PS3 Skyrim stutter-bug linked to Fallout: New Vegas glitches

Monday, 5 December 2011 14:09 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Fallout: New Vegas director Josh Sawyer has suggested the reasons framerate slowing in the PS3 version of Skyrim are similar to those that plagued the Obsidian RPG.

The Bethesda RPG was patched last week to fix issues with the PS3 version, including stuttering caused by large save files.

However, it seems the update has made things worse rather than better for most owners.

The Obsidian developer, who helped make the Fallout spin-off last year, explained in a Formspring Q&A that higher memory management capacity on PS3 than 360 or PC coupled with functionality of the game’s engine itself was causing the problem.

“It’s an engine-level issue with how the save game data is stored off as bit flag differences compared to the placed instances in the main .esm + DLC .esms,” he said.

“As the game modifies any placed instance of an object, those changes are stored off into what is essentially another .esm. When you load the save game, you’re loading all of those differences into resident memory.”

There’s no simple fix, according to Sawyer’s comments.

“It’s not like someone wrote a function and put a decimal point in the wrong place or declared something as a float when it should have been an int,” he said.

“We’re talking about how the engine fundamentally saves off and references data at run time. Restructuring how that works would require a large time commitment. Obsidian also only had that engine for a total of 18 months prior to F:NV being released, which is a relatively short time to understand all of the details of how the technology works.”

There’s more on Sawyer’s Q&A here.