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Postmortem: Angel Studios' Resident Evil 2 (N64 Version)
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Postmortem: Angel Studios' Resident Evil 2 (N64 Version)


July 28, 2000 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3
 

Miscellanea

Now I'm just going to take a minute to vent a little steam. Whoever invented the "big-endian" convention should be shot. We saw this coming, so I can't say that it totally went wrong, but it was a lot of hard work due to the myriad magic numbers and hard-coded values in the RE2 code. We literally had to understand and reparse every single bit of data in the RE2 library. And we did, much to the credit of every programmer on the team. This created quite a few bugs but we sacked them all.

Though the original RE2 code was written in C, it resembled Assembly language more closely than it did structured code. Given that most of us are flat out reading English, the Japanese comments weren't particularly helpful, either.

We could have done a better job through the project of anticipating dependencies and eliminating them ahead of time. This simple ounce of prevention would invariably have saved a pound of cure. I had no complaints about the programming talent, but I think there is always room for better software practice. Case in point: our failure to utilize code reviews.

Despite these minor rants, RE2 on the N64 was a great success. While we didn't hit our lofty goal of 2 million copies by January 2000, we did deliver a faithful rendition of a great game to the Nintendo 64, and even managed a few industry firsts and a couple of extras along the way. We managed to do this on time (almost) and under budget in spite of the large technical challenges thrown upon us, thanks largely to a great team, a detailed plan and schedule, and a lot of hard work!

Game Stats
Publisher:
Capcom
Number of full-time developers:
9
Number of contractors:
1
Budget:
$1,000,000
Length of development:
12 months
Release date:
November 16, 1999
Development hardware used:
SN Systems' SN64
Development software used:
Visual SlickEdit, gcc, Debabalizer, Photoshop, Softimage
Notable technologies:
Our proprietary N64 OS and FMV compression and playback system
Total lines of code:
approximately 200,000

Acknowledgements
Thanks to Jamie Briant, Chris Fodor, and Alex Ehrath for their input in this article.


When there's no surf to be found, Todd's busy pretending to be a software engineer at Angel Studios. Drop him a line at [email protected].

 

 


Article Start Previous Page 3 of 3

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