A few days ago, a rumor circulated which claimed that the reason for the delay of Cyberpunk 2077 was the games poor performance on current-generation consoles. The rumor prompted God of War director Cory Barlog to explain that while the situation may sound alarming for a game that is supposed to launch in the near future, such circumstances are a lot more common than fans would expect.
Games often dont look presentable until the last minute, Barlog explained, because development is extremely complex, and optimization is almost always one of the last steps of the process. There are always a ton of moving pieces in big-budget, complicated games, that somehow have to all fit together. It doesnt help matters that each piece of the game may be handled by different teams who sometimes arent even in the same country or time zone, depending on the project.
But his point is clear, and its one that more people probably need to hear and be aware of: Games dont actually work very well for the vast majority of the time theyre being developed.
GAMES ARE VERY UGLY, FOR A LONG TIME, UNTIL THEY ARE NOT, he wrote on Twitter. Traditionally, that is right near the end.
I can’t say I speak for the industry, so fellow devs chime in to disagree or correct if you feel your experience is different, but I feel this to be true for *most* games.
Traditionally, that is right near the end.
Cory Barlog Little Creep League (@corybarlog) January 22, 2020
We are, more often than not, going on passion and belief that the vision of this buggy + duct taped together thing is going to come together in the end, Barlog continued.
To me there is NOTHING shameful or nefarious about the game not running well in development.
We ALL obviously want to release the smoothest/most bug free experience humanly possible.
Sometimes we (mostly) succeed. Sometimes we don’t.
But it is NEVER because we did not try.
Cory Barlog Little Creep League (@corybarlog) January 22, 2020
If those duct-taped elements manage to come together in the end, game makers say the experience can feel like magic.
It is the most amazing day of any development cycle, developer Jennifer Scheurle said in a Polygon article last year.
A lot of game development is just having faith that youll get there, with the game looking nothing like what you imagined while you question yourself and others, she continued.
But until the magic can happen, in-development games wont always look fully presentable to the public and thats OK.