After the patch is before the patch
I have talked to Stephan, CEO of Limbic Entertainment, about the current state of development, how the dev team is doing and what we can expect from the next patch. So if you're interested in what's going on behind the scenes at Limbic Entertainment, this post is for you.
Stephan, at what stage is the development of MMX right now?
We just released the first official patch. The good news is that with this deployment we finally did one full production cycle: "Develop -> Release Early Access -> Unofficial Patch -> Official Patch". The bad news is that it was more work and tension than expected.
We applied the full delivery process including a lot of approvals from different Ubisoft teams: quality assurance, compatibility testing, Uplay, installer, epilepsy tests, et cetera. As a result we had various warnings for the patch and it was more work than expected to fix the issues (and waive some of the minor ones).
Anyways, the patch is out now, and from the development point of view it´s actually a good learning for future patches and the full release.
So how is work going, are we making progress?
The overall development is making progress, but we can feel the time pressure. Especially on the content creation side. Level designers built a lot of new levels and are really working hard to meet quality and time expectations. Even though we now have all of the main story levels (at least as raw levels) it´s challenging to put the pieces together. Basically, the last 20% to finalize a level (lighting, decoration, optimization, sound and ambient effects, connecting quests, NPCs, dialogues and another gazillion of annoying small tasks) take more than 20% of the overall time. At least that´s how it feels... ;)
That sounds like a lot of work. How's the team doing?
Within the team we are currently doing some shifting on the staffing to meet all deadlines. We will add a sound designer to help with sound and ambient effects within the levels, we have added a new team member (Marta) to support our Team Lead Thomas and we are trying to come up with good ideas how to ease the work for the content creation team.
The next huge step will be the first version of the modding kit which will be released with the second official patch. Aside from the modding kit the patch will focus on community feedback, gameplay and balancing changes as well as additional game mechanics.
Thanks, Stephan, for the update!
And finally, some data about MMX - just for the sake of it and because we can:
- Up until today, 1328 bugs and issues have been reported.
- 1104 bugs have been closed so far
- 131 are currently open.
- The rest is either in progress, re-opened, waived or "could not be verified".
- We managed to break-thru the 100.000 word count. (@Loca team: Sorry!)
- We are at code revision 8.914 and will break-thru 10.000 soon(tm)