A person claiming to have worked on Aliens: Colonial Marines’ development has posted on Reddit a rumored history of the game’s development woes.
We’re noting this as a rumor because it’s an anonymous post.
According to the post from throwawayacm, who states he worked on the project “for around a year and a half,” issues started when SEGA announced the game six years ago “long before it had even started production,”
“Pecan (the internal codename for ACM) has a pretty long history,” said the poster. “SEGA, GBX (Gearbox) and 20th Century FOX came to an agreement to produce an Aliens game around 6 years ago, after which SEGA almost immediately announced it, long before Pecan had even started production.
“The game has been in active development in the past, only to be shelved in favor of another project (Borderlands, Duke, etc), and each time it was resumed it would undergo a major content overhaul.”
The poster states that while SEGA wan’t pleased with the delays, the last time development resumed, Gearbox “outsourced a good portion of the game to outside companies.”
“Initially, the plan was for TimeGate to take the majority of campaign, GBX would take MP, Demiurge and Nerve would handle DLC and various other focused tasks” the post reads. “This decision was made mostly so that most of the developers at GBX could continue working on Borderlands 2, while a small group of LDs, coders and designers dealt with Pecan.
“Somehow the schedules for Pecan and Borderlands 2 managed to line up and GBX realized that there was no fucking way they could cert and ship two titles at the same time. Additionally, campaign (which was being developed by TimeGate) was extremely far behind, even as Pecan’s Beta deadline got closer and closer. ”
The post goes on to say that at one point, TimeGate put together 85% of the game’s campaign, but “once Borderlands 2 shipped and GBX turned its attention to Pecan,” things became “pretty apparent that what had been made was in a pretty horrid state.”
“Campaign didn’t make much sense, the boss fights weren’t implemented, PS3 was way over memory, etc etc etc. GBX was pretty unhappy with TG’s work, and some of Campaign maps were just completely redesigned from scratch. There were some last minute feature requests, most notably female marines, and the general consensus among GBX devs was that there was no way this game was going to be good by ship. There just wasn’t enough time.”
It concludes with the poster stating that all involved basically ran out of time, and the “rush to throw a playable product together came at the cost of the story,” ending with the poster stating that hopefully DLC will remedy that particular situation.
Read the entire thing through the link, as well as his answers to questions on Reddit here.
It was revealed yesterday that Demiurge helped with “networking and multiplayer,” as well as the Wii U port; TimeGate Studios on “probably about 20 or 25% of the total time [and] of you take pre-production out of it, their effort’s probably equivalent to ours,” according to Gearbox boss Randy Picthford, and Nerve Software built some of the multiplayer maps for the game.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun claims an anonymous former Timegate employee offered independent collaboration of some aspects of the Reddit poster’s story, as well as disputing Pitchford’s break down of development duties.
“TimeGate definitely played a much bigger role in the development of Aliens than either Gearbox or Sega is letting on. Aliens: Colonial Marines is essentially TimeGate’s game,” the source said.
“From my understanding, almost all of TimeGate has been working on it for a few years, and they are not a small studio. Preproduction is a very insubstantial period in a game’s development. For him to say that the contribution was equal sans preproduction is basically saying it’s equal. You can see that Randy’s math isn’t really adding up. If Timegate did half, and Gearbox did half, where does that leave Demiurge, Nerve, and Darkside?”