These contributors to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End have played the critical role of providing the necessary assets needed to complete the development of this epic action-adventure. Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), a long-time Malaysian videogame industry stalwart, had been informed that a Malaysian-based digital art outfit – Passion Republic – had secured the unenviable role of producing an extensive list of art assets for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End within six weeks, according to a report at according to amanz.net.
While it is left to the discretion of Passion Republic to take the job and MDEC has no say in the decision-making process, massive risks had to be considered still. According to Ng Aik Sern, President of Passion Republic, when Naughty Dog – the developer of the Uncharted series – called and offered them the job, it created a huge buzz in the office.
“Everyone became very excited when Sony PlayStation called and told us that they needed an art team to deal with an emergency. Serious words had been used, like firefighting and the like. Hearing such terms raised our interest and they told us that Naughty Dog needed a tonne of art assets – treasures, artifacts, and in-game artworks mostly – to be created. Wow… I mean, it’s Uncharted! It’s Naughty Dog! How can we not take up this job?!
Then they shared with us the deadline we had to deal with and our wonderment came crashing down. Six weeks?! Of course, we still thought it could be done since Sony PlayStation and Naughty Dog promised to double down with us and get us running ASAP,” Ng shared.
What the Uncharted developers did to get Passion Republic up to speed and hit the ground running includes sending over the training modules, in-depth insights, and advanced tools to the Malaysian graphic studio; linking up all the artists directly to the primary development pipeline and workflow processes; and appointing the game’s lead art director to oversee the whole project.
“Naughty Dog really dug deep for this as they sent 5GB of data and training materials for us to go over. To be able to deal with such a huge cache of files and figure it all out within a week, on our end, we doubled our production capacity as well. We started with the senior team – eight of us – and then beefed up the number to 16. We had to because this is our one chance to prove ourselves. This is Uncharted after all!” Ng revealed.
The effort they had put in and the positive delivery that Passion Republic delivered upon, which mostly comprised the first batch of materials such as treasure assets, Naughty Dog had been thoroughly impressed. Immediately, they asked for more and even extended the production time the Malaysian team – from six weeks to nine. All this took place over the Christmas 2015 and 2016 Chinese New Year periods.
When asked if their contribution, while overall positive, had affected the decisions to delay Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Ng didn’t really provide a straight-up answer. He did reveal that Passion Republic, along with the teams involved and Naughty Dog, pushed the envelope to really deliver the work and pull through this challenging moment before the pre-launch initiatives for the newest entry into Uncharted kicks-off.
“Having worked hard on this and making sure we delivered as required, we hope that even more doors will open for us now. This includes working on future Naughty Dog titles as well and equally as important videogame concepts in the future,” Ng said.
Even if MDEC did not get involved in anyway, it did facilitate the visit of the Art Director of Naughty Dog – Eric Pangilinan – when he wanted to personally thank Passion Republic for their hard work. According to Hasnul Hadi Samsudin, Director of Creative Content, MDEC, in being able to push through and get the work done on time for Naughty Dog, it proves that Malaysia creatives can get the work done and are able to really come out on top even when the challenges are stacked against them.
“When push comes to shove, especially with what Uncharted 4 needed, Malaysia has proven itself worthy of delivery and being able to work on such high-profile projects. This is, indeed, an excellent case study that can be used to show that Malaysian creatives are not pushovers,” Hasnul added.
Fans of Uncharted and those keen to see the works of Passion Republic within the upcoming Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End need only wait for another 30 hours for the game to launch.
Surce: Sony, Amanz.net