behind the scenes

Crowfall takes players on a journey… to squash bugs

The latest Crowfall Q&A video changes tack about halfway through. For the first half, lead designer Thomas Blair and executive producer Gordon Walton helpfully discuss various player questions like how the team is preparing for the next major release and why they haven’t shown up frequently at conventions. But then the video becomes a journey into a side of development we all know about but rarely see – the process of hunting down and fixing bugs in the game.

Picking out specific bugs shows the full interface and the testing process, starting with the reported bug of Roasted Bloodworm causing 12 damage instead of healing it. If you think that fixing it is as simple as changing a plus or minus sign somewhere… no, first it requires hunting down why it has the problem in the first place, looking at all of the components, and so forth. You can see it for yourself in the video just below. (Fair warning, it’s lengthy.)

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Final Fantasy XIV posts its third video diary on visual design

Final Fantasy XIV is a very pretty game. Even if you don’t play it, you can see that a lot of care has been taken in making the game’s environments and landscapes look distinct. The most recent installment of the game’s ongoing developer videos looks at the visual design work that went into making Heavensward, especially with the added vertical element to every single map.

In the game’s initial rerelease, environments had to be visually appealing and distinct from the ground, but Heavensward introduced flight and allows a third dimension of travel. That has major implications for how maps were designed. But why take our word for it when you could just jump down below and have it shown to you in the video?

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How Wander’s launch devastated its community manager

What is it like to be the community manager of an MMO that was infamously called the worst PlayStation 4 game ever? That’s the question of the day for Emma S., the community manager of Wander.

Emma shares how she got involved with the Wander project as a volunteer and worked her way up to CM and social media guru. She describes jumping into the role at launch “beyond stressful” and “insane,” feelings complicated by a massively buggy and unstable release.

“Never underestimate the tremendous wrath of an immeasurable horde of irate gamers,” she recalls. “Within half an hour of launch, Facebook and Twitter had exploded with incredibly nasty comments. Though they were horrible, they were also honest. I hit the ground running. I read and answered every single post and comment as it came though. My stomach sank further with each passing notification. I felt was like I was being punched from the inside with every new comment.”

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