'Uncharted' borrows from cinema to sidestep clunky game design

Developer Naughty Dog's games have always had a flair for the cinematic and that's due in large part to their presentation. The studio takes a minimalistic approach to how it delivers information to the player, eschewing ugly on-screen means of directing you where to go by using filmic techniques like smart scene composition and color to subtly guide the players from one area to the next. In the video below, YouTuber Mark Brown explores Uncharted 3's opening, breaking down how Naughty Dog pretty masterfully keeps players on the right track during the rooftop chase sequence without it feeling claustrophobically linear.

The techniques the team uses aren't exclusive to Nathan Drake's tales, either: The Last of Us features them too, and other studios have used lighting and visual landmarks to keep players on a deceptively discrete path. For example, Thatgamecompany and Eidos used similar methods for keeping folks moving forward in Journey and the recent Tomb Raider reboot. If you dig the video, perhaps consider tossing a few bucks Brown's way via Patreon.