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The Last of Us 2 Director Speaks About Story Inspiration

Neil Druckmann, speaking at DICE this week, talked about his inspirations for producing games with such strong narrative. Interviewed by director Dan Trachtenberg, the Creative Director for Naughty Dog talked about his love of story-based games while growing up: "I was especially drawn to narrative games, like Monkey Island and the Sierra games," Druckmann said. "I remember being blown away by Half-Life."

The Last of Us 2 Director Speaks About Story Inspiration
After making a breakthrough whilst working on the Uncharted game, Druckmann went on to co-direct The Last of Us back in 2013. ”None of these games start as just one idea,” Druckmann said. “It’s a lot of ideas from different people.” But, much of the premise was based on one of his own “failed student projects” about a man and a woman in a zombie world, which he had unsuccessfully pitched as a comic book. “I kept toiling away at it,” he said.

Gameplay genre and narrative genre are not always the same,” he added. “The Last of Us is an action shooter, but the story is about guardianship. So we tried to understand the classical structure of those genres and we looked at how we could subvert them in interesting ways.” Moreover, Druckmann said that he is always trying to move a story forward with carefully constructed gameplay moments that differ from a game’s central activities. “You have the core mechanics but then you have specific moments that are one-offs. They take a lot of work — unique sets of animations and tech, for what might be a five minute section — but it’s so important to pull that off.

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