Obsidian Promises No More Bugs with Dungeon Siege III

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Obsidian Promises No More Bugs with Dungeon Siege III

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Having learned a few things from the outcry over bugs in Fallout: New Vegas, Obsidian is building its own engine for its next game.

Obsidian Entertainment was founded from the remnants of Black Isle Studios, who made classic CRPGs like Fallout and Baldur's Gate in the 90s. Obsidian made a few of its own classics, like Knights of the Old Republic II, Neverwinter Nights 2 and last year's Fallout: New Vegas, but these are all sequels built on the foundations and engines from other game developers. Even though the next game from the company is another sequel - Dungeon Siege III is a reboot of the franchise begun by Gas Powered Games - director Rich Taylor says that Obsidian's new custom-made engine Onyx will allow them to deliver bug-free games, a situation that he is uniquely aware of due to all of the negative attention that New Vegas received. Dungeon Siege III is due out May 31, 2011 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

"Stability and being bug free are extremely high priorities on this project, and we actually talk about it internally constantly. The advantage here we have over, for example Fallout, is when we have a question about how something works, I walk 10 feet outside my office door and go talk to the programmer who wrote it," Taylor said.

Having Obsidian's own engine has allowed Taylor to create custom tools to aid in squashing bugs. "We actually had one of our internal tools developers spend a lot of time engineering crash reporting into the engine so internally, literally when anyone runs into a crash the game will shut down, it will generate a report, it will provide a stack dump and it will put it into a database, and we can be very diligent about tracking those things and solving them," he said. Those kinds of things were impossible to do when Obsidian was essentially borrowing someone else's code.

As a gamer himself, Taylor is sensitive to how much crashes and bugs suck. "No one wants to run into a crash. We're gamers, too. I certainly go home and like to play other games that are out there. And when you run into a crash and it disrupts your experience, that's not fun for anyone. We understand that. That's why as the project director on this game I'm very militant about us addressing the crashes and memory issues."

I don't know if Dungeon Siege III is going to be any good, but at least it seems that Taylor isn't going to stand releasing a game that's broken.

Source: Eurogamer

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I love Obsidian and their games, but this statement is just ridiculous. There will always be bugs, even with an engine developed in-house.

After Treyarch's last comment, I'm finding this claim rather amusing.

Specifically: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/107631-Treyarch-Would-Love-to-Ship-a-Game-Without-Bugs

Look, I love you guys Obsidian. I have, and will continue to defend your games in every topic you're brought up in within the forums and honestly I hold you as one of my favourite developers around today. But I'll believe it when I see it! Even as a hardcore fan, bugs are sorta... well, they're your 'thing'. And not a good thing either, more like an unattractive wart on an otherwise beautiful face kinda thing.

I hope you fix it up some and improve your act a little. But I wont hold my breath... don't get me wrong, I'm sure the game'll be fun. But bug free?

We'll see...

Props to them giving voice to what we, their buyers have been saying for ages.

I hope this is not just lip service.

If it said that Obsidian promises no more major bugs, I would be much more inclined to believe it. Even so I love Obsidian for what they can do, and will continue supporting them when I have some amount of money.

They might as well promise us the fucking moon, everything they ever released is a buggy mess and I don't believe they'll change now.

The Madman:
Look, I love you guys Obsidian. I have, and will continue to defend your games in every topic you're brought up in within the forums and honestly I hold you as one of my favourite developers around today. But I'll believe it when I see it! Even as a hardcore fan, bugs are sorta... well, they're your 'thing'. And not a good thing either, more like an unattractive wart on an otherwise beautiful face kinda thing.

I hope you fix it up some and improve your act a little. But I wont hold my breath... don't get me wrong, I'm sure the game'll be fun. But bug free?

We'll see...

Agreed fiend. I love Obsidian to death as well for their fantastic games.

But holy shit, going from essentially producing "Buggy Games: The series" to little-to-no bugs? Well if they can do that I'll buy this game twice.

I keep on getting them mixed up with Bethesda. Here's to hoping that Wheel of Time will turn out well and won't require a few cans of Raid.

In other news:

Bethesda promises no more terrible dialogue with Elder Scrolls 5.
EA promises less shitty DRM with Mass Effect 3.
Ubisoft promises less WHAT THE FUCK endings and meaningless side bullshit for Assassin's Creed 3.
Lionhead promises less Reaver with Fable 4.

Using the term "bug-free games" will surely raise some eyebrows, but from what I gathered Mr. Taylor never actually said it'd be completely bug-free, just that there wouldn't be many and that it (hopefully) wouldn't crash. Not sure if I believe that, but only time will tell.

Irridium:

The Madman:
Look, I love you guys Obsidian. I have, and will continue to defend your games in every topic you're brought up in within the forums and honestly I hold you as one of my favourite developers around today. But I'll believe it when I see it! Even as a hardcore fan, bugs are sorta... well, they're your 'thing'. And not a good thing either, more like an unattractive wart on an otherwise beautiful face kinda thing.

I hope you fix it up some and improve your act a little. But I wont hold my breath... don't get me wrong, I'm sure the game'll be fun. But bug free?

We'll see...

Agreed fiend. I love Obsidian to death as well for their fantastic games.

But holy shit, going from essentially producing "Buggy Games: The series" to little-to-no bugs? Well if they can do that I'll buy this game twice.

agreed.

i would shell out full price twice just to appreciate them. hell i'd buy stuff if they had an apparel store (really wish they did, i bet they could make a killing selling NV clothing)

FredTheUndead:
In other news:

Bethesda promises no more terrible dialogue with Elder Scrolls 5.
EA promises less shitty DRM with Mass Effect 3.
Ubisoft promises less WHAT THE FUCK endings and meaningless side bullshit for Assassin's Creed 3.
Lionhead promises less Reaver with Fable 4.

Hideo Kojima promises no cutscenes in the next Metal Gear.

I'll believe it when I see it.

And the collective Gamer Community of the past 7 years simultaneously bursts out laughing.

So, what was their excuse for Alpha Protocol?

They're going to make they're own engine? Well all aboard the fail train.

I don't think the words 'Obsidian, game and Bug free' can ever exist in a sentence before a patch is released.

-Zen-:

FredTheUndead:
In other news:

Bethesda promises no more terrible dialogue with Elder Scrolls 5.
EA promises less shitty DRM with Mass Effect 3.
Ubisoft promises less WHAT THE FUCK endings and meaningless side bullshit for Assassin's Creed 3.
Lionhead promises less Reaver with Fable 4.

Hideo Kojima promises no cutscenes in the next Metal Gear.

And Bobby Kotick has promised to step down as head of Activison Blizzard.

sheic99:
So, what was their excuse for Alpha Protocol?

I had to look it up, but that was using the Unreal engine, which they didn't build. It's a very widely used engine though.

At least Alpha Protocol didn't crash, it had other bugs in spades to make up for that though. It was also one of my favourite games of 2010. :)

The Madman:
Look, I love you guys Obsidian. I have, and will continue to defend your games in every topic you're brought up in within the forums and honestly I hold you as one of my favourite developers around today. But I'll believe it when I see it! Even as a hardcore fan, bugs are sorta... well, they're your 'thing'. And not a good thing either, more like an unattractive wart on an otherwise beautiful face kinda thing.

I hope you fix it up some and improve your act a little. But I wont hold my breath... don't get me wrong, I'm sure the game'll be fun. But bug free?

We'll see...

but damn it now I wanna use Onyx. and as talented as the guys at obsidian are I trust them on this because working with your own tech is a fuck load easier. (people that've never programmed have no idea what a difference it makes)

FredTheUndead:
EA promises less shitty DRM with Mass Effect 3.

They're getting better at it.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/107435-BioWare-Lifts-the-Lid-on-Dragon-Age-2-DRM

This one sounds pretty reasonable, at least when compared to Spore.

image

We DONT Believe you you need more people

I am cautiously optimistic. This news could mean they've actually hired a QA team. Dropping Gamebryo is a very good move too.

sheic99:
So, what was their excuse for Alpha Protocol?

Hey I liked that! FA:NV was worse for bugs. Much worse.

Patrick_and_the_ricks:
They're going to make they're own engine? Well all aboard the fail train.

Alot of developers make their own engines in-house. Won't be worse than Bethesda's engine. With any luck it won't produce games that have "Unreal Engine 3" written all over the visuals too.

As to why I think it will be better:

As a software dev I've lost count of the amount of times I've thrown my arms in the air out of frustration because some tool that I didn't code but have to use has some really irritating little shortcoming or bug that breaks something I did code. I can't fix it because I can't reverse engineer it and fix that little bug myself. Sometimes it's even something as apparently trivial as functions being named things that seem a little ass-backwards. Like using a right handed mouse when you're left handed. Arguably that would be *my* fault or problem, but if enough of it is like that the result is the same - it's unworkable.

A few times I've said screw it, thrown out whatever tool I was struggling to use and built my own.
It cost more in time, but the results were so much better because rather than using an old, buggy tool for a job that it wasn't explicitly designed for in the first place*, you are using a clean, fit for purpose tool specifically made to do exactly what *you* want it to do.

* Obviously a game engine is engineered to be a game engine - I'm talking about very specific tasks here. Obsidian know exactly what they want for their new game - they can make a lean, mean game engine machine to do that, do it well and do nothing else. Bethesda's engine would have had a decade worth of bloat and deprecation in it, and as we devs know the phrase "legacy support" does not a happy coder make.

This way they create a scalpel to replace the meat cleaver they were previously using to make the delecate incision required to implant an experience in someone's mind.

Joining the chorus on this one. New Vegas and Alpha Protocol are two of my favorite games of last year, so Dungeon Siege III is guaranteed to get at least some of my money, but I'm sure there's going to at least be one major bug that they won't catch despite their best efforts.

P.S.: I still had fewer problems with New Vegas than I did with Fallout 3, so they must've done something right.

arragonder:

but damn it now I wanna use Onyx. and as talented as the guys at obsidian are I trust them on this because working with your own tech is a fuck load easier. (people that've never programmed have no idea what a difference it makes)

Amen brother.

The other thing I find really annoying is when using 3rd party tech, quite alot of them forget to add "var skynet=false;" to the start of their code.
The machines are coming... if the zombies don't get us first.

As Obsidian currently stands on the top three list of my favorite devs (along with Quantic Dream and CD Projekt Red), I'm happy to hear that. I won't believe until I'll actually see it, but I have my fingers crossed.

Oh, Obsidian...

You fooled me with KotOR 2

The surprise was less with Neverwinter Nights 2

I saw the heartbreak coming with Fallout: New Vegas. I knew you were gonna let everybody down.

You honestly expect me to believe you *can* release a game that isn't broken? Yeah, I won't be holding my breathe for that one, either.

r0binh00d:

arragonder:

but damn it now I wanna use Onyx. and as talented as the guys at obsidian are I trust them on this because working with your own tech is a fuck load easier. (people that've never programmed have no idea what a difference it makes)

Amen brother.

The other thing I find really annoying is when using 3rd party tech, quite alot of them forget to add "var skynet=false;" to the start of their code.
The machines are coming... if the zombies don't get us first.

well "var skynet=false;" is included in most STLs so it should be fine. we just need to work on the zombies now. damn dead bastards.

I hadn't heard of this game before, but now I want to pay attention to this and see what happens. If it works and launched with no game breaking bugs, I might even try to pick up a copy sometime.

This could be a turning point for Obsidian, who knows?
I always willing to give a chance.

What? Taylor never even remotly said that there will be no more bugs. Just that stability is a focus. And he didn't use the word promise anywhere?

Turio:
What? Taylor never even remotly said that there will be no more bugs. Just that stability is a focus.

Lying words in other peoples mouth much?

What do you think he is referring to when he says 'stability?' Game Crashes, game breaking bugs and several other things that could ruin the stability of your game.

maddawg IAJI:

Turio:
What? Taylor never even remotly said that there will be no more bugs. Just that stability is a focus.

Lying words in other peoples mouth much?

What do you think he is referring to when he says 'stability?' Game Crashes, game breaking bugs and several other things that could ruin the stability of your game.

Yes, but a stable game isn't equivalent to a bug free one. And again, he didn't promise anything.

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