Postmortem: Naughty Dog's Jak and Daxter: the Precursor Legacy
July 10, 2002 Page 1 of 3
the end of 1998, Naughty Dog had finished the third game in the extremely
successful Crash Bandicoot series, and the fourth game, Crash
Team Racing, was in development for a 1999 year-end holiday release.
And though Sony was closely guarding the details of the eagerly awaited
Playstation 2, rumors - and our own speculations - convinced us that the
system would have powerful processing and polygonal capabilities, and
we knew that we'd have to think on a very grand scale.
Because of the success of our Crash Bandicoot games (over 22 million copies sold), there was a strong temptation to follow the same tried-and-true formula of the past: create a linear adventure with individually loaded levels, minimal story, and not much in the way of character development. With more than a little trepidation, we decided instead to say good-bye to the bandicoot and embark on developing an epic adventure we hoped would be worthy of the expectations of the next generation of hardware.
It was important to us that Jak's world make cohesive sense. An engaging story should tie the game together and allow for character development, but not distract from the action of the game. The world should be populated with highly animated characters that would give Jak tasks to complete, provide hints, reveal story elements, and add humor to the game. We also wanted entertaining puzzles and enemies that would surpass anything that we had done before.
To achieve these and many other difficult tasks required three years of exhausting work, including two years of full production. We encountered more than a few major bumps in the road, and there were times when the project seemed like an insurmountable uphill battle, but we managed to create a game that we are quite proud of, and we learned several important lessons along the way.
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