Open and honest blog post discusses the complexities of merging content across games
“The truth is we screwed up.” So says Mike Simpson, the creative director at Creative Assembly, in a blog post directed towards fans of the two Total War: Warhammer games. The company’s attempts to bring together the campaigns from both games into a new ‘Mortal Empires’ mode have been beset with development issues and bugs for the end user. Something for which Creative Assembly is now apologising as it details the hows and whys of these issues, as well as where they go from here.
“We got so good at branching and merging builds, we thought we had it mastered,” says Simpson. “Merging is easy when the things that have changed in one branch don’t coincide with the things that have changed in the other. It gets more difficult when the changes overlap – you most often have to manually intervene to pick which branch is “right”. Typically, merges get exponentially more difficult the longer branches stay apart, as the chance of changes clashing increases.
“We planned to take the Norsca branch from Warhammer I, along with a variety of other WARHAMMER I improvements, and merge it in to Warhammer II. Because the content in Norsca didn’t exist in Warhammer II, even though a long time had passed, the merge should have been quick and easy.
“There was one tiny problem with this plan, which a bit of deeper might have discovered. It was bollocks.”
A refreshingly candid statement from a studio that has always put a huge emphasis on its community, and one that reflects its commitment to make good on the issues that players have been experiencing. This continues throughout the full blog post, which includes input from Rob Bartholomew, brand director at Creative Assembly, who outlines changes and fixes coming to Total War: Warhammer in the coming months.
Elsewhere, the studio apologises to fans of their games which are based on historical fact, rather than the fictional world of the Warhammer universe.
“We’ve seen pleasantly surprised reactions from Total War players across the board, especially from historical fans who may have been feeling a little left out over the course of WarhammerI and II,” a studio representative states. “This is precisely why Empire Divided exists; to provide some hearty historical snacking for players to enjoy between main meals.
“Our first Saga title, Thrones of Britannia, will be more significant still. It’s incubating in the care of Jack Lusted and his Historical New Content team who made the Age of Charlemagne expansion for Attila. They’re working on some very nice designs which we’ll start sharing in more detail shortly.
“Plus, we also have the next full-blown historical era title in the works too. More on this next year.”