Over the weekend, Rockstar faced a massive leak that saw numerous screenshots and videos taken from GTA 6's development show up online with missing assets and features.
On seeing this leaked footage, some corners of the internet decided to use it as ammunition to criticise Rockstar's unfinished work.
"If you knew how game development goes, you'd know that visuals are one of the first things done. This game is four years into planning and development. What you see is almost exactly what you will get. The next year is mission coding and debugging. All backend stuff. It does look ass," claimed one Twitter user.
This is not the case. In fact, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart 3D character artist Xavier Coelho-Kostolny dubbed this "the greatest extremely-confident-but-has-no-idea-what-they're-talking-about take [they've] ever seen."
Now, many developers and members of the games industry are sharing their own work in progress clips, affirming that what the leaked GTA 6 footage showed us was no indication of the final product's quality.
Control's lead designer Paul Ehreth shared a YouTube video of Remedy's award-winning game.
Accompanying the clip, they wrote, with their tongue firmly in cheek: "Since graphics are the first thing finished in a video game, and Control won multiple awards for excellence in graphics, here is footage from the beginning of development."
Uncharted 4's co-lead designer Kurt Margenau meanwhile reshared footage from the game's famous jeep chase scene in its "blockmesh vs art blockmesh vs final art" stages, commenting that this is "what art looks like for a video game in development".
What art looks like for a video game in development. https://t.co/15bo6L6qMa— Kurt Margenau (@kurtmargenau) September 20, 2022
Staying with Naughty Dog, here is The Last of Us in its early days.
Yes..this is what the Last of Us looked like in it's development stages.— Naughty Dog Central (@NaughtyNDC) September 20, 2022
Every game you ever played went through this. pic.twitter.com/acNFSRjIAo
Indie developer Massive Monster shared early footage from its recent release Cult of the Lamb. This clearly shows the rudimentary design that features in the early stages of a game's development.
"Graphics are the first thing finished in a video game"— Cult of the Lamb 💅 🌈 (@cultofthelamb) September 20, 2022
Here's what early versions of Cult of the Lamb looked like pic.twitter.com/F5EyEH6M9r
Immortality director Sam Barlow tweeted two stills from his latest game, stating: "FYI, here's what Immortality looked like for the first 2 years where we were focused on getting the AI and combat gameplay balanced vs how it shipped."
"Graphics are the first thing finished in a video game"— Sam Barlow 🔥 IMMORTALITY (@mrsambarlow) September 20, 2022
FYI, here's what IMMORTALITY looked like for the first 2 years where we were focused on getting the A.I. and combat gameplay balanced vs. how it shipped pic.twitter.com/lXoBQeKYUO
Meanwhile, journalist Cian Maher shared an early still of one of Horizon Zero Dawn's Thunderjaws. "Also yes that is a gun, this was prototyped using Killzone assets because games don't look like the finished product until extremely late in development," he wrote in a follow up tweet.
"Graphics are the first thing finished in a video game"— Cian Maher (@cianmaher0) September 20, 2022
Here's a Thunderjaw from an early build of Horizon: Zero Dawn pic.twitter.com/Xq6fw5fS0e
Destiny fan Excelhedge shared the following pictures of Bungie's sci-fi MMO. In their words, "Don't ever trigger game devs, especially when [you] know nothing [about] their work. Below is [Destiny's] early Alpha build vs Destiny Rise of Iron."
"Graphics are the first thing finished in a video game"— Excelhedge (@Excelhedge) September 20, 2022
Don't ever trigger Game Devs, especially when know nothing their work.
Below is @Bungie's #Destiny's early Alpha build vs Destiny Rise of Iron pic.twitter.com/9Np6gqlshv
Meanwhile, Bit Loom Games shared a side by side comparison of its game Tray Racers, showing a big difference between the game's progress in 2020 and 2022.
Did you know graphics are the first thing finished in a video game?— Tray Racers! ☀️🌵💨 (@TrayRacers) September 21, 2022
Here's proof! 2020 Tray Racers! compared to 2022 🤔 pic.twitter.com/8Bol6zV9Oj
Finally, while this God of War (2018) video has not been reshared by the developer recently, this compilation of Sony Santa Monica's footage highlights just how many stages a game has to go through before the final product is actually ready for release.