Naughty Dog using Last of Us engine for next gen

The developer won't start from scratch for PlayStation 4

The Last of Us is Naughty Dog's swansong for the PlayStation 3, but heading into the next generation, the studio won't be starting over with a brand-new engine. Naughty Dog developed a new engine for the PlayStation 3's Uncharted series, but the work caused a number of issues within the studio.

"We learned a big lesson coming from PS2 to PS3," Last of Us game director Bruce Straley told Digital Spy. "There was a lot of hype over what next-gen was going to be. It was all going to be like movies, like a pre-rendered cutscene-style fidelity. That turned out not to be true. Granted, 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 on 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. 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. And that really caused a lot of turmoil, he added.

Straley explained that Naughty Dog's switch from Jak & Daxter on the PlayStation 2 to Uncharted on the PlayStation 3 wasn't the smoothest transition.

"We were creating a new IP, with a new engine, with a lot of weird expectations. Nobody had a dev kit soon enough, and as we all know, trying to figure out how to program for a whole new piece of hardware was really difficult," he said.

"We learned our lesson in saying, as we move into development into next-gen, we want to take our current engine, port it immediately over as is and say, 'Okay, we have a great AI system, we have a good rendering system'. We have all these things that already work. Only when we hit a wall will we say, 'When do we need to change something? When do we need to scale it?"

"Hindsight's 20-20, and it sounds obvious to say it, but it's one of those things that you learn in development. We've gained something from this experience, and now we want to apply it moving into next gen," he added.

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Latest comments (3)

Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee4 years ago
Like I said somewhere else, good I guess and other studios are doing the same such as Guerrilla Games by the looks of it.

They have flexible, modular engine frameworks and ideas designed around shaders and multi-core philosophies. One would expect that these studios can naturally evolve already impressive engine technology over time to suit the new graphical and processing capabilities.

Of course, it won't all be plain sailing, PS4 is a console with a completely different architecture but I'm sure many things can be transferred and re-used. Coding languages and API have seen new standards set in PS3 with a view to the future, so there will be no starting over there
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
That... and you KNOW that we're looking at a team that knows its away around their own engine (and is going to add to what they've done with it in the future). I'd bet real money they do this so well that they'll make it sing on the PS4 and any complaints or silly rants about it "not being next gen" will fall by the wayside once the proof rolls out. The same goes for Guerrilla Games, I'm betting...
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its will be a good bet it will look gawd dang amazinn :)
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