Naughty Dog will keep its engine tech for PS4 development

Uncharted and The Last of Us developer says creating an all-new engine between PS2 and PS3 "caused a lot of turmoil."

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Naughty Dog has said it will keep the proprietary engine used on PlayStation 3 titles like Uncharted 3 and The Last of Us for PlayStation 4 development.

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The Last of Us game director Bruce Straley said that Naughty Dog intends to avoid the "turmoil" it suffered when creating an entirely new game engine for the PlayStation 3.

"We learned a big lesson coming from PS2 to PS3," said Straley in an interview with Digital Spy. "There was a lot of hype over what [PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360] was going to be. It was all going to be like movies, like a prerendered cutscene-style fidelity."

"That turned out not to be true," he added. "What we're able to do now is pretty damn close, but it took Naughty Dog four games to get there--one of the top developers in the industry with some of the most amazing scientists working in our programming department."

"We scrapped everything at the beginning of Uncharted 1, and we had a perfectly good engine with the Jak & Daxter franchise.

Straley says that Naughty Dog had a "perfectly good" engine powering the Jak & Daxter titles on the PlayStation 2. "We could have started with something there and then built off of it and only changed the pieces and parts as we needed, when we needed," said Straley, adding that the choice to develop a new engine for the original Uncharted "really caused a lot of turmoil."

The team at Naughty Dog "learned our lesson" and so intends to take its current engine to the PlayStation 4. "As we move into development into next-gen, we want to take our current engine, port it immediately over as is, and say, 'OK, we have a great AI system, we have a good rendering system.'"

Naughty Dog intends to improve the engine to make use of the PlayStation 4's next-gen technology, but adds that "only when we hit a wall will we say, 'When do we need to change something? When do we need to scale it?"

"It's one of those things that you learn in development," concluded Straley. "We've gained something from this experience, and now we want to apply it moving into next gen."

Naughty Dog's PlayStation 3-exclusive The Last of Us will be released on June 14.

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