Close
Report Comment to a Moderator Our Moderators review all comments for abusive and offensive language, and ensure comments are from Verified Users only.
Please report a comment only if you feel it requires our urgent attention.
I understand, report it. Cancel

Digital Foundry

Tech Focus: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Wed 16 Nov 2011 7:25am GMT / 2:25am EST / 11:25pm PST
Digital Foundry

Digital Foundry on the scale of Skyrim's technical accomplishment and the controversy over its many bugs.

The notion of consumers as beta testers appears to be growing increasingly commonplace, and it's something of a shame that Skyrim should be getting so much attention for its technical problems when the core package is simply remarkable. In this article, I'll be taking a look at some of Skyrim's most impressive technical achievements, but also highlighting related bugs and issues that are causing concern amongst the userbase. Could they by any chance be related? In some cases, perhaps so.

As the stack of YouTube bug videos rises seemingly by the hour, the question is, how can complex systems and features be fully tested when the circumstances in which they come into play will almost certainly change between players, and when the behaviour of the gamers themselves is so difficult to anticipate? Just how thorough can conventional QA be when we have a game as vast, open and as wide-ranging as this?

Make no mistake, despite the game's miniscule size in terms of compressed game data on the shipping DVD, there's no doubting the scale of the game and the sheer scope for adventure it contains. Bethesda's remarkable compression scheme ensures that the entire Xbox 360 version of the game weighs in at just 3.8GB. Never mind that we're now in the era of the 50GB dual layer Blu-ray: the Xbox 360 version of Skyrim in its entirety would fit snugly onto a single layer DVD with space to spare.

Skyrim's bugs are grabbing the headlines but just how thorough can conventional QA be when we have a game as vast, open and as wide-ranging as this?

With careful planning on how the files are laid out on the disc, Bethesda can ensure that the all-important texture and geometry data is always available on an area of the platter that offers the most throughput on the Microsoft console's 12x DVD drive (typically the outer edge of the disc), meaning fast streaming and minimal pop-in. The Xbox game hasn't been pared down that much either when compared to the PC version, which weighed in at around 5.5GB of data when we downloaded it from Steam. We see some occasional reduction in texture quality but everything else looks remarkably like-for-like.

For all the bugs and issues being reported about Skyrim, its fundamental achievements are simply staggering - starting with the environment itself. Bearing in mind the sheer size of the game and its myriad quests, our first thought is that the realm of Skyrim is actually procedurally generated - the result of a mathematical equation in the same way that the vast, expansive world of Codemaster's FUEL is generated. The notion is nothing new: 8-bit classic Elite generated eight entire galaxies in much the same way, and it could have churned out an infinite number of them if Braben and Bell were that way inclined.

In a recent podcast with Major Nelson (aka Microsoft's Larry Hyrb), Bethesda played down the procedural generation idea and simply mentioned that its compression was phenomenally good. Encoding design data into the height maps of terrain has been seen as one possible solution for storing enormous amounts of environmental data in a highly space efficient manner, but the developers are keeping their cards close to their chests on how it's actually done.

The creation of the landscape itself is just one of the technical marvels in the game - another concerns the amount of characters, objects and containers: thousands upon thousands of them spread across the sprawling map. This is something that certainly could not be procedurally generated without nerfing game balance, and may explain why save games incrementally grow as you progress through the game: it would make sense for the save to act as an ever-expanding "patch" that tracks how the objects and characters have moved from the default positions. The remarkable thing is that no matter how far you progress in the game you can return to the scenes right from the game's opening - and nothing has changed, even if days and weeks of in-game time have passed.

This may account for the reports we are seeing emerging of problems relating to the PlayStation 3 version of the game, where ballooning save-game sizes are being blamed for causing issues for some Skyrim players on the Sony platform.

Quite why it's just the PS3 game that is apparently affected is unclear, but it is the platform with the lowest amount of free RAM and it's clear from other issues that despite improvements from the Fallout 3 era, Bethesda are still having trouble making their PS3 work equivalent to the "lead" Xbox 360 version.

We were unable to replicate the save game issue thus far in our Digital Foundry analysis, but GI.biz's Dan Pearson - 18 hours into the PS3 version - seems to have experienced the problem and describes the increased performance after moving across to the 360 game as "revelatory".

Tracking a bug like this sounds like a nightmare, but according to Bethesda fans, the exact same issue exists in both Fallout 3 and New Vegas (some even saying that Morrowind on the original Xbox did the same thing) and questions are being asked on why the new game with its enhanced engine is exhibiting a similar issue.

So is Skyrim a victim of simply being too rich and too complex for its own good, was QA simply a little lacklustre, or was the game simply rushed to market?

Perhaps befitting the SKU that Bethesda has designed as lead platform, the Xbox 360 game doesn't seem to have quite as many problems as its PC and PS3 siblings, but the issue it has manifested is a bit of a doozy, with the preferred HDD install actually robbing the game of its ability to render the highest resolution textures. Bethesda initially denied there was a problem - perhaps understandable bearing in mind that HDD installation is an OS-level function that game developers have very little control over. Regardless, a later post on its official forum suggests that Bethesda are at least aware of this issue and plan to resolve it in a future patch.

Other bugs are manifesting in interesting and unexpected ways, and don't sound so much like QA oversights - more like unintended consequences of the open nature of the immense world the developers have created. Bethesda is making some bold claims for the intelligence of the NPCs in Skyrim, and the way that they interface with the game world. The "How to Steal in Skyrim" video soon went viral, currently weighing in at 1.5m views, demonstrating how you can thieve any object you want from anywhere by placing a pot over the heads of characters in the room.

It looks ridiculous, but it demonstrates that the NPCs are "seeing" the world and reacting to visual input - it's just that they're not smart enough to cope with out-of-the-box thinking from the player, and it would require some remarkably bright QA personnel to anticipate this problem. On top of that, while the AI may well be better than the average NPC's in many respects, it's clear they have trouble adapting to changing situations, resulting in abrupt changes of mind that don't make a lot of sense to the player.

The PS3 version of Skyrim - considered to be the weakest version - up against the PC edition of the game running at 720p.

Other issues seem to relate to the physics code being unable to cope with certain mixtures of objects, terrains and magical effects, resulting in some unintentionally hilarious consequences. Again, it's really difficult to imagine how even the best QA could anticipate some of the challenges conjured up by inventive players. Some might say that it's all part of the charm of a game that is so flexible and wide-open for experimentation.

So is Skyrim a victim of simply being too rich and too complex for its own good, was QA simply a little lacklustre, or was the game simply rushed to market? It's hard to think that it's not a combination of all three. For all the issues that are directly related to the game's cutting edge technology, there exists many more, particularly on the PC version where - depending on who you talk to - quests don't activate, mountains flicker in and out of existence, NPCs talk to you through walls, AI pathfinding can go completely bananas and horses can ride dragons. And that's all after a day one patch released for all three platforms that would have presumably quashed issues discovered after the game went gold.

Where does Bethesda go from here? Another patch is incoming, which the firm promises will fix as many bugs and performance issues as they can find. Will it stop the tide of unintentionally hilarious YouTube videos? Probably not. I certainly hope not. One of Skyrim's key strengths is that almost anything can happen and so long as nothing game-breaking happens as a consequence, we wouldn't want that to change...

38 Comments

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,160 1,223 1.1
I blame Havok more than Bethesda. You do not need a Bethesda game to make such videos, you need a Havok game; any will do.

Weightless corpses flipflopping around players' legs. The gravitational force being a linear constant with falling speeds not accelerating ever. Downhill rolling being approximated by horizontal acceleration. Surfaces having zero friction. The weightless bodies having elastic collisions with the ground wherein they retain all their energy and just change direction.

Imo, one cannot QA Havok physics, one can only argue against using them in the first place.

Posted:3 years ago

#1
I guess this game is only worth playing after multiple fixes. One cannot tolerate that many bugs if playing through the console versions

Posted:3 years ago

#2

James Boulton Tools & Tech Coder, Slightly Mad Studios

135 172 1.3
There's no way you can completely QA a game like this, it's just impossible.

The only bugs I have encountered (in the PC version), however, are inexcusable imo. They are all related to the menu system and incorrect labelling of buttons for in-game actions which don't take in to account button remapping. This is day 1 QA school stuff and not remotely difficult to pick up on or fix.

However I haven't had any nasty bugs crop up yet. No crashing or anything like that, and that at the end of the day is far more important.

But I could excuse a huge amount of bugs in this game as it's both staggeringly beautiful and unbelievably huge. By far the most awe inspiring game I have ever played.

Posted:3 years ago

#3

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany

837 669 0.8
I blame that QA reports this stuff, but the studio and/or the producers just decide not to bother with it (most likely the QA producer).

Source: 4 years experience as tester.

Posted:3 years ago

#4
It could be the case that they have for example 400 bugs

But maybe it is tiered as

Tier1 - 20 major bugs (MUST FIX)
Tier 2 - 80 minor bugs (do your best)
Tier 3 - 300 lesser bugs (doesnt kill gameplay, but fix it if you are having a lunch break)

Posted:3 years ago

#5

Curt Sampson Sofware Developer

596 360 0.6
Yeah, the large save file problem on the PS3 is getting a bit tedious. I noticed it in both FO3 and FONV, though mainly as odd slowdowns in performance (frame rate going to near zero) that necessitated a console reboot happening more and more frequently.

Posted:3 years ago

#6

Peter Paninar Artist

35 3 0.1
I play the PC version and if I don't count the initial and still very annoying bug where you are unable to click on anything/most of the stuff in the menus (I wonder how could this be missed..) I haven't encountered any serious bugs that would halt my progress... not even a single crash so far

Posted:3 years ago

#7

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,199 1,017 0.8
Bethesda were never famous for bug free games..

That said, it will be fixed whether by them or by the mods. I'm not surprised about the current state of affairs when you have such a complex game coupled with a tight deadline.

Posted:3 years ago

#8

James Prendergast Research Chemist

735 432 0.6
I just installed the game to my PS3 - no day one patch download and i've not really encountered any problems. I notice that the game slows down after multiple hours of playing but then I just restart the console and i'm away again.

I'll echo the comments about games like this being very difficult to successfully QA in the normal sense of the term since the term "quality" is in the eye of the beholder in many instances in this scenario. One person may find the pot on the head trick inventive and cool while another might think it's a cheating exploit. Others might think it's a bug.

Posted:3 years ago

#9

David Spender Lead Programmer

129 54 0.4
I also play PC and the menu not working bug is not limited to mouse clicks. Also with keyboard too occasionally. Most selections take two clicks to register. The mouse interface is bad enough (horrible) without having that major bug on top. Its the kind of bug where you know someone knew about it but they must have just decided to ship anyway.

I get some crashes but no more than one in an evening of play. From a global perspective, the game is about as bug-free as you could possibly expect given its size. Bethesda really did do a fantastic job. The PC interface though..... aiiiieeee >.

Posted:3 years ago

#10

John Donnelly Quality Assurance

313 38 0.1
The quality level of a title is the responsibality of everyone on the project not just the QA team.
In most cases the QA team are seen as low skilled plebs who can be ignored if it suits the dev and production teams yet it those people who make the call to waive bugs or push them out for a day 1 patch or future update that are compromising the quality.

True, you have to make a call as you have manage costs, time and quality as to where the resources go but I hate to see the blame being landed at the feet of the QA team who probally know about a huge number of bugs still in game but they never got fixed for various reasons.

A UI bug though is inexcusable and no one should have allowed the game to ship with it.

Posted:3 years ago

#11

Blaise Guy Studying Bachelor of Games and Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology

9 0 0.0
I play it on the PC, I have very few bugs to report.
-Sometimes it crashes.
-Giants and Mammoths (and every other AI, but these are the strongest and most lucrative semi-common ones) have hard time handling odd terrain, leaving me to run around with a bow and destroy them.
-My wolf companion went and attacked a giant while it was 'searching' for me, while I was hidden a good distance away with a bow. The companion 'blocked' its path towards me, and it never decided to attack it, since it was so enthralled with the hidden person peppering it with sneak attack arrows.
-Menu buttons are sometimes particularly difficult/impossible to select with the mouse alone. Arrow keys 'fix' this problem, but still annoying at times.

(tl;dr - omg bugs! :O)

But this is hardly a bug forum.

The tech is pretty impressive - procedural generation doesn't have to mean random, so it's definitely possible that it is using it for the creation of environments on the fly into RAM, rather than keeping full storage of terrain details. Google search "kkrieger" for an example of a 96kb FPS from a few years ago which should show you what I mean.

In the end it's another game from Bethesda that everyone goes "Ah, business as usual..." towards, with mixed excitement, enjoyment, satisfaction... and groans.

Posted:3 years ago

#12

Daniel Forslund CEO/Producer, Trino Creative

7 0 0.0
I fully agree that many of the so called glitches and bugs are very hard to foresee or test against. The save file bug however is inexcusable. It must have appeared during testing and sounds to me as there is a memory leak or the data is just handled inefficiently on the PS3.

If left unfixed the save data bug will render the game unplayable for many customers. I definitely hope Bethesda will not silently accept that outcome.

Posted:3 years ago

#13

James Ingrams Writer

215 85 0.4
What annoys me is that because this is a AAA title from a major publisher, you can have articles like this sitting right next to 95% reviews. Have much less than this in terms of bugs from a smaller publisher (usually European) in a wide open non linear game, like Two Worlds 2, STALKER, etc, and they get down-scored into the 80's! I will never forget how Gamespot gave the first STALKER 85% "due to bugs", then gave the second STALKER game 85% for having "less bugs" and then the third STALKER got 85% as well, despite Gamespot admitting it was bug-free!


Also, where was the huge editorial complaints that PC games media sites only got 360 versions for review (the less buggy version?)? Where is the self-esteem if gaming media when this happens? Where are the balls?!

If Skyrim had been released by a smaller European publisher, the problems mentioned above would have been in the reviews and the score would have been lowered accordingly.

The media and industry should look to itself and ask why we support large games publishers in an almost biased fashion, where we feel free to be "more honest" with similar type games from the smaller games companies..!

Until the industry and media "grow up" and do something about these problems, I just don't see how it will ever be mainstream and not on the verge every few years of being on it's last legs. Like it is now.

It should be very disconcerting to our industry, that after 30 years, we still have no "Which" or "Consumer Reports", etc on computer gaming. Because what could they say after investigating it? That titles like Skyrim seem to be prefect when reviewed, and yet bugged when customers get hold of it! What did the reviewers see that they didn't report? And why did hey feel they didn't have to mention it, or down-score the game because of it?

Posted:3 years ago

#14

Stephen McCarthy Studying Games Technology, Kingston University

205 0 0.0
I think that online updating has let game get out too soon, as they can update the game at a later time.

Posted:3 years ago

#15

Lee Burton Studying BSc Games Development, Southampton Solent University

6 0 0.0
I have experienced a couple of lock ups and many weird, obtuse, and down right funny glitches with the AI. I'm fine about the latter, the lock-ups and the save leaks I'm hearing about with the PS3 version, that should be fixed and should be a high priority fix for the first patch available. As any industry member would know, any bug that is game breaking is a big problem.

Not really a bug or a glitch of sorts, but in every Elder Scrolls game I have experienced there's always a few misplaced hollow static meshes, usually rocks but sometimes mountains. Due to the size of the world, I think they can get away with that one.

Posted:3 years ago

#16

Rick Ellis Tech Director, ArenaNet

15 0 0.0
@James

I'm sorry but Stalker deserves an 80 rating (metacritic) based on the game play. A game's rating is about the experience which includes bugs, crashes etc. and not strictly the perfection at which the game was made. Stalker had few bugs, but it wasn't a fantastic game, it was a good game.

I do however agree that the "pro" scores are often off the mark. This is due to many things; how much a publisher spends in advertising, how much the reviewers like the particular genre/content and studio/publisher, etc. Having a look at the user scores is a good way to see the slightly-less biased review. I tend to find that games that score well in both categories are the real keepers, but that's just me.

Posted:3 years ago

#17

Max Priddy

64 12 0.2
Part of the joy and "charm" of Elder Scrolls games is the bugs though, sure they're still bugs at the end of the day but they never fail to amuse or entertain (in most cases).

With that said, I'm off to go lose several more hours in Skyrim!

Posted:3 years ago

#18

Andrew Clayton QA Weapons Tester, Electronic Arts

150 7 0.0
For those of your PC users, fear not! Both Oblivion and Fallout 3 had an excellent, dedicated modding community that were smart enough to release unofficial patches that fixed almost all of the problems that Bethesda could not / did not fix. I know that Bethesda will fix about 75% of the problems, but for some things (i.e. menu optimization) there are mods for that!

Posted:3 years ago

#19

Max Priddy

64 12 0.2
@Rick, James (ha, Rick James!)

Reviews are always subjective to the reviewer's tastes, and there can never be a perfectly written review for anything simply because the only thing anyone and everyone will ever be able to agree on is simply to disagree, some people like high fantasy, some people prefer cyberpunk, some prefer Rambo simulators masquerading as military shooters, and some favour more cerebral challenges rather than ones involving killing. Also as Andrew said, the modding community is one of the best things about PC gaming.

P.S. Rick, can I have GW2 now please? The wait's killing me D:

Posted:3 years ago

#20
From a metacritic point of view, this game is more of the 85-87% mark as its incomplete.
If this was any other game, a ton of hate would rain down on it...

Posted:3 years ago

#21

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,160 1,223 1.1
@Max
If the magazine isn't already trying to have the game reviewed by a person liking the genre, the publisher will make sure the editor sees to that. Take EA's approach to handing out early review copies as an extreme example.

Magazines and PR departments fight over who gets to project the image of the game into the head of a potential consumer. For the PR department any game is a 10 out of 10, even if they have to pretend. A magazine daring to stray from that by more than two points is treating dangerous waters already. Then you add readers who are so pre-hyped about a game, they rather want an article confirming their PR based opinion, instead of giving them a new one.

Ideally, you need a magazine with no ad revenue coming from the industry, who only reviews final versions and is magically able to do so on release date.


@Rick Ellis
I could write you a four page scathing review of my Trackmania 2 Canyon experience, which has not the slightest thing to do with the actual game. More often than not, it is best to stick to the game and not the experience. Concentrate on the product, not the madness surrounding it and the reviewing process.

Posted:3 years ago

#22
I'm around 18 Hours in so far on X360 and I've not come across many issues, apart from a couple of times when two AI start talking to you at once and you cannot hear what your next quest is, not a game breaker though..
Had over 190hrs on FO3 (100% complete) and around 130hrs on FONV with not many issues either..

Posted:3 years ago

#23

Max Priddy

64 12 0.2
@Klaus - For me at least that blurs the line of what a review (as in evaluation) is and what a long-form advertisement is or that's how I'm picturing it in my head right now. After all, games like all entertainment are made to entertain, and to be entertained is an experience rather than a given factor.

Posted:3 years ago

#24

Tramell Hawkins Writer / Blogger

2 0 0.0
Excellent write up Richard. They certainly have done a fantastic job with the disc space allotted to the game.

The bugs I've encountered in Skyrim don't bother a bit. I used a controller on the PC version and totally missed the mouse issues withe menu, but other than that I've been having an awesome time with the game.

There is always going to be the conversation of a game releasing to early due too the ability to update on the fly. Some issues outstanding, I'm satisfied with the product with some of the issues and don't regret spending $60 on it.

Posted:3 years ago

#25

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,160 1,223 1.1
@Max

Publishers will not only focus test your game with potential customers, they will focus test review scores of your game with the help of pretend reviews from real journalists. This gives PR a working knowledge of the shortcomings the programmers can't fix, as well as a strategy how to argue with the reviewers. Sometimes games have features not because they make gameplay sense, but because they prevent the degrading of review scores. Most MMORPGs allow you to jump, yet no MMORPG really has quality jump&run elements. Jumping does not make game sense, but it makes gamer sense, even if it is useless in the context of the game.


Rating the experience is a really bad idea for several reasons. Playing a game for review is not as much fun as one would think. Sometimes reviewing takes place at special locations, which are very convenient for the experience, but the average gamer will not experience. Beyond that, people are very selective about which part of the experience they prioritize. Review-bombing on Amazon is proof of that.

Take Fifa12 and Trackmania2, two games marketed at children, amongst other groups. To play Fifa on the PC, you need Origin. Installing it requires the child to agree to an EULA, i.e. enter a contract before it can even legally enter contracts. The child will be held accountable to something it cannot possibly understand. This concerns not only EA, it has become common practice.

Trackmania 2 goes one step further and asks for your phone number. If you got teenage kids, that is straight out creepy. Surely it cannot be that bad? Well, I tried and set up a Trackmania account without providing a phone number, at first, nothing stopped me from buying the game. Two days later, Ubisoft canceled it. Then I wrote back and forth with support to find out why they did it and what the problem was. First I was accused of having bought an illegal copy at their online store, so they refunded (!) my 20. My phone number is an integral part of fighting piracy, I was told. No response to my question as to how my phone number can catch pirates. Then Ubisoft argued, they need my phone number to prevent me from defrauding them of the 20 I wired them using Paypal (which is utterly impossible). Even later, security reasons got name dropped, before ultimately telling me they weren't going to sell me Trackmania2 for as long as I did not leave my phone number with them. I then bought something on Steam just to be a douche and hypocrite.

Now what? You can still write about the game, but once you get into the whole experience and what it means from a legal perspective, you are screwed until kingdom come working for a magazine. That is the type of negative press you never see anywhere. In the end, you only get negative press, for as long as it can still provide more sales. If you truly want your article to be toxic, write about the experience and what it means, all of it!

Posted:3 years ago

#26

John Kauderer Associate Creative Director, Atari

33 5 0.2
I'm level 12 and maybe 10 or so hours in. I've seen plenty of things that are bug like but none were game breakers. Although once the screen froze for about a minute and made a horrendous buzzing sound. Most were actually pretty funny. I'm not sure if the power, ferocity and hatred of the sabre cats can be counted as a glitch or not. After one killed me five times while trying to get to the far north west I decided to fight a dragon instead. During the fight a sabre cat came out of nowhere and killed me just as I was about to take out the dragon. That does bother me a bit that dragons are so easy to kill and sabre cats cause sheer terror but eh, what-ya-gonna-do?

it's doubtful the game is procedurally generated because I've never gotten stuck in geometry, something that happened with some frequency in Oblivion.

Posted:3 years ago

#27
As someone who likes game programming, Bethesda's don't know what they're doing and never have. If you like the game, thank the artists and designers. Because just glancing and the technical stuff has revealed an incredibly poor understand of what modern games do. The characters are poorly animated, there's no texture blending anywhere, there's not enough memory management to get anything besides blurry textures that repeat horribly everywhere.

If it weren't for Bethesda's dedicated world designers this would be called a game that looks 3 or more years old at best, and not a good one at that. Still, give it up for the world designers themselves for managing to produce this out of code a B level Euro rpg studio could have made.

Posted:3 years ago

#28

Thomas Perry Game Developer

4 12 3.0
No offense but I have not encountered any bugs thus far... been playing for 60 hours... Not sure what the fuss is.

Posted:3 years ago

#29

Johan Sylwander Gameplay Programmer, Starbreeze Studios

1 0 0.0
Great article and amazing to hear that the 360 version only uses 3.8 gigs!

However, I must oppose the statements about physics and open world bugs being difficult to find/predict during development. The sole purpose of QA is to try to break the game. Not play the game nicely, following set paths. The devs can do that themselves :-). My guess would be that most of these bugs _were_ found during development, but were deprioritized in favor of more critical ones.

Also, it's not fair to blame Havok for physics bugs. Havok is supplied data from the game, so if something doesn't have friction or behaves incorrectly on collision - that's because the gameplay code feeds Havok incorrect information of doesn't take some physics behaviour into account.

Still, it's an awesome game and the tech side of the engine is impressive. I hope Bethesda keep making these rich game worlds (while improving on their QA process).

Posted:3 years ago

#30

Nick Brown CEO, Boss Level

1 0 0.0
Re save file size and bugs, I'm really confused by this. I've racked up about 35 hours to date (on the PS3) and I have yet to encounter a single instance of a bug, lag or anything else requiring a restart (all in all I have a big thumbs up to Bethesda). The only thing I can think that I'm doing, is that I have a set 10 save files which I constantly rotate over (par for the course with any game I play) so I'm not letting the number of save files get out of control. My file sizes are pretty constant around 5.5Mb (last night I actually saw them go down). I also have a tendancy not to bother picking stuff up if I think I'm going to have to drop it at a later date and I haven't bought a house yet (only place I've stored stuff is at the College of Winterhold) meaning that most stuff not in my inventory is probably in it's default location. Otherwise the only point of differentiation I can think of is that I haven't been to a location/done a quest yet which triggers the bug (e.g. I've not kicked off the main quest yet, fought a dragon etc).

Hope this helps the troubleshoooting.

Posted:3 years ago

#31

Paul Baker Game Designer, Ubisoft

13 0 0.0
I can`t belive this article. Seriously, how can you praise tech on a such a buged game? I have been making games for 22 years, I have worked on 26 games. I was a tester for Activision of some years. All of these bugs, and I encountered them all and more in about 4 hours of play, where known to QA and to directors and producers. Because core gamers and fans will actually pre-order the game, and that they have defenders that say "it will get patched or someone will mod it", and reviewers gushing over the game, giving it 50 perfect scores so far, this will continue to happen and wil happen again in the next game. If you are having fun playing to game, great. But I feel some honesty is in order - this is a tech article and should be prefectly objective and the fact that a apparently perfect game if you read a lot of reviews, is seriously buged should be the topic of conversation. I am working on a AAA open world title and I would like to know if we really need to fix our bugs to get a perfect review. Heck, I want to know if we have to add bugs to be treated like Skyrim in reviews and articles.

Rant off :) (seriously, have fun in the game - but this is about biz)

Posted:3 years ago

#32

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,194 1,169 0.5
I'm about 42 hours in on the PS3 version and other than the game dropping creatures and sometimes corpses on the ground in areas when loading, the dialog overlap deal and the annoying multi-clicking you need to do on stuff to pick it up, no BIG deal issues. The again, I expect a game this HUGE to have issues. For me, the EXPERIENCE of the game is where the perfection lies, not the technical side.

My only real issue with the gameplay is an OLD one. Instead of automatically calling the guards on you if you pick up an item that's not yours, players NEED to have toe option of buying the item from the person who it belongs to. There are some objects that don't have the red "Steal" text on them that draw the guards when you lift them and even in areas where you're reading a book and accidentally add it to your inventory because of the click bug, you get bum-rushed on occasion.

I've learned to SAVE before dinking around with anyone's property, but c'mon Bethesoft... let's change that part of the game already!

Posted:3 years ago

#33

James Boulton Tools & Tech Coder, Slightly Mad Studios

135 172 1.3
@Jonathan Swift

"If you like the game, thank the artists and designers."

I do hate morons.

You know that intangible part that allows artists and designers to do their job? That part is done by "programmers", without whom nothing would be possible.

Personally I look at Skyrim and see a marvel of technological achievement which towers above any other attempt at creating an open world RPG that I have seen.

However what would I know?

Back to studying for you. It appears you have a lot to learn.

Posted:3 years ago

#34
@James Boulton

Applause.

Posted:3 years ago

#35

JD Smith Studying Computer Science, University of Kentucky

1 0 0.0
@James Boulton

More applause.

Posted:3 years ago

#36

Matias Goldberg Programmer

2 0 0.0
@Klaus:
Blame Bathesda then, for using Havok's default setup. Havok can be completely customized, and every point you mentioned is described explicitely in their manual and explained why they choose those settings. Developers are free to change them though, to adapt each one's need.

Posted:3 years ago

#37

Gabriel Pendleton Unity Developer, Bully!

7 0 0.0
As someone who started in QA and worked there for over 4 years, I love how everyone just blames QA for the issues in the game (The people who do that are stupid). I am now on the development side of things now but please believe me that EVERYONE knew about 90% of bugs that QA finds. A game this massive and the amount of time the game was in dev equals what you got. We live in a world of make money now, patch later.

As long as this trends continues game will have more and more bugs. Do you really want game developers to take 5-6 years to make a game? If not than expect bugs. Everything cost money people and when the well runs dry there is nothing you can about it.

Posted:3 years ago

#38

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now