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Trenches comic: Tuesday Jan. 24, 2012 - Prophecy

BrogeyBrogey High MaintenanceSanta Monica, CASuper Moderator, Moderator mod
edited January 2012 in The Penny Arcade Hub
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Shoot for the Moon

01/24/2012 - Anonymous

For weeks my only project was to shoot everything in the game. I had to test and see if all the textures would register bullets and rocket impacts and react accordingly (with an explosion or sparks).

I ran through levels shooting walls, doors, trees, NPCs and anything else i could conceivably fire a gun at. It was after about two weeks of this process that one of the level artists asked if I had been shooting the background textures. I realized that I hadn’t because the sparks from a bullet couldn’t be viewed from that distance in real life so it wasn’t really a problem, but an explosion from a rocket COULD conceivably be seen.

So I began again from the beginning, firing at mountains and far off buildings with the rocket launcher and other explosives, then quickly switching to a sniper rifle or scoped weapon to zoom in to see if an explosion occurred.

All in all, it wasn’t a terrible job. Arduous, not altogether unpleasant, but what I didn’t realize until it was too late was that I had been programming my brain with this behaviour. It was a week later that I was on vacation with my wife and some friends, and as I looked out at the beautiful mountains and streams of Canada I thought to myself

“I wonder if I could shoot that?”

It’s been a few years now since I’ve been a QA, and I still often look at mountains off in the distance and imagine firing rockets at them.

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Posts

  • KochikensKochikens Lovely-Cuddle-Blanket-Stephen-Fry-Awesomer Registered User regular
    Favourite Trenches tale ever.

  • The Good Doctor TranThe Good Doctor Tran Registered User regular
    Wait...

    There are people who don't imagine shooting rockets at far away stuff?

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  • SyphyreSyphyre A Dangerous Pastime Registered User regular
    edited January 2012
    Portal 2 comes out. I play it. And then some.

    My wife and I are driving past a house that's fairly large, and one part of it is a solid brick wall. No windows or ornamentation. This is the part of the house I happen to see through some bushes/shrubs along the street, where there's a hole through the bushes just big enough to see through. My first thought "Ahha, that's where I'll place the portal at."

    Syphyre on
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  • JucJuc Registered User
    Both the comic and the tale are very true.

    The tale reminds me of something, my friend and family can't bear to watch me play games any more.
    Thanks to the time I spent in QA, certain habits are second nature for me, like looking for texture seams, trying to pop through the world, looking at stuff stream out behind me or opening doors and seeing what happens on the other side, or streaming something in and then running back to stream it out and walking back again.

    I don't even know I'm doing it while I'm about it, I just think I'm playing the game, but it drives people crazy.

    I've also crashed almost every game I've played since I started in QA.

    And I bet the above bit holds true for most people who worked in the job. I know it did at my old studio at least.

  • jackaljackal Registered User regular
    The comic is interesting. The industry is the punch line.

  • theResetButtontheResetButton Registered User regular
    Syphyre wrote:
    Portal 2 comes out. I play it. And then some.

    My wife and I are driving past a house that's fairly large, and one part of it is a solid brick wall. No windows or ornamentation. This is the part of the house I happen to see through some bushes/shrubs along the street, where there's a hole through the bushes just big enough to see through. My first thought "Ahha, that's where I'll place the portal at."

    Hero Academy has me all screwed up for some reason. I've been watching television and, during scenes between only two people, I keep getting hung up on them taking more than 5 actions. :/

    Keep honking: I'm also honking.
  • The GeekThe Geek Oh-Two Crew Registered User, ClubPA regular
    After playing Crackdown a whole bunch back when it came out, I would look up at the tops of bridges and buildings when I drove, thinking there may be agility orbs up there.

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  • vsovevsove ....also yes. Registered User regular
    Juc wrote:
    Both the comic and the tale are very true.

    The tale reminds me of something, my friend and family can't bear to watch me play games any more.
    Thanks to the time I spent in QA, certain habits are second nature for me, like looking for texture seams, trying to pop through the world, looking at stuff stream out behind me or opening doors and seeing what happens on the other side, or streaming something in and then running back to stream it out and walking back again.

    I don't even know I'm doing it while I'm about it, I just think I'm playing the game, but it drives people crazy.

    I've also crashed almost every game I've played since I started in QA.

    And I bet the above bit holds true for most people who worked in the job. I know it did at my old studio at least.

    I got lucky, I never developed this habit. Spent two and a half years in QA and all I really developed was an inability to play certain games because they reminded me too much of crunch - I've never made it past Freedom's Progress in ME2, for example.

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  • FramlingFramling Registered User regular
    I knew I'd been working too hard lately the night I was in bed, with the cat stomping on my chest, purring, and I found myself wondering, in the back of my mind, if she exposed some kind of event I could hook into via reflection to notify me exactly when she entered the purring state, or if I would have to just poll for it.

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  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Death Groupie Registered User regular
    I used to get the urge to shoot fire extingishers after playing way too much Duke Nukem 3D back in the day, but I think the biggest example of games bleeding over into real life for me was after Ocarina of Time came out and one morning I was trying to figure out why I couldn't Z-Target my alarm clock.

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  • aflyingskypieaflyingskypie Registered User
    i worked at a haunted house one Halloween. we worked long sometimes uneventful nights. i brought my DS every night and if nobody was there i sat quietly in the graveyard dressed as a zombie playing puzzle quest. i played it for so long that when i wasn't playing it i saw little colored circles in grids in my head moving and switching, endlessly piling in to be matched. my brain had so subconsciously absorbed the way the game played that it could actually reproduce a tiny replica of the game in my head. the worst was when i was trying to sleep though. once this started i quit playing puzzle quest, thank god it wasn't my job.

  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    i worked at a haunted house one Halloween. we worked long sometimes uneventful nights. i brought my DS every night and if nobody was there i sat quietly in the graveyard dressed as a zombie playing puzzle quest. i played it for so long that when i wasn't playing it i saw little colored circles in grids in my head moving and switching, endlessly piling in to be matched. my brain had so subconsciously absorbed the way the game played that it could actually reproduce a tiny replica of the game in my head. the worst was when i was trying to sleep though. once this started i quit playing puzzle quest, thank god it wasn't my job.
    I played so much Tetris when I was in high school that when I closed my eyes I could play in my head. After I sped it up enough I had no idea what pieces were coming, and I actually lost at imaginary Tetris several times.

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  • ReignerReigner Registered User regular
    Roomate and I played Double-Dash for about 8 hours straight the day it came out. That afternoon we decided to head out to get some food.

    On the way we ended up behind a gas tanker, and we both think out loud "Boy that thing would make a hellofa explosion if it was hit with a shell"

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  • BrewBrew Registered User regular
    Syphyre wrote:
    Portal 2 comes out. I play it. And then some.

    My wife and I are driving past a house that's fairly large, and one part of it is a solid brick wall. No windows or ornamentation. This is the part of the house I happen to see through some bushes/shrubs along the street, where there's a hole through the bushes just big enough to see through. My first thought "Ahha, that's where I'll place the portal at."

    Hero Academy has me all screwed up for some reason. I've been watching television and, during scenes between only two people, I keep getting hung up on them taking more than 5 actions. :/

    This has happened to me 2 days ago after I started playing HA. Very briefly, but it reminded me that this sort of a mental short circuit used to happen pretty often back in the day when I played either Asheron's Call or WoW a lot. I would think "why can't I press Tab to cycle through the items in the room to find my keys" "I can just Lifestone Recall/Hearthstone home once 5:30pm hits" "Where's my radar/mini map?"
    Ah, nostalgia :)

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  • PikaPuffPikaPuff Registered User regular
    The Geek wrote:
    After playing Crackdown a whole bunch back when it came out, I would look up at the tops of bridges and buildings when I drove, thinking there may be agility orbs up there.
    I would look at buildings and think that the surface was perfect to SUV wall climb

  • CroakerBCCroakerBC YorkRegistered User regular
    I don't work game QA, but I am writing a test plan right now.
    And it looks a lot like the one in the screenshot.

    And I had a near-verbatim copy of that conversation with a co-worker this morning.

    This is actually a little worrying...

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  • roadtoadroadtoad Registered User regular
    Driving after playing GTA is always a bad idea.

    "Oh, there's a line at the on-ramp; I should probably just launch myself up that embankment to get to the highway..."

    :/

  • -Tal-Tal I'm not doing it the same, man I'm doing it betterRegistered User regular
    after playing Assassin's Creed I can't help but notice all the handholds on the buildings around me

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  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    GTA is really the worst. Driving around after is fucking surreal. You have to retrain yourself that trafic laws must be obeyed and that their are consequences to your actions. Ever see someone on a moped after playing GTA? Its almost impossible not to accelerate into them and watch them flip over your car...

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  • jackaljackal Registered User regular
    Somewhere Jack Thompson is yelling, "I knew it!"

  • DarkFrogDarkFrog Registered User
    Had to register just to write my own "too much game" story.

    So one summer I was working a night shift job, 2am to 10am. I'd usually get up around 10pm for breakfast, go hang out with friends until 1:30am or so, then head into work at 2. One night my friends and I decided to go to a rave in the woods the following evening. We usually went to a few during the summer, so I said sure and then went to work while they went to bed. I finished my shift at 10am and really should have gone to bed in order to be rested for that evening's activities. But no, I instead played GTA San Andreas all freaking day. That night at 10 (awake for 24 hours at this point), my friends and I headed to the rave, I volunteered to drive. We get there and dance and have fun for a number of hours; I remain completely sober as the DD. We head home around 4am, where I have now been awake for 30 hours. I realize some of you have spent much longer time periods awake during "crunch time" etc., but 30 hours mixed with a summer's worth of night shift and screwed up circadian rhythm was not a good mix. As we are driving home I literally began hallucinating, seeing little floating AK-47s and Pistols in those colored GTA ammo circles, reflections on the road looked like stars I could use to reduce my wanted level. Never in my life have I been so exhausted, but I safely made the drive home, with plenty of ammo to boot. Even though I was the sober one, I kind of wonder if one of my friends would've been in better condition to drive...

  • IvarIvar Registered User regular
    A rave in the woods, you say? Did you have glowsticks?

  • DarkFrogDarkFrog Registered User
    Ivar wrote:
    A rave in the woods, you say? Did you have glowsticks?

    Oh most definitely. I also remember there being a school bus there for some reason. People were on top of the bus.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Disrupter wrote:
    Ever see someone on a moped after playing GTA? Its almost impossible not to accelerate into them and watch them flip over your car...

    To be fair, that's pretty damned tempting even if you haven't been playing GTA.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
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