Image: Ubisoft

Internal tools and assets for Watch Dogs: Legion have reportedly been leaked, providing interesting insight into Ubisoft and its developmental practices.

PPG’s pokeprotos (who’s been following the exploits of ransomware team Egregor over the past two weeks) has shared an image that suggests Watch Dogs: Legion was scripted using a program synonymous to Scratch – a block-based, drag-and-drop editor that is primarily designed to teach kids how to code.

“Scratch is designed especially for ages 8 to 16, but is used by people of all ages,” a blurb on the official site reads. “Millions of people are creating Scratch projects in a wide variety of settings, including homes, schools, museums, libraries, and community centers.”

While it’s difficult to say how much this scripting method was leveraged during Watch Dogs: Legion’s development, the image hasn’t stopped Ubisoft’s critics from blasting the company for what some are calling a juvenile and lazy attempt at game coding.

Many reviewers have labeled Watch Dogs: Legion a buggy mess that runs poorly even on powerful PCs, so they may be on to something.

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14 Comments

  1. I would say: Worst Game Of The Year!

    But, I’d be wrong.

    That deserving award goes to:

    Square Enix’s: Marvel’s Avengers.

  2. It’s hard to work from home and watch the kids at the same time, seems they found a solution.

    They should just make the kids code it. Or was that what you were saying?

    I recall WAY back in the day (Apple 2, C64 era) there were a couple different drag and drop language things, like icons + macros you strung together. Cannot remember the name. Was supposed to be the next wave of programming, drag and drop…. and that was like 1985

  3. With the type of people they’re hiring to make these games these days I’m not surprised in the least that they used an IDE made for kids.
  4. Honestly… if the compiler is good it shouldn’t matter right? ;)

    Yeah I kinda think this — if it makes good code who cares? Good on them for finding/making an efficient solution

    If it makes crappy code, the scandal isn’t that they used a drag and drop GUI, it’s that they shipped crappy code without fixing it

  5. Yeah I kinda think this — if it makes good code who cares? Good on them for finding/making an efficient solution

    If it makes crappy code, the scandal isn’t that they used a drag and drop GUI, it’s that they shipped crappy code without fixing it

    It’s not really an efficiency issue. It’s a "why would I trust someone to make a good game, who can’t even code" issue.

  6. It’s not really an efficiency issue. It’s a "why would I trust someone to make a good game, who can’t even code" issue.

    If all you are doing is scripting encounters over and over … why wouldn’t you make that as easy as possible? I don’t think story tellers and quest writers should need to code. The guy writing the GUI tool better be able to though…

  7. If all you are doing is scripting encounters over and over … why wouldn’t you make that as easy as possible? I don’t think story tellers and quest writers should need to code. The guy writing the GUI tool better be able to though…

    This is true, but it seems much better methods to mass produce narrative content have been developed since the days of Gamebryo being the hot thing. The tools are just not often freely shared with the community unlike what Bethesda does.

  8. If all you are doing is scripting encounters over and over … why wouldn’t you make that as easy as possible? I don’t think story tellers and quest writers should need to code. The guy writing the GUI tool better be able to though…

    If they don’t have an internal tool for doing in-game npc scripts that’s even more worrying.

  9. Honestly… if the compiler is good it shouldn’t matter right? ;)

    Sort of. In my experience, drag and drop editors are great for beginners but they don’t produce the best results. Typically, when it comes to coding the code wouldn’t be as efficient as it could be which leads to its own problems. You end up with something more complex than it needs to be, despite being easier to initially generate. Like a lot of tools, this is fine if you know how to go back through the code and clean it up. Similarly, most game animations are done with automated tools and then tweaked by hand as needed. We’ve seen what happens when you don’t do this via Mass Effect Andromeda. Look at the game today, and its fine. They went back and tweaked everything by hand in the six months after release.

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