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[TRENCHES] Thursday, September 13, 2012 - Genesis

Robot SantaRobot Santa Enforcer of Christmas FearNorth PoleRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited September 2012 in The Penny Arcade Hub
Genesis


Genesis
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/genesis

Fevered Dreams

Anonymous

My first testing gig was on a turn-based strategy game. After a couple of months, I was getting really good, but the scenarios that were part of the main campaign were very hard. We had to save often and reload regularly just to get through some of the initial scenarios.

During one particular scenario, I’d been reloading, and reloading, and reloading, trying different permutations of whatever options I had, but I couldn’t get past a particular point. At the same time, I’d caught some kind of flu and was starting to feel it in the back of my throat. After almost a whole day of just trying to get past this particular scenario, I went home, feeling sicker and sicker as the day wore on.

The following night, my fever reached its highest point, while at the same time, my mind kept ruminating over the scenario I couldn’t get past. During one of my fevered dreams, I found the solution to my problem, and I got past the part of the scenario where I’d been stuck, at work. I woke up immediately after and realized that the solution I’d dreamed would actually solve the issue was having in the real world.
I hope some QA managers and game producers are reading this. Sleep is not just “time when your people aren’t working.” Sleep, and especially dream time, lets the brain process what it’s done and learned during its waking hours and rearrange all this information in various configurations, leading to new solutions and better productivity.


Posts

  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    Meh you can sleep when we fire you and hire new slaves to keep slavin'

    steam_sig.png
  • jackaljackal Registered User regular
    He's doing QA rather than play testing, so he should have just asked for the solution.

  • TyrsisTyrsis Registered User new member
    I can't stress how important sleep is for guys who are crunching. The idea that you can get more work done in 12 hour days, seven days a week is simply ludicrous. I can't tell you how many artists / designers / programmers I know who tell me, "I do something late at night, look at it the next day, and ask 'WTF did I just do?' Then I completely redo it."

    Everyone needs a day off. You'll make far less mistakes, and work will actually get completed faster.

  • ApolloinApolloin Registered User regular
    The story is true but shouldn't have been written. I did Production for awhile and I can tell you that the LAST thing you need to be telling these people is how to monetize sleep. Before you know where you are they will be tracking your dreams for productivity.

    On another note, the mythical man-hour is always a tough thing to explain to people whose job it is to create charts that break complex projects down into numbers of men and numbers of hours. Doesn't make it any less true, of course.

  • JormungandrJormungandr Registered User regular
    Tyrsis wrote: »
    I can't stress how important sleep is for guys who are crunching. The idea that you can get more work done in 12 hour days, seven days a week is simply ludicrous. I can't tell you how many artists / designers / programmers I know who tell me, "I do something late at night, look at it the next day, and ask 'WTF did I just do?' Then I completely redo it."

    Everyone needs a day off. You'll make far less mistakes, and work will actually get completed faster.

    I agree for the most part. You can't maintain productive 12 hour days. However, doing one once in a while does provide a boost. So if you do it only during crunch times, it can be beneficial. I've put in plenty of long hours coding, and so long as it isn't the 2nd or 3rd week of it, you get probably 30 or 40% more work done from 50% more time, which ends up being worth it.

    The problem is people who end up doing 10 hour or 12 hour days every day burn out, and lose focus, and don't realize that the answer is less time spent, rather than more. Once you're exhausted, it might very well take you 10 or 12 hours (or more) to do what a well rested person can do in 8. And if you don't realize that exhaustion is the problem, all you'll see is that you're working 12 hour days, and you're barely getting your work done, so therefore you need to keep working 12 hour days.

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Apolloin wrote: »
    The story is true but shouldn't have been written. I did Production for awhile and I can tell you that the LAST thing you need to be telling these people is how to monetize sleep. Before you know where you are they will be tracking your dreams for productivity.

    I was actually thinking they were going to fire him for stealing company assets.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • Chris FOMChris FOM Registered User regular
    Hell, if you want to see REAL hour abuses, take a look at medical residents before the initiation of the 80 hour work week and the required one day off per week (averaged over four weeks). I went through residency after those were implemented and it was still beyond grueling, but back in the day people would go months without a single day off working 30 hours straight, go home, work a 12 hours day, them work another 30 hours straight. And if QA screws up then the game crashes. If a resident screws up people could die.

  • ApolloinApolloin Registered User regular
    There's always somebody who has it worse, Chris. Typically residents also become doctors - I never saw a QA Tech driving a new model Jaguar in my time in the Industry.

    Also, if a resident screws up then his buddies cover for him. If a QA tech screws up then he tends to be accountable.

  • slingstoneslingstone Registered User
    Are these threads only for Tales commentary? Is no one else concerned about Gwen's magically shrinking breasts?

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    slingstone wrote: »
    Are these threads only for Tales commentary? Is no one else concerned about Gwen's magically shrinking breasts?

    Why do you think there's no fucking players...

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • realisticradicalrealisticradical Durham, NCRegistered User regular
    jackal wrote: »
    He's doing QA rather than play testing, so he should have just asked for the solution.

    Alternately, if your testers are having trouble with the game it might be too hard.

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