See How The Last of Us Was Originally Envisioned Using Sticky Notes

SPOILERS: Co-director Bruce Straley shares a photo of the original outline for Naughty Dog's acclaimed game.

Long before anyone began worrying about its frame rate or who would play its characters in a movie adaptation, Naughty Dog's Bruce Straley and Neil Druckmann spent a period of time brainstorming ideas for what would become The Last of Us. Those ideas were then laid out on a corkboard using sticky notes (okay, note cards and pins), a picture of which Straley has now shared on Twitter.

"Over 4 years ago now, and months of brainstorms, Neil Druckmann and I had an idea for a game," Straley wrote in a tweet sent out with the image above (click on it for a full-size view).

SPOILERS AHEAD

The note cards consist of both locations players were to visit throughout the game and major events. It's interesting to see which ideas did and didn't end up making it into the final game--Joel is still dying early in winter and later visits a cannibal town, for instance.

But this early look at the game still contains ideas we've heard about before that ended up being changed dramatically, like Tess being envisioned as a villain. If you look at one of the white cards in the bottom-right, you can see one that states "Ellie kills Tess." If you've played the game--and I certainly hope you have if you're still reading--you'll know Tess dies much earlier in the game, sacrificing herself after becoming infected to protect Joel and Ellie.

It's a fun look at a game that was received a great deal of acclaim, and with good reason. Just this week, the PlayStation 4 version of the game, The Last of Us Remastered, was released, and a stage performance of portions of the game was performed in Los Angeles (you catch a replay here).

What stands out most about this outline to you -- what didn't change, or what did? Let us know in the comments.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Twitter/Xbox Live/PSN/Nintendo Network: TheSmokingManX

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Discussion

36 comments
gamediscussion1
gamediscussion1

Very interesting! Come discuss The Last of Us on my twitter: @GameDiscussion1

megablast16
megablast16

I'm sure that's how a lot of games start their life, so how is this a big deal?

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

Funny, that's exactly how I envision my bowel movements.

ebv2406
ebv2406

So linear you don't even need a ruler...

Mr_AJ
Mr_AJ

Interesting that one of the sticky notes says AUTUMN, yet in the game they changed it to FALL..

Would've preferred the former.

Urizen316
Urizen316

The Last of Us *yawn* wish it was the last article about this overrated game..

agrx
agrx

I can't believe I've managed to not spoil this game for myself for this long.

Pewbert
Pewbert

I understand that you guys were paid a lot of money for all this exposure for The Last of Us, but you are running out of ideas for articles now and it's starting to show!

Guest1001
Guest1001

Oh boy, I'm sure looking forward to seeing the fifty articles and behind-the-scenes sticky note pictures for Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd when that's released! That'll be an exciting couple of weeks!

... Oh, wait, are all games getting this treatment or just the generic AAA third-person shooters?

bdrtfm
bdrtfm

OK, I get that TLOU is a popular game but, an article about TLOU sticky notes is a bit of a stretch. What I really want to know is what the devs all had for lunch the day TLOU was released. And, if you can manage it, what they were wearing. Now that would be hard hitting gaming news.

unreal849
unreal849

Sticky Note #1: "Lots of cutscenes"


Sticky Note #2: "???"


Sticky Note #3: "Profit!"

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

@Urizen316 *Yawn* Yeah really man, perhaps an article about all the haters that come out for a overrated game?

hystavito
hystavito

@agrx I've got little bits here and there but overall I don't know most of the story either.  It arrived today, the remaster, not sure if I really wanna keep it or not though.


I feel like I have to experience this game that everyone goes crazy about, but I'm also not big on the interactive movie style games where you don't control much or make choices.  Funny I was just saying the same thing about TWD for The Gist this week.  I also very rarely get emotionally impacted by games, at least not emotions like sadness.  They just don't hit me the way something like a live action movie does.

XBone4DaWin
XBone4DaWin

@Pewbert It's even worse on DualShockers. Legit like 6 articles on LOU just yesterday.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@Pewbert Dude there are a million articles unrelated to TLOU that have been uploaded recently... just buzz off and focus on what's of interest to you. 


Seriously, all this pointless "discussion" by people about something they're not even interested in...

uchihasilver
uchihasilver

@Guest1001 you are aware how websites earn money right? it makes more sense to post more popular articles than less popular ones it's just business sense 

nitro73
nitro73

@unreal849 There were a lot of cutscenes, but I was never bored or put off by them like in other games.

lovely_dime
lovely_dime

@unreal849 Well the cutscenes are the loading screens so the whole game feels like there is no pauses. Just saying. Great game.

megablast16
megablast16

@XBone4DaWin @Pewbert Yeah it's been like that for the last couple of weeks on there, there was even a TLOU "unboxing" video the other day, which just amounted to somebody opening the Blu-ray case ffs! 

jecomans
jecomans

@bdrtfm @nl_skipper @Pewbert What exactly is wrong with someone being interested in various aspects of the development process of a game they really enjoy? 

DiamondDM13
DiamondDM13

@unreal849 @lovely_dime The only loading screens were when you started the game / loaded your save file. You could play through the whole game from start to finish in one sitting, and the only loading you would see would be before the game started.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

@unreal849 @lovely_dime  Since I have not played it yet and plan to get it for the PS4, what would you value the game at? $40, $30, wait for Black Friday and pick it up for $20?

lovely_dime
lovely_dime

@unreal849 

Well when booting the game up there is loading but when the campaign begins there is no loading screens. Again during cutscenes is when the game loads...

unreal849
unreal849

@spartanx169x @unreal849 @lovely_dime  If you've never played it before, it's worth as much as any other game with a fairly strong single-player element. I got it for the full 60 last year and did not regret it.