Now here’s an instance where a famous videogame moment became real life. This is the true extension of ‘The Malaysian Job’.
Earlier this month, two global facing videogames studios from Malaysia – Passion Republic and Lemon Sky Animation – shared their experience on working with Naughty Dog LLC. The project is the latest entry into the Uncharted series, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. This engagement is the literal, and figurative, extension of The Malaysian Job, a named chapter for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
Both worked extensively on the visual elements for the new Uncharted entry, providing critical art assets, animation renders, and backgrounds for the game.
Passion Republic, which worked on Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End in an unexpected manner, viewed this opportunity as another chance to further prove its mettle in producing, and now managing, the production of a AAA title. When the call came in to discuss a critical work order for a soon-to- be released sequel for a Sony PlayStation 4 exclusive, it became an all-hands on deck situation.
“The call came in from Naughty Dog, via a huge recommendation from the Multimedia Development Corporation (now Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, MDEC), and we knew then it is our ‘trial by fire’. We could not say no and really pushed hard to get the work done. While we did deliver the work on time and maintained the quality of content, more important is how we left a lasting positive impression on the folks at Naughty Dog. That led to the discussion of doing more for the Uncharted
series, specifically Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. We agreed with no hesitation since we wanted to continue this relationship,” said Ng Aik Sern, President of Passion Republic.
While the original venture is not the first AAA title to feature Malaysian talent, and one of the world’s most beloved franchise at that, it is likely one of the earliest to initiate a proper collaboration between multiple Malaysia-based studios. With Passion Republic, the on-going collaboration with Naughty Dog made sense due to the firm understanding of work processes ad expectations between the two. Ng called it a deep insight as the assigned Art Director for this game, Mel Law, had long conversations with the US-based team.
As for Lemon Sky Animation, like how Passion Republic been excited at the prospect of working on such a big title for the Sony PlayStation 4, it is equal parts thrilling and stimulating. While the work focused mostly on rendering art assets, the team had to hit the ground running as it had to get up a development pipeline that both parties can easily and seamlessly work on.
“Even if we had worked on other AAA games in the last few years, the opportunity to work with Naughty Dog is still considerably rare and we know that this is a huge platform for us to continue our push for excellence. The most comprehensive process, for us, is to figure out how the multi-layered pipeline works and what we needed to do to ensure we maintained our work quality and on-time delivery,” added Kelvin Lai, Production Manager, Lemon Sky Animation.
The critical success of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, a proper standalone game in its own right, created positive spillover for Passion Republic and Lemon Sky Animation as both studios are now looking to do even more work with Naughty Dog and other studios that are relate to Sony Interactive Entertainment. For Hasnul Hadi Samsudin, Vice President of Creative Content and Technologies, MDEC, having more Malaysian creatives working on AAA titles like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy prove, once again, that talent from this part of the world is highly sought after.
“It goes to show that Malaysian creatives are a force to be reckoned with and are seen as ready for global demand. I’m very proud to see how far Passion Republic and, now, Lemon Sky Animation have come and I expect even more from them now. In fact, I won’t be surprised if they even considered creating something that can compete with Uncharted,” Hasnul added.