Watch Dogs was delayed by six months back in November, and creative diector Jonathan Morin has shed some light on how Ubisoft Montreal and the game’s other developers used that extra time in a new interview.
It follows confirmation of the Watch Dogs season pass, which is said to include a new playable character and more.
Speaking with Edge, Morin said, “We didn’t really start shoehorning features in one after the other. It’s tempting to start saying, ‘Oh, let’s add this and that, and we so wanted to add this,’ but the reality is we’d just end up repeating the same thing over and over again.
“Our new starting point was an almost-shipped game, so the smart move was to not touch too much. Let’s just know exactly what we want to change and deal with it in a very precise way. We already had a huge game. Now the thing was to make sure everything connected with each other in a nice way. We didn’t really add anything huge to the game. We just tweaked everything.”
Much of this work involved ensuring that the parts that make up Watch Dogs’ open world connected well. Morin added, “When everything started to connect to each other, we started to feel the limitations of certain reactions. When you have so many animations, so many audio bars to do, so much text to write… the amount of content is so outstanding that when you start to play the game, sometimes you hit something you’ve never seen before and it’s not right, so you need more time.”
Ultimately, the delay has helped Ubisoft Montreal iron out a great degree of bugs and ensure that the game runs smoothly. Morin went on, “When you’re in a closing phase like that, you don’t have the time to do certain things the way you would want. Suddenly, we had extra time on a game that you could play easily without crashing all of the time. And that was the new starting point.
“We could reintegrate or fix certain issues without the cacophony of hundreds or thousands of other bugs being entered every day and breaking something else. Everybody started fixing features, but in a very stable manner. The level of productivity and efficiency in the team was a hundred times greater because of it.”
We’ll know if the delay has truly been worth it soon. Stay tuned.
Watch Dogs is out May 27.