Is the question “How long did it take to make Last of Us?”
lingering in your mind?
Then you’re not alone!Countless fans share your curiosity.
It’s understandable to wonder about the process behind creating such a groundbreaking video game.
The final product seems so flawless it can truly make one ponder about the hours days months and possibly even years that went into its creation.
But surprisingly the answer might not be what you expect.
Table of Contents
The Making Of The Last Of Us
The Last of Us a post-apocalyptic action-adventure game took a turbulent four years to make. It began development in 2009 directly after Naughty Dog had finished Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
The studio known for the Uncharted series had a new concept in mind; Joel a hardened gritty survivor and Ellie a 14-year-old girl would be the protagonists in this destroyed civilization.
Originally the game saw a criminal protecting a young girl. This concept was shelved due to concerns of pacing and character development.
A later iteration named ‘Mankind’ had Joel guarding Ellie the sole female immune to the virus. Critics dismissed this idea as misogynistic leading to development struggles.
It wasn’t until 2010 that the final concept for The Last of Us emerged. A radical idea – a potent non-sexualized female lead character aimed at causing a domino effect within the video game industry.
Joel ended up as a paternal figure who makes an ambiguous decision to save Ellie at the cost of a potential cure for the virus. The open-ended conclusion was built to provoke discussion and proved to be controversial.
Behind The Scenes Of The Last Of Us
Behind the scenes of The Last of Us work was happening at a fast pace. After the game had been launched in 2013 it was greeted with universal acclaim.
Appreciated for its innovative storytelling visual design and the development of female characters the game set a new standard for the industry.
Shortly after Naughty Dog decided to reiterate the success of The Last of Us by porting the game onto PlayStation 4 in 2014. Accepting the challenge the team enhanced the visuals improved the frame rate and included all previously released DLC in the remastered version allowing players an upgraded experience of the acclaimed game.
Simultaneously multiple teams at Naughty Dog had begun working on Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and the sequel to the original game. By 2017 the game directors had pivoted all teams to focus solely on The Last of Us 2.
Even though the sequel suffered from several release delays Naughty Dog remains steadfast to deliver a much-improved and anticipated sequel.
The Last Of Us: Development Insights
The development of The Last of Us began in 2009 shortly after Naughty Dog wrapped up their work on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
Taking nearly four years to complete the development process was anything but easy.
Initial Development Phase
The game was conceptualised by Neil Druckmann the creative director at Naughty Dog. The idea for the game was conceived nearly 10 years before its actual release.
Interestingly the original idea involved creating a game for George Romero the father of modern zombie movies but the project met with roadblocks.
Conceptualizing of characters
Joel and Ellie the leading characters became the focus of the game. Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson provided the voice and motion capture performances for these characters adding layers to their personalities.
Change in Concept
The game went through a number of iterations before finalisation. The initial concept involved Joel a hardened man protecting a mute young girl.
However this idea failed to make it into the game.
A different version called Mankind had a similar premise- Joel protecting Ellie the only immune female to work towards a cure. This idea was scraped off as well for being perceived as misogynistic.
The final concept of The Last of Us was finalised around 2010. However it experienced initial failure because of character development and pacing issues.
Secrets Of The Last of Us Creation
The game involved a lot of ground-breaking work in the gaming industry. From cinematic storytelling to the creation of a strong non-sexualised female protagonist The Last of Us set new standards.
Focus on Character Development
Great emphasis was laid on the development of the characters. Joel evolved from a criminal to a father figure; Ellie from a vulnerable young girl to a capable character.
The Controversial Ending
Another significant aspect of the game was its ambiguous ending meant to be interpreted by players differently. It depicted Ellie realising that she couldn’t rely on Joel anymore and should make her own decisions.
Popularity and Reception
Released in June 2013 The Last of Us sold over 1.3 million units in its first week and 17 million by April 2018. It also received broad critical acclaim lauded for its narrative visuals sound design and depiction of female characters.
Additional Content and Remastered Version
To further enrich the game’s universe Naughty Dog released extra DLC including the single-player campaign The Last of Us: Left Behind. A remastered version of the game was also released in July 2014 for the PlayStation 4 offering enhanced graphics and technical improvements.
Crafting The Last Of Us
The creation process of The Last of Us was a journey that started around 2009 shortly after Naughty Dog’s previous project Uncharted 2: Among Thieves had been completed. The central focus of The Last of Us is the relationship between the key characters: Joel a hardened survivor and Ellie a 14-year-old immune to the virus that has decimated civilization.
Voiced and captured in motion by Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson respectively these characters newly-defined narrative potentials of video games. The final concept of The Last of Us wasn’t the original vision though.
A version titled Mankind had Joel protecting Ellie the only female immune to the virus to create a cure but was shelved due to concerns over its misogynistic concept.
The gameplay was designed to combine action-adventure elements with survival horror emphasizing scarcity of resources and featuring combat with infected humans and dangerous monsters created by the mutated Cordyceps fungus. In crafting The Last of Us the developers sought to revolutionize interactive storytelling and create a strong non-sexualized female protagonist capable of having an impactful influence in the video game industry.
The development of the critically acclaimed game involved creating a perfect blend of visuals and sound design which together with its captivating narrative led it to win numerous awards including Game of the Year and etch its name in the list of greatest video games ever made.