Last night, Sydney’s brightly lit Circular Quay was met with an international guest in the form of Ricky Gambier from Naughty Dog.
Speaking as part of a panel for the Vivid Festival Gambier was joined by Sony Computer Entertainment Australia Marketing Manager Patrick Lagana and IGN Australia Editor Cam Shea. The panel was hosted by Stephanie ‘Hex’ Bendixsen from ABC’s Good Game.
“What if we could take some of that control and that pacing which we love from the Uncharted series and just layer it into a game which carried a different tone?” mused Gambier as he explained the thought processed behind The Last Of Us’ original conception some thee and a half years ago.
The panel explored Gambier’s experience at length, while also bouncing off Lagana and Shea for multiple perspective on just what it was that went into making a Triple A launch.
In discussion in particular was also the now famous Naughty Dog working culture – renowned for its inclusive and unscrupulous nature, with Gambier citing the specific artwork on display behind the panelists, featuring black and white key art of the game’s protagonists Joel and Ellie, as an example of the kind of small things to which Naughty Dog pays a lot of attention.
Indeed, Naughty Dog had to fight to get the character of Ellie the starring role on the cover of the game, something the company should be applauded for in an environment where publishers seem critically adverse to having females in starring roles in games.
The evening was a great opportunity to see a designer and a journalist be able to banter about a game known to both of them while it was at the peak of its hype, however the ‘Evening with…’ approach to such events seen in 2011 with RAGE and Uncharted 3 managed a significantly more celebratory environment in which fans could meet creators.
Regardless, to have games celebrated in such a fashion in the creative culture of Vivid festival was an achievement in itself, and the panel had no trouble selling tickets.