialog—and not so much the engine driving these.

Uncharted 2: the beauty

I spent at least 15 minutes wandering around this Tibetan village in Uncharted 2, but this video doesn’t come close to doing the scene justice. One of the great things about Uncharted 2’s visuals is that the draw distance pretty much goes to the horizon in some areas, meaning 3d rendered objects are visible a long ways off. Most games limit the draw distance to ensure the frame rate doesn’t drop, but doing this creates a very artificial fog of war that can cause game play problems, especially in multiplayer.

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