The game's programmer on how games change two weeks before shipping.
Charles Randall, a programmer who worked on Assassin's Creed 2, shared that the game was almost unplayable just two weeks before shipping. In a Twitter post, he said that games are "broken ugly unplayable messes until two weeks before [going] gold" and told the story of shipping Assassin's Creed 2. Apparently, it was "so crappy, so buggy, so unpleasant to play, that with first submission, [he] was sure [he'd] crunched for two years on an absolute dud."
"Nothing worked. There was no feedback for half the systems. Cutscenes had long inexplicable pauses. Teleported all over by scripts. Trying to play the game was like pulling teeth."
Animations also looked "awful and broken," Randall said you couldn't play it ever briefly "without seeing a character twist like the exorcist or face the wrong direction at a critical point." Audio didn't fare better: it wasn't hooked up in some places, sound volumes were "all over the place," and overall, the game was near silent.
Miraculously, in those two weeks, everything changed: "I snagged a candidate disk and played through the entire game in one weekend. It was immediately an all time favorite. It was pristine. It was flawless. It was firing on all cylinders."
Randall revealed that this happens a lot in the development process, so if you like a game more than two weeks before the release, don't expect it to be this way after it's out.
The story is surprising as Assassin's Creed 2 is considered one of the best parts of the series, it received universal critical acclaim and popularized the franchise.
The 2009 game follows Ezio Auditore's journey as an Assassin seeking revenge against those responsible for the death of his family.
You may find these articles interesting