It may be fairly old news since PAX East was a whole four months ago, but just now the old Naughty Dog crew managed to get video up on YouTube of their “Naughty Dog Live & Unleashed – Game Design with the Dogs” panel. Seeing as how I love finding out as much as I can about game design and development and, more importantly, I wasn’t at PAX East, this video was a great watch.
Naughty Dog’s community strategist Arne Meyer and game designers Richard Lemarchand, Jacob Minkoff, and Justin Richmond take an hour to divulge the details of their creative process, which includes a lot of brainstorming and collaborative discussion. They make a great deal of emphasizing that during their brainstorming phase, they really want “quantity over quality,” and go so far as to say that there are no bad ideas when in the early phases of development.
Another key point they made was that everyone at Naughty Dog is a designer. Regardless of being an accountant or working human resources, a good idea is still a good idea and will most likely contribute to the game in some way or another no matter who it came from.
In fact, the “Dogs” invite audience members to come up and give their design ideas as they go through the process of designing an intermediate chapter between three and four in Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune where Elena and Nathan go searching for the plane they end up flying (and crashing) to the island where the remainder of the game takes place.
The highlight, however, is the title that almost made it into the final cut of Drake’s Fortune: “Drake’s on a Train.”