The GTA 6 No one helped leak. However, it has indirectly led to a lot of game developers talking openly about how games are made, which is always a pleasure. Several developers even shared some of their running builds To put the leak into perspective and correct hasty criticisms of incomplete games and graphics. We rarely see the game industry gather around things like this, and it’s rare for so many developers to get together and explain how to make sausages.
This is a leak, not GTA 6
The GTA 6 leakDitching sloppy gameplay and screenshots from the choppy structure of a game still deep in development, it has given rise to some truly perplexing assumptions on the internet. Video game development is hard to understand at the best of times, which is probably why many gamers have taken to social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit to post some wild opinions. The graphics are the first thing that gets completed in the development of the game, don’t you know. It was a hot and misleading take like this that spurred the famous protection industry to share some of the worst versions of their beloved projects – the amazingly ugly and ingeniously broken drafts behind the games we love. It would be almost impressive if this misunderstanding weren’t so alarmingly common.
For all the calls for more transparency in how video games are made, there’s a reason many developers don’t show builds or share details long before their games come out. There are several reasons, in fact, and the GTA 6 leak has highlighted many of them. For starters, a non-trivial part of the gaming audience looked at the leaked GTA 6 footage and seriously assumed that this was how the final game would be. The irony is that if the leaked construction appears worst, just plump and rough, fewer people might have taken it the wrong way. But you don’t have to dig deep to find silly comments condemning Rockstar’s “lazy developers” or asking them to “fix the graphics”. It’s been nine years since GTA 5 was released, so why doesn’t this look better?
The answer, as countless game designers pointed out this week, is that every project has different priorities, and graphics can be pretty low on your to-do list.
All ugly games begin
What does art look like in a video game in development? https://t.co/15bo6L6qMaSeptember 20 2022
Why does GTA 6 look so cruel in these leaked footage? Well, it is clear that the game is not over yet. It probably won’t be finished for years, which means the graphics will be very incomplete at the moment. But why is this?
I’m not a game developer, and that might explain why I find it helpful to think of making a game like building a house. The analogy is here: you can’t paint a house that hasn’t been built yet. And painting parts of the house would be a waste of time when you haven’t even finished framing. What if you painted it ahead of time but you want or need to change the frame or materials? You will just have to draw it again. It’s best to keep it ugly but viable for as long as possible and allocate time and resources only to beautify it once you can trust the base.
“Graphics are the first thing that is finished in a video game” This is what early versions of Cult of the Lamb looked like pic.twitter.com/F5EyEH6M9rSeptember 20 2022
You could almost say the same about a game that’s still in production. As many developers explained while referring to their early designs, graphics are often one of the the last Parts of the game that will be finished, at least in terms of the design that will be shipped. Early art is usually a proof-of-concept form, or a placeholder that sees huge changes later. And even after the developers make a decision about style, rough environments, character iterations, etc., these assets may not be added to the latest build for a while. To get back to the house analogy, you can get your paint, buckets, and buckets ready, but keep it in stock until the time is right.
The misunderstanding about this process reiterates why these leaks are so bad. Whether it’s an intermittent report on an unreleased game, or a video of a building that isn’t a final game, the leaks inevitably lack context. We’d have a very different conversation if Rockstar had released similar footage himself and framed it as a first look at the next GTA. We’ll get better shots, for example, that will change the way the game is understood and allow people in the know to guide the conversation. Developers and artists can avoid false assumptions and ultimately tell us more about the game. You can’t get that with leaks of the same material, which can naturally make messy projects look a lot worse than they actually are.
Leaks are not transparent
I do not run corporate defense here; I just want to try to correct some misconceptions as best I can. I’ll always want the developers to share more details and experimental insights. I think it’s good to learn and know how games work. It’s undeniable that this is naive, but I like to think that even a raw understanding of production and troubleshooting can give non-developers (like myself) a more useful perspective for critique and analysis. I was fascinated to see Courage in Dead Space remake and the lovably blocky skateboard playtest, for example. But these kinds of previews are only useful when they’re appropriately crafted, while slapdash leaks can hurt and hurt gamers and creators.
As we’ve seen, leaks can give people a wrong idea of how the game is shaping up. They can also hook people up or prepare them for disappointment by mentioning items that might be broken or repaired by the time the game is properly revealed or released. There is a reason those It’s not talked about publicly until it’s set in stone. Leaks are harmless entertainment at best, but they are often effectively malicious and counterproductive, especially when they are dealt with haphazardly. It’s a thing when a leak reveals important information that would never have surfaced otherwise, but that’s not what it used to be.
If anything, this leak was a reminder that many games don’t come together until the end, which is why premature in-depth analysis often wastes effort. If you look under the hood of almost any early development device, you’ll likely find some parts made of bubble gum, bail wire, and live crab. Games may be held with duct tape and praying even at their best, and the public wasn’t supposed to see this leaked GTA 6 build. No wonder you can still see nutrients and gum.
There has been talk of leaks like this penetrating the smoke and mirrors of game marketing to give players a chance real look behind the curtain. Here’s my question: a real look at what? This leak tells us more about how to use GTA 6 wont Looks, and even less about how to play it. The repercussions were more speculation than information, and much of this speculation has been misled or done in bad faith. The leaks aren’t the antidote to previously shown trailers that tell us nothing about how the games actually play, in part because they have a lot of the same issues. Trailers at least, no matter how elusive, allow for creative control.
I understand the desire for more openness in the gaming industry. I do too, so I am thrilled to see so many developers talking openly and comfortably about the fun and ugly truths of the game industry. I want this behind-the-scenes stuff to be visible and celebrated — and some, if you know where to look. But fragmentary leaks of secret buildings will not lead us anywhere. In fact, they can easily make things worse. Are the game developers supposed to respond to the unfair criticism, and in the event of such a leak, literal cyber attacks with pleasure? Besides, I would say there are many other areas of game development that would benefit from greater transparency from freakin’ game. graphics. The toys will look what they will look like, and they will appear when you go out. No amount of leaks will change that, so if we want to demand transparency, let’s at least ask the right questions the right way.