What has Ubisoft been doing during the Watch Dogs delay ?

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Ubisoft’s hack-centric action game Watch Dogs was meant to launch alongside the new generation of consoles, but was ultimately delayed. While many reasons for the delay have been proffered, according to Ubisoft, the 6 month long interlude was mostly one of polish – not one of feature creep.

“To be honest, we just polished the game,” co-art director Mathieu Leduc said to Edge.  “Naturally, with an open-world game, you polish the main path and you kind of… not let go of the side stuff, but overpolish the main path. So this extension allowed us to just go back and polish a little more of the side stuff, the hidden stuff that’s not on the main path.”

The team could have spent their time adding feature after feature that would have ended up being half-baked. They avoided this temptation.

“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,” Creative Lead Jonathan Morin said.

“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.”

They did, however, do what they could to make the world feel more alive – which is the one thing I want from an open world game.

“We ended up going back to Chicago to record some more voices,” story designer Kevin Shortt said. “It gave us a chance to add more meat to the world, to write more profiles for the civilians. It’ll make the world feel a lot more alive.”

Last Updated: April 10, 2014

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