The franchise has set an industry-wide standard for having a captivating story along with, excellent third-person gameplay. Therefore, there’s bound to be some interesting chunks of information. So we’re here with ten facts about the Uncharted series, that you may not have known.
10. Nathan Drake
I think everyone agrees with it, Nathan Drake is cool, he’s charismatic, rebellious, adventurer loving, treasure hunting badass. Therefore, his personality really shines through his moments of relatable jests and overall good guy behavior. When Naughty Dog was beginning to flesh out exactly who the lead character would be of the first Uncharted game, they looked at some real-life examples. During a presentation of the first game in 2008 Naughty Dog’s game designer Richard lemon champ admitted that the designers originally based Nathan Drake on Johnny Knoxville from jackass. Knoxville’s very cynical but overall nice guy attitude guided designers when they focused on creating Nathan Drake. Now Nathan Drake doesn’t do half a stupid stuff that Johnny Knoxville does.
But, Knoxville wasn’t the only inspiration for Nate as series writer Amy Hemmings said that she looked to the grit of Harrison Ford as some inspiration for the character. Even further than that, as a little evidence in uncharted 4. It’s rumored that the sound of the grappling hook is a slight image to the sound Indiana Jones’s whip makes.
9. Character Designing of Nathan Drake
The Naughty Dog designers purposely designed Nathan Drake to look like a modern everyday person. Who also happens to be really handsome and bulletproof, but that’s beside the point. They kept his clothes really simple, having him wear a plain shirt and jeans as his outfit. It was all intentional, so they could put more focus on the head model and the facial features. To create more of a cinematic game while giving extra concentration on their performance of the “motion capture” actors.
The designers utilized simple clothing design and body modeling, specifically in uncharted 4 to make sure Nathan Drake had the vibe of a relatable, yet subtly badass adventure character. One of the biggest moments that they set up in Uncharted 4 was, of course, Nathan Drake working a regular normal job and they had to sell that. It had to be convincing that this is him, who once was an awesome video game adventure badass, could also become a regular person at a regular job. And thankfully going back from their design from uncharted 1 it seemed to have come full circle pretty well.
8. Nathan Drake and Harrison Ford
What does Nathan Drake and Harrison Ford actually have in common?
Other than the previously discussed fact that Ford was an inspiration for Nate’s character. The situation gets a little more meadow when you learn that Sony actually used Harrison Ford and advertisements that promoted drake’s Deception. Now, I know you are wondering “dude why didn’t I see any of these,” that’s because they were only broadcast in Japan.
These TV spots were really simple enough. Ford looking intently into his TV as he’s playing drake’s Deception and whispering commands like jump into the DualShock controller. I guess it’s confirmed our suspicions Indiana Jones is a true gamer.
7. Concept Art
If you’re working on creating a video game or any piece of media. There’s a lot to be said about the importance of sketching out your ideas before you execute them. Whether that be like a story or even some Concept Art this process is usually essential for getting the entire team on the same subjective wavelength. However, there are a lot of hurdles to jump through, if you want to create some good looking 3d concepts for cheap. Softwares like AutoCAD and 3ds max can cost you thousands of dollars just to get creating concept art.
Robh Ruppel art director at Naughty Dog for the Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. In 2009 he used a free and open software for 3d sketching and that surprised people. That’s right a developer creating one of the biggest most popular and expensive games using Sketchup. Well, it surprised everyone. Google owns Sketchup, it is a tool that prides itself on being free and for everyone to use. Ruppel said that the tool helped him to create beautiful concept art in record time. And he heavily used it in creating the Shambhala area at the end of the game. It turns out Uncharted is a really good example of why tools like these should be open-source.
6. Game Development
Developing a video game is no easy task it takes a lot of money, a large number of people, and thousands of hours of work, to produce even a playable demo. let alone a game series that gets bigger with every entry. The Uncharted series is obviously no different in this regard. In 2011 during the late development of the third Uncharted game “Drake’s Deception,” the developer and Naughty Dog’s co-president Christoph Balestra tweeted out a photo of how much space does all of the Uncharted III’s assets occupies.
Essentially the stuff that goes into a game like 3d models sound effects and textures, took nearly 25 TB hard drive. And it took up almost the entire HDD leaving around 700 GB left. Well, 25 TB is a lot of storage. And nowadays most consoles are available with 1 TB of storage. So, it’s no surprise, that at the games released developers had to really work some magic to fit the entire game on a 50 GB Blu-ray disc.
5. The mistake during E3 2015
If you’re an unchartered fan you probably watch the E3 reveal and demos of the game’s releases. Therefore, if you’ve done that you probably know of a little mistake that happened at E3 in 2015 during the demo for the final Uncharted game a Thief’s End.
During the demo on the Live stage, one of the controllers malfunctioned while everyone was watching. Nathan Drake just stood there for 30 awkward seconds, while Naughty Dog’s struggled around behind the scenes to figure out why the game wasn’t working. And turns out both controllers on stage were just connected to another backup PlayStation 4. So a little Easter Egg in Uncharted 4 comes in the form of a PSN trophy called stage fright that pokes a little fun at the E3 mistake.
To acquire that trophy players need to keep Nate standing still at the exact point in the final game that appeared in the demo. Just 30 seconds of standing still and that bronze trophy is yours. So you got to give Naughty Dog some credit for making fun of themselves here, I always appreciate that.
4. Uncharted and Bandicoot
Not only did Naughty Dog release the Uncharted series, but they’re also responsible for everybody’s wumpa fruit loving Bandicoot crash. Now, there’s actually a wild theory out there that Crash Bandicoot and uncharted essentially take place in the same universe where some sort of meta version. This theory has actually been going for a while, you probably know about the big one in Uncharted 4. But the franchise has had small Easter eggs referencing one another throughout the games.
In the first Crash Bandicoot game, the titular characters seem to have a framed photo of Nate on his mantelpiece. This is of course in the remastered and same trilogy version. Besides that, we do have Nathan Drake’s gun holster which does have Naughty Dog on the back of it. And then, of course, there is the big famous scene in Uncharted 4, where you literally sit down on the couch with Elena and play Crash Bandicoot on an original PlayStation. I don’t know if this really does take place in the same universe, but I think it’s safe to say that in whatever universe Uncharted is in they have video games and they have crash bandicoot.
3. Hirokazu Yasuhara
Just when I thought there wasn’t any more room for crazy crossovers on this list, I was immediately proved wrong. This one is just a fun little fact and not so much of an easter egg. But evidently, there’s some other cohabitation when we’re talking about humanlike video game animals and Nathan Drake.
It turns out the lead game designer for a number of games within the Sonic the Hedgehog game series Hirokazu Yasuhara was also a game designer on the 2nd and 3rd Jak and Daxter games. Along with being a designer on the original Uncharted game. Hirokazu Yasuhara has his hands on a lot since he’s peppered his resume with “Pac-man and Mario”. So we’re just recognizing real talent here.
2. Nathan’s Luck Meter
It’s not easy to swing across massive caverns take bullet fire from dozens of different enemies and get out alive. Some might say that in order to survive something like that it takes a little bit of luck. And clearly according to lead game designers from Naughty Dog Nathan Drake literally lives off of his luck.
In July of 2018 animator Jonathan Cooper tweeted out a bombshell that instead of being a regenerated health system, it turns out that the red UI that represents hits on Nate is actually just a luck meter. The redder the screen, the less lucky Nathan Drake is becoming and the luckier enemies get at getting a clear shot at him to take him out. The game and the screen getting more cluttered and red is literally Nathan Drake’s luck running out.
1. Why Chloe? Why Not Sullivan and Sam?
Fans of the Uncharted series are all too familiar with the standalone expansion Lost legacy. Which I genuinely like, but this expansion is the first not to include Uncharted’s lead character Nate and instead it centers on Chloe. But of course, this expansion left a lot of fans wondering, why did Naughty Dog go the route of exploring the story of Chloe? rather than one that focused on Sully and Sam, considering uncharted 4 set that up so well.
Well, excitingly enough it turns out that Naughty Dog did consider a Sam and Sully story. But they kept coming back to the idea of Chloe. In an interview with The Daily Star in 2017, the game’s creative director and writer Shaun Escayg. And Naughty Dog’s director of communications Arne Meyer both of them explained why they chose to tell Chloe’s story. They said, “the Sam and Sully story grew quickly and grew very big quickly but it just wasn’t as compelling.” Instead, the designers decided to go with something that felt a bit more fresh, to explore more deeply the character motivations of Chloe.
But thankfully enough Naughty Dog said in the same interview that they weren’t completely shutting out the possibility of a Sam and Sully expansion in the future. And honestly, I’m holding onto hope, because that’s a game I really want to see. If we’re not getting another Nathan Drake uncharted give me a sully uncharted.
So, those are 10 little interesting facts about the Uncharted series that we thought you guys would want to know.