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Trenches comic: Thursday Dec. 29, 2011 - Manual Elevation

BrogeyBrogey High MaintenanceSanta Monica, CASuper Moderator, Moderator mod
edited December 2011 in The Penny Arcade Hub
i-7btJdBh.jpg
I’m… an accountant. Or something.

12/29/2011 - Anonymous

Everybody seems to think that being a tester is a dream job. But as these Tales have been conveying, what they don’t see is the mind numbing monotony of it.. Here is an example:

Our outsourced testers sent us a a crash bug with the following repo steps:

Start walkthrough, complete game - start another walkthrough, reach Ch3 - game crashes.

Our game takes roughly 7 hours to complete if you speed run it, and the crash was listed as happening 1 out of 5 times. There was no more information.

I spend three days attempting to track it down and in the end closed it as unable to reproduce.

They reopened it the next week because a crash happened in roughly the same place.

I used to proudly tell people that my job title was “Game Tester.”

Now when i get asked i tell them I work as “Software Quality Assurance.”

They don’t ask any more questions.

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Posts

  • AurichAurich Registered User regular
    The Tale has a cadence that sort of trickles out like its being narrated by Alan Rickman. I kept waiting for a bomb to drop at the end, but it just ended regular-like.

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    7 hour speed run on a game? Well now I'm baffled.

    As for the comic, I've been on both sides of that.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
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  • Dark Raven XDark Raven X When you speak I hear muffinsRegistered User regular
    Man, I've been doing that hoooo thing lately. Seeing a comic character do it makes me want to re evaluate my life.

    rv0c1titu3ci.pngc0ppr8iiann6.png
  • -Tal-Tal We wasn't supposed to make it past 25 Joke's on you, we still aliveRegistered User regular
    Man, I've been doing that hoooo thing lately. Seeing a comic character do it makes me want to re evaluate my life.

    1108856019_wZAD4-L.jpg

    w2mSpH.jpg
  • Dark Raven XDark Raven X When you speak I hear muffinsRegistered User regular
    That's the comic that made me start doing the hooooo thing.

    rv0c1titu3ci.pngc0ppr8iiann6.png
  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Funny joke, but Jews have tougher skin than that. We have to.

    twitter, github, resume/portfolio, if you like to play or host boardgames online, check out handtracker
  • GalacticGalactic Registered User
    I actually "jewgled" it, and the cup of wine for Elijah thing is indeed canon.

    ^_-;

    Too Galactic for you.
  • JucJuc Registered User
    Henroid wrote:
    7 hour speed run on a game? Well now I'm baffled.

    As for the comic, I've been on both sides of that.

    Sounds like dragon age, or mass effect 2 or maybe skyrim or fallout 3, not sure what else would fall in with a 7 hour speed run.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Skyrim doesn't have "chapters."

    1Slimus.jpg
  • MortalToasterMortalToaster Registered User regular
    i really enjoyed this comic (but then again, i'm a sucker for puns)

  • FyndirFyndir Registered User regular
    Isn't The Witcher split into chapters?

    probably possible to trim it down to that kind of time if you know it inside out, but I could be wrong.

  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    I don't think 7 hour speed runs are that uncommon these days.

    Patch 5.4 wrote:
    First win of the day now awards 150 Conquest Points (up from 100).
    Subsequent wins now awards 75 Conquest Points (up from 50).
    YES! I AM INVINCIBLE!
  • GreenGreen Stick around. I'm full of bad ideas.Registered User regular
    admanb wrote:
    Funny joke, but Jews have tougher skin than that. We have to.

    Maybe it's her non-Jewish half that's offended

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    3DS: 3007 8087 2767 | Nintendo ID: AngryFrog
  • SorceSorce Registered User regular
    Gaslight wrote:
    Skyrim doesn't have "chapters."
    Dead Space 1 or 2, maybe.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Galactic wrote:
    I actually "jewgled" it, and the cup of wine for Elijah thing is indeed canon.

    But who do they bill for the wine?

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Green wrote:
    admanb wrote:
    Funny joke, but Jews have tougher skin than that. We have to.

    Maybe it's her non-Jewish half that's offended

    You win, sir.

    twitter, github, resume/portfolio, if you like to play or host boardgames online, check out handtracker
  • agoajagoaj Pik-at-this MeleeRegistered User regular
    I prefer to look at it as being half not-offended.
    Spoiler:

    PoMXsb6.png
  • vardisvardis Registered User regular
    So if a crash happened on the second playthrough, wouldn't there be a save file of some sort that could be used to attempt to reproduce the problem from a point close to where it crashed? Absent that, why in the world would you bother trying to reproduce it if you are already outsourcing that part of the process to someone else? I see stuff in these tales like "I tried to reproduce the problem by playing the game from the start" or "We played for hours to gather a bajillion coins each", and I keep thinking that these things are completely made up and I'm missing that it's a joke or something, this stuff is so nonsensical. But that's the point, right? Not that testing sucks because the pay is bad and it's monotonous, but because it's unnecessarily that way?

    I remember someone new we had hired who was supposed to put in a basic change to some report's summary page, and she was told that she needed to make sure to test the change. The report normally took two hours to run, and when I checked up on her, I found her twiddling her thumbs waiting for it to get through the lengthy part so she could see how her changes looked. This despite a debugging tool that could easily let her bypass the two hour loop and jump straight to her changes. Apparently this was pretty typical for her, and I don't think she lasted more than a month at our company. She seemed to value her time so little, maybe she became a tester...

  • PhyphorPhyphor Building Planet Busters Tasting FruitRegistered User regular
    vardis wrote:
    So if a crash happened on the second playthrough, wouldn't there be a save file of some sort that could be used to attempt to reproduce the problem from a point close to where it crashed? Absent that, why in the world would you bother trying to reproduce it if you are already outsourcing that part of the process to someone else? I see stuff in these tales like "I tried to reproduce the problem by playing the game from the start" or "We played for hours to gather a bajillion coins each", and I keep thinking that these things are completely made up and I'm missing that it's a joke or something, this stuff is so nonsensical. But that's the point, right? Not that testing sucks because the pay is bad and it's monotonous, but because it's unnecessarily that way?

    I remember someone new we had hired who was supposed to put in a basic change to some report's summary page, and she was told that she needed to make sure to test the change. The report normally took two hours to run, and when I checked up on her, I found her twiddling her thumbs waiting for it to get through the lengthy part so she could see how her changes looked. This despite a debugging tool that could easily let her bypass the two hour loop and jump straight to her changes. Apparently this was pretty typical for her, and I don't think she lasted more than a month at our company. She seemed to value her time so little, maybe she became a tester...

    For something like this, it's almost certainly some leftover state that remains or gets corrupted between games and likely wouldn't be present in a save file, which should simply be the minimum set of information needed to reconstruct the full state

  • IvarIvar Registered User regular
    Phyphor wrote:
    vardis wrote:
    So if a crash happened on the second playthrough, wouldn't there be a save file of some sort that could be used to attempt to reproduce the problem from a point close to where it crashed? Absent that, why in the world would you bother trying to reproduce it if you are already outsourcing that part of the process to someone else? I see stuff in these tales like "I tried to reproduce the problem by playing the game from the start" or "We played for hours to gather a bajillion coins each", and I keep thinking that these things are completely made up and I'm missing that it's a joke or something, this stuff is so nonsensical. But that's the point, right? Not that testing sucks because the pay is bad and it's monotonous, but because it's unnecessarily that way?

    I remember someone new we had hired who was supposed to put in a basic change to some report's summary page, and she was told that she needed to make sure to test the change. The report normally took two hours to run, and when I checked up on her, I found her twiddling her thumbs waiting for it to get through the lengthy part so she could see how her changes looked. This despite a debugging tool that could easily let her bypass the two hour loop and jump straight to her changes. Apparently this was pretty typical for her, and I don't think she lasted more than a month at our company. She seemed to value her time so little, maybe she became a tester...

    For something like this, it's almost certainly some leftover state that remains or gets corrupted between games and likely wouldn't be present in a save file, which should simply be the minimum set of information needed to reconstruct the full state

    But then it would only happen if players played through the game two times in a row without saving. Is that really worth fixing?

  • OptyOpty Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Ivar wrote:
    Phyphor wrote:
    vardis wrote:
    So if a crash happened on the second playthrough, wouldn't there be a save file of some sort that could be used to attempt to reproduce the problem from a point close to where it crashed? Absent that, why in the world would you bother trying to reproduce it if you are already outsourcing that part of the process to someone else? I see stuff in these tales like "I tried to reproduce the problem by playing the game from the start" or "We played for hours to gather a bajillion coins each", and I keep thinking that these things are completely made up and I'm missing that it's a joke or something, this stuff is so nonsensical. But that's the point, right? Not that testing sucks because the pay is bad and it's monotonous, but because it's unnecessarily that way?

    I remember someone new we had hired who was supposed to put in a basic change to some report's summary page, and she was told that she needed to make sure to test the change. The report normally took two hours to run, and when I checked up on her, I found her twiddling her thumbs waiting for it to get through the lengthy part so she could see how her changes looked. This despite a debugging tool that could easily let her bypass the two hour loop and jump straight to her changes. Apparently this was pretty typical for her, and I don't think she lasted more than a month at our company. She seemed to value her time so little, maybe she became a tester...

    For something like this, it's almost certainly some leftover state that remains or gets corrupted between games and likely wouldn't be present in a save file, which should simply be the minimum set of information needed to reconstruct the full state

    But then it would only happen if players played through the game two times in a row without saving. Is that really worth fixing?

    That's the question. Is it just a simple crash and if they reload their save it doesn't happen again? Probably not. Does it open up a security hole on the system that'd allow malicious things to happen? Then yes, no matter how hard it is to reproduce. The how-it-was-done is only part of the equation when it comes to evaluating the priority and severity of a bug.

    Now for the tester in question, if that was literally all he got from his outsourced testers he should have sent it back demanding more information. Something as broad as that is completely worthless unless it came with debug files and/or video evidence alongside proving that it happened. It could be literally anything in the game, saved in the save file or not. Maybe it crashes when total time played is 10 hours, or when you accumulate X total baubles across both playthroughs, or when you talk to people in a certain order in the first playthrough and then in a different order in the second playthrough (or the same order even). It's just such a shitty report that I can't believe he acted on it without some other information.

    Opty on
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