Making games for computers is apparently akin to churning out sausage. For the most part, consumers are privy to the final yummy-looking package, give or take the occasional wandering bug that decides to crash their gaming spread. Underneath all that sumptuous, juicy meat, however, is a healthy helping of mystery meat. This includes the amalgamation of hours upon countless hours of the proverbial blood, sweat and tears piled up by the modern-day artisans who ply in the video game trade. At the top of their list of concerns? Making sure a game works across the multitude of computers that proliferate out in the wild.
With the industry essentially settling on NVIDIA and ATI/AMD these days, the narrowing of card choices to two brands has made working on compatibility "a little easier" than it used to be, said Travis Baldree, president and lead engineer for Runic Games. Note he said "a little easier" not "a cakewalk."
"Compatibility is always the biggest challenge -- it isn't a new problem at all," Baldree said. "The sheer number of permutations of cards, drivers, devices and third-party software -- and their unexpected interactions with one another -- can be a trial to deal with."