Naughty Dog Game Studio’s Working Style

Uncharted 3 developer Naughty Dog has its own version of the famous Google Fridays.

Google famously encourages its staff to set aside their day-to-day work every Friday to explore new ideas and new technologies. Naughty Dog has its own version – and according to Uncharted 3 lead designer Richard Lemarchand, it’s a huge help.

“[Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra, Naughty Dog co-presidents] are cool about giving us an interval of undirected time at work, which is really interesting,” he told Eurogamer at the GameCity6 festival in Nottingham last week.

“It’s a bit like the famous Google Fridays, where Google employees are allowed to do whatever they like one day a week. They’re smart in doing so because many of the coolest bits of the Uncharted games have grown out of those times of self-directed work we all do. In particular the programmers have a chance to do some R&D. It’s a cool time right now.”

PlayStation 3 exclusive Uncharted 3 launches tomorrow, marking the end of a busy 18 months for Naughty Dog.

And with the game finished Naughty Dog has already begun to reflect on the project.
Uncharted 3 developer Naughty Dog has its own version of Google’s ‘Google Friday’, allowing its employees to work freely every Friday in order to allow them the creativity to create new and inspirational content and ideas.

“We’ve already started having post-mortem meetings,” Lemarchand said. “We’ve started having meetings about what went right and what went wrong. We always do this at the end of every project. While the experience of making the game is still fresh in our minds we want to make as many notes as we can about the things we think we could do better.

“Another cool thing about the end of a project at Naughty Dog is Evan and Christophe are very generous in the amount of time off they give us. They want everyone to go away and recharge their batteries. Lots of people at Naughty Dog like to travel. Lots of people have families they hang out with.”

Speculation is rife that Naughty Dog will jump straight into development of Uncharted 4 – with some even suggesting it will launch on Sony’s next console.

While Lemarchand wouldn’t be drawn on Naughty Dog’s next, he said the entire team will have an influence over it.

“Of course there is a top secret plan about what project we’ll be working on next,” he said. “Evan and Christophe always have their ear to the ground very keenly in terms of where the passions of the team are lying. They’re really cool about that. So yeah, we do have a lot of creative input, just like we do all the way down the line.

“That’s the kind of place Naughty Dog is. We’re very creatively empowered to work on the things we care most passionately about, to try out ideas we think might work, even if they seem risky. It’s terrific. Evan and Christophe are very far sighted in thinking this way about what to do at the end of a big chunk of work like Uncharted 3.”

Check out the full article on Eurogamer: Uncharted 3: Naughty Dog’s version of Google Fridays

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