On Friday, when I was writing up my HGGW feature for NeverDead, it occurred to me to look through my on and offline reading archives to see what other people were saying about the game. Whilst filtering through my collection of last year’s gaming mags, I stumbled across the November issue (#212) of ‘PLAY’ – “the UK’s best-selling independent PlayStation magazine”.
I absolutely love developer interviews, there’s something about the spewing of memorised marketing jargon that just warms the cockles of my heart, but what I found when I read their interview of one of the guys from the Skyrim dev team wasn’t a collection of PR-written answers at all, and was actually an entirely different strain of conjured up bullshit altogether.
(Before you read on, I should say that this isn’t entirely a fecal-themed rant about the game, but gamesradar’s David Houghton’s has got a brilliant rage-fuelled-post on Rimlag that is exactly that – here)
Click ‘Continue Reading’ for the full post.
The interview, which picked the brains of Skyrim’s art director, Matt Carofano, had a myriad of quotable gems, each of which making Bethesda even more devious as the last.
Choice Skyrim Interview Quote #1
(when asked about the step-up in quality from the previous Elder Scrolls game, Oblivion, to the current, Skyrim).
…this is now our third game with Oblivion and Fallout 3 so we’ve learned a lot about how to use the hardware
Right off the bat, knowing what we do now about the extent of Skyrim’s failure to work on PS3 (though it’s had its fair share of Xbox 360 issues) , Carofano states that they’ve actually learnt things from the equally as game shaking problems that crippled Fallout 3’s DLC (as Houghton’s post states). From the get-go your nostril hairs quiver and your stomach churns as the ever-present stench of bullshit prevails : if they’d really learnt so much, no-one would be having an issue with Skyrim.
Choice Skyrim Interview Quote #2
(when asked how Fallout 3 helped with the aforementioned “improvements”)
Fallout 3 helped quite a bit but a lot of [game engine-code] stuff was also written between Fallout 3 and Skyrim and a lot made specifically from Skyrim. It’s a really big difference.
So all of that disgusting lag that you’re experiencing now? Yeah, that’s basically a polite reminder, a booby prize as it were, from Bethesda that lag is consistent in their games, if nothing else. I can only assume that by “a really big difference”, they were referring to the icy cold terrain that the latter game includes.
(Ironically, one of the Skyrim team called phooey when a member of the Fallout : New Vegas team said that the lag issues were pre-existing.)
Choice Skyrim Interview Quote #3
(when asked how they ensured that Skyrim was as bug-free as possible).
We’ve started play-testing the game much earlier and the entire team tests the whole game and we’re dedicated to getting rid of as many bugs as we can.
Which begs the question : HOW ON EARTH DID THEY MISS THE GAME-BREAKING BUG?!?!?
During my ranting on Twitter, @halbpro made a very good point, saying that it may not have been the QA testers’ faults (and he even sent me this article, which did make me sympathise with testers) because they can only test what they’re given. But still, Bethesda had to have known that this bug (Rimlag) existed. Unless this ‘early’ game-testing’ that they set up was by a group of ass-backwards fools with less sense than gaming ability, who were all playing on Xbox 360, there’s no way that they could have missed it, especially as PS3 players first reported problems at the 25-30 hour stage.
Choice Skyrim Interview Quote #4
And now for my final quote (this one’s a real kicker) is how Carofano replied when asked about the possibility of a new game engine from Bethesda
I don’t know. I think it’s a little too early to say. We’ve been really happy with how our new engine has worked on the current generation of consoles
So there you have it – any of that lag that has provided all of those super-happy-fun-fun Skyrim play time will be carried over to any future Bethesda games because quite frankly, they don’t see the problem with having games that just stop working after a day, like you accidentally paid full price for a 3 day trial. But you know, as long as Bethesda are raking in the moolah, that’s all that matters, right?
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