It turns out that Skyrim is going to be about 6gb on disk. The headline may as well be, numbers that are small frighten people who don’t understand the numbers. I’m sorry, well, okay, I’m not really sorry, but if you’re worried than 6gb of on-disk data means the game is going to be short, your opinion is pretty dumb.
Is Minecraft too short, Elite not have enough gameplay? Is X-com over with all too quick?
Is the worry to do with art assets, or speech in the game? 6gb is … well, an awful lot of text, speech and artwork, I mean, maybe if you filled the disk with blu-ray quality movies or something. Or you didn’t have lots of repeated textures. Skyrim will have lots of repeated textures. So do most games, this isn’t a bad thing in general. Life has lots of repeated textures. Games taking advantage of having more space and not being limited by the DVD format is great, but on the other hand, some games just don’t need more space, and if Skyrim did, it would probably fill more of a DVD than the three quarters it does.
Which leads me to the bizarre criticism of Gamebryo, by people who should damn well know better PC Gamer, and how it’s good at rendering trees, but bad at rendering faces. Let us be honest, Gamebryo doesn’t care if it’s a tree or a face, Gamebryo can’t tell the difference, to it, they’re just labels and mathematics. People have this impression of Gamebryo as basically being the Elder Scrolls Construction Kit without the game’s data, and you can just import assets and settings to get Fallout or Oblivion.
It doesn’t work like that.
You know what else uses Gamebryo for it’s engine? Pretty much everything that doesn’t run Unreal.
Well, okay, okay, there’s also Source (Vampire The Masquerade, Half Life 2), CryEngine (Crysis 2), Unity et al., but Gamebryo is big, bigger than you think. Here’s a very short list of games using Gamebryo:
Axis & Allies
Bully: Scholarship Edition
Civization IV: Colonization
Dark Age of Camelot series
Defense Grid: The Awakening
Divinity II – The Dragon Knight Saga
Divinity II: Ego Draconis
Empire Earth II
Fallout: New Vegas
Futurama: The Game
Nehrim: At Fate’s Edge
Playboy: The Mansion
Ragnarok Online II: Legend of the Second
Sid Meier’s Civilization IV
Sid Meier’s Pirates!
Tenchu: Shadow Assassins
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
Wildlife Park 2
Zoo Tycoon 2
Yes, Playboy: The Mansion and The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion use the same ‘engine’. Remember the terrible faces, but great trees from Civilisation Revolution or Bully? Exactly. Bethesda are taking advantage of the bizarre way people blame Gamebryo for buggy code that doesn’t come from Gamebryo. Even to the point of claiming they were going to use a brand-new engine, knowing that people are asking if it’s going to look, and work a similar way to Oblivion and Fallout 3. I love the marketing speak though, since technically of course, the engine used for Skyrim may well be brand new. Of course that isn’t what people meant, but if even magazines that should (and let’s be honest, do) know better, are going to say daft things about Gamebryo, might as well take advantage and continue making games the same way. And why not?
Nothing wrong with Gamebryo, Bethesdas coding woes are their own.
The last thing to mention is the latest wonderful piece of market-speak to come from Pete Hines, VP of PR and Marketing at Bethesda when asked “Will the system menus be the same in PC than in 360and PS3? I mean, they are like designed specifically for console. Thanks.”, sensing the question for the “is this a console port?” that it was, responded with “The UI was designed to make the game more accessible, not for any one console. Works well on PC.”
That would be a yes, and so what, the game sells more on the consoles, and it has to be ported at some point, after-all, porting is just the practise of making software run on lots of platforms. Of course, the real issue is one that isn’t really to do with the hardware at all, but more a fixation of developers to tie control methods, sometimes quite arbitrarily, to hardware. There are other concerns of course, like, will it look better than the console version? I’m actually sympathetic on this point up until you expect me to keep buying new graphics cards just to run games. The console has effectively ended the 6-month PC upgrade cycle.
EDIT: Some people were bizarrely taking a single quotation from this article and using it to conclude that Creation ‘is just’ Gamebryo despite the article being an explicit rejection of that. I’ve done some edits to hopefully make things even clearer. I also moved the claim about Skyrim using Gamebryo as a basis for Skyrim’s Creation engine to where I could substantiate the claim without detracting from the points in this article.