Obsidian says Fallout: New Vegas is such a big game that it’d be tough to release it without any bugs.
Obsidian Entertainment’s Fallout: New Vegas was released this week, and though it’s a great follow-up to Fallout 3, it may have a bug here or there. Obsidian has already released a couple of patches for multiple versions to fix some of its issues, but that hasn’t stopped gamers from questioning why these bugs exist in a final product. The answer is simply that Fallout: New Vegas is way huge, apparently.
Obsidian designer Chris Avellone recently told CVG that even a massive testing team isn’t able to catch every bug in every game, especially one as gargantuan as New Vegas. “I think when you create a game as large as Fallout 3 or New Vegas you are going to run into issues that even a testing team of 300 won’t spot, so we’re just trying to address those as quickly as possible and so is Bethesda,” he said.
“It’s kind of like the bugs of the real world – the sheer expanse of what you’re dealing with causes problems,” Avellone added. Fallout 3 was known to have its own share of bugs so it might not be possible to get games like these out of the door in perfect fashion. You could literally spend hundreds of hours wandering around the worlds of the latest Fallout titles, so can a QA department really be expected to find everything under the surface?
Ultimately, gamers might have to start expecting to be partial testers the first couple of weeks after certain games are released. A key trait of a good developer in my mind is one that understands it won’t be able to catch every bug and that it’ll have to listen to the community to catch common bugs early on. Avellone continued: “The Bethesda teams are tracking a lot of issues that should be addressed in the patches and we’re also playing the game in our QA department to fix any other issues we can find on our end. What we do is come on to the forums and make sure that even common issues we spot there we can get testers looking at.”
If Obsidian was resting on its laurels and taking vacations immediately after New Vegas hit shelves, you might have a mind to criticize the studio. However, with patches released just a couple of days after release, it appears to be doing all it can. Is it realistically possible for developers under time and budget constraints to catch every bug in a game like New Vegas, or does the game seem rushed into stores without proper testing?