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Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning demo bugs won't be in final game, dev vows

Outsourced demo introduced new bugs.

Bugs players have found in the Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning demo won't be in the final game, one of its creators has vowed.

Big Huge Games lead designer Ian Frazier said the finished game is "in much better shape" than the demo, which was not created by Big Huge Games.

"There's a lot of tension about the demo, which we didn't build in-house," Frazier told Eurogamer. "It was branched off our code about three months ago. It got a lot of bug fixing. We sent them what we had, but there are a lot of bug fixes they didn't get. So we're all nervous, like, the demo's really buggy.

"But all the time the demo was worked on is time we spent de-bugging the main game. It should be clear from the reviews the main game is in way better shape. That's been a source of nervousness."

The biggest negative Big Huge Games has seen in the feedback to the demo is its buggy-ness, Frazier said.

"We're very not happy about that. But at the same time, the feedback overall has been really positive. Given the bug situation I'm incredibly happy with how positive the reaction has been.

"I'm not going to say the game's bug free - no game is. But it's pretty darn solid. Final code will show it's way better across all three platforms than the demo build. The demo didn't see the advantages of the last home stretch of bug fixing, which is a little bit painful."

In fact, the demo introduced bugs into the game that never existed in the code Big Huge Games created.

One of these relates to dialogue skipping - the result of missing voice over in the demo.

"The thing that's really hurtful for us is they actually introduced some new bugs in the demo that weren't even in the game when it branched," Frazier said.

Dialogue skipping is "not technically a bug", Frazier explained. "What they're seeing is the VO just isn't there. The big challenge for this demo was the game is frickin' huge so trying to get the download size down to something reasonable was a real challenge for the group that was working on it.

"Don't get me wrong - they did a good job with little support from us. I'm not trying to poo-poo those guys by any means. But in order to get it to fit to be a reasonable size download that would actually meet Microsoft and Sony's requirements, they had to cut everything that wasn't needed for the demo, like extra art and audio assets, and they cut a little much. They cut some audio that actually is in the demo. So if you talk to something and that clip's not there, you'll just see the words flicker across the screen."

While Frazier declined to name the contractor used to create the demo, he insisted it "does great work". "They did an amazing job within the context of the time they had."

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