Uncharted 4 Dev: Diversity as Important as Graphics and Gameplay

J Station X: Neil Druckmann, the director of The Last of Us and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End says that diversity is as important as graphics and gameplay.

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TwoForce858d ago (Edited 858d ago )

For me, I don't mind Diversity of gaming, but I do know a lot of people hate it. And I agree that. It is something that make people scare of it. There are some people willing to support diversity and other people don't want it. Story, characters and gameplay are very important to me. I'm still neutral about this. Year and year, video game have slowly evolved in good way and bad way. That's just my opinion really. One more thing, it is something that I have to think about it.

_-EDMIX-_858d ago

I'm a bit surprised, out of all people on here I thought you would have been in full support of that.

Nothing is wrong with reality. The reality is.....the entire world is not made up of buff white dudes and any game that depicts someone other then that and shows real traits that are rarely seen is cool to explore.

Its why I liked Nathan Drake's character so much. He wasn't some buff action hero, he wasn't some ex military, he wasn't some master gun shooter or anything like that.

ZERO reason to not support diversity. Screw those that don't want it, so fight for more of the same standard?

I was for one happy that in MGS4 Snake was OLD! They showed him not only age, but all the issues that came along with it, his memory, sight, physical abilities etc People can't cry about wanting something different in gaming, then cry when something is different in gaming.

The 10th Rider858d ago

Um, Nathan Drake is no body builder, but he is buff and an action hero. Plus he's got a great shot.

EmperorDalek857d ago

The amount of strength you need to climb stuff like that? He is buff, it's just his personality that makes him different from say the Gears of War cast.

Diversity is only a problem when devs like Bioware shoe-horn it into their games, it can end up feeling forced.

Vegamyster858d ago

People are not afraid of diversity, they just don't want it to be forced in.

Sunny_D858d ago (Edited 858d ago )

Here's the problem. How do you know if it's being forced in? Does the character for Mafia 3 seem like it's being forced in when previous characters were white? Or is it okay because of the time period? Does that mean, a black character like him can only be in a game that's related to racial issues in a specific era? Is it alright that we have an everyday guy like Nathan Drake instead being a black guy?

starchild858d ago

This "diversity" often feels forced. That's one of the things that turns people off I think. It should always be appropriate to the setting and narrative of the game.

Erik7357858d ago (Edited 858d ago )

I mean they are forced in to make all protagonist white males almost so shouldnt you be for diversity if you "dont want artist to be forced in"? All of them I bet are 90% time not allowed to have a main character thats not white or a female except a few games. Thats not so true now though, its pretty good right now and we have a good mix of characters. Also like sunny D said you cant really tell when its "forced in"

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_-EDMIX-_858d ago (Edited 858d ago )

100% agreed. I think that goes without saying. No one wants any feature, characteristic etc forced or there just to be there.

I feel many marketing reps help ok characters JUST based on what statistically sells and don't care about creativity, I feel the ARTIST DO! If someone wrote that story with a certain race, demographic, gender etc, I want to hear what they have to tell.

Give rhyme to the reason as they say, I think we all want that about all games and art. We will never really know if it was "forced" so I find it a bit irrelevant as it will likely remain unproven. I do want reason behind all characters though.

edit- to fries great point, most don't bring up that white buff males have been for the most part forced as this default to market games. We've had way too many times where someone has come out and stated someone was changed to this to that simply based on sales.

Those higher ups want to make games that are like OTHER games to get those sales, gamers want this change, publishers are too scared it. They want to look like other games, market how other games market etc.

THUS if a game has MP, what have we seen?
If a game has over the shoulder....what have we seen?
So if a game has a white male, what have we clearly seen many times over?

To a degree I get that many of those games would have always had a white male do to the nature of the story, game etc, but we honestly can't say the same for ALL games, we all know that games change things ALL the time to appeal to a crowd.

Look at all the before and after from Japanese games? From removing characters, changing gender, race, names, enlarging breast, making breast smaller lol etc. We've seen it too many times to really not factor that.

Theguardianwave858d ago

Notice it's only forced in when it's not white guys like us America is racist lets just admit it. There is no good reason games shouldn't have more diverse cast just look at overwatch and take notes

Vegamyster858d ago (Edited 858d ago )


Like bruce755 said, you don't always know but it's pretty obvious when certain groups are always getting upset and pressure devs to change a character because they don't like something and that was my point.

"America is racist lets just admit it"

I don't live in the US but I'll tell you what i think about a statement like that. Okay there is racism but saying something like that without giving any proof doesn't do anything to help, is there some law that creates a disadvantages or are you just generalizing all people as being racist?

NecoTehSergal858d ago

@Sunny_D - Forced, such as say, an all-female Ghostbusters movie remake for 2016. Nothing screams diversity like having no males and stereotyping the only black woman in the movie---- wait...

rainslacker858d ago (Edited 857d ago )


When it doesn't seem to fit, it's probably forced. When it doesn't matter to the narrative, and it's prominent, it is probably forced. When it's openly admitted to being changed to be diverse, it's probably forced.

If one is having trouble saying it's forced, because it fits into the game, or narrative, or with everything else in the game, then it's probably not forced.

Forced is the wrong way to be diverse. Being diverse because it works and makes sense, means the dev is conscious of the product they're trying to make, and go to greater lengths to be authentic and understand good character design, scene set up, or story telling.

There are times it's ambiguous. Say with the new Watch Dogs game. Black guy wouldn't be that out of the ordinary in a urban city. I feel the decision to make the main character black was forced because it's just the trend right now, but ultimately, it's not out of place, so whatever, it's fine.

But lets look at Kung Lao(sp?) from MKX. His homosexuality wasn't really that important to anything. It was barely even covered in the story mode, and even left slightly ambiguous. So what's the point? Make him gay because????. That's forced, because it really doesn't matter what his sexual preferences are....and sexuality of the characters was never a topic of the series that I can recall....hence, it's forced.

It didn't ruin the game or anything, but it's a prime example that forced inclusion isn't really helping anything, nor is it meaningful except to allow the devs or pubs to appear to believe in being diverse.

But I'm going to throw this out there, because I see people say that people are overtly heterosexual often in reference to the ubiquitious nymphomaniac or sexy character that's in some of these games. Well, those are forced as well. It's common, but no less forced if it means nothing.

In the case of kung lao though, it had nothing really to do with his character in context to the game, and even less to the overall narrative. It wasn't even a personality trait akin to those overly sexual heterosexual characters that people keep pointing to.

If a game is designed around the premise of being diverse, one has to ask themselves if it's a game worth playing, because the make up of the characters, and structure/quality of the narrative is not going to take precedence over being good by including characters that actually have a meaningful role within that story.

If one were to say look at Life is Strange. The game was written to tell a narrative. There was diversity, although mostly just preppy hipster white kids, but one of the characters was gay, and it had nothing to do with the story itself, beyond that persons relationship to another person, and possibly some narrative based on players choices with the players avatar itself. The narrative came first. The other obviously gay character in the game, never once had their sexuality mentioned, commented on, or in any way was part of the plot, but it fit given the setting of the game....thus done very well.

@Saito below

My bad. Got them confused. Cousins or brothers as I recall. I didn't get too deep into MKX, just the first simple example I could think of. Thanks for clarifying.:)

Saito857d ago

@rain its Kung Jin not Lao who is homosexual

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Aither858d ago

Feminists and SJW don't care about Naughty Dog since they are the ones that attack the gamer populace. To support something that actually wants to bring you down and force you into doing what they want is pretty sadist of Neil Druckmann and Naughty Dog in general. Feminists hate gamers because they don't care if sexy girls are in the games, and they want developers to be forced into developing what feminists want which is void of anything sexual and to make females the protagonist regardless of of whether it adheres to the story or not. After being a long time supporter of the company, I honestly feel betrayed by Sony because they are catering to the whims of the feminists, hence the new crappy Ghost Busters movie and Naughty Dog going out of its way to change a gender solely because of feminist frequency. The BS they spew has gotten to the point where Neil Druckmann will literally change the original ending of a story they had planned for Uncharted 4 in order to make feminists feel better about themselves. This simply should not be.

There have been plenty of main female cast of characters in games before that were put in because the developers thought it would be best and gamers loved those titles. This feminist and SJW movement has gotten so far out of hand that it is literally forcing us to live in a world they want where freedom of thought doesn't matter because it "might hurt someones feelings". Yeah the only feelings they care about is their own.

rainslacker858d ago (Edited 858d ago )

I've never felt that ND was one to have to worry about forcing anything into their games. They seem to try and make games(at least starting last gen where they went more real world) that have characters, settings, and stories that fit within their narratives. No character in UC is out of place for what it is. The one "sexy" character isn't even out of place, and even though she knows she's sexy, it's not like they objectify her, or make that in any way the biggest part of her character. Her sexiness is just a character trait, not the character itself.

ND itself, made Elena to be fairly ordinary for a woman in video games long before the SJW starting complaining, and while she's "sexy" in her own way, that sexiness is something that is just kind of natural for a petite blonde who is as active as she would be.

Druckman himself, despite saying he's looking at ways to diversify his games, just makes characters that work. So long as the diversity he brings works with the games, and the entire game isn't build around the premise of being diverse, I'm sure it'll be fine.

There's nothing wrong with seeing what these people have to say, and using it to analyze what one could do better, or if they've been doing things wrong. Some people want to show that people are the same regardless of what affiliation may be attributed to them, and the good story tellers know that even if something is forced, there has to be a reason to explain their inclusion, even if it's not directly stated. When they do so, the diversity isn't for the sake of being diverse, it's diverse, because the artist themselves want things to be more natural.

Even though these inclusions are borne from his beliefs on the subject, it's OK for them to include things that they feel fit, because a part of the artist exists in every piece of art. As far as ND goes, they don't go overboard, and they do make it natural so it still fits.

When they're included to fill in check boxes, then it becomes a problem, because more often than not, it's extremely shallow and needless. If the artist can't naturally come to a way to include these things, then it's a problem. Actively looking for ways to be diverse isn't a problem so long as they remain true to the overall vision. Every game has it's design analyzed, and even a generic buff white guy is there due to decisions that it fits the best(or more often will be the most appealing to the target audience). There's nothing wrong with doing it for things categorized as diverse.

sampson3121858d ago

99% of everything we see in movies, tv, and games are white folks. i don't have a problem with it because it's all I've really known growing up in north america.

why some people find it threatening, or feel that having a non white character is being in some way shoved down their throats, is amusing to the 1% that are told to live with it everyday.

name five characters from 5 successful games that had to be white because the story called for it.
Nathan Drake didn't have to be a white character, he could have been native american, no?
unless you think native americans are still living in tepees. get my point?

woman are getting a very small percentage of leading roles in games and movies.

"This feminist and SJW movement has gotten so far out of hand that it is literally forcing us to live in a world they want where freedom of thought doesn't matter because it "might hurt someones feelings". Yeah the only feelings they care about is their own."

remove "This feminist and SJW movement has gotten so far out of hand that it is literally" and add "white males are" to the beginning, and then you might understand how the rest of us feel.

Timesplitter14858d ago

What I think is a bit weird here is that there is little to no diversity in ND's games. At least not in the main characters. It's only the people you shoot that are really diversified

rainslacker858d ago

ND only has a few characters for any one of their games. The main character, a few supporting cast, a bad guy or two, and those bad guys henchmen. For the most part, given where the games take place, their "diversity" is pretty natural for the story because it either fits into the location, or the location of where the bad guy comes from.

ND games have diversity beyond that though. Ellie was gay in TLOU...although it wasn't revealed until the DLC...but her sexuality had nothing at all to do with the plot in the game proper. Her friend in Left Behind was black, and also gay, hence diverse. The antagonist of TLOU was black, although she wasn't actually a bad guy in the classic sense nor were you gunning for her the whole game. The fireflies and regular soldier types you shot throughout the game were made up of what you'd expect in a game that takes place in America...and that's varying races, but mostly white. Beyond that, there wasn't much to be diverse about. People were just who they were.

before that, their games weren't set in reality, so can't really say there.

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GeraltOfRevia858d ago

SJWs aren't going to buy your games so you can stop acting like you care about them.

Sunny_D858d ago

So why can't non Sjw's buy the games?

EcoSos3858d ago

Thats because its not made for us.

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BosSSyndrome857d ago

That moment when believing that a further exploration of human diversity in an art form with so much untapped potential makes you a KRAZY SOSHUL JUSTIS WARYUR HARRRR

Imalwaysright858d ago

Is this a joke? This can only be a joke!

Bahamut858d ago

It's been confirmed. The Last of Us 2's main character will be an obese African-American female lesbian hermaphrodite.

Greyfoxdbz858d ago

Joel will be in a wheelchair for last of us 2 for disability representation

rainslacker858d ago (Edited 858d ago )

Not obese. ND doesn't want to offend fat people. Remember no donut drake?

Also think lesbian hermaphrodite is an oxymoron. But so is African American for the vast majority of people who use it, since they do not have dual citizenship. You don't actually need to use female when referencing a lesbian, the lesbian part implies that it's a female.

So, the main character for TLOU2, by your reasoning, and to make sure ND doesn't offend anyone with misplaced or redundant nomenclature is that they will be nothing at all....because all those things can't actually exist in conjunction with one another....unless the main character actually has dual citizenship....which wouldn't make much sense in TLOU, because I doubt citizenship is something that exists in the world, and travelling from Africa to America wouldn't seem practical in that world....unless they were there at the start of the outbreak.

Kingdomcome247857d ago

This gave me a good chuckle.

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Bahamut857d ago (Edited 857d ago )

@rainslacker I understand that some oxymorons may have been prevalent, but t'was a simple jest sir. One of which to not be taken seriously. Good day!

rainslacker857d ago (Edited 857d ago )


I didn't take it seriously. I was joking as well. Just trying to show how silly it can all be.:)

More often than not, when i go into these over rational rants and exploitative analysis of things that are said, it's best not to take me seriously.:)

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NotEvenMyFinalForm858d ago (Edited 858d ago )

ND now drinking the kool-aid too... So sad. But graphics are not as important as gameplay either. That is nonsense.

_-EDMIX-_858d ago

Diversity allows for stories to be told that otherwise would have not been feasible or believable.

Having a graphically immersive world allows to convey a world that otherwise would have not been feasible or believable.

No one is saying its the only thing that matters, merely some concepts NEED to be able to convey an idea graphically just as much, consider Alien Isolation or Dead Space... I still need to believe I'm in such a space station to be fully immersed. If it looks like Minecraft, clearly I'm not going to have my mind in that same place.

Some genres NEED it, using Minecraft as an example again, it can pass with that clearly as a open world do anything type of fantasy game, but many horrors need to be able to rely on making a believable world first before making you PLAY a horror.

P.T is an amazing example, that game looks JAW DROPPINGLY amazing, added with amazing gameplay, you are locked in that world and it feels believable because it looks believable.

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Sunny_D858d ago

So why can't devs add a minority character just because and not because of some agenda? Can we get an everyday guy like Nathan Drake without having it relate to racial issues or a specific time period? Or nah?

mopground858d ago

We can. Thats the problem with these progressive types. They dont actually see how theyre regressive. They are more sexist and racist than those they accuse of being because the character must be black cause he/she is black. Someone mentioned mafia 3 earlier up, is it forced? Well if you listen to the dev walk through, im pretty sure he says 'hes a black vietnam vet" not a "vietnam vet". Why say this when we can see?

iceman06857d ago

@Mopgeound...he says that he is Black because it is an important aspect of the narrative of the establishment of the Black Mafia throughout the game. It adds to the overall tensions because of the time period that the game is set in. (being harassed by the police while trying to go about your mafia business adds that extra layer of immersion to the narrative) So, it's not just a throw away mention.

Imalwaysright858d ago (Edited 858d ago )

Indeed. It's preferable to have better graphics but why is it that FF13 and RE6 were considered disappointments and are widely considered the worst games in their respective franchises despite having much better graphics than their predecessors? Graphics don't make or breajk games.

Darkwatchman858d ago

That's obviously true, but Uncharted 4 wouldn't have had the same impact it does now without the amazing visuals it has.

ninsigma858d ago

I'm going at this from an SP game perspective.

From Druckman, quoted in the article:
"When you make a game, you have these different pillars that you’re trying to balance. It’s graphics, it’s gameplay, it’s story and you’re trying not to let any one pillar overwhelm the other. You’re trying to just keep all of this stuff in your mind like, how does it all work together? Recently, I realized that there’s this other pillar of diversity. That’s just as important as any one of these other pillars".

I see where he's coming from and respect his opinion. In fact I agree to an extent BUT I feel the execution of his statement is going the wrong way. The way I see it is that diversity is not it's own pillar. It's part of the story pillar. The diversity of the characters should come naturally from the story/lore/setting of the game.

Rimeskeem858d ago

The way I see it is diversity is a part of every pillar. You have to have diverse characters to have a great story (typically in ND games anyways). You want diversity in the gameplay (Uncharted 2 train combat). And I guess with graphics you have to have diversity to give completely different atmospheres.

Imalwaysright858d ago

I disagree. Diversity is absolutely meaningless on its own. What matters is if the characters are well written and if we can connect with them. If devs don't accomplish that I don't care if they are black blue or green because I will not care about them.

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rainslacker858d ago (Edited 858d ago )

Yep, and when diversity becomes it's own pillar, you get skewed views on what is natural, or you start trying to write your story or create your characters to fit within that diversity pillar. But since that diversity pillar is part of the story pillar, it becomes harder to actually achieve balance, because you are now trying to balance between two pillars where there used to be one, thus things become skewed. In terms of presentation, this leads to lackluster implementation, because there is no way to balance out the pillars.

If you have a round bowl balancing between three pillars, and you insert another pillar, it's going to move the bowl. While balance could be found, it requires more work.

But if you split one of the pillars into two, then the two new pieces can't hold anything on their own, and the other two pillars aren't capable of making up the lack of balance, thus the bowl falls.

In any case, even if it is it's own pillar, I don't feel it's anywhere near as important as the other three. It's more like a weight added to a wheel to help balance out some roughness. Not a main part of how the wheel spins.

At best it can be considered a brick within the story pillar. Pillar won't fall if you remove it, but something may appear to be missing for those looking at that pillar from a different perspective.

Aren't metaphors fun?