Well we’re back at this again. According to a new report online, development on Dying Light 2 is “total chaos” at the moment, reflective of the many development struggles it has faced over the years that was reported before. But conflicting ideas paint a confusing picture of the actual story of development for Dying Light 2, as the developers previously said it was in the last stretch of development.
Dying Light 2 is one of the most anticipated games coming out in the next few years - earning the bronze medal in 3rd place for our Global Game Awards 2020 as voted by you - and I say ‘few years’ because Techland still hasn’t given an expected release date yet. Earlier this year the developer apparently had some “exciting news” to share soon regarding the game, but nothing has yet been revealed.
According to a new report, Dying Light 2 is facing some serious development issues thanks to the “autocratic” management of Techland’s CEO Pawel Marchewka and a “lack of a coherent vision”. There were also multiple interviews from current and former employees of Techland that expressed their concerns towards the studio and Dying Light 2’s development.
Multiple sources claim that many external consultants have been brought onto the project, and Marchewka apparently trusts them more than their own staff, before eventually hiring them and then putting them on the backburner: “Techland has a history of hiring people for which the team had 'high hopes,' but it ended up in nothing,” one of the sources said.
“One such case for the designers was the hiring of Marc Albinet, a former game director from Ubisoft, that was supposed to restructure how design is done in the studio. Even he, a veteran with 30 years of experience, couldn't break through upper management that is harder to change than the spin of the fucking Earth.”
One source mentioned how these consultants are hired and then for a few weeks their ideas are heard, before no longer being listened to after a few weeks at the studio, resulting either in their own resignation or firing: “To make a career at Techland, you have to be subservient.”
Another instance of development issues comes from the game’s engine, which is the proprietary Chrome Engine developed by Techland themselves. Apparently for the sequel though, Pawel Zawodny, the Chief Development Officer, wanted to switch over to either Unreal Engine or Unity for the beginning of development - as it was a more widely used game engine - before introducing those changes to the Chrome Engine.
However, Marchewka reportedly wanted everyone to work on Techland’s Chrome Engine from the very beginning: “it slowed everyone down and that frustrated everyone,” another source said. “He would ask why people aren’t working faster and it was because the tech isn’t up to speed. We can work faster, but we have to go here, and you’re not allowing us to go there. The experts know what the goal is, and they should be allowed the flexibility to do what’s best.”
Zawodny apparently had their own consultants come in to help with the workflow, however they too were not listened to, resulting in a “production pipeline that changes so quickly and rapidly that it might as well not exist,” as one source said.
Previous reports of problems with development were then countered by the very studio itself, with Creative Director of Dying Light 2, Adrian Pyza Ciszewski, mentioning that the studio’s philosophy is ‘design by iteration’. However, some sources have said that this is simply not true:
“Techland’s philosophy about design through iteration [that] Pyza presented in [the] Polish article is total bullshit,” one source said. “What is going on in Techland is just total chaos, not iteration. There are plenty of examples where there is someone responsible for a given feature - like a game director decides on something - but Pyza and Marchewka just overwrite this because of some bullshit reason, like they've seen something working differently in other games so we can do it like that.”
But Marchewka disagrees and actually defended the studio’s development strategy by saying that “trust and the flow of ideas in a large organisation is a complex issue.” However, back in 2018 a copywriter for Techland had quit after 5 years, after which Marchewka then reworked everything the copywriter had done on Dying Light’s Steam Page until it was all completely redone. As if the copywriter never existed in the first place. The report mentions how there is a general sense that nothing is permanent at Techland.
“We are currently working on creating an innovative game that millions of players around the world will love, and thus we are constantly looking for methods that allow us to improve the transmission of fresh and interesting ideas,” Marchewka said. “However, not every idea is a good idea for this project, and only the best and consistent ones with the vision of the project will be implemented in our game.”
There is still no word on when Dying Light 2 will release, and so far it has been years since we last got any form of trailers or gameplay for the title. Whether the reports are are true to an extent, there is clearly something going on behind the scenes that is causing multiple delays, that eventually ended up in an indefinite delay announced last year.
What do you think? Are you still excited for Dying Light 2? Are you going to be a bit cautious of the game now? Or have these reports been blown out of proportion? And is it still one of your most anticipated games? Let us know!