Volition has revealed that it was still figuring out its development tools while working on Saints Row, an approach which resulted in the game lacking some common features, like a dynamic weather system.
Saints Row launches today, although it's been getting some pretty mixed scores around the web due to its rough technical state and overall lack of polishing. Speaking to GLHF, creative director Brian Traficante shed some light on Saints Row's development cycle and what difficulties the team at Deep Silver Volition had to overcome.
"It's one of those game stories that, unfortunately, becomes common where you're building your tech while you're building your game, which is the biggest no-no in development," Traficante said. "We started from nothing. At one point early in R&D, we let everything go and rebuilt from the ground up."
A number of games are known for similarly troubled developments, including Anthem and Cyberpunk 2077. For Saints Row, this resulted in the game lacking several major features that players got used to in other open-world games, such as a full-fledged dynamic weather system. In Saints Row, there's no rain at all, which is one of Brian Traficante's biggest regrets.
"I wanted rain so bad, there's just something about it. The world state changes, the overcast, the clouds, you see the umbrellas come out, people are reacting to it, and everything shiny looks great," the creative director said.
There was only room for one weather condition to implement, and the team had to settle for dust storms as something more suitable for a fictional city based on Las Vegas. "We've got a nice duststorm system, and that was sort of the trade-off where you could see these storms grow, build from a light storm into moderate, and things will get dusty."
Without a doubt, Saints Row took advantage of the extra six months of development. However, the number of cut features indicate the game needed even more time. Future updates might improve the situation and eliminate some bugs, but you'd better not expect the sky to ever cry above the city of Santo Ileso.
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