VOID KIRSCH, who was once active in Retro Studios, looked back on memories of the development of Metro id Prime and posted on SNS on November 8. Among them, the episode of the development machine was put in the freezer for testing has been shared and attracting attention.
Metro id Prime is a first-person search-type adventure game released in Japan in 2003 for Nintendo Game Cube. Retro Studios, currently Nintendo’s subsidiary, was in charge of development, and Kirsch was involved as a senior engineer. This time, he posted a secret story related to the freezer mentioned above with Jack Mathews, a colleague and technical lead engineer at the time.
According to MATHEWS, shortly after the release of Metro id Prime, Nintendo was partially shipped in the game cube body equipped with a poor performance CPU, and only this work was influenced by the CPU. He was told that he was. In general, the production of semiconductor products may include those that do not meet the specified performance depending on the yield rate. The situation at that time in the game cube is not clear, but the performance of the CPU selected as a good product is somewhat wide, and it may be that only this work has been affected.
When I checked the play video when the problem occurred, it was said that all the animated objects were doing unintended movements. The cause is that the execution speed of some code of this work was too fast for a CPU with poor performance described above. To solve the problem, it was necessary to properly adjust the code to slow down the execution speed. However, if it is too late, the frame rate will be adversely affected, and if it is not enough, a bug will be created again. So in Retro Studios, you will be tested.
It seems that Nintendo had only one developer equipped with an example CPU. Furthermore, in order to reproduce the problem for some reason, the development machine had to be cooled to a fairly low temperature. For this reason, MATHEWS and others repeated the work of putting the development machine in the freezer and cooling it, riding it to the TV, taking a test, and cooling it in the freezer after 15 minutes. In such a busy work, I checked all the scenes in the game, re-adjusted the code and tried it. Mathews recalls that he never forget the time.
As a result, the problem was corrected, but at that time it was not possible to distribute and apply patches online. Therefore, Nintendo said that the user who contacted the support of the problem sent a game disk for the modified code and responded.
Metro id Prime will celebrate its 20th anniversary overseas in November. To commemorate this, VOID KIRSCH and others share various secret stories of the development at the time, and have interesting episodes besides tests using freezers. For example, the opening of the door may be slow because you are waiting for the loading of the next room, the background of the small save file capacity, or the technical background with elevators. If you are interested, why not check your tweets?