Bethesda’s Todd Howard has said the team working on Skyrim knew it would experience a “bad memory situation” when developing the game for PS3, and worked extra hard on the code to prevent issues from occurring; however, problems did arise with “a small percentage” users.
Speaking with Kotaku, Howard said regardless of how small said percentage was, Bethesda was adamant about the issue through patching.
“We did a ton more testing this time around, so the game is definitely our most solid release regardless of platform,” he said. “The way our dynamic stuff and our scripting works, it’s obvious it gets in situations where it taxes the PS3. And we felt we had a lot of it under control.
“But for certain users it literally depends on how they play the game, varied over a hundred hours and literally what spells they use. Did they go in this building? And so on.”
Howard said the issues had nothing to do with a large amount of save data stored on the system, saying the theory was a “common misconception.”
“It’s literally the things you’ve done in what order and what’s running,” he explained. “Some of the things are literally what spells do you have hot-keyed? Because, as you switch to them, they handle memory differently.
“The 1.2 patch took care of a lot of it, [but] there were clearly some people [who the fix didn't work for]. We didn’t know why. So they sent us their saved games.”
Howard said patch 1.4 hopefully “takes care” of the issues the team has seen “that are bad”, and the team is “very confident a lot more people are going to be in a very good situation,” but at the same time Bethesda’s not “not naïve enough” to assume its seen everything which needs to be fixed.
“There are still going to be some people who have to come back to us and say, ‘Ok, my situation is this.’ [Our response is:] ‘OK, send us your saved game,’” he said. “We literally need to look at what you have running. We tried doing it through e-mail. We need to open the saved game comes up and look at it. Wr’ve got one guy who has seven dragons on the other side of the world, and a siege about to happen in this city and another 20 quests running.
“And, ok, this is what the game is trying to do and it’s having a hard time running that.”