Sunday, February 21, 2010

Naughty Dog's 10 Awards and the Completion of a Dream.

I just got back from DICE feeling like a million bucks.

Naughty Dog, the company I co-founded with Andy Gavin in 1985 basically swept the AIAS awards with 10 wins including game of the year.

Though I didn't have any involvement in the making of the Uncharted titles (I left Naughty Dog in 2004), I still take a great deal of pride in their completion of the team goal of linking story and game in a seamless way. Though it isn't obvious, we wanted to do much of Uncharted 2's storytelling as long ago as the first Crash title, but we didn't have the technology or experience to do much story at all in the Crash games.

I still have a binder with dozens of pages of never used background and story that were supposed to link some of the first levels in the first game. Alas, nobody will ever know that Dr. Cortex was a brainy child born into a family of circus clowns or that all of the early boss characters (and Crash) were the result a brainwashing machine that involved bombarding innocent animals with tons of pop culture entertainment. Pinstripe was forced to watch the godfather, while Koala Kong got Stallone movies, etc.

With the launch of the PlayStation 2 I pushed the team to take the challenge more seriously and each Jak title moved the dream forward, though we were still constrained by hardware, our own software, and what turned out to be years of experimenting in just how to get it right.

Again, I claim no responsibility for Uncharted or Uncharted 2, but the Naughty Dog methodology of mixing storytelling seamlessly with gameplay finally worked, and I am proud to have been part of at least the early parts of the journey that got them there. Evan, Christophe, Amy, and the rest of the team should feel incredibly proud of what they achieved.

Congratulations to Naughty Dog, still at the top of the game!


  1. Thanks Jason! We're glad we could do you proud. And thanks again for everything. Naughty Dog is definitely a special place and you and Andy built it that way.

  2. Naughty Dog is the top of the game, absolutely. Modern dream factory.

  3. There is something for all tastes - including the style and the way in which it is played. However, the corporate recognition awards seems to fit together as a compilation very well and the CD as a whole works brilliantly.