Cyberpunk 2077 devs' own pre-release bug montage leaks

Originally published at: Cyberpunk 2077 devs' own pre-release bug montage leaks | Boing Boing

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Okay, now I want a motorized cat.

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What’s the problem? I fully expect the world to work exactly like this in 2077.

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Just a reminder that ALL video games look like this during the development process.
All of the video was from the dev phase of the game creation, meaning that it is from special developmental testing areas, or videos of bugs found by QA and submitted to the devs to fix. The video isn’t an indication that Cyberpunk had known bugs, rather that they found bugs during the normal development process and fixed them.

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It blows my mind that there aren’t more bugs in these incredibly detailed worlds.

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i dont know. ms pac man never looked like that.

no t-poses any where.

is that cited anywhere? there were plenty of test levels in that video, but many of those in-game bugs were exactly what players saw.

to your original point. every game has known bugs. there is and never has been a bug free game. it’s just the magnitude of accepted bugs. and cdpr ( as reported by press and fans ) let many major ones through.

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This is what happens when a)programmers are pushed too hard (which is endemic in the games industry); and b) when the Release Date Is God And Fixed Firmly In Place.

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This looks like a ton of fun, people need to lighten up. I paid real money for Goat Simulator and don’t regret it a bit.

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Yeah, the narrative that this video proves they knew about all the bugs but released it anyways is annoying wrong. The irony is it’s likely that in fixing some of these bugs, they probably created some of the ones in the released version.

There aren’t just test levels, but unfinished ones, too. And there’s unfinished assets and systems being shown, which indicates some of these are very clearly from extremely early in development.

Eh, maybe, but probably not. That they look the same doesn’t mean they’re the same bugs. You can find plenty of bugs from other games using completely different engines that look identical to many of these. That’s because ultimately they all have the same causes - the physics getting weird, in particular with object interactions and rag dolls, and bugs in the animation systems, because those all get absurdly complicated. You can fix bugs caused by those systems and then have completely different bugs triggered by different situations with identical effects on objects in the game. So only if there are some bugs not related to those systems that appear in both this video and the released game can we even say it’s likely they knew about a particular bug and failed to fix it. (And I’m honestly not seeing that, even having watched way too many Cyberpunk bug videos.)

Also, some of these aren’t even bugs - they appear to be the developers screwing around with extreme settings and swapping meshes for humorous purposes.

Sure, inevitably low-priority bugs always get through as there’s never enough time to fix them all, and CDPR developers notably didn’t have the time they wanted/needed to work on the game, so more bugs, and more higher-level bugs, likely got through. (That also means, however, that they didn’t have the QA time required to find many of the bugs in the released game, so they weren’t aware of them.) But this video isn’t evidence of that - it’s totally unrelated, really.

Also, this is just what happens when you make something as complicated as the modern video game. I mean, sure, it’s especially true given the time/resource limitations of game development, but it’s not like it’s mission critical. No one’s going to die because an NPC glitches out, so no one is going to spend the extra couple years development time required to make sure the systems are bulletproof, because that would be very silly.

(I get extremely nervous when Silicon Valley app developers start working on banking/rocket/car/power plant software and bring their development methodologies with them, though.)

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of course. at the same time releasing buggy games doesn’t do players or the developers any favors.

there’s a balance - and while i haven’t played it, based on player and media feedback, as well as the nearly unprecedented refunds for the game - cp77 clearly got it wrong.

it’s not the only game in that boat. lots of publishers seem to have gotten in the habit of releasing beta versions of games as finished products

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I’ve noticed that some really buggy games get away with it, and some that aren’t so buggy catch huge amounts of flack - so much seems to depend on how it’s framed in the game media (and social media). Because the game was hyped for so long, and purchased as pre-orders by so many people long before it was finished, I think a significant part of the negative response to the game wasn’t the bugs so much as the realization that the game was bought sight-unseen by people whose fantasy of the game in their heads couldn’t ever be matched by the reality.

In this case, despite the fact that cp77 was more or less fatally broken on some platforms, I’m not sure releasing prematurely and being so broken really hurt them all that much. In fact, their whole approach - announce the game years before they even started working on it and hype it years before release, got them unprecedented numbers of pre-orders. It was one of the top selling games on Steam for a couple years before it came out, frequently hitting #1. Even with the returns (and lack of sales on the broken platforms), it was still a top-selling game. Now the game gets featured every time they have a significant bug patch, so it gets a new round of hype months after it came out and, I suspect, a new round of sales. So the bugs ultimately may end up helping sales. (That it’s still not been sold at a significant discount, even as other games are sold at half price with months of release, suggests to me sales are still strong.)

I mean, the bugs still suck for the developers who are working all hours under enormous time-pressure to fix them, and the PR people who have to deal with the fall-out, and the executives who have to deal with the lawsuits, but the company itself may end up benefiting from them.

Sadly, this isn’t new - I remember, pre-web, a game releasing so broken it couldn’t even be run without going to a certain bulletin board system and downloading a patch, at a time when home internet access was far from common.

Publishers consistently want games to take less time to develop than developers need to spend (and developers over-promise what they can do in a given development timeframe), and with so much money being spent on marketing now, hitting release dates is crucial. The routine nature of day 0 patches makes things worse as it creates the expectation that a game can be fixed between the time when the game goes gold and when it actually ends up in player’s hands. It’s a very dangerous assumption.

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the truth is mostly developers don’t know. the technology and goals are always changing, so unless you’re making a primarily content-based sequel it’s just a big guess.

when you sell people on specific features, or the next big thing tm, and promise a release date… something’s always going to go wrong.

the one publisher that seems to get that is nintendo. they don’t release hard dates or a lot of hype before they know a game’s scope so then they get their dates right. ( more times than not anyway )

or you do the old blizzard thing, hype but release whenever’s it’s done. ( they make up their own darn holidays )

in retrospect, cdpr could have released on pc and then followed with the consoles. it would have been a great exclusive, and been better polished all around. but, really - the powers that be don’t care. for about 5 days they worried the company was going to go under ( or so it seemed ) but then realized they made the investors tons of cash anyway. :woman_shrugging:

seriously hope the devs ( programmers, artists, and on ) got some numerical cut of that. cause the years and the stress they’ll never get back.

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This also is true. Doubly true when working in a new genre and/or with new technology, and/or radically new features (all of which CDPR did). But one of my coworkers in game development summed up the developer/publisher relationship in a way that’s always stuck with me because it both seemed correct and really dysfunctional. There’s a sort of perverse game that gets played: developers are trying to maximize the time they have to iterate on ideas and the features/content in the game and publishers are trying to minimize how much it costs them to get the game. Developers and publishers put together the contract to make the game in X amount of time and Y amount of money, both fundamentally knowing that it can’t happen. That leaves developers constantly looking to renegotiate the deal for more time/money to finish the game, and publishers having the leverage to keep developers as close as possible to the ideal, underfunded budget (and also having developers over a barrel as a result).

This feels like more than norm than not - what CDPR did feels really anomalous. Developers (and publishers, too) understand that a lot changes in development, and revealing too much too early can create player expectations that won’t hold up. Every studio/publisher I’ve worked for has been extremely careful about talking about features until they were locked down (i.e. at the end of development). Though I’ve also worked with a lot of ex-Blizzard people, so that might be part of why…

I think they’d backed themselves into a corner by delaying the release several times already, so this was their “do or die” date. They should have given themselves a lot more time to begin with - they really underestimated how much time they would need, assuming it to be similar to a Witcher game, not considering all the new features they needed. (It didn’t help that people assumed they had started working on it when they announced it with a teaser trailer, several years before they actually started.)

Probably not. My experience is even in the case where some profit sharing/bonus situation is promised, they figure out some out to avoid paying (like laying developers off after the game is done - that’s a very popular move). There are so many stories about developers working themselves until they’re sick, leaving the industry to literally keep themselves from dying, and being brainwashed enough to feel like it was a good experience.

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But Pac Man did.

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No, but I’ve seen similar “QA Bug Reel” videos created from pre-release data, and this is consistent with them (test levels, test environment display, etc.).
The released product has similar-looking bugs, but that doesn’t mean they were the same bugs. There can be many different bugs in separate sections of code, but it’s possible for the bug to manifest in the same way.
For example: a spreadsheet program had a bug where “1 + 1 = 3”, and another where a cell contained “3” no matter what was entered. The bug would appear to be the exact same, even though the causes were totally different. In this case, they would “fix” the first bug, re-test it, then find the second bug.

This is absolutely true. Most people don’t understand that there is no such thing as bug-free software (just acceptably-bugged software), so I don’t usually go into deeper detail.

Bon Scott of ACDC on recorder: