14:02 Chris Morell, PlayStation.Blog: Thanks for joining us for another PlayStation.Blog live chat! It's been a little while, but today we're back with a bang on UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves launch day. We're extremely excited to have Lead Game Designer NeilDruckmann and Lead Programmer Travis McIntosh from developer Naughty Dog here to answer your questions. Neil and Travis, congrats on launch and thanks so much for being here.
14:02 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: Thanks, Chris... it's pretty exciting times for us.
14:03 [Comment From Arthur]
14:03 [Comment From Ashley Jaques]
Hello! I'm from England! I can't wait for Friday when the game is released!
14:03 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: Sup y'all!
14:03 [Comment From pat]
yeah!! hi everyone!!
14:03 [Comment From chezmaster]
Which part(s) in the development cycle of Uncharted 2 was your favorite? (Besides actually getting to sit down and play the game)
14:03 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: Hey guys.
14:03 Chris Morell, PlayStation.Blog: So on that note, let's kick this thing off! Start firing away!
14:03 [Comment From Yannick B]
Right now I have no question, but just want to say that the game is awesome
14:03 [Comment From sticklife]
hello, and thanks for chatting with us!
14:04 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: Other than playing the game, I really enjoy the initial brainstorming - coming up with the crazy ideas for gameplay and story.
14:04 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: Getting the multiplayer up and running for the first time was pretty cool. The first time we got drake working on two machines at once the whole company ran over to my desk to check it out.
14:04 [Comment From Havoc]
So what is next? DLC?
14:04 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: Shooting co-workers in the face is always a pleasure.
14:04 [Comment From Bigrhyno]
Playing the multiplayer right now
14:05 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: Look for dogs online, we've all got a paw next to our names.
14:05 [Comment From Tony A R]
Did you think Uncharted 2 was going to be this good when you started development?
14:05 [Comment From Kevin]
First, thank you for all the blood, sweat and tears that you and the ND staff poured into this awesome game! There are so many incredible things about the game, but one detail I noticed is that context-based change-of-focus on the game camera when you’re doing different things! It’s amazing! I haven’t had much playing time yet, but I have two questions: 1) Is there a way in multiplayer to hear (and be heard by) only your team? 2) Can I share a Cinema segment with a friend that a) has the game? b) doesn’t have the game? Thanks again for all your hard work!
14:06 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: Well besides DLC - which you should hear more about pretty soon - we have an exclusive announcement! We're releasing a prequel story to Uncharted 1 as a motion comic voiced by your favorite actors from the two games. Stay tuned for more into.
14:06 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: into = info.
14:07 [Comment From ZeRoBaha]
2 more days here in Belgium! :( looking forward so much to it! got platinum on U1 finished it 3 times (normal, hard, crushing) absolutly awesome, thx a lot Naughty dog!
14:07 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: We knew we had something special while we working on the game, but did we expect the critical reception we've been getting? No, when your as close to a game as we are it's far easier to see the flaws than the full picture. It wasn't until near the end when the story and cutscenes finally came together that we realized the game was as good as it was?
14:07 [Comment From WhySoDevious]
Hi! Considering how some websites posted spoilers in their video reviews of the game (GameTrailers and GameSpot, for example), would you consider giving websites a guideline on what should and shouldn't be revealed in their reviews of the game to avoid having the game spoiled?
14:09 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: In multiplayer, during most games you can only be heard by your team or enemies nearby your character. Since the cinema mode is an in game format you need to buy Uncharted to view your friends match, but really, you need to buy Uncharted 2 anyway, so it's not a problem. :)
14:09 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: For good or bad we trust websites to talk about whatever they need to in their reviews. We're a little bummed when they spoil stuff, though.
14:09 [Comment From Paddy]
the soundtrack is amazing, thanks for releasing it
14:09 [Comment From charly]
Was the game idea always the same as to it is now or did it start differently?
14:09 [Comment From pat]
what was your toughest challenge when making the game?
14:10 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: We knew about Drake's goal for this game early on... the journey, characters, and locations shifted and changed throughout development.
14:10 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: Chloe used to be a guy!
14:11 [Comment From Jim777]
How challenging was adapting the game from single player to multi player?
14:11 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: There were a ton of tough things about Uncharted, but what really kept us up at night, literally, was the sheer scope of the game. U2 has a longer single player than UDF, plus online, plus coop. And we did it all in 18 months. I still surprised we made it, truth be told.
14:11 [Comment From Allan P]
there was talk about looking into a reward for gamers who got platinum on the first game... was that dropped or is there something unannounced... I haven't been able to play my copy yet.
14:13 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: Multiplayer is a real challenge. The engine really had to be reworked from the ground up to support online. Debugging online is also a *lot* tougher than in single player. One of the hardest things for us was making the pickup system, which took just a few days for the single player!
14:13 [Comment From pallidian]
i am pallidian from www.sfx-360.com and i have to say that Uncharted 2 is pure genious and a brethtaking amzing game
14:13 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: If you have a saved game of a completed playthrough of Uncharted 1 then you get $100,000 to spend in the store for Uncharted 2. We didn't go with the platinum because we wanted to reward more players.
14:13 [Comment From kikanny]
What's the reason that you guys could get more out of the PS3 than other third party developers. I mean graphically, it looks way ahead of other games on the PS3.
14:15 [Comment From BlinkBoy]
Will you be joining matches frequently in coming month or is it just now the first months around game launch time?
14:16 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: There are lots of Naughty Dogs that play the MP every night. We're quite addicted to our own game. I'm sure we're not going to stop playing anytime soon.
14:16 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: One reason is our experience with the PS3 is very deep. We've got an in house team (ICE) that's been working with the PS3 since literally the beginning, and we're very careful to hire only the best. Plus, we take graphics very seriously, and actively decided from almost the beginning of the project to make U2 a graphics showpiece. Many third parties also have to work on more than one platform, so it's harder to push the tech.
14:16 [Comment From cdj]
Hello, guys! How exciting is it for the release day to be here! Do you feel anxious, nervous, excited, relieved...what is going on in your minds knowing millions of people will be getting this game?
14:17 [Comment From Shadowkiller11]
Has the machinima mode been expanded in the retail version compared to the beta? (i'm in uk not coming till friday)
14:18 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: Machinima is the same in the full game feature wise. Of course, in retail uncharted 2 there are more maps, so you have more areas to work with.
14:18 [Comment From Brendan]
Why did you guys do an untraditional co-op experience?
14:19 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: As far as how we feel about finishing the development, it's so gratifying. A bunch of us went to a several midnight launches last night and it was so awesome meeting and talking to our fans. I can't even wrap my mind that millions of people are going to be going through the game. Mind = blown!
14:19 [Comment From equustel]
Are you aware of how big Uncharted is with female gamers? :)
14:19 [Comment From Redringofdeath]
Is it possible to toggle the golden guns in multiplayer?
14:20 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: We, like a lot of other people, really wanted to make sure we didn't sacrifice our single player to the multiplayer gods. We did coop seperately so that we could make sure single player was exactly the game we wanted, without compromise.
14:21 [Comment From mercopolo]
How do I get into the game industry? The Uncharted series has inspired me to want to be a game designer!
14:21 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: We love that so many girls enjoy Uncharted... it is part of our motivation in creating such strong, well-rounded female characters.
14:21 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: The golden guns can be toggeled through the profile screen.
14:21 [Comment From Sephiroth-VII-]
I have yet to play the first one (I know I'm kinda slow lol). Is this a series where I should start with the first one, or will I be okay to jump right into the second game?
14:22 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: Re: getting into the game industry - go to school and study what you love. It's good to be an expert in something as well as having general knowledge of a lot of other subject. Then use your expertise to make some games. You'll gain experience and start making a portfolio for yourself.
14:23 [Comment From theroostarr]
Was there anything that you had to cut from this game that you'd like to include in the (hopefully) next Uncharted?
14:23 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: You don't need to play Uncharted 1 to enjoy Uncharted 2. The story will make perfect sense. That said, we loved Uncharted 1, and there's still a lot of great stuff there, plus you will definately have a better appreciation for the characters, etc, if you play the first game. (Plus some inside jokes) Uncharted 1 is greatest hits too, so it's not too expensive.
14:24 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: We actually started this game with an idea for a prequel story that we eventually cut. However, you'll get to see that story fleshed out in the upcoming Uncharted Motion Comic.
14:24 [Comment From chezmaster]
Going by your previous track record on the PlayStation 1 and 2 where you would release three titles of the same series, and then a racing game, should we anticipate "Uncharted Team Racing" after the release of Uncharted 3 haha (joking)
14:24 [Comment From Sam]
Was all the cinematography and musical score done in-house or did you get a Hollywood-esque group to assist? I'm only on the stealth portion and I'm loving the movie-like feel to the whole game! The presentation is wonderful!
14:26 [Comment From maverick0206]
any tips on how to find the treasures?
14:26 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: Yeah, we're currently working on UnCARTed. ;) Seriously, we have no plans for a racer right, we're to tired to have plans for anything just yet. :)
14:27 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: The music was composed by the very talented Greg Edmonson - show your love and go buy the soundtrack on iTunes. Almost all of the cinematography (whether in-game or cutscene) is done in-house by our animators and designers.
14:27 [Comment From Steve I.]
As a professional video game artist, I must say that the environments in Uncharted 2 are simply AMAZING! You guys have an incredibly talented team!
14:27 [Comment From Newageghost]
Can you elaborate on what you looked at in the beginning to make such a solid online component?
14:27 [Comment From Mriceguy]
What's your favourite level or chapter in the game?
14:27 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: To find the treasures, remember to look up. You can shoot flashing treasures of walls and ceilings, if you don't look up, you'll miss them.
14:27 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: Thanks for all the kind words, guys. We'll try not to let too much of it get to our heads.
14:29 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: My favorite part of the game is all the gameplay around the village (both visits to it). Also, Tenzin is such a bad-ass. He's in running for my favorite character (right after Eddy Raja.)
14:29 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: We play a ton of games, and all you favorite online games too. But the main game we looked at was Uncharted, we really wanted to make sure multiplayer felt just like the single player. Then we played it! We (everyone in the company) play multiplayer every day.
14:30 [Comment From Ashley Jaques]
What were the first games you ever made? (Including little ones made at home!)
14:30 Chris Morell, PlayStation.Blog: If you just joined us, we're talking UNCHARTED 2 with Neil and Travis from Naughty Dog. We have about 30 minutes left so keep those questions coming. And make sure to scroll up before asking a question if you just got here...it might have already been answered!
14:30 [Comment From JonUK]
Are any of the characters based on people you know (or staff members!)?
14:30 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: I love the train level. But maybe that's because I spent so much time working on it.
14:31 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: The first game I ever made was an Indie game for the original NES called Diki Painguin: TKO for the Third Reich. Go download an emulator and try it out.
14:32 [Comment From fnook]
What percentage of the animation in Uncharted 2 is hand keyframed (if Any)? In the first game some of the hand-keyframed stuff was obvious, but in Uncharted 2 if there is any, it's REALLY, and I mean REALLY good.. (I'm an animator, and I can tell) ^_~
14:33 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: The characters aren't based on real people, that said, the actors who play our characters not only voice them, but act them. So in many ways, our actors became our characters inspiration.
14:33 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: There's a photo of young Schaffer in the game that's actually one of the character modelers.
14:34 [Comment From Draicus]
What were some of your inspirations for the multiplayer?
14:35 [Comment From Janice]
Given the fact that the team from God of War III is just down the corner, is there something you guys are sharing based on tech?
14:35 [Comment From Robert]
I see you thanked studios like Infinity Ward and Guerrilla Games in the Uncharted 2 credits. It confused a number of gamers. Why did you throw a shoutout for those studios into the credits of your own game? Thanks!
14:35 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: There is so much animation in Uncharted it's really hard to give a percentage. We mocapped as much as we could, but in game development turn around time and iteration are very important, so we couldn't wait around for mocap sessions to get back. Plus, a lot of times we'd take an animation that was mocap, and alter it with hand keyframes to make it what we wanted, so even if something *was* mocapped, it still took a very good animator a ton of hard work to make it fit our game.
14:36 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: Our biggest inspiration for multiplayer was - believe it or not - Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. After finishing the first game, so many team members discussed how cool our mechanics would work in multiplayer. Eventually, we decided to just take the plunge and go for it.
14:36 [Comment From Birdie94jb]
In one of your previous chats you said you were keen on stopping cheaters on the online mode, how do you intend to do this?
14:37 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: We're good friends with Sony Santa Monice (GOW III), and we share ideas all the time, they've helped us out many times in the past with tech demonstrations and we've returned the same. I can walk there in 10 minutes. We don't really grab code or assets though, mainly ideas.
14:38 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: Re: thanking other developers. We try to be quite open with our technology and our process. We exchanged technology and ideas with other developers. We wanted to make sure we thanked everyone that helped us out in some way.
14:39 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: We've already implemented a bunch of anti-cheat detection stuff, ways of detecting a lag pedal, etc. Mainly though, as with any online game, the only way to stop cheating is eternal viligence. So we play constantly, watch message boards, and try and react to cheats as they come.
14:39 [Comment From Shadowkiller11]
Do you feel Nolan North and the other voice actors is what made the story more cinematic and genuinely more better?
14:40 [Comment From Spencwa]
At the tiki bar in the beginning of the game, there are bottles with a picture of a cat. Who's cat is that?
14:41 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: I'm not sure whose cat it is, sorry.
14:41 [Comment From Guest]
Hello naughtydog, first, wanted to say this game is amazing!!! good job on the game naughtydog! i always liked your games, ever since the crash bandicoot series!, now for the question : is the online region locked? if i have the european version of the game, can i play againts those who have the american version of the game?
14:42 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: Thanks for the compliment! If you have the game you can play against anyone in the world. However, our matchmaking takes into account your distance to other players and tries to group people close together for lag reasons. If you party up though, you can play with anyone.
14:43 [Comment From Cringles]
If there ever is a Uncharted movie ''Even though the games are like a summer blockbuster''. Do you think Nathan Fillion should play a live action Drake?
14:43 [Comment From Brad]
Do you think we'll be seeing many Nathan Drake costumes this year for Halloween? :)
14:44 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: Our actors are an integral part of our story telling process. They help shape the characters and improvise quite a bit of dialogue. They are part of a formula that includes everything from graphics, sound, facial animation, writing, stage direction, contextual gameplay, and much more that all adds to the cinematic experience. All the departments really pushed themselves to their limit to give you guys this epic game experience.
14:44 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: It'd be awsome if people did Halloween Drake costumes! Send us a picture if you do!
14:44 [Comment From Mitch]
14:44 [Comment From Brad]
Did you travel to any parts of the world for information to be used to develop the game environments?
14:45 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: I think my favorite Drake will always be Nolan North... I'm just as curious as you guys to see who'll play him in the movie.
14:46 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: We used some stuff from online, but we also had two dogs who actually went to Nepal and took reference photos.
14:46 [Comment From AMBIENCE90]
Ever since i got my latest copy of PlayStation: The Official Magazine in mail with U2 as the cover story, I've been really interested in the attention to the machinima crowd. The amount of things you can do with what you guys put in this game is insane! Any machinima fans/makers in the office? (p.s. you guys quite possibly made the most compelling single player game of all time! can't wait to try out the multiplayer and co-op! conngrats!)
14:46 [Comment From harvey]
The snow is fantastic! in this game! any challenges on getting the snow to look that nice ?
14:48 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: We honestly haven't had time to make our own machinimas. However, we love crowding around someones monitor and see what some players have already made using the Machinima mode. There's some truly LOL material already. Keep it coming.
14:48 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: Our rendering team spent a lot of time on the snow, subsurface scattering, a good reflection model, etc, etc. It definately helped that one of the two guys who went to nepal was our snow guy, who actually hiked quite a distance through the mountains, so he definately knew the look we needed.
14:49 [Comment From Raz]
Was the story written before game development or during? And did it change over the course of the development?
14:49 [Comment From freakzilla]
How did you make the sounds of the guns in Uncharted 2?
14:50 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: Our sound guys actually shot the real guns on a soundstage, recorded what they got, and massaged it for in game.
14:51 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: The story was written as we were developing the game. Gameplay and story constantly inspired and constrained each other. We would constantly make changes to the story to accommodate gameplay and vice- versa.
14:51 [Comment From Pam]
Just curious, but who came up with Drake's now infamous shirt half tucked in look?
14:51 Chris Morell, PlayStation.Blog: Alright, we have time for a couple final questions!
14:52 [Comment From TheYam]
Hey gang! I attended a midnight launch last night and nabbed what has to be THE GREATEST fan pic ever...hoards of people holding their copies of Uncharted 2. Where do I send it?
14:52 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: Our concept artist came up with look, but props to Tim Schafer for coining the term!
14:52 [Comment From Ashley Jaques]
I just downloaded the soundtrack on iTunes! It sounds great. Thanks for telling me about it!
14:53 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: Please, please, please send your midnight launch pics to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can't wait to see them!
14:53 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: Glad you like it, Greg Edmonson does some fantastic work, we love our soundtrack too.
14:53 [Comment From DreamScar]
Who's your favorite Uncharted girl, Chloe or Elena?
14:54 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: I'm gonna go with Rika... you'll meet her in Uncharted: Eye of Indra - the upcoming Motion Comic.
14:55 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: He's right, Rika's awsome.
14:55 [Comment From Jem]
Is the in-game character Schafer an homage to Double Fine's Tim Schafer, in return for coining the term "half tuck"?
14:56 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: No, just a coincidence, just like the fact that we have a programmer named Jeff Schaffer.
14:56 Chris Morell, PlayStation.Blog: And that's it! Thanks to everyone for your great questions, and a HUGE thanks to Neil and Travis for being here on launch day. Hope to see you all online in U2! Now get back to playing!!!
14:56 [Comment From KazeEternal]
Thank you for such an amazing game!! Soundtrack is also amazing best 10 bucks spent on iTunes at 3 in the morning after playing for 3 hours after getting the game lol.
14:56 [Comment From ThatKidDouglas]
You guys must really worked hard on this game and i cant wait to play the full game
14:56 TravisMcIntosh-NaughtyDog: Thanks a ton for comming out guys. Hope you like the game!
14:56 [Comment From Jim777]
Thanks so much for takeing the time out to answer our questions ND, now go get yourselfs some sleep to make up for all the sleep the game has robbed you of ;)
14:57 [Comment From OneHappyGamer]
14:57 [Comment From Captain_Conor !]
Give yourselves a pat on the back, from me !
14:57 [Comment From Ryan]
Thanks a lot guys, congrats on all the perfect reviews!
14:57 [Comment From TheDude79]
Leaving work to play!!
14:57 Neil Druckmann, Naughty Dog: Thanks guys! Look for us on-line and try to kill us (or work with us if we're on the same team.) Enjoy two years worth of blood, sweat, and tears. We're really proud of this one.