Amy Hennig Uncharted

Uncharted creator and director Amy Hennig has revealed some of the pains of being a 53-year-old woman director in the video game industry.

In a discussion with Campo Santo co-founder Sean Vanaman as part of Polygon’s 2017 Year in Review coverage, Hennig spoke about her difficulties dealing with game development time as she ages:

“So I’ve worked on probably 15 games or something like that, over 28 years. Not all of them got published. But now I look at it and go, ‘Well, if a game takes three, four, five years to make, and I’m 53, how many at-bats do I have left?’ And you don’t want to waste those.”

Hennig also confessed some resentment over the lack of a published game since 2011’s Uncharted 3:

“I haven’t had something published since 2011, and it’s killing me. I worked on Uncharted 4 for two and a half years, and then I worked on the Star Wars game for three and a half years. A lot of the work, thankfully, lived on in U4, and we’ll see what happens with the Star Wars thing.”

Hennig is referring to the untitled Star Wars game that was in development by Visceral Games until its closure in October 2017, when the game’s development was shifted to EA Vancouver.

“But you think, ‘OK, wait a second. It was that easy to burn six years and not publish anything.’ So I look at it and go[…] ‘how many bullets do I have left in the chamber?’ I want to make sure that I make the right choices.”

Vanaman, who is 20 years Hennig’s junior, shared some personal struggles of his own: “I am in a spot where I go, ‘How much road is that way, and how much road do I want there to be that way?’”

Vanaman is currently working on In the Valley of Gods at Campo Santo, which was announced at The Game Awards last month. Hennig remained silent about her current work throughout the discussion, instead speaking extensively about her career in the industry, dating back to her work on 1994’s Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City, as well as her work on the Legacy of Kain series.

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Rhain Radford-Burns
Rhain discovered a long time ago that mixing one of his passions (video games) with the other (writing) might be a good idea, and now he’s been stuck in the industry for over six years with no means of escaping. His favourite games are those with deep and captivating narratives: while it would take far too long to list them all, some include L.A. Noire, Red Dead Redemption (and its sequel), Wolfenstein: The New Order, The Last of Us, and the Uncharted series.

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