Amidst the sea of a buggy, unfinished AAA games, BioMutant stands tall. The devs, Experiment 101, went silent for a year, only to fix bugs without the crunch.
Biomutant was one of the most notable new titles when it was announced in 2017. The game should’ve come out in 2019, but somehow, it lost itself in the void. Right now, it’s drumming up noise, and everyone knows why.
The devs at Experiment 101 took a sabbatical to fix the bugs in-game – all without crunching. In a world that is now more sensitive about employee health, this is a breath of fresh air.
Biomutant took one year to finish QA
The story of Biomutant’s dev cycle is a weird story that tugs goodwill from fans. Stefan Ljungqvist, the dev team boss, talked to IGN and explained the situation.
He notes that their disappearance from the internet came from their bug fixing exploits.
“It’s a big game, a big bite for 20 people to chew off,” noted Ljungqvist. Before starting Experiment 101, Stefan and others were employed under Avalanche Studios. The team is 20 people big and is determined to keep the hierarchy uncomplicated.
It makes sense of Experiment 101 took almost a year to work out the bug fixes.
While the game’s map is only eight square kilometers, it’s a densely packed game. The entire map had a variety of entities interacting with each other.
The game’s script now 250,000 words long
The map for Biomutant contained warring tribes, outposts players can conquer, and weird creatures.
There’s also a protagonist who can evolve and adapt according to the obstructions at hand. For 20 people, this would have been a crunch.
Experiment 101 prevented that.
Apart from wanting to stay nimble, the small team had to work out the bugs. The entire year allowed them to do QA work without stressing or burning out each other.
“It’s been a huge amount of work for QA, because it’s not easy in an open-world game to find them,” said Ljungqvist. “And then once they’ve been found, we have to fix them, and that’s put some additional challenge on us, being a small team.”
Around that time, the studio did not stop at quality assurance. They also improved on the game’s script, with as much as 250,000 words now, rather than 80,000.
“If you look at the script, by the end of 2019 I think it was about 80-85,000 words. Pretty much a novel,” recalls Ljungqvist. “But in the final game, it’s closer to 250,000 words. That was a big thing, to wrap that script.”
Experiment 101’s publisher, THQ Nordic, also did not pressure the team to finish. Biomutant will, hopefully, be as polished as it can be once it comes out.
Featured image courtesy of THQ Nordic/Youtube Screenshot