As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

Trenches comic: Tuesday Sept. 6, 2011

BogeyBogey I'm back, baby!Santa Monica, CAModerator mod
edited September 2011 in The Penny Arcade Hub
i-LFCr5vZ.jpg
Sometimes the Good Guys WIn

09/06/2011 - Anonymous

We had been working 80+ hour weeks for over a month on one of the largest videogame franchises in existence. I actually liked the long hours and overtime, and since our division was the multiplayer component of the title, it was fun to work with other people. I had written a bug where a player who had been killed by a specific weapon, after his armor had popped, had his death cam actually become the 1st person vision of the enemy who did the deed.

It didn’t repro if you simply started without shields and didn’t repro in any other instance. We tested every variation of steps possible and determined it was this very specific situation that the bug would occur. Our thoroughness was not only due to doing our job well, but also because the last thing you want is to look stupid by bothering a Dev with a bug that didn’t exist.

I wrote up immaculate, step-by-step instructions with a warning that it doesn’t work if you try to cut corners.
We send it up the flagpole, and the bug comes back the next day as “No repro.” We investigated the bug again, and confirmed its existence and sent it back up. We even waited a few builds to see if they fixed it. Nope. We send the bug back AGAIN with a step-by-step video.

The next morning, the bug comes back as “No Repro. We all know testers are glorified monkeys banging on controllers. Don’t send this back unless it is broken.”

Now, I was a new tester, so I wasn’t quite sure how to respond to that. Some 5+ year testers were LIVID, whereas I was just worried that I fucked up. We had 3-4 people go through steps and even try variances. My repro was perfect. The team told me to send it back.

For the next four days anytime a developer came into our room, they would fling controllers and make monkey sounds. The “hoo hoo haw! eerrraghs!” became pretty frequent, as the meme had spread across the dev studio.

I walk in for my 20th consecutive 12 hour day, and 20 minutes in three people walk into my area. It was my Lead’s boss (the QA manager for the developer), THE NEFARIOUS Art/Tech guy who gave the original “Monkey Taunt,” and his Art/Tech - they approach me as I’m seated and in a quiet voice ask me to “repro the bug… RIGHT NOW.”

[SWEATING BALLS]
I repro it flawlessly.
“Wait? What?” Mr. Monkey taunter says. “That’s not possible… what are you doing?”
“Um? Everything in the repro steps and video. I have my armor go down, and then have this specific weapon kill me.”
“Oh… I thought that was a waste of time, so I started without armor.”
“Well we tested every variation and weapon possible, so the very next line we warn you that you must have armor as per a normal game… right… here.”

What follows is a mandatory two-hour meeting with ALL FULL TIME EMPLOYEES about the importance of reading bugs and COMMON COURTESY.

I’ve since moved on as a developer with another local company… one with a great, warm-hearted culture.. and I still take a deep breath when I find a tester I THINK is dumb.

Fitocracy: Join us in the SE++ group!
XBox LIVE: Bogestrom | Destiny
PSN: Bogestrom
Bogey on
«1

Posts

  • Options
    -Tal-Tal Registered User regular
    what the heck happened to his "No" poster

    PNk1Ml4.png
  • Options
    MaigaardMaigaard Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    I'm just gonna go ahead and make you all go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L397TWLwrUU&ob=av2e

    EDIT: And, AT LAST, a tale that doesn't make me hurt inside, but instead fills my stomach with happy butterflies. The dick got his comeuppance and the tester got another, better, job.

    Maigaard on
  • Options
    faitsfaits a panda eating cake seattleRegistered User regular
    maybe the no

    is changing into a yes

    faits.png
  • Options
    Indie WinterIndie Winter die Krähe Rudi Hurzlmeier (German, b. 1952)Registered User regular
    that newspost makes me livid with rage

    wY6K6Jb.gif
  • Options
    plufimplufim Dr Registered User regular
    At least the ending wasn't depressing.... I'm not a violent man, but after monkey taunts for a few days I might have decked someone. I can't understand how some adults can act like such dicks.

    3DS 0302-0029-3193 NNID plufim steam plufim PSN plufim
    steam_sig.png
  • Options
    Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    that newspost makes me livid with rage

    I dunno. For once it had a vaguely happy ending in that when management got involved, the dick dev got called out publically and the tester was exonerated.

    MhCw7nZ.gif
  • Options
    faitsfaits a panda eating cake seattleRegistered User regular
    pCQoA.gif

    faits.png
  • Options
    KeiosKeios Registered User regular
    I really shouldn't have read that newspost. Not after applying for a job as a games tester at Rockstar North at any rate.

    steam_sig.png
  • Options
    DrZiplockDrZiplock Registered User regular
    Bravo, faits.

    Bravo.

  • Options
    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    Explicitly repeating the words you have written down and pointing out that you emailed them this information the previous day is one of the few joys of an office job.

  • Options
    WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    Okay. That's totally Halo, right?

    @vgreminders - Don't miss out on timed events in gaming!
    @gamefacts - Totally and utterly true gaming facts on the regular!
  • Options
    HunterHunter Chemist with a heart of Au Registered User regular
    that newspost makes me livid with rage

    For once management did the correct thing by addressing the shitty behavior and saying "not cool". Also, the person doing the shitty behavior ate crow and choked on it. This is actually a very positive news post.

  • Options
    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    I actually like that story. It's nice getting one where someone doesn't fucking get fired at the end of it all.

  • Options
    SyphyreSyphyre A Dangerous Pastime Registered User regular
    Agreed, some amusement and happiness at the end to balance the scales.

  • Options
    TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    Willeth wrote:
    Okay. That's totally Halo, right?

    I dunno, halfway through the story he switches from "Shields" to "Armor", so it could be something else.

  • Options
    WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    Tomanta wrote:
    Willeth wrote:
    Okay. That's totally Halo, right?

    I dunno, halfway through the story he switches from "Shields" to "Armor", so it could be something else.

    Or a half-hearted attempt at trying to make it more vague. I'm not super bothered except for gossipy internet reasons, but I'm having trouble thinking of any other game in "one of the largest videogame franchises in existence" that you'd describe as armor being 'popped'.

    @vgreminders - Don't miss out on timed events in gaming!
    @gamefacts - Totally and utterly true gaming facts on the regular!
  • Options
    KorlashKorlash Québécois TorontoRegistered User regular
    There's no death cams in Halo.

    My first guess was Call of Duty, but there's no armor in Call of Duty (at least there wasn't any in Modern Warfare).

    Unless by "death cam", he means the camera that hangs around your body once you're dead. In which case it's probably Halo. I don't see any FPS with armor or shields with kill cams that I would call "one of the biggest franchises".

    396796-1.png
  • Options
    Tss_fanTss_fan Registered User regular
    I have to agree with several of the readers, this is a tales that warms my heart, the employee did the right thing as did management and while the other employees initial response was poor he was corrected. To all the nay sayers on other posts "oh as a employee you cant just do the right thing!" I point to this as a perfect example.

  • Options
    Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo Registered User regular
    I was thinking Halo or GTA 4.

  • Options
    ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor changed Registered User regular
    I have begun to see the boss's floating uni-brow as the receding halo of some sort of aging/overworked cherub.

  • Options
    AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    plufim wrote:
    At least the ending wasn't depressing.... I'm not a violent man, but after monkey taunts for a few days I might have decked someone. I can't understand how some adults can act like such dicks.

    I find it amazing how some children don't act like dicks.

  • Options
    FramlingFramling FaceHead Geebs has bad ideas.Registered User regular
    Yeah, that story is the best so far. I've had a couple moments like that; not to that extreme, but that "Run the fucking repro steps the way I fucking gave them to you, and it will fucking happen," moment. It's one of my favorite things, because I love being right, and my love of being right is directly proportional to how much someone thinks I'm wrong.

    you're = you are
    your = belonging to you

    their = belonging to them
    there = not here
    they're = they are
  • Options
    PeppermintGentlemanPeppermintGentleman Registered User regular
    Just putting it out there, I'd be more than interested in time lapsed art videos for Trenches.

  • Options
    PeccaviPeccavi Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Yesss, comeuppance story.

    Peccavi on
  • Options
    BobbleBobble Registered User regular
    plufim wrote:
    At least the ending wasn't depressing.... I'm not a violent man, but after monkey taunts for a few days I might have decked someone. I can't understand how some adults can act like such dicks.

    Hmmm, when I read it I assumed it was the testers making the monkey noises. Why would the devs have a controller to throw?

  • Options
    KochikensKochikens Registered User regular
    Keios wrote:
    I really shouldn't have read that newspost. Not after applying for a job as a games tester at Rockstar North at any rate.


    It'll be fine.

  • Options
    KarlKarl Registered User regular
    It all depends on where you work as a games tester.

    The company i worked for (I'm not mentioning names because I could be sued so hard, any potential children I have would still be paying) was the "feeder" company for games testers in my area. They hired anyone and everyone, so there was a mix of the great all the way to people who really really shouldn't have been there. Anyone with an ounce of skill was quietly noted by team leaders and depending on their competence, ear marked to start working for the main games testing company who worked really closely with the developers.

    The company I worked for basically got the "we think this is finished, find bugs or we'll start printing test discs" and "we think this is really finished, find bugs or this game goes gold" versions of games. Our contact with developers was minimal.

  • Options
    rabidmuskratrabidmuskrat Registered User regular
    Maybe it's because I've primarily worked in relatively small dev shops, but as a developer, I really find it insanely hard to believe someone would behave that way instead of just going and having them reproduce the bug right away. Pretty much any time I've been unable to reproduce a bug, I've just gone straight over and talked to the tester.

    I'm not saying I don't believe the person that wrote the story, but damn...

  • Options
    CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Maybe it's because I've primarily worked in relatively small dev shops, but as a developer, I really find it insanely hard to believe someone would behave that way instead of just going and having them reproduce the bug right away. Pretty much any time I've been unable to reproduce a bug, I've just gone straight over and talked to the tester.

    I'm not saying I don't believe the person that wrote the story, but damn...

    I don't work in that industry, however I have had copious amounts of contact with humankind.

    I can easily believe someone behaving as this much of an unrepentant asshole. Even with less motivation than is presented in the story.

    "If you divide the whole world into just enemies and friends, you'll end up destroying everything" --Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind
  • Options
    rabidmuskratrabidmuskrat Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote:
    I don't work in that industry, however I have had copious amounts of contact with humankind.

    I can easily believe someone behaving as this much of an unrepentant asshole. Even with less motivation than is presented in the story.
    Every place that I've worked the guy would have been fired quite quickly.

  • Options
    tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Henroid wrote:
    I actually like that story. It's nice getting one where someone doesn't fucking get fired at the end of it all.

    yea, I liked this story too.

    I've had similar experiences with testing, though not for games. At least their response wasn't "users shouldn't do it this way anyway." The thing wasn't fixed until after it went live and... people did it that way.

    tastydonuts on
    “I used to draw, hard to admit that I used to draw...”
  • Options
    nearlysobernearlysober Registered User regular
    I've been in QA for years now, never done time in gaming though, always "corporate" work. Less stress, better pay. But I can sympathize with the story of No Repro bugs. Hate it when Dev doesn't follow the Repro Steps exactly.

    And yeah, anywhere I've worked the comment alone would've got the Dev in plenty of trouble, let alone the behavior of the others. I've always had close relationships between QA/Dev though so I would've gone straight to his manager and called him out for his teams behavior... maybe in the gaming culture there's more of a divide.

  • Options
    TankHammerTankHammer Atlanta Ghostbuster Atlanta, GARegistered User regular
    I like this story. The little guy gets his small victory and recognition in the end.

    I have to assume that since game testers are a dime a dozen it's pretty easy for the designers and programmers to regard them as sub-human in the same way tech support professionals look upon anyone who goes to them telling them the network isn't working. Even taking that into account, this particular dude was going above and beyond in his effort to be a huge prick about it without even reading the whole message. I hope his job was put in jeopardy over this instance.

  • Options
    NamNam Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    80 hours a week? Good god. That's basically enough time to go home, sleep and then go back to work.

    Also; liked this comic and the "off the records" interview. I'd love one of those. I finally feel able to relate with the main character a bit.

    Nam on
  • Options
    VoroVoro Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote:
    I actually like that story. It's nice getting one where someone doesn't fucking get fired at the end of it all.

    yea, I liked this story too.

    I've had similar experiences with testing, though not for games. At least their response wasn't "users shouldn't do it this way anyway." The thing wasn't fixed until after it went live and... people did it that way.

    I didn't see that during my game testing days, but I did have issues that were obviously bugs come back "as designed." Pretty shitty design if you ask me. I ended up leaving when their end of the line quality control changed to only caring if the game would pass first party certification. Now I'm doing everything I can to avoid testing as my next job.

    XBL GamerTag: Comrade Nexus
  • Options
    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Lima Bean Boss isn't allowed to ask if Cox has been arrested? Most job applications I've ever filled out ask if you've been convicted of a crime.

    I love how interested he is in panel three, though.

  • Options
    MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    So I worked as am Art Dev for a major game company. Really liked my job.

    One day this QA guy sends me a poorly-written bug where he keeps switching between 'shields' and 'armor'. Our latest build referenced 'armor' so I tested it with that. Couldn't get it, so sent it back. He sends it again, I try it, no luck. I send it back and make a monkey joke because we had just gotten an email about a ThinkGeek.com gift drawing for the team. This goes on for awhile, instead of talking to me, just keeps sending it.
    Eventually I get my boss to meet with him to see what's up. Turns out he didn't update his nightly build, so was still using 'shields'. Since we were supposed to verify QA got the right version, I got let go two weeks later.

  • Options
    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    So your story is that you called people names and got fired?

  • Options
    Dropping LoadsDropping Loads Registered User regular
    Gaslight wrote:
    Lima Bean Boss isn't allowed to ask if Cox has been arrested? Most job applications I've ever filled out ask if you've been convicted of a crime.

    I love how interested he is in panel three, though.
    Convicted, yes, arrested, not usually. Presumption of innocence and all that jazz.

    Sceptre: Penny Arcade, where you get starcraft AND marriage advice.
    3clipse: The key to any successful marriage is a good mid-game transition.
  • Options
    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Gaslight wrote:
    Lima Bean Boss isn't allowed to ask if Cox has been arrested? Most job applications I've ever filled out ask if you've been convicted of a crime.

    I love how interested he is in panel three, though.
    Convicted, yes, arrested, not usually. Presumption of innocence and all that jazz.

    Hmm, good point.

Sign In or Register to comment.