Obsidian game designer on bugs, quests and publishers

Do you know how Obsidian games are set in fleshed-out and compelling worlds, but also have plenty of bugs? Design director Josh Sawyer explains why this is the case.

Obsidian

“We’re not total idiots. We know that we have a reputation for buggy games. And while some of that is endemic to making big, complicated RPGs with thousands of different ways through them, it’s still within our power to reduce bugs on our end with more time. When it’s a publisher’s choice, that ability (or priority) can be taken away from us.”

Josh Sawyer

With independent funding, the studio was able to reclaim that control over the production schedule. Postponing release dates on Pillars of Eternity games allowed the studio to produce a far less buggy product.

Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire

According to Sawyer, one other way to reduce the number of bugs is to limit the complexity of quests. But he cautions that pushing it too far will result in a less engaging story. He cites Fallout: New Vegas that was so compelling specifically because of the complexity of its quests.  In his words, there is a trade-off between time commitments and the requirements of the story.

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