While he's "not an engineer" himself he hears about the troubles "all the time." Memory is the irksome niggle where they "have to do wacky stuff" to get it working.
"It's a pain in the ass to work on," he said. "Five years later, getting used to it? That means it's a pain in the ass. I'm not an engineer, but I hear about it all the time. We have to do wacky stuff with the way we manage memory."
Early PlayStation 3 ports of multiplatform games were berated for being generally inferior to their counterparts. The difficulty of understanding how to program properly was in fact partly designed by Sony to keep it's lifecycle extended.
"It's hard to program for, and a lot of people see the negatives of it, but if you flip that around, it means the hardware has a lot more to offer," Sony's Kaz Hirai said in 2009.
"We don't provide the 'easy to program for' console that they want, because 'easy to program for' means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?"
The obstacle on PS3 lies in memory management says the Vigil game director.
"Even as an artist, it's like, OK, my textures are too big, I'm in trouble because I checked in something that's making the 360 crash because it's a 2048 when it really should just be a 1024, or even smaller," explained Donald.
"But on the PlayStation 3, the assets go into different categories, and if one of those categories becomes too bloated it'll crash the system. It's a little bit more sensitive on the PS3 in that regard. There are some things you just can't do, or you have to do differently."
"Yeah, it's a pain."
What are Vigil's thoughts on Sony's PlayStation 4?
"They have to do things their way," Donald said. "Somebody over there is going to think it's better. And it's really just different, which makes it a pain for everyone to port games back and forth. But, whatever. We'll see." Xbox 360 and PC memory methods are identical.
Darksiders 2 releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in 2012.
Vigil: Working on PS3 "a pain in the ass", must do "wacky stuff"
20 July 2011 | By Simon Priest