Watch Dogs has today finally been given a release date, following an announcement last year that announced it was being delayed so the team could ” polish and fine tune each detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience.” The Watch Dogs team have now revealed that one of the big reasons for this delay was an adding of variety to the world, as well as changes to the hacking system so that players could blend the two together.
Senior producer Dominic Guay reflected that like all games, Watch Dogs needed to go through a process of tweaks to all of its elements, to create a truly enjoyable experience. However, Watch Dogs also received a plethora of changes to the variety of Chicago during the delay.
We produced an insane amount of animations and behaviors for the citizens of our Chicago. But once you do a lot of playtests you realize there are certain parts of the city where players go more than others. So look at it and we say, OK, there’s all these things happening in the city that many players may never see, there’s those areas they’re going in, and maybe if we had more variety there it would be better.
Planning for these additions would have been impossible due to the iterative nature of game design, Guay said.
It’s impossible to plan that a year ahead. You need to do it, see it, make an adjustment, iterate on it.
During early playtesting, the Watch Dogs also found that there was a disconnect between the combat of the game and the hacking that was its core.
There are a lot of gamers who want to play with a very aggressive approach, who want to rush in guns-blazing. And when they did that hacking, became less useful. Especially if you were on the ground. If you weren’t in cars, for example, or traveling through the city
Fixing this issue was something that the team already had ideas for, but they needed the extra time in order to implement them.
Some were there and sometimes we just needed little hooks to connect certain systems together. We did that in a couple of weeks and all of a sudden we saw the best players were now the ones who could mix combat with hacking.
Watch Dogs is slated for release May 27 on PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.