Naughty Dog shares detailed insight into the making of The Last of Us 2

The Last of Us 2
(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

Naughty Dog has shared a number of insightful presentations from its developers on the making of The Last of Us 2.

Shared via the studio’s official website, various Naughty Dog team members including a programmer, technical art director, and graphics programmer take fans through the technical process of the game. 

The first presentation is led by Artem Kovalovs, who was a programmer on The Last of Us 2, as he talks fans through the GPU-driven effects in the game. During the 25 minute presentation, Kovalovs delves into the blood, wetness, and other effects on character models and environments. According to the same website “The Last of Us Part II introduced more detailed interactions between effects and the rest of the world.” Kovalovs also has another video in this series on volumetric effects which is responsible for giving The Last of Us 2 a convincing fog amidst several different environments. 

Up next is a presentation on low-level optimizations in the game from The Last of Us 2’s graphics programmer Parikshit Saraswat. According to Naughty Dog “developing a game that satisfies high expectations on visual quality while running at 30 fps on a 6-year-old console platform, PS4, is quite a challenging task.” This video highlights how the studio was able to find solutions to any potential issues with this. 

The other presentations feature videos from Naughty Dog’s technical art director Waylon Brinck and technical artist  Qingzhou “Steven” Tang who unpack the technical art that went into the development of The Last of Us 2 and how the team managed to achieve their aim of making the game look "ambiently lit".

Finally, Naughty Dog also shared a PowerPoint from Hawar Doghramachi, a graphics programmer on the game. In this presentation, Hawar shares what improvements were made to the game’s ambient lighting system as it needed to “produce convincing and consistent lighting results while maintaining our target of 30 fps and remaining within our limited memory budget.”

Neil Druckmann has also recently given fans a small insight into a key story element of the game, noting that the now-infamous Abby scene was actually inspired by a real-life accident that the game’s director experienced. 

To find out more behind the scenes secrets, take a look at our The Last of Us 2 Easter eggs list. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.