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Tequila Works dev blog explains RiME's delay, will include in-game achievement system

With yesterday’s announcement of RiME’s Switch release date, we wanted to take a moment to update all of you on what’s going on behind the scenes with development, why we couldn’t release this version in May with the other platforms, and what we’re doing to maintain platform parity. It’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive in.

First, some history. The decision to go multi-platform was made a few months before it was announced last year. At that time, work was only underway on the PC and Xbox versions of the game. The Switch SKU had not yet entered active development.

Work began in earnest on the Switch SKU in August of 2016. Given that this was a new console, we made a bunch of educated guesses as to the work that would be involved porting it over to the new hardware. Some of these predictions turned out to be right, and some of them turned out to be wrong. Unfortunately, we didn’t know that they were wrong until work started to “wrap up” earlier this year.

The end result was that the port wasn’t living up to our quality standards, and we made the decision to delay the Switch version while we figured out what it would take to get things to where they needed to be. This involved a lot of testing various approaches and rework of art content. When we finally had a path forward, it became abundantly clear that we would need to delay again; the fixes were taking a lot of time to implement.

Right now, the teams at Tantalus and Tequila Works are busy optimizing shaders, fixing bugs, and getting the game ready for our submission to first party review. It takes about two months when all is said and done to actually get the game on store shelves after that point. If all goes well, this will be the last time you hear from us on this subject.

One final note, we’re doing everything in our power to preserve the gameplay experience from other platforms. This means that all of the optimizations we’re chasing do not involve re-working levels. We feel that this is the only viable approach for our players. RiME is a special game, and everyone should have the same experience regardless of their platform of choice. In fact, in order to ensure that the same level of narrative parity is in the game, we have built an achievement system into the game, so that the significance of certain key moments is not lost.

With that, we’ll get back to it. We thank each of you for your patience, and hope that you find the wait worth it when you have a chance to play RiME on the Switch - at home or on the go - this November.

Categories: Consoles
Tags: eshop, switch
Games: RiME

Comments

Top Rated Comment

This is how achievements should be handled--completely optional, at the discretion of the developer. Few things are as ridiculous as the claim that achievements are an essential feature for a console to have.

Sat Aug 12 17 11:31pm
(Updated 1 time)

This... is actually a reasonable explanation. Something Playtonic should have done for their late-ported game. (since these both were released on other systems around the same time) I'm actually surprised to see that RIME will have in-game achievements on the Switch version, which makes me happy as it means it won't miss out on anything from the other versions, and they put in extra effort to make it happen. I like what I've played of the PS4 one so far, so here's hoping others enjoy it a lot on the Switch, too. May even double dip on this one!

This is how achievements should be handled--completely optional, at the discretion of the developer. Few things are as ridiculous as the claim that achievements are an essential feature for a console to have.

To be fair, the dev did say that he's only including them because he feels they're an important part of the game and it would give the Switch version the exact same features as the other versions. Yet installing them into the game itself instead of a system OS was one of the reasons the game got a bit sidetracked, so it doesn't excuse the lack of an achievement system in the OS for developers to take advantage of. (optionally like in steam's case, or not like in PSN/XBLA's case) It should still be mandatory to make them have the OPTION in the System OS so that devs can insert them at their own will without going through extra hoops. That's exactly what Steam does, as plenty of games on that service lack achievements while some have them.

But not all games need achievements, I like in game achievements because you don't force developers to have them it's their prerogative to add them, for example Shovel Knight and Mighty Gunvolt Burst use in-gam achievements and for MGB you get reward in the game.

They shouldn't be required but developers definitely should have asked Nintendo to have a universal system.

mlt-malavida
Sun Aug 13 17 04:20am
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

I don't necessarily agree with that. It's nice to have as an option but in the end universal achievements, if devs use them as a main feature, a main way to have objectives and goals in their game, they are a loss in gameplay quality and immersion. And that's not even an opinion. It's outside of the game world (that's immersion) and it tends to uniformize the types of objectives that we can have in a game (that's gameplay). That's why achievements should always be used as some super optional borderline stupid objectives for the craziest of fans. Like gather 99 of every items. Useless. Or unlock that dumb dialog that's breaking the fourth wall by talking to this guy equiped with this...etc. That's fine. But if you're using achievements as a main component of your game, as a way to validate main objectives in your game, as in there are no actual reward in game, just the achievement window that pops up and says you got 10 whatever points in the real world, then you're making a game that's not as good as it could have been in that regard and less immersive. Of course, I'm not talking about achievements that pop up on top of the story progression. Those are hamrless, it's just like they're just there and that's all there is to it.

Here the dev for Rime seem to have insisted on having these achievements in the Switch version which probably means that they consider it an important part of the game. And that means that it should have been built in game anyway, with a real in game reward attached to them.

To wrap this up, it's nice to have options I agree, but when you start counting, there are so many reasons NOT to have achievements (mine, combined with some others mentioned here) that I think at some point we can agree that they are not a positive evolution of our gaming environment.

I was wondering about RiME. Well, at least they gave us an explanation. I'll probably wait for an online sale(physical games are absurdly expensive here), but it's a game I'll get it sooner or later.

Oh look ! Transparency !

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