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[TRENCHES] Thursday, April 12, 2012 - Exile

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


Exile
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/exile

Project Disaster

Anonymous

This tale is about a project - not the project I was on, but Project Disaster, our publisher’s “other” project.  The big budget, popular-movie-licensed, high-profile developer attached title.

Project Disaster was a black hole. Its waves of destruction rippled through anything and anyone nearby, turning people to empty husks, and decimating any other projects the publisher had. We were one such project, watching all of this from the sidelines. Like a particularly nasty crash, all you could do was watch.

Xbox Live was still in its infancy, and to make the experience fun for players, our team thought it would be great to add the online features (back before the 360, setting up things like friends lists, matchmaking and so on were optional, and up to the developer). While hooking it up was fairly painless, and initially testing was okay, Project Disaster had suddenly turned its steely gaze upon US.

Our external testers all but disappeared within a matter of days - all redirected onto Project Disaster in a sorry attempt to try and discover the tsunami of problems it had.  This left us - three testers - comically on our own, trying to test an online game that supported up to 8 player simultaneous online play. We tried our best, but when there’s three of you trying to find out all possible outcomes for an online game, you’re bound to miss a few things.

Our project didn’t review too well.  But at least we did better than Project Disaster.


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Posts

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Poor Marley. :(

    Poor Not!Project Disaster. :(

  • NeuroskepticNeuroskeptic Registered User regular
    Marley... he's gone. And we never even got to see his eyes.

  • AurichAurich Registered User regular
    Those are his eyes on the side of his head, positioned such so he can avoid predators.

    And hey, Isaac's sticking up for his team. Way to not be a jerk, buddy.

  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    Now if only he were good at it.

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  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Aurich wrote: »
    Those are his eyes on the side of his head, positioned such so he can avoid predators.

    And hey, Isaac's sticking up for his team. Way to not be a jerk, buddy.

    Of course, if he'd reported the issue earlier when he first discovered it, a lot less damage would have been done, and the rollback might have been averted. It would be downright unethical had he noticed it before the launch.

    Any guesses on notProjectDisaster? I'm trying to think of a game with 8-player multiplayer from the original Xbox.

    MuddBudd on
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  • Mc zanyMc zany Registered User regular
    Pretending to test something is a big no no in QA and is usually a sackable offense. Largely because it can lead to stuff like this. Although Issac is not in the clear either as he should have logged it as soon as he found it.

    I can't remember if Deathrow was 8 player but that fits the bill.

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  • Ori KleinOri Klein Registered User regular
    Marley screwed up, albeit not entirely of his own accord (sleepless crunch + spiked punch + energy drink...yeah), and is responsible.
    Issac screwed up, in an entirely unprofessional and immature way, and is partially responsible for Marley getting fired.

  • IvarIvar Registered User regular
    What's this about wal-mart commercials?

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Ivar wrote: »
    What's this about wal-mart commercials?

    Wal-Mart (and Asda in the UK) like to talk about rolling back prices.

  • IvarIvar Registered User regular
    Ivar wrote: »
    What's this about wal-mart commercials?

    Wal-Mart (and Asda in the UK) like to talk about rolling back prices.

    That's a really weird phrase, but ok

  • A steak!A steak! Moderator, ClubPA mod
    Ori Klein wrote: »
    Marley screwed up, albeit not entirely of his own accord (sleepless crunch + spiked punch + energy drink...yeah), and is responsible.
    Issac screwed up, in an entirely unprofessional and immature way, and is partially responsible for Marley getting fired.

    No, it's entirely of his own accord. When you make a mistake you own it, it's that simple.

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  • King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    A duck! wrote: »
    Ori Klein wrote: »
    Marley screwed up, albeit not entirely of his own accord (sleepless crunch + spiked punch + energy drink...yeah), and is responsible.
    Issac screwed up, in an entirely unprofessional and immature way, and is partially responsible for Marley getting fired.

    No, it's entirely of his own accord. When you make a mistake you own it, it's that simple.

    Pretty much. Though I assume Q should have noticed the issue when Marely handed in reports signed off by an imaginary creature.

    Its odd so far two of the supposed main cast have vanished. I wonder if they'll be back.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Well, the other way to look at it, arguably, is: better they do a rollback now then when people are actually paying subscription fees, isn't it? I'd rather waste a week of playing time I got for free than one I was paying for. Although I guess in the latter case they could just give everybody a free week to make up for the one lost to mollify them. In this case they could just extend the free trial period an extra week. But I can see how losing that much when the game is in its infancy and everybody is grinding up their first characters would cause a lot of rage.

    Only fitting Isaac should now be trying to save a fellow tester's job after one got fired to make room for him in the first place (though against his will). It's taken a while and had too many backwards steps along the way, but I'm enjoying seeing Isaac slowly develop into a more "heroic" protagonist, if that is in fact what's going on, and become more part of the team after initially seeing himself as above everybody.

    Pretty much. Though I assume Q should have noticed the issue when Marely handed in reports signed off by an imaginary creature.

    Its odd so far two of the supposed main cast have vanished. I wonder if they'll be back.

    Maybe this is going to be the event which brings Q back? He gets busted back to QA for letting the fuckworld bug slip through?

    Gaslight on
    1Slimus.jpg
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Gaslight wrote: »
    Well, the other way to look at it, arguably, is: better they do a rollback now then when people are actually paying subscription fees, isn't it? I'd rather waste a week of playing time I got for free than one I was paying for. Although I guess in the latter case they could just give everybody a free week to make up for the one lost to mollify them. In this case they could just extend the free trial period an extra week. But I can see how losing that much when the game is in its infancy and everybody is grinding up their first characters would cause a lot of rage.
    Yeah, except us MMO gamers are a fickle bunch. Screwing us out of a week of gameplay and rewards for gameplay will piss people off (especially if said rewards are the result of an easily exploitable bug allowing the players to get powers or gear that they shouldn't have access to for months). Especially in the first week, that's a lot of people who will never renew their subscription, worse that's a lot of reviewers who just got pissed off and will note that in their assorted reviews/blogs/webcomics whatever.

    Oddly enough, financially speaking it would be better to do the rollback after the first month when people have already paid their sub fees. They put something in the small print of the EULA that says sub fees are non refundable, ever, under any circumstances and they'd be good to go. At that point, the reviews have been made based on the first week or two, people who are going to buy have likely already bought, people who are going to sub have paid in. The only thing you have to worry about then is rage on the official forums, and since there's always rage on the official forums about any changes, that's not a huge deal.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • belligerentbelligerent Registered User regular
    The idea is that if the rollback happens during the 30 day trial period (it wasn't free, you paid for the game) then people just won't sub (this game is broke).

    Didn't Isaac find the bug when they were away from the office, on break? When I'm at a shitty job, with no support from upper management, I do my 9-5 thing, and then stop thinking about any work on "my time." It's obvious the Isaac didn't know the repercussions of what would happen, or maybe he would have said something, But I'm pretty sure I don't feel bad for what Isaac did, even though he logged a bunch of bugs on his own time (because he's stupid). Get paid for the work you do, is my motto.

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Gaslight wrote: »
    Well, the other way to look at it, arguably, is: better they do a rollback now then when people are actually paying subscription fees, isn't it? I'd rather waste a week of playing time I got for free than one I was paying for. Although I guess in the latter case they could just give everybody a free week to make up for the one lost to mollify them. In this case they could just extend the free trial period an extra week. But I can see how losing that much when the game is in its infancy and everybody is grinding up their first characters would cause a lot of rage.

    The worst time to not have access to a game is right after its launch. I got Portal 2 for the PS3, because I approve of cross platform Steam Support and thus wanted to vote with my wallet. Then PSN was hacked and shut down for over a month, thus meaning I lost access to half the game on that platform. I suspect that had I not been given a free PC Copy of Portal 2 I might not have bothered going to the Multiplayer stuff. I suspect something similar might happen here, where people just starting to get into the intricate Lawstar universe are closed off from it and thus their interest moves on to other games.

  • NeuroskepticNeuroskeptic Registered User regular
    Didn't pretty much this exact thing happen to Diablo 2? Such that gold became worthless and unique artefacts were the only meaningful currency?

  • AurichAurich Registered User regular
    Was there some big bug in D2? Wasn't gold just kind of poorly designed? Last time I played it I had as much as I could store by Act II.

  • kingworkskingworks Registered User regular
    Diablo (and maybe Diablo II) had a duping bug that allowed people to copy things in inventory, IIRC.

  • AurichAurich Registered User regular
    Oh yeah, Diablo was lousy with dupes and sploits and viruses. Knew a guy who contracted HIV from a particularly seedy host. D2 was comparatively literally infinitely more secure.

  • SlothmanSlothman Registered User
    Ok rather than do a roll back why not just do a gold wipe? Sure it's going to piss people off, but it won't be nearly as bad as a full rollback.

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  • HeadCreepsHeadCreeps Hey paisanos! The Anime ThreadRegistered User regular
    MuddBudd wrote: »
    Aurich wrote: »
    Those are his eyes on the side of his head, positioned such so he can avoid predators.

    And hey, Isaac's sticking up for his team. Way to not be a jerk, buddy.

    Of course, if he'd reported the issue earlier when he first discovered it, a lot less damage would have been done, and the rollback might have been averted. It would be downright unethical had he noticed it before the launch.

    But he needed that sweet, sweet armor.

    Also Marley can't be fired, he's my favorite!

  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    Diablo 2's gold currency was always just worthless. they kind of fixed it with gambling but not really.

    steam_sig.png
  • TehSpectreTehSpectre @PixelateJake on TwitterRegistered User regular
    Ivar wrote: »
    Ivar wrote: »
    What's this about wal-mart commercials?

    Wal-Mart (and Asda in the UK) like to talk about rolling back prices.

    That's a really weird phrase, but ok
    Rollback.jpg

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  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    It's obvious the Isaac didn't know the repercussions of what would happen, or maybe he would have said something

    Yeah, he pretty clearly didn't recognize the enormity of the problem. Although when the node started to accumulate its crust and halos and was well on its way to true "fuckworld" status, you would think it might have begun to dawn on him.

    1Slimus.jpg
  • Ori KleinOri Klein Registered User regular
    I like how they tell us to smile. Feels like a politician telling us to be happy because he was 'generous' enough to cut 0.01% of the taxes.
    Rotten to the core.
    A duck! wrote: »
    No, it's entirely of his own accord. When you make a mistake you own it, it's that simple.
    The assumption of responsibility and the social norms attached to it do not equate the observed manifestation of circumstantial reality.

  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    kingworks wrote: »
    Diablo (and maybe Diablo II) had a duping bug that allowed people to copy things in inventory, IIRC.
    Wasn't a bug, it was one of a series of hacks that allowed people to dupe.

  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka What Would Nyarlathotep Do? Registered User regular
    Ori Klein wrote: »
    A duck! wrote: »
    No, it's entirely of his own accord. When you make a mistake you own it, it's that simple.
    The assumption of responsibility and the social norms attached to it do not equate the observed manifestation of circumstantial reality.
    That statement means nothing.
    It's just a pedantic way of saying "Just because you say that, doesn't mean it's true". Also known as the "nuh-uh" argument.

  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Gaslight wrote: »
    It's obvious the Isaac didn't know the repercussions of what would happen, or maybe he would have said something

    Yeah, he pretty clearly didn't recognize the enormity of the problem. Although when the node started to accumulate its crust and halos and was well on its way to true "fuckworld" status, you would think it might have begun to dawn on him.

    Yes he did. He saw the problem very clearly.

    http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/raiment

    That second panel isn't Isaac saying "This isn't a huge game-breaker". It's Isaac saying "This isn't a huge game-breaker because nobody could possibly find it, right?". This is someone who was ostensibly a developer or project manager of some kind before he took this QA job, and is a gamer as well. And he didn't understand how an infinite gold exploit could damage an online game? No.

    Maybe this storyline is the beginning of him getting past it, but currently Isaac is a terrible tester. Or at the least, not the kind of person who should be testing. He either doesn't care about the game, his job, or both. While that's somewhat understandable given how testers get treated at a lot of companies, it's still not professional.

    In a real situation, Marley would probably still have lost his job either way, but Isaac could have saved his employer a lot of embarrassment.

    MuddBudd on
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  • belligerentbelligerent Registered User regular
    He's not a terrible tester... first,


    Gaslight wrote: »
    It's obvious the Isaac didn't know the repercussions of what would happen, or maybe he would have said something

    Yeah, he pretty clearly didn't recognize the enormity of the problem. Although when the node started to accumulate its crust and halos and was well on its way to true "fuckworld" status, you would think it might have begun to dawn on him.

    I meant that if isaac knew Marlan was going to get fired, maybe he would have said something earlier. I've been in the situation where you report something and through the process of dealing with that, someone else gets fired.

    Second, He signed up to be QA, found tons of bugs, which were ignored for pushing the game live, and then finds out he's on the live team. (apparently they give the live team the weekend off or something, which is weird).

    anyways, I like this comic.

  • The Good Doctor TranThe Good Doctor Tran Registered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    Ori Klein wrote: »
    A duck! wrote: »
    No, it's entirely of his own accord. When you make a mistake you own it, it's that simple.
    The assumption of responsibility and the social norms attached to it do not equate the observed manifestation of circumstantial reality.
    That statement means nothing.
    It's just a pedantic way of saying "Just because you say that, doesn't mean it's true". Also known as the "nuh-uh" argument.

    Also he missed a preposition.

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  • belligerentbelligerent Registered User regular
    MuddBudd wrote: »

    Maybe this storyline is the beginning of him getting past it, but currently Isaac is a terrible tester. Or at the least, not the kind of person who should be testing. He either doesn't care about the game, his job, or both. While that's somewhat understandable given how testers get treated at a lot of companies, it's still not professional.

    In a real situation, Marley would probably still have lost his job either way, but Isaac could have saved his employer a lot of embarrassment.

    Exactly. Did you not read the first season? Where he tried to get any job and was told he was too qualified, then browbeat the management into giving him this super shitty job that he doesn't want, but needs because lol car living, trying to do good at it during the first season and then realizing that it doesn't matter anyways.

  • lamelama22lamelama22 Registered User regular
    Ivar wrote: »
    Ivar wrote: »
    What's this about wal-mart commercials?

    Wal-Mart (and Asda in the UK) like to talk about rolling back prices.

    That's a really weird phrase, but ok

    Prices always go up due to inflation, but at the discount store they have rolled back the price to previous cheaper price...

    Wal-Mart graphics also sometimes showed the numbers for each digit as on a rotating flip clock, and so would be physically rolled back to a cheaper price.

    :)

  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    kingworks wrote: »
    Diablo (and maybe Diablo II) had a duping bug that allowed people to copy things in inventory, IIRC.
    Wasn't a bug, it was one of a series of hacks that allowed people to dupe.

    Diablo 1 had a dupe bug. No hacking was necessary.

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  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    Didn't pretty much this exact thing happen to Diablo 2? Such that gold became worthless and unique artefacts were the only meaningful currency?
    That was by poor design rather than some bugged content. Also, gold in D2 couldn't buy you (with any regularity) awesome gear, as it apparently does in Lawstar Online.

    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).
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  • Warlock82Warlock82 Never pet a burning dog Registered User regular
    forty wrote: »
    Didn't pretty much this exact thing happen to Diablo 2? Such that gold became worthless and unique artefacts were the only meaningful currency?
    That was by poor design rather than some bugged content. Also, gold in D2 couldn't buy you (with any regularity) awesome gear, as it apparently does in Lawstar Online.

    But you could dupe awesome gear and trade it :P Same thing

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  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    MuddBudd wrote: »

    Maybe this storyline is the beginning of him getting past it, but currently Isaac is a terrible tester. Or at the least, not the kind of person who should be testing. He either doesn't care about the game, his job, or both. While that's somewhat understandable given how testers get treated at a lot of companies, it's still not professional.

    In a real situation, Marley would probably still have lost his job either way, but Isaac could have saved his employer a lot of embarrassment.

    Exactly. Did you not read the first season? Where he tried to get any job and was told he was too qualified, then browbeat the management into giving him this super shitty job that he doesn't want, but needs because lol car living, trying to do good at it during the first season and then realizing that it doesn't matter anyways.

    Err... yes, this was the thing I was pointing out. We agree.

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  • Ori KleinOri Klein Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    kingworks wrote: »
    Diablo (and maybe Diablo II) had a duping bug that allowed people to copy things in inventory, IIRC.
    Wasn't a bug, it was one of a series of hacks that allowed people to dupe.
    Was an easily reproducible bug that rolled out with the vanilla version of D1.
    I also believe that there were several methods to enable that exploit (the one I specifically recall was via the town portal mechanism).
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    That statement means nothing.
    It's just a pedantic way of saying "Just because you say that, doesn't mean it's true". Also known as the "nuh-uh" argument.
    You cannot own a mistake anymore than you can own success. Neither are a property nor can they be made one's possession.
    Essentially what's at the heart of his statement is the concept of accountability, which is a social norm. And the notion that one's mistakes should be attributed solely to them as though they operate in vacuum is quite a misguided derivative of it.
    By ideologies formed out of social norms (such as moral) one is expected (if not forced) to bear responsibility for their actions, mistakes included. But one is not necessarily (the sole) responsible in all scenarios and situational environments and their influences vary. Moreover, in accordance it may at times be that not only one is not entirely accountable, but may not even be responsible. Not to mention such occurrances whereas one is not at all in control in the first place.
    Of course, it is far more 'clean' and 'easy to process' if there's only one person to blame and one cause for an effect as people, in general, do not have the patience to indulge too deeply onto what they do not care much for and as result there are usually many over-simplifications of events.
    Also he missed a preposition.
    What's a preposition?

    Ori Klein on
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Registered User regular
    Ah, the Diablo 1 duplication bug. That takes me back. What you do is drop the item you want to duplicate, then walk a few steps away. Click on the item. At the exact moment you are picking up the item (when it would go into your inventory), pick up a potion from your belt. The potion turns into the item, and you have a spare copy in your inventory. Max out your attributes (with elixirs), spells (with spellbooks), duplicate rings, whatever.

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  • AurichAurich Registered User regular
    It was more like a bug than a hack. At any rate, calling it a hack would be seriously ennobling it. Basically.. whell, literally, you could alter what was in your character's inventory by altering an ordinary text file in the program folder. You didn't even need to know any code, it was in english! This worked just as well in multiplayer.

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