With the sheer epicness of the upcoming Uncharted Nathan Drake collection, it’s hard not to be moved by its well-crafted story. Although many hard working individuals have put their blood, sweat and tears into making Uncharted achieve what it has become, one woman had brought it all to life.
Amy Hennig was the creative director and writer on the Uncharted series after serving as a video game director and scriptwriter for Naughty Dog. Hennig had molded and fashioned her craft skills for scriptwriting when she attended the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. From there she went on to film school at San Francisco State University, first beginning in the industry when she was hired as an artist for the Atari game ElectroCop. As she worked on the game, she soon realized that the video game industry had interested her more than the film industry.
Hennig then made her life-changing decision to drop out of film school and focus on her true passion of working in games; her design unveiling was with her work for the Nintendo Entertainment System, in which she worked on the game Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City. She later went to work for Crystal Dynamics, primarily on The Legacy of Kain series and soon after she made her way over to Naughty Dog, where she began working on two series that turned out to be major hits that put the company on the map: Jak and Daxter and Uncharted.
She has been called one of the most influential women in the video game industry by Edge magazine. “Everything I learned as an undergraduate with English literature and in film school about editing and shots and the language of film has come into play, but in a way I couldn’t possibly have planned,” said Hennig who stated that her literature degree and film studies have helped her work with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves which Hennig was the commander of the 150 person team who worked on the games development, she also was the lead for the acting and obviously as the writer. After her work on the Uncharted series, Hennig left Naughty Dog in 2014 and as of April 3, 2014, she had united forces with Visceral Games to go to work her magic on their up and coming Star Wars game which will undoubtedly be another work of art that mixes gameplay, with character development and overall great storytelling.
Hennig believes that the creative direction of a script holds more importance than the graphics of the game as she feels that focusing to much on graphics can constrain a game. She also says that once game writers focus on creative expression, video games will greatly improve. Hennig is in every way an influential women in the game industry and a innovator for the way we play games that also deliver great story. As a writer, it is safe to say that Amy Hennig’s hard work and compelling storytelling of the Uncharted series has influenced me and inspired my writing in more ways then one. She is truly a remarkable woman and if she ever does decide to take on the film industry, there’s no doubt that she will turn out something great. Now if only she was the one overseeing the development and production of Sony’s take on the Uncharted movie…