Neil Druckmann on developing...

I am obsessed with a game.

A video game.

I used to be a gamer back in the old days of platformers with the NES, the Sega Master System, then my favorite at the time, the Sega Genesis console. 16bits was all I needed to be thoroughly entertained. Well, at least until I finished the cartridge (yes, cartridge). The characters were pixelated but represented an identifiable shape, and the level design was beautiful for being so limited in color and definition.

Time passed, games became defined, and redefined, and complex. Plot and character development started to creep in along with brand recognition of intellectual properties. It is at a point now where, in my mind, video games have evolved to become these interactive cinematic experiences. And when it’s good, you know it. It makes you think. It makes you care about its story and the characters that inhabit it.

The Last Of Us was that game for me.

So with my, I guess you could say, lust, for this game. I’ve wanted to learn all about its inception. Who created it, how it was developed, and so forth.

Video games, like movies, have gotten to the point where we’ve become desensitized to the body of work it took to make it. “It’s just a movie,” or “It’s just a video game” comes up a lot in my discussions with others that, as a working artist, almost makes me feel useless. Almost.

A lot of us never think about the effort it took to make something, alluding to ideas of greed and fortune instead of a highly thought-out conception. Although don’t get me wrong, there are those that make things just for the money and you can tell when a property doesn’t give a shit except for how much cash it can rip-off the masses.

And luckily there are those that DO give a shit about the things they create for other people to enjoy as well.

I found these three videos inspiring particularly when it comes to the act of creating. Most will never know the long, enduring process an idea takes to manifest itself. As is the case with The Last Of Us as told by creative director Neil Druckmann.

I enjoyed this keynote, and all the times this idea failed to get off the ground. But persistence finally pays off and sometimes that failed idea reiterates itself into a better form or a more well-received platform. If an idea continues to pop-up time and time again, it just needs a way to express itself, your job then is to find that outlet.

Or at least that’s what I got from it. What message can you take away from this? Leave your thoughts below.




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