Play testers have an important role in the development of every video game. Generally, these play testers would offer feedback primarily on gameplay aspects and the overall experience. Interestingly however, for the upcoming PlayStation exclusive, The Last of Us Part II, Naughty Dog filmed and analysed the facial reactions of its play testers during ‘emotional beats’, later altering these moments to maximise player reactions.
In an article by Wired, it was revealed that “[Neil] Druckmann’s team [watched] for players’ minute responses to the narrative and emotional beats” with the dev team “log[ing] and annotat[ing] every clench of the law and widening of the eyes” all in the name of ensuring that players felt the maximum impact of these moments.
According to Druckmann: “I saw one girl get to this sequence that took us a long time to get to land. And she’s bawling. I’m watching her, and I’m starting to cry because she’s crying, and I’m like, all these years of work for a couple-of-minutes sequence. It’s all for this—just to be able to get this person to feel this experience.”
There was no doubt that The Last of Us Part II was going to be an emotional game, but it is nonetheless interesting to see that the team at Naughty Dog specifically studied the facial and emotional reactions of players in order to ensure that the game is as evocative as possible.
KitGuru says: Are you looking forward to The Last of Us Part II? What did you think of the first game? Has a video game ever made you cry? If so, which game? Let us know down below.