The Uncharted series has always had a light side — to balance out the hundreds of people protagonist Nathan Drake kills over the course of each game — and this is never emphasized more than in Uncharted 4’s multiplayer mode. After taking our your opponent, you don’t just run away. No, you dance, adding further insult to injury, and the Naughty Dog’s process for getting these sweet moves into the game is more involved than you might think.
“During the peak of production, one of the animators suggested adding some dance moves as multiplayer taunts, and I thought that was a good idea,” says lead animator Jeremy Yates. “And I was thinking about it more and I was like, ‘no, that’s a great idea!'”
Naughty Dog enlisted the help of choreographers Dana Alexa and Matt Steffanina, the latter of whom was discovered by Yates’ daughter on YouTube. The two of them were responsible for all the dances you see in the final game, including the “Nae Nae” and the “Soulja Boy,” but it didn’t stop at just their bodies: Naughty Dog opted to capture their facial expressions, as well.
“We went into it not planning on capturing their face, but so much of it is in the facial expression. There’s so much attitude that goes in there,” Yates says.
“Your body language and how you lower your chin or lean into something tells so much about whether you’re being aggressive or being cocky or being funny,” Steffanina adds.
Of course, since Uncharted 4 isn’t exactly the most competitive multiplayer game, the funny dances seem most appropriate. Watching Sully bust a move with the grace of, well, a choreographer, is a surreal, unsettling, and very entertaining sight.
If you haven’t booted up Uncharted 4 recently, you may want to jump back in now. A late June patch added a new map, character items, and naturally, more dance moves.