Hidden Message In Sports Story Secretly Highlights Troubled Development
A hidden room in the game allows you to interact with some developers, who tell us about a feature creep.
All of us have grown up to love Nintendo’s sports games, and they are mostly fun no matter how you play them. Nintendo Switch Sports has probably been the most popular title from the genre for the current-gen console.
But it all started with the 2017s Golf Story from Sidebar Games, the adventure sports game with RPG elements that got several award nominations.
Everybody was patiently waiting for the sequel before the wait finally ended a week ago. Sports Story from Sidebar Games launched on the Nintendo Switch a few days ago, but it has been marred with performance issues since.
Now, a player has found a hidden dev room in the game, which reveals that the development was tough and had a forced feature creep.
- A player found a hidden dev room in Sports Story, which reveals some indicting stuff about the game.
- Developers experienced a troubled production and had to endure a forced feature creep.
- The game went through many changes according to the secret messages.
Tendog is responsible for making this find and alerting the masses. He shared a clip on his Twitter account showing off this hidden dev room, and the messages it displays. What we see in the video implies that all was not well during Sports Story’s development.
After entering the hidden developer’s room, you are greeted by a character saying “welcome to cold cartridge“. He goes on to say he is working on the video game GALF, which is probably Sports Story itself. After this, the person who greets us says “our new game is going to be coming out any day“.
reminds me of another game #NintendoSwitch pic.twitter.com/u1GwU5sGY2
— tendog (@tend0g) December 29, 2022
We get our first sign of trouble here as another developer goes “You said that a year ago!” This is reminiscent of the delays Sports Story went through as the game was originally going to release in 2020. However, the pandemic struck, and the game didn’t meet its deadline.
In response to the remark, the developer says “you might say we’re experiencing a troubled development.” This confirms what we might have assumed already due to Sports Story’s numerous delays. But, what follows this remark gives us a reason why this development was troubling.
Another developer at the back says “you might also say somebody kept requesting new features.” Now that is a major revelation as it sounds like Sidebar Games forced a feature creep. They kept asking the devs to add more stuff, which I am guessing they didn’t like.
It also resulted in the game losing its original sight as the guy at the back goes on to tell us. He says “and my original vision no longer exists,” a dig at the changes in development. Now another developer from the front speaks up and adds to the voice of the disgruntled developers.
She says “one might even venture to say we should have made the game work instead of adding features“. Hence, it seems like the games dev team didn’t align with the vision Sidebar/Nintendo had for the game. A ginger-haired character with his back facing the screen says “This MENU is still broken.”
The character beside him says, “They told me this was fixed? Should I report this again?“. We think she probably should have as the launch performances tell us it didn’t work. After this, the 30-second video comes to an end.
However, the uploader Tendog also made a longer video and uploaded it to his YouTube channel. It shows us how to get into the hidden dev room and activate this conversation. This video also yields more developer content which is interesting.
A developer tells us her catchphrase for the Shephard character and it goes “tut tut“. Following a few normal interactions, the developer at the back says “if everything already worked, the game would be out“. In response to this, another dev tells him to be a whipping boy and do his work.
The dev at the back explains his deplorable situation, saying he has been “to the depths to accomplish impossible programming tasks.” We get a feeling this message showcases how overworked the developers were. After this, we start talking to the guy in the back who says he rewrote his story 10 times.
This results in a row between the programmer and the writer. Criticism of the cutscene system from the writer leads the writer to say “we might have to cut the dialogue.” In response to this, the writer tells him he already wrote them.
At the end of this exchange, the writer says “look mate we both made mistakes“. The developer at the front tells them maybe they are both wrong, finally ending this hidden dev room exchange. Obviously, it is possible that this is just a spoof about the current gaming climate.
But the fact that this developer’s room is hidden from the main game tells us this might be true. It could be blatant and a smart way for Sports Story’s devs to tell us what actually happened. With how the launch has been for the game, we are inclined to believe it is true.
The feature creep, toxic environment, and other troubles make perfect sense when we see Sports Story’s release. It’s probable that the devs are also frustrated with the interference from Nintendo/Sidebar Games, just like the fans are.
So, is it just a joke, or a secret message purposefully concealed to explain the mess and showcase the industry’s bad environment? Share your thoughts in the comments ahead!
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