Cyberpunk 2077 developers share insight into issues that led to the RPG’s stumbling launch

    
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While we’d heard a supposed account of a developer of Cyberpunk 2077 that was weakly denied by CD Projekt Red before, there’s a new piece from Bloomberg that will be markedly more challenging for the studio to deny with a single sentence, offering several first-hand developer accounts into the bungled process that ultimately led to the single-player RPG’s messy release.

According to statements from a number of developers that worked on the game, Cyberpunk 2077 was the victim of a variety of terrible management decisions, including developing the game’s new engine at the same time as the game itself was being created, which one developer likened to “[driving] a train while the tracks are being laid in front of you at the same time”; mismanaging a larger studio head count, which led to many team members feeling their teams were “siloed and unorganized”; having CDPR studio head Adam Badowski take over as director, leading to changed gameplay elements, internal clashes, and several top developers leaving the studio; a focus on “impressing the outside world,” which led to releasing an E3 2018 gameplay demo which was almost entirely fake; and of course, crunching employees, with one dev noting how he worked 13 hours a day, five days a week.

CDPR is working on getting the game fixed and studio co-founder Marcin Iwinkski had asked for fans not to “fault any of [the studio’s] teams for what happened,” it just also looks like Cyberpunk 2077’s woes weren’t just related to in-game streaming on previous console hardware but also due to a woefully mismanaged project.

source: Bloomberg
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EmberStar

I’d typed out a thing, but then Internet happened and it went away. Thinking about it… what did I want to say, really? The people who are happy with this game are happy with it, and don’t care. The people who are unhappy almost certainly know more about what’s going on than I do. Neither group really has any reason to care what I think.

I guess I just felt the need to say something because I’m disappointed and had it in my head that typing out a wall of text would make me feel better. (Spoiler: It didn’t.)

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Doesn’t mean we can’t express ourselves. I too have put down my opine once too many times and felt it was just wasted effort, but sometimes, people just want to see others opinions.

Matt R
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Matt R

So much of the discussion from the developers are focused on the bugs, but they really haven’t spoken about all the missing game mechanics that they promised, and many of the elements of the game that are bare bones and need a full redesign.

Probably because they know they can fix most of the bugs, but readding in promised content would take a long time, and they’d rather start adding “DLC” so they can promote it and hopefully sell more copies of a half-baked game.

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Rndomuser

Yea you noticed it too. They don’t talk about missing features most likely because they aren’t gonna add them. They’re gonna focus on fixing most obvious bugs, then release free DLCs with more story stuff then just release multiplayer sometime later. Basically you can forget about CDPR’s promise of “we want the city to feel vibrant and packed with all sorts of people, and we want the people in the city to move around and inhabit it. We want it to be a believable place” (this is a direct quote from CDPR’s quest designer Patrick Mills) and people who like these kind of games will only have an option from company called “Rockstar Games” ;-)

Of course, I can always be wrong and they may actually bring the Cyberpunk closer to the Rockstar’s games with some free DLCs – time will tell.

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Sarah Cushaway

Yep. Fixing bugs isn’t going to fix the 1997-eque AI system or the bad writing, or all the missing features that were promised.

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angrakhan

I question the decision to build their own engine. Nothing I’ve seen from gameplay videos couldn’t be done in an off the shelf engine like Unreal. Was management just too cheap to pay the licensing? If so I’m willing to bet the license fee was a lot less expensive than the damage this launch has done to this game and the brand as a whole.

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Rndomuser

I don’t think building their own engine was a major factor of this game turning out to be (in my personal opinion) so awful. I mean, Rockstar Games used their custom engine for many of their games, and they turned out to be good, and their games are much more complicated than anything CDPR did (even in small things like how AI behaves in games like GTA5). Main issue is just a mismanagement of available workforce and time, which would probably result in same outcome even if they would’ve used Unreal engine instead.

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Tom316

Difference being that Rockstar Games built there game engine first and then made games with it.

CDPR was making a game as they where making the game engine. You can rarely design / create a good game engine while also at the same time making a game on said game engine. Normally you lay the foundation of the house instead of putting up the walls and roof while also trying to pour the foundation.

Good thing is that they now have a half built engine that can keep improving to use on future games along this lines. I doubt The Witcher 4 will use the engine as they already have a engine made for wide open outdoor areas. But I could see a Cyberpunk 2 of some kind.

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Rndomuser

Difference being that Rockstar Games built there game engine first and then made games with it.

I am not sure how accurate it is, unless you have some article talking about it. I don’t see anywhere that Rockstar did something like using specific build of their RAGE engine from the start of developing of game like GTA4 and until the completion of the game, without changes or bug fixes to the engine itself during the development of the game. Most likely they kept changing their engine simultaneously with the development of the game, just like CDPR did. They were just more organized as a whole company when doing this, unlike CDPR.

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Tom316

Well I am fairly certain that when they decided to make GTA5 they didn’t go well lets start making a game engine now.

Now I am sure they did upgrades to the engine as needed and added any features but it wasn’t a write from the ground up basicly.

All CDPR had was The Witcher 3 engine (same one they used with The Witcher 2, ect.) and they where fairly clear that it was no designed to handle dense areas. It was built for wide open areas with landscape to help occlude things.

Thats not to say they shouldn’t have held the game back for another year or two and fixed things.

Just that if what the devs are saying is true then there is no wander it was a cluster F* building a engine and a game at the same time is a nightmare. (Making changes to an existing engine is a different story)

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dreamer

That was literally one of the claims by Scheirer’s sources: “One member of the team compared the process to trying to drive a train while the tracks are being laid in front of you at the same time.” It slowed down development.

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Dug From The Earth

Does Unreal have its own robust AI?
If not, that seems to be a huge chunk of the games problem. The AI. Police AI, NPC AI, Traffic AI, Enemy AI.

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EmberStar

The Transporter Chief AI, as he beams the cops in on top of you…

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Dug From The Earth

The response to this article from their management, once again, only continues to build my lack of trust for this company. At this point their comments are borderline absurd as the game is out in the public, for all to see. Yong Yeah’s video on it kinda sums it up nicely.