Here's what The Last of Us and Disney's Finding Nemo have in common

Naughty Dog game director says "If the story is good, it doesn't matter if the characters are fish or humans.

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If a story is strong enough, it doesn't matter if the characters are fish like in Finding Nemo or realistic looking humans like in The Last of Us. That's the opinion of The Last of Us director Bruce Straley, who told GameSpot in a new interview that the key to any good story is creating a world that viewers/players/readers will buy into and accept as authentic.

"If [Pixar] can tell stories with fish that make you cry, repeatedly, there's no limit if it's a good story," Straley said. "The trick is, you have to make a believable world. As long as you stick to your own constraints and restrictions--that those characters have to obey--then it doesn't matter what the animal/creature/anthropomorphic/tentacle beast is."

Straley's comments were in response to a question regarding whether or not the time has passed for games like Naughty Dog's Jax & Daxter series, which of course features anthropomorphic creatures in a stylized world.

For his part, Druckmann said writing honestly, and in turn creating believable and authentic characters, comes down to ignoring tropes and ensuring a character's words and actions match up with their principles. "Am I being honest to this character, regardless of what anyone else might think? And if the answer is yes, then that's correct for what's happening in the scene," he said.

Writing in this way, Straley said, matches up with the tenets of Buddhism. Because architects of the story like Straley and Druckmann write from a place of personal attachment to characters like Joel and Ellie, they are better equipped to present them as authentic individuals, he said.

"By putting yourself in the position of actually exploring the inward desire of that character, it's like compassion," Straley said. "It's literally like Buddhist sort of method of writing. You understand now what another human is going through. And especially in this world, you're exploring so many different dimensions that it's not just one note: 'kill the bad guy' or 'save the princess.' But instead there's complexities to relationships and there are dilemmas."

Straley and Druckmann's approach to writing for The Last of Us has yielded numerous awards and nominations, the most recent of which were 10 BAFTA nominations for the game. You can check out our full interview with Straley and Druckmann, conducted by GameSpot editor Tom McShea, below.

Discussion

47 comments
NTM23
NTM23

Just so people know, this is not a comparison of The Last of Us and Finding Nemo, at all.

FULGOREY2K
FULGOREY2K

Is GS high when they write things like this?

cboye18
cboye18

For me, story within a game is the least of my concerns. The first priority would be gameplay, followed by graphics. If a game has a great story but still lacking in gameplay (cough Bioshock Infinite cough), then it will still be a mediocre game. 

bluefox755
bluefox755

Cry repeatedly? From Finding Nemo? 

BARRICADE_28
BARRICADE_28

Both featuring shooting zombies in the fucking face.

Diegoctba
Diegoctba

Both are overrated and for little kids.

kane6911
kane6911

all of you need to go read a good book. hell try Stephen king 

Fursnake
Fursnake

WTF?! Someone paid Eddie to write this?! smh...

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

They're similar in the sense that the villain of one is a shark attempting to be a vegetarian, and the other has a cannibalistic pedophile.

EasyComeEasyGo
EasyComeEasyGo

Umm with all due respect but Finding Nemo came out 2003 and TLOU came out 2013 and by that time, Pixar celebrated Finding Nemo 10th Anniversary by re-releasing Nemo into threats last year so why all of a sudden are we talking about this now?

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

Oh my God, gaming is probably experiencing its worst time in history if we get such news!

feared4power
feared4power

finding nemo would of been better if nemo's father died. Would of been a perfect ending to the movie.

robotopbuddy
robotopbuddy moderator moderator

The title is somewhat misleading isn't it, but it's nice to know that they're not claiming that the story/immersion relies upon human characters - even if it is a easier for the devs when they can fully resonate with the characters mind.

NTM23
NTM23

@canuckbiker  You'd have to watch the video, there really isn't any analogy.

ANUBISZER0
ANUBISZER0

I know some people are high when they're reading it!

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

If a game has great gameplay, but no decent story (cough gears of war cough), I get bored as hell and stop playing.

hikaruai
hikaruai

@kane6911 yuck, you mean one of the most over-rated pulp fiction writers ever?...nah I'll stick to some Kafka, thanks

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

I'm a hemmingway type myself. I love that drunken, abusive, ahole.

Jdzspace
Jdzspace

@kane6911  - what is the real difference between reading a book, and playing a traditional RPG? 


other than not having to use your imagination. 

Slim_Lyrics
Slim_Lyrics

@kane6911  I'm a Tolkein guy myself although i have dabbled in the works of Bronte, Lewis and Rand from time to time

DigitalDame
DigitalDame moderator moderatorstaff

@DamnILoveGames  Hey! Bruce isn't a villain, I mean come on man... He never even knew his father... That's just cold. 

normanislost
normanislost

@DamnILoveGames  took me a while to figure out if it had been so long since i had seen nemo i'd forgotten about a vegetarian shark but i hadn't your thinking of a sharks tale not finding nemo lol 

RC-Sev
RC-Sev

Editing is back! Yay!

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

@feared4power

Dude, it's the same plot as the movie Taken. If the father would have died, there can't be a barely decent sequel to cash in on the success of the first movie.

NTM23
NTM23

@tinyname They don't need them anymore. I initially wished I could down vote some comments, but that's what the flagging is for.

BeefoTheBold
BeefoTheBold

@tinyname @BARRICADE_28 

Let's not be to hasty here. I believe in the need for GS to bring back the downvote as much as the next guy, but I also am fascinated by the idea of a half-fish, half-human hybrid going around shooting zombies in the fucking face.

It could be like the Little Mermaid meets The Walking Dead.

Hopefully with more topless scenes.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

I read atlas shrugged after bioshock. It was actually fairly well written. Little did I know she actually believed all that crap.

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator moderator

@DigitalDame @DamnILoveGames  It has been my son's favorite movie since he was a year old...I'll have you know I read "He never even knew his father" in the correct voice.

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

@normanislost No I AM thinking of Finding Nemo. They have sharks in it who pledge not to eat their own kind or something, but after Bruce smells, I think it's Dory's blood, then he goes mad and tries to chase them down while the other 2 try to hold him back.

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

@normanislost No problem. I haven't seen it in years. That bit just so happens to be one of the few bits I remember.