A man gives up his thumb while holding a broken vase taped in front of the TV.

image: Kotaku / Tortoon / Alexander_P ((((Shutterstock).

Did you know all the horses Assassin’s Creed 1 Is it really made with a messed up human skeleton?Or that Titan Quest Did you use an invisible squirrel as an in-game timer? Hopefully this is all true and the game is mostly a collection of wild code and has more in common with miracles than software.

Video games shouldn’t work at all. This is what I learned after reading the story shared by the developers about creating games and all the tricks and hacks used to perform them. The story of these hacked solutions is always there, But a recent viral tweet about an invisible squirrel used as an in-game timer Along with tapes, magic, and a few sticks, it led to a wave of new stories emerging online that once again show how video games are primarily held.


As a good example of this Let’s start with a tweet from Charles RandallThe person who worked on the original assassin’s creed.. He shared two interesting developer hacks about messing up hidden arms and horses.

After all, assassin’s creedThe team didn’t have the budget to create a special custom skeleton rig for fellow assassin Malik. So when the character loses his arm, it’s actually still there, but it’s turned inside out. Randall explained that if you clip the camera to your model, you’ll see “a tiny little arm crumpled inside the biceps.”

Another, more wild AC1 The hack involves a horse in the game. Randall explained that the horses in the game were created from a “twisted” digital human skeletal rig because the team’s technique worked only well on bipedalism at the time.

“Cheers to the wonderful animators and riggers who could make the man look like a horse,” Randall tweeted.


On Twitter, game developer Luke Parkes-Haskell Shared a simple fix used in Fable: The JourneyKinect only Fable The spin-off was released in 2012. According to Parkes-Haskell, the team ran into a problem shortly before shipping the game.

Problem: Certain grass and water materials did not render properly in the game. Instead, players can see the game’s default gray checkerboard texture used by developers during development. But when time was running out before launch, the team came up with an elegant and quick fix. They just replaced the default development texture from checkerboard gray to flat green. The problem has been resolved and the game has shipped.


Darktable shared the story How they worked in the studio where engineers couldn’t provide designers with ways to delay timers, triggers and sequences. However, they gained access to falling objects characterized by physics and collisions. So they hacked their own timer by dropping in-game boxes from different heights off the screen and using object collisions to trigger events.

They were reluctant to share the name of the studio or Dreamcast game in question, but DarkTable tells an interesting story. Kotaku About testing the game on 50hz TV.

“I think the primitive physics system was frame rate dependent,” DarkTable explained. “Therefore, when I first tested on PAL TV (50hz) instead of NTSC TV (60hz), all the timers in the game were a little off. This is actually what the designer was doing by the designer. I think it was when I first discovered (and it was too late to change it). “


Developer working on Rolf Klischewski, Settlers III, We shared how the team was able to ship the game despite a large async issue When playing online. After spending a few weeks looking for a fix, one day the error message confirming the async disappeared. According to Klischewski, the CEO praised the coder’s efforts. But then he revealed what really happened:

“Few people knew that one of them REMed the error message.” In other words, someone added a bit of text to the code to get rid of the error message, but it doesn’t go away. For real We’ll fix the problem, but we can ship the game. This is the equivalent of putting duct tape on a car’s “check engine” light.


Artist and game developer Alex Zandra shared the story about Small bike game She made that characteristic roguelike progression.As she said KotakuHer track-building system used pre-built vertical-level chunks and combined them to create a seamless track. This all happened while loading the level.

But there was a problem. Each time a level is generated, an extra unintended large wedge section is placed at the end. Realizing that it would take too long to rewrite the code to fix this difficult bug, Zandra did another “non-elegant” hack.

Screenshot showing a cartoon motorcycle driving a small hill.

screenshot: Alex Zandra / Kotaku

“I left it as it was and instead wrote a bit of code to destroy the weird blocks,” Zandra explained.

“Technically, when the level starts, that weird oversized ramp block is at the end, but thankfully it’s too far for the player to see it. My extra code is displayed on the screen. Find it and remove it before you go. It’s not exactly elegant, but it works! “


These game development hacks may be summarized in a few words or a single tweet. However, former Bethesda developer Nate Purkeypile There was a more complex and wild story of a video game hacker to share About fantastic things Fallout 3 Download contents, Point lookout.

The problem he encountered was that at some point in the DLC, the team needed a mansion to explode. It seems easy. You blow it up. If you’ve played DLC, you probably didn’t think about it at all. They blew it up, and that’s it. But ah … that’s not all.How the engine Fallout 3 Worked, Parky pile and small group making Point lookup Could not trigger an event far away from the player. What you see at a distance was just a static object.

The solution to this included using one of the existing techniques in the main game: diverting the system used to blow up the megaton. Fallout 3.

Despite the mansion in front of him, Parky Pile explained: Kotaku “Must be the” remote explosion “object type used to destroy the megaton in the original game.” “Otherwise, when you’re far away, we’ll always have a house there. Therefore, with this workaround, after the apartment actually explodes, its” house of explosion “(this is) It was just a house, not an explosion). “

In other words, Parky Pile says: “Well, counterintuitively, after an explosion, turn off the fake” explosion “house. “

You may be wondering why your team didn’t have the resources to create what they needed. Parky Pile explained to me that Bethesda was pretty small at the time.And most people were then working on it Skyrim.. As a result, the DLC team needed to find an interesting and inexpensive way to use existing technology and assets to solve problems such as blasting a mansion.


Obsidian Designer, Taylor Swope, The team shared how to display NPCs on RPG monitors and screens, Outside world.. When you see someone talking to you on the screen or monitor, the character is actually near another room decorated like the area you should actually be when sending a message.

Swope explained to me that this is a common trick found in many other games. For example, I saw this myself while exploring Valve’s levels without clipping. Half-life 2.

As to why developers use this option instead of pre-rendered video files, Swope explained to me that it primarily results in file size.

“Video files are very large and very fast, so it’s a plus that you don’t have to include them in your game files,” Swope said.

“In the case of the following games Outside worldSince such conversations also involve the interaction of many players, the sequence played on the screen must be able to respond dynamically. “

“Theoretically, you could pre-render each response in a separate video and choose what to play based on the player’s choice, but there are more video files to process and you need to build a new system for that. Yes. It’s easier to capture the other side of the conversation “live” using the conversation system you’ve already built. “


Twitter game developer Logan Shared a simple solution to the camera problem They continued to encounter while working on the game, Go flying a kite.. With first-person view, players spawn while sitting on the bus. But this caused a strange bug.

“Basically, players spawn,” Logan said. Kotaku “And the player’s camera tries to move to the” docked “position at the same time, causing the camera to perform this 360 degree flip. “

Starting the game with such wild camera movements wasn’t part of Logan’s plan, but it was difficult to fix. Instead, Logan just added a fake two-second loading screen that plays at the beginning of the scene and immediately after the actual loading screen.


Finally, Georg Zoeller explained on Facebook (Shared on Twitter with his permission) A huge selection of popular games A huge number of wild tricks and hacks used by different teams throughout. Here are just a few of the best they have shared:

With MMO Star Wars: The Old RepublicAll exploding barrels are filled with contracted invisible people, as NPCs are the only effective source of damage. “Yes, every time you shoot an exploding barrel, someone is blown up,” Zorer explained.

“Oh, at first it was a complex model with transparency applied, because for many designers, having a hammer makes everything a nail,” says Zoeller. “The frame rate has dropped so badly that I had to write a script to find everything.”

The guy has an assault rifle and is watching a big green bush in an old retro shooter.

In military FPS, Operation flash point, Zoeller revealed that designers “have no way to cause an explosion.” Instead, they launched vehicles such as tanks and trucks to the ground at large velocities, causing a major explosion. Apparently, on some maps, this is how they created the bombardment.

Probably the wildest one Star Wars: Knights of the Old RepublicBasically, there was one random animal controlling the planet.

“All global quest variables on a particular planet were stored in surrounding creatures that couldn’t be targeted,” Zoeller said. “Even if you disable the AOE effect, you can still get and kill creatures, and killing the right surrounding creatures can interrupt the game.”

Sorry, the game failed because you killed the animal of the god of Naboo. Video games are great.

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