Gearbox’s Aliens: Colonial Marines released in 2013 to infamously bad reviews. Despite a very promising demo at E3, the game ultimately released with low-quality graphics and terrible enemy AI. The game was such a let-down that a lawsuit was filed against Gearbox and SEGA for false advertisement. But just a few days ago, it was discovered that a number of the problems with the game’s wonky AI were caused by a single typo in the coding.
The typo, it turned out, was very simple. Enemy Xenomorphs are attached to “tethers” in the game, which means they should form strategies based around the level design and patrol like enemies do in other survival horror games. To make this happen, the coding should have looked like this:
ClassRemapping=PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachXenoToTether -> PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachPawnToTether
But sadly there was a slight misspelling, and it came out looking like this:
ClassRemapping=PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachXenoToTether -> PecanGame.PecanSeqAct_AttachPawnToTeather
Because of the extra ‘a’ in “teather,” the Xenomorphs blindly meander through areas, charge toward the player straight-on, and generally act as some of the least threatening enemies in survival horror. A mod was created a few years post-release to fix this bug, but the exact details of the “teather” mishap didn’t come to light until a recent Steam sale. Removing the rogue ‘a’ has drastically improved the enemy AI and significantly improves the overall quality of the game.
Thanks to the revelation, Gearbox has decided to open a new position at their company, one that is totally real and certainly not at all a joke. Gearbox is looking for go-getters who enjoy finding simple typos for the new Programming Copy Editor position. On Twitter, Gearbox said that people should apply if they are “[f]eeling teathered to [their] current job.” Applicants don’t even have to submit a resume! All they need to do is correctly answer a single, very hard question: is it “tether” or “teather?”