As part of Gamasutra's latest feature
, a detailed description of design processes for Uncharted 2
's combat design, Naughty Dog designer Benson Russell shares the company's structure and process.
Beginning the design for an area in Uncharted 2
requires a meeting led by a designer designated as "point person" for the level -- acting in a dual production/design role -- in this producer-less studio.
Writes Russell, "One designer will usually be the point person for the level. Since we don't have anyone at our studio that is hired for the sole purpose of filling a producer's role, the point designer becomes the acting producer."
"They will head up overseeing the level through to completion, helping coordinate all of the different disciplines in what is needed, and coordinating with the rest of the designers and leads," he explains. "Once we've picked a point designer for the level, we have a pow-wow to go over all of the story and gameplay needs, as well as brainstorm what the level should be."
"Anybody that wishes to be a part of the process can come to the meeting, but the key people are the point designer, the game director, and the lead designer," Russell continues. "They will have gone over the story elements with the creative director and co-president (who is essentially the head designer of the studio).
"Sometimes the combat designer (that would be yours truly) will sit in, but at this stage it's not always necessary," he adds.
The full feature, Designing Combat Encounters In Uncharted 2
, live now on Gamasutra, goes into depth in the process the designers took in shepherding the levels in Uncharted 2
through the entire chain, including working within the game's strong story focus and collaborating with the art team -- and more.