Weather the weather whatever the weather, whether you like it or not
April 9, 2012
One of the problems with dynamic environments like changing weather and time of day is that they're dynamic. For instance, during one of the cutscenes in Xenoblade Chronicles, a character looking out over a landscape observes that it's so peaceful..
There's a point at which the 127th bug in a row has come back from Q/A saying "game state is inconsistent with NPC dialog" and the text tables for localization have grown to approximately 10,000 lines for every last crummy color NPC and the producer says "we've run over the translation budget by 120,000%" that eventually the creative lead just says the hell with it, the little bastards will just have to roleplay that it's peaceful while it's raining.
Seriously, the more that game state reflects dialog and color and fluff like that the better, but it's excruciating meticulous and extremely expensive to get it all to match up properly.
Yeah, I don't envy anyone trying to line that stuff up. One thing I noticed in Xenoblade that is truly remarkable is how the game seems to remember what gear your characters were wearing at the time when it does its flashback scenes! I can only imagine what a huge pain in the ass that must have been to get right.