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Biomutant devs praise THQN anti-crunch and explain their silence ahead of release in May

cormack12

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Source: https://www.ign.com/articles/biomutant-heres-why-the-developers-have-been-quiet-for-so-long



The lack of pressure from THQ Nordic to ship Biomutant has been a blessing, as the negative outcome of crunch would be destructive to both individual staff and the studio overall, Ljungqvist explains. “I mean, the studio, we are 20 people and we can't afford to have [staff] leave the studio, or be destroyed during development. That would be devastating.”

“For certain pushes, you might do it in a limited form,” he acknowledges. “But the most important thing is you get paid, which is not common in our industry, crazily enough. And also you get ‘recap time’, because you have to have rest. If you're just doing this constantly for 12-14 hours a day, you will eventually have to pay for it.”

Rather than ship a buggy game, Ljungqvist says Experiment 101 has been taking its time to quietly build a truly finished product.

“It's a big game, a big bite for 20 people to chew off,” says Ljungqvist. While Biomutant’s map may be just eight square kilometers, it’s packed with warring tribes, conquerable outposts, strange creatures to fight, and a protagonist who can mutate into new forms to overcome obstacles. As we’ve said before, Biomutant looks bananas, and its many moving parts are a challenge for the studio behind them.

“At the end of the project, there's only a certain amount of bugs that you can physically fix during the course of the day,” says Ljungqvist. And that’s what much of Biomutant’s last year of development has been: bug squashing.

Ljungqvist is realistic about being able to ship Biomutant completely bug free - a game with so many systems in its sandbox world is difficult to deliver without the odd problem - but he wants it to arrive in players' hands as solid as possible. “Any game is going to ship with [smaller] bugs, but I'm talking about bugs that are truly disruptive to the game experience,” he says. “We don't want to ship with that. I think that's what caused us to just wait until we were ready to do it.”

Ljungqvist notes that, as a result of the expanded script, players can expect a reactive karma system called Aura, which will change NPC dialogue based on your light or dark allegiance. There’s also a better tutorial system, which more effectively communicates Biomutant’s overflowing toy box of ideas. On top of the additional script forming the basis of these features, the game will be available in 13 different languages, 10 of which are fully voiced, and so localisation is required on all those added words. It’s safe to say it’s been a busy year for Experiment 101.


 

OnionSnake

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Damn thats good to hear and this game looks super cool. Hoping with Hades GOTY wins and other games like this we start to see a move away from crunch and more towards delays.
 

SantaC

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How big is 8 Squarekilometer compared to other open world games?
 

Labadal

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I really hope this will translate to a great end product. I've been waiting for years.
 

Lanrutcon

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Irrelevant
Man, every dev is going to be making sure they distance themselves from a potential Cyberpunk 2077 scenario for ages to come.
 

Inviusx

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Sleeper hit incoming. Shame about no next gen support thought this game was next gen from the start.
 

Virt McPolygon

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Good for them. Never fall for a big publisher's expensive marketing hype machine.
 
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01011001

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the team is only 20 people? damn...

that's honestly kinda reassuring as these days the "too many cooks spoil the broth" phrase fits more than every with hoe AAA games are made. one Leveldesigner doesn't know what the other 10 do, let alone what people outside of their field do.
 
May 8, 2011
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I will say that when I first saw this game I was excited, but the more recent visuals and gameplay has me a little worried. I guess we'll see when it comes out, I do hope it does well.
 

CitizenZ

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the team is only 20 people? damn...

that's honestly kinda reassuring as these days the "too many cooks spoil the broth" phrase fits more than every with hoe AAA games are made. one Leveldesigner doesn't know what the other 10 do, let alone what people outside of their field do.

Yea, as someone who laughs when someone says, "They didnt have $$$" dont play enough games. I just saw a video today for a game made by ONE guy called Olija, and while im kind of over the pixel art games, the animations and combat were pretty solid as was the entire presentation. ONE guy always makes me feel so fcking dumb everytime.
 

Zannegan

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Looks kinda janky, but hopefully my kind of janky. I hope they knock it out of the park.
 

sublimit

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This is the only game in years that i find impossible to know (before its launch) whether it interests me or not. I may end up hating it or loving it. Would have been great if they could release a demo.
 
Jan 9, 2021
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Looks good. I don't care about how many people made it or the problems they faced during development.

Sorry, not my problem. They game looks fine, that's all i care about.
I agree it’s weird how places like resetera make a big deal about crunch while still consuming said games. That’s not even the problem the problem I have with it is none of those developers give a shit if I’m crunched at work which they shouldn’t so why should I give a shit if they crunched to make a game or not.
 

GymWolf

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This was the latest gameplay\overview trailer released if i remember well


Can't wait to play this thing.
 
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Labadal

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I agree it’s weird how places like resetera make a big deal about crunch while still consuming said games. That’s not even the problem the problem I have with it is none of those developers give a shit if I’m crunched at work which they shouldn’t so why should I give a shit if they crunched to make a game or not.
They don't really care about "crunch". Most companies have their employees crunch. I'm not in game development and I've had to work 70 hour weeks at times. At one point, I worked 21 straight days for at least 10 hours each. Shit happens. They care if the company is someone that goes against their ideals. That's simply it.
 
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justiceiro

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Feb 27, 2015
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I remember how heavily this game was panned when revealed, so it's surprising how much weight the publisher is giving them.

Hoping for the best, I always saw potential in it.
 

whyman

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I am very hyped for this game but I'm trying to watch as little as possible beforehand. No "Next Gen patch" at launch is a bummer indeed but it's really the gameplay I'm looking for here. Hopefully they put a uncapped frame rate mode in there that the PS5 can max out.
 

Elder Legend

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Jun 10, 2019
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Played it at E3 few years ago. Seemed promising for what it was. Looking forward to full release.