Dear Developers, this is how to live with a shitty console version of an awesome game

GanvaiGanvai Join Date: 2019-01-30 Member: 249760Members
edited February 2019 in Subnautica on Consoles
Disclaimer: This is not a post about how much I hate Subnautica, this is a post about dealing with a shitty console version of a totally awesome videogame.

So, I finished Subnautica and I have to admit, this was a wonderful experience. A really good one. A nice one... kind of.

Because I can look back on nearly 60 hours of a very immersive and breathtaking adventure that took me by surprise in a way I never expected it. I really loved it... kind of.

Because no matter how wonderful the gameplay, the design, the worldbuilding, the crafting, nearly every aspect of the game, works, it gets disturbed by the aweful lot of bugs and performance issues that completely destroy the experience that this great team worked so hard on.

On my way through the ocean, I got every bug I ever read about on this forum:
- Saving takes forever
- Saving and moving destroys the stream loading of the landscape
- Saving crashes the game
- Loading crashes the game
- Loading crashes the Xbox
- Loading crashes the game so hard so I need to reinstall it completely
- Poor Object Draw distances for unimportant and important Objects
- Disappearing of Platform Feet on your station

The list goes on, but please, don't let me forget the poor overall performance, with the frame rate dropping under 10 frames a second, and most of the times this happens in the really tense, mystical moments, you know, the strong moments when you are really holding your breath and then it suddenly reminds you that this console adaptation is a piece from hell.

I still loved exploring 4546B. But every time I needed to take three tries to start the game, I hated it. Every time I was swimming through the Lost River and enjoyed the view by 10 FPS, I hated it even more. And this was on an Xbox One X, the "Most powerful console of all times", and it wasnt even running in real 4k, just a poor half 4k. Seeing PS4 Let's Plays it also seemed this was running far better (still not good and far frome great).

And I was left to wonder what moved the developers to release that game in that kind of state to the Xbox. How could this be, even after the Xbox Version already had a pre release (other than the PS4 that has no early access program).

I don't hate Unknwon Worlds for this. I loved the game, enjoyed it, really. But after I left 4546B for the first time, I wonder how much more I would have enjoyed it without all the bugs, all the frame rate drops that rendered the it nearly unplayable in some situations. I wonder how often I would have talked to my friends and said: "Go and buy it." Because with all the bugs in mind the discussions were like "I spend a lot of time with this awesome game, but don't buy it, because technically it's a mess."

Imagine how much more this game would have been if it's awesomeness wouldn't have been covered behind a huge pile of bus and performance issues.

So please, dear Devs, for Below Zero, get the Console version right. Because what we got now, is far from doing justice to this awesome game you created.

All the best (and wish you lots of luck for the next patches for Xbox),


  • TytaneXTytaneX Join Date: 2019-02-06 Member: 250530Members
    sadli i have to agree with that.
  • gorebag99gorebag99 Join Date: 2019-02-07 Member: 250571Members
    agreed. With everything. Came to these official forums to post my own PS4 experience report (massive bug list really) and find out I have to wait a day to create a topic!

    WTG unknown. Forums about as annoying as your 1.6 ps4 build !
  • BlindGuardianBlindGuardian Canada Join Date: 2016-05-27 Member: 217604Members
    edited February 2019
    As an X box one X player I never had any serious issues. Pop in was still there, some lag here and there, but 10fps? What program are you using to measure that? Or is it just slowing down and you've randomly decided upon that number?

    Here was my experience with everything you said on my one X:

    -Saving only ONCE took a couple of minutes
    -I always waited for the game to finish saving before moving around
    -Saving never once crashed my game
    _Loading never once crashed my game
    -Loading never once crashed my system
    -Not once since day 1 on game preview did I ever have to uninstall and reinstall
    -Draw distance, things pop in yes.
    -Disappearing of platform feet? I'm not sure what this means

    I've played for a total of 6 days 23 hours and 39 minutes, that's basically 168 hours. The only time I ever even had to restart a new game was when they had the disappearing fish glitch right after launch...Even then I was playing on survival and still managing to get by, even though it took awhile to find items. My saves from day 1 in game preview still work for me as well.

    I have to wonder what some people, especially on the one X are doing to get so many issues that I never encountered. Do you build tons of bases and store a massive amount of resources? Are your bases gigantic? My actual frame rate seems to be mostly stable, pop in is definitely an issue, but the game never seems to slow to a crawl for me.

    This is all I can think of, when I play I have one base at a time that stores what I need and a little extra. When it's time to move I pack all that up and rebuild it elsewhere. That's all I can recommend, I don't even know if that makes a difference but that's how I played the game and aside from pop in I don't have any major issues. So sometimes I am just confused as to how I got so lucky, or if some (I'm not accusing you) greatly exaggerate issues.

    The other thing too, if you want to help the devs with your issues you have to give them information like when something happened, what you were doing when it happened, and other things like that.

    I agree that it has too many issues for most people after all this time, and that's a bit disappointing. I've also had to give everyone I recommend the game to a disclaimer before buying because a lot of people are having issues. Just remember these guys are indie devs and don't have tons and tons of cash and resources to give you a AAA experience on both console ports and pc. These things take time and money.
  • crandyman656crandyman656 Ohio Join Date: 2018-02-21 Member: 238052Members
    I have had all the same issues as listed above. Platform feet are the supports that hold up your base, well they disappear. I don’t know why but they just stop showing up. I never once had a saving issue unil the last update in Jan. I think we all understand that they are indie but the bugs he’s talking about are game breaking. So we can’t enjoy the amazing game they have released. And I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t buy a car that has flat tires or that only one speaker works. I believe he saying please polish the game before you release it. I understand that they are under pressure from investors to start making money as fast as possible. So I get it. But I do agree that it needed some major fixes before they released it. I will say when I 1st got the game I it never crashed or had any loading problems until the updates started. But that’s just my game I guess. Anyways I love the game it’s by far one of the best I have ever played even with all the bugs.
  • CochonouCochonou France Join Date: 2019-01-19 Member: 249024Members
    Fortunately they are still working on fixing the console versions, as you can see here. Nevertheless, it is quite clear that the game was released too early on consoles. On PS4, I did not encounter any game breaking bug that could not fixed by loading a previous save, however I would not dare playing in hardcore mode yet...
    So, @madsauce and other developers, please keep up your efforts, we do have faith in you.
  • PS4DJLPS4DJL Join Date: 2019-02-13 Member: 250900Members
    Jesus christ

    I LOVE this game. I think it's great.

    BUT it's become unplayable on my ps4. The lag, and the goddamn terrain rendering issues

    I have a weird fear of falling through the map on video games. Like it doesn't terrify me but it constantly sends a shiver down my spine, I literally hate it so much it just freaks me out.

    The sheer amount of times I've been exploring 300m+ deep, and I've gone through the terrain because it just hasn't ****ing loaded properly. I'll think 'wow this is weird I haven't seen anything in a while', so I'll go back up and start seeing the underside of the terrain because a wide swath of seafloor didn't load so I just went straight down into what I saw as more ocean.

    At that depth, you literally cannot tell what is an actual abyss and what is a glitch.

    And some of these aren't fixed by saving and loading. They're literally just not there.

    I have a base in the Jellyshroom caves, there is a wall there which just doesn't load. It isn't there on waiting, it isn't there on resets, it just is not there.

    I only wish that Sony weren't so stingy about the refund policy for DD, otherwise I would have refunded this by now. I can't play it yet, its broken and unfinished.
  • ArcherAC3ArcherAC3 Join Date: 2020-02-22 Member: 258197Members
    edited February 2020
    Agreed, it's simply unplayable here in the Xbox.
    24 hours in, while I had no crashes while saving/loading yet, I've encountered pretty much everything else.
    Lost River is just disgusting, I'm quite sure I'm getting 10FPS or below around that area (I'm quite used to what 20ish FPS is on the PC, so it's very easy to tell it drops to at least 10 here, which is just silly for a "next gen console").
    And the ground popping is just horrible. I keep having to wait for half a minute every 1000-ish meters I travel in the Seamoth because the scenery simply doesn't load. I can't believe any developer in their right mind would release a game this messed up - this should still be at closed Alpha at BEST! The experience is equal or worse to PUBG when it first launched on the consoles.
    They don't make games like they used to anymore, way too easy to launch broken products, half fix it with patches and then abandon it.
  • ArcherAC3ArcherAC3 Join Date: 2020-02-22 Member: 258197Members
    Lost River average performance: gamerdvr. com/gamer/ArcherAC3/video/f36ab2d3-c63a-4cc9-a6bd-28670ab380b9/4a3d2bd3-4a33-4fc8-9650-45e3e2d41e8f0

    Apparently I can't send links yet, so remove the space between "dvr. com" above.
  • GarySydneyAustraliaGarySydneyAustralia Australia Join Date: 2020-02-21 Member: 258135Members
    Yeah... have some ideas on LEVEL of DETAIL (LODS) that may help with consoles: 1. Far away WAVY items (Creep Vine, grass etc) dont have to have full movement. Main Stem wave with static leaves for FAR LEVEL DETAIL would be enough... only items within main focus of the sight say 2-5 meters need the full movement. Same with all other movements in the distance... don't need full cloud simulations on the floor when viewing from above 10m. Have a look at LOD automation software and I reckon you could get a real return on Loading Tile times on consoles. OR... just wait till your vision catches up with new tech that can compute all the particle and cloth simulations in real time.
  • TooooomTooooom Wroclaw, Poland Join Date: 2020-05-03 Member: 260626Members
    Totally agree on that. Game on Xbox is broken. I am so maaad, that I bought it.
  • correia55correia55 Join Date: 2021-04-20 Member: 269303Members
    edited April 2021
    I created an account to come here and share some feedback about my time with the base PS4 version, but since the core idea was exactly the one of the original post, I will just reply to it.

    It is indeed a great game that gets pulled down by all of the technical problems.
    I loved my time with it.

    Here are some of the technical problems I experienced:

    - Saving does take forever (it takes around 5 minutes to save, after a while, I started using this time to read the texts on the pad);
    - Saving and moving destroys the stream loading of the landscape (yup);
    - Only got 1 crash, and it had nothing to do with saving;
    - The framerate is indeed a problem, sometimes even when nothing special is happening;
    - The seamoth is too fast for the environment to load properly, I had to slow down or sometimes stop, to make sure I was seeing all of things in the environment;
    - The cyclops UI is covered by the "fogs" (green and blue) in the deeper caves;
    - The toolbar always showing makes it hard to read the bottom of the notes;

    Other non-technical (design) things:

    - Running should be done by pressing the button, instead of holding, or at least give the player the option to choose;
    - The toolbar is too small for all of the important tools, it was a bit of an hassle everytime I needed something that was not on it. And then something else got removed and I had to go there again.
  • narfblatnarfblat Utah, USA Join Date: 2016-05-15 Member: 216799Members, Forum Moderators, Forum staff
    The developers have been working on fixes for the original Subnautica as they work on getting Below Zero ready for release. The release is getting close, so hopefully we are also getting close to fixes being implemented.

    Much of the saving/loading/terrain loading issue can be improved by attaching a Solid State Drive to your console, as the game takes more read/write than the standard console's Hard Drive can keep up with.
  • GuddlefishGuddlefish Join Date: 2019-12-01 Member: 256060Members
    Cant see that the DEVs did a good job on Subnautica & Below Zero on XBOX Series X. The Game has still the Cloudsave-Bug, I switch between Series S&X, and what should i say. Sync-Save took nearby 20-30mins to Sync the Save if it works. After playing to the Mid-Game. The FPS-Issues and Stutters from the First Game are back. Waste of money.
  • zx92187zx92187 Join Date: 2021-05-22 Member: 270484Members
    Your comments are spot on, you know what? I bought the game on Switch, it crashed a few times and now my save is corrupted. Waster of money and time, I am seriously pissed off now.
  • Ajimi83Ajimi83 France Join Date: 2021-05-28 Member: 270795Members
    edited May 2021
    Hello :) (sorry english is not my first language)

    Sadly I bump this thread. I got the game during Play at Home, I was hyped, and I started it recently, PS5 version. It is a fantastic game, ruined by frustrating and immersion-breaking bugs and glitches everywhere.

    I got :
    - awful screen-tearing and frame-drops (on performance mode)
    - awful pop-in and poor draw distances
    - hitboxes and collision detection problems (like fauna halfway into my base)
    - swimming inside my "dry" base, on loading or sometimes when I climbed the moonpool ladder
    - I lost a seamoth parked on the beach. When I got back the beacon was active but my ship was invisible, or maybe fallen into the geometry while I was away. I couldn't get it back, I had to make a new one
    - some missing geometry/textures at some places (like part of the floor in the Quarantine facility)
    - impossible to place a ladder inside my base into a vertical corridor, yes it should have worked
    - visual glitches, most notably "bubbles" (from the thermal blade ?) right in the middle of the screen. Un-removable except when reloading my save, and cumulative, at one point it took a good portion of the screen visually
    - beacons on the PDA doing whatever, appearing or disappearing (I almost got drowned due to that), or sometimes switching colors randomly when reloading a save
    - my starting pod became broken again long after I repaired it, not sure if gameplay or bug
    - PDA note sometimes marked as read when I didn't
    - crackling audio
    - probably some other minor things I forgot right now

    And the pinnacle of my frustrating experience :
    (I can't seem to be able to post links yet, so imagine a followed by a ZedBH_bExZU )
    - insta-death on loading the game
    - at first the loading screen was stuck on black, avec restarting the whole console it went through
    - respawn in my starting pod, even when I hadn't used it for a very long while at that point
    - respawn TILTED, my whole character was at a weird 90° angle, and no it was not the camera
    - insta-teleport way below the pod where I was, into the rock geometry
    - I though I lost my save, but I managed to avoid that by going out of my seamoth DURING the loading screen

    At this point I rushed to the end for the story. It is honestly one of the worst-polished game I played in recent years, and it is truly sad because it could (and should) have been a fantastic experience otherwise. Everyone who praise this game, probably didn't play it on console.

    I won't recommend it to my friends, and seeing that most of the things listed here have a thread (here or reddit or even on Steam) dating years without fix, I don't think I will buy Below Zero either. Even the last dev posts on here only mentionned the save crashing problem, and while it is a big problem (which I didn't encounter ironically), it is far from the only one.

    Also rants :
    - the moonpool is a nightmare to place correctly in an already established base
    - the quick access tools are frustrating and are never in the order I want, and selecting one in my inventory never replace the one I expect
    I had to hunt the Cyclops blueprints (which I didn't have) AND make one right at the end JUST so I could make the shield for the Neptune, that was kinda dragging it

    Well. Sorry for the long post. In my view it is mainly sad.
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