The Last of Us Part II Designer Joins Xbox Game Studios Developer The Initiative


According to a LinkedIn update, former Naughty Dog developer Robert Ryan joined Microsoft’s newest game studio, The Initiative, as a senior systems designer back in April. Despite being less than a year old, The Initiative is already filled with brilliant minds likeGod of War lead producer Brian Westergaard and Red Dead Redemption lead writer Christian Cantamessa.

Ryan himself accrued some credit with a nearly six-year stint spanning 2011 to 2017 as a Game Designer for Naughty Dog—designing The Last of UsThe Last of Us Part IIUncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. He went on to join Motive Studios in 2017 as a Senior Game Designer for an unannounced game.

News of Ryan’s involvement with The Initiative was originally reported by Window’s Central after Twitter user “Klobrille” posted a screenshot of Ryan’s LinkedIn profile.

The Initiative’s formation was announced at E3 2018 along with a slew of studio acquisitions from Microsoft: Ninja Theory, Compulsion Games, Playground Games, and Undead Labs. Fallout: New Vegas creator Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment both followed suit not long after. All of these steps were taken following heaps of criticism about a dearth of Xbox exclusives and studios.

No word is out on Santa Monica-based studio’s first project, but if its development is anywhere near as unorthodox as lead designer Drew Murray hopes it’ll be in this introductory video, it should be an interesting one. It’s also unclear how many more exemplary hires The Initiative is looking to make. As more information as to who they’ll next bring through their doors arises, DualShockers will keep you updated.

The post The Last of Us Part II Designer Joins Xbox Game Studios Developer The Initiative by Brandon Doerrer appeared first on DualShockers.



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The Last of Us Part II Weapon Upgrade UI Spotted In Naughty Dog Promo


While weapon-crafting was a mainstay for the original The Last of Us, another less-utilized mechanic were the peppered Workbenches that let players upgrade their guns. If you were wondering whether The Last of Us Part II would include this, eagle-eyed dives into some Naughty Dog promotional videos would suggest so.

News originally came from, of all places, Naughty Dog’s development and promotional video for International Woman’s Day 2019.

Seen above, the video takes place at Naughty Dog’s Santa Monica studio, amid development of The Last of Us Part II. So, naturally, we catch a few glimpses of coding screens and shots likely to be part of some in-game cinematics. However, there is hardly anything “substantive” so to speak… or so we thought.

Eagle-eyed community members from The Last of Us Reddit community have noticed a few interesting points from screen captures, with the most notable being an apparent weapon upgrade UI visible at the 0:37 point of the video:

The Last of Us Part 2 II Gun Upgrade Menu UI Gameplay Leak

The background to this is (likely intentionally) bright and blurred, so let’s take a moment and ENHANCE.

The Last of Us Part 2 II Gun Upgrade Menu UI Gameplay Leak ENHANCE

Before we move on, a quick apology to Naughty Dog UI designer María Capel as we close-up on her face.

In the enhanced version of the image, you can very clearly see “UPGRADE” at the top of the page, followed by different pistols. Anything other than that is pretty grainy and hard to make out — it is immediately unclear if this is for the main game or the multiplayer component. Also, it’s hard to say what the level of customization is and what crafting materials may be necessary to juice your gear up in The Last of Us Part II.

As a quick point of comparison, this is what the Workbench Weapon Upgrade UI looked like in the original The Last of Us:

Using tools and parts lootable from the surrounding environment, players were able to upgrade their guns on various aspects — including clip capacity, fire rate, and more. Even blurry and over-exposed, it seems pretty obvious that The Last of Us Part II will have much better UI. So great job on that, Capel.

This is far from the only digging that the community has done as they eagerly wait for new announcements about the Naughty Dog project. Earlier this month, new character art surfaced from the art designer’s personal portfolio. Even better, Neil Druckmann got a bit of a laugh when Netflix ripped off The Last of Us in some recent (likely) copyright infringement.

The Last of Us Part II is supposedly “coming very soon” exclusively for PS4, but we still don’t know an exact release date — despite supposed leaks.

The post The Last of Us Part II Weapon Upgrade UI Spotted In Naughty Dog Promo by Lou Contaldi appeared first on DualShockers.



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