The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Trenches comic: Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011

BrogeyBrogey Cinnabon AfficionadoSanta Monica, CAModerator mod
edited October 2011 in The Penny Arcade Hub
i-BQSmzvJ.jpg
Brick.

10/06/2011 - Anonymous

The first and only game I ever tested was an MMORPG, developed in a warehouse with no climate control—an ice cave of exposed metal girders and plywood dividers that happened to possess one of the world’s largest collections of everyone’s favorite childhood toy.
I was recruited by an unscrupulous contractor that advertised the position for people with MMO experience, of which I have plenty, and when I interviewed they told me they were hiring for crunch. This should have been a warning flag, but for the uninitiated like myself, the concept of crunch sounded like late nights doing projects with your friends.

So I signed up for one of the three slots on the night team, scheduled from four in the afternoon until midnight, Wednesday through Sunday with mandatory overtime. At first I actually thought it was pretty cool. They had a gym, a full kitchen and all the soda you could drink.

Another perk was the entire other side of the studio had concept art for another game the company was working on. All I had to do to enjoy this setup was play this children’s MMO for eight hours, doing nothing but playing through the game without cheating.

But every day, I sat down, created a new character, and proceeded to beat the game over and over. Like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, I was soon forced to come up with coping mechanisms. The program we used to track our bugs was linked to the studio-wide system, so we were able to see the words of our poor outsourced compatriots in such far-off places as Canada, forced to jump into walls and click buttons as their part of the testing. But this curiosity slowly turned into envy, as any title that wasn’t this stupid kids MMO was appealing. I would even find myself wandering into the other half of the studio to marvel at this great game being made just feet from where I was playing an awful one.

I’m sure the grass is always greener on the other side…

Who am I kidding? I’m sure I would have hated that one as well.

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

Posts

  • AntimatterAntimatter Registered User regular
    i wonder if he's referring to lego universe

  • MaigaardMaigaard Registered User regular
    Isaac! You don't get the DM fired!

    Regarding the story: what kind of MMO can be beaten in one day? Seems a bit short/too easy/broken.

  • OolongOolong Registered User regular
    Who the hell is talking in the third balloon of the middle panel? And why are they saying that?

  • Peter EbelPeter Ebel CopenhagenRegistered User regular
    Shiiiiet, I could talk about better testing horror stories, but I worked for nice people who didn't fire me.

    Fuck off and die.
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    Oolong wrote:
    Who the hell is talking in the third balloon of the middle panel? And why are they saying that?

    The new guy. If there was another speech bubble pointing left to where he is, that might make you think it was Cora talking. It'd be confusing either way.

    Switch Friend Code: SW - 5443 - 2358 - 9118 || 3DS Friend Code: 0989 - 1731 - 9504 || NNID: unclesporky
  • Lord_AsmodeusLord_Asmodeus goeticSobriquet: Here is your magical cryptic riddle-tumour: I AM A TIME MACHINERegistered User regular
    Maybe they should have it pointing down, since he was sitting and therefore lower than both of them.

    But I don't know much 'bout designing dem webcomic panels.

    Lord_Asmodeus.gifLord_Asmodeus2.gif
  • IvarIvar Registered User regular
    Maigaard wrote:
    Isaac! You don't get the DM fired!

    Regarding the story: what kind of MMO can be beaten in one day? Seems a bit short/too easy/broken.

    What kind of MMO can be beaten at all?

  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    While I'm enjoying the new comic in terms of content, am I the only one not completely sold on the artstyle? The weird body/head shapes and especially the bright orange noses just haven't clicked with me yet. I look forward more to the accompanying stories than the strips themselves.

  • HenroidHenroid How do you get a centrist to change their mind? Take away their privilege.Registered User regular
    Now we know why the test lead was so hostile.

    Seeking artists for well-paid commissions. PM me.
    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
  • collinccollinc Registered User regular
    This story was my least favorite so far. What was everyone's childhood favorite toy? The games? He's complaining about working 8 hours a day? That doesn't seem like crunch to me. It just seems like he's saying he doesn't like the repetitiveness of testing.

    Free cake. Inquire within.
  • KelorKelor Registered User regular
    Sounded to me like it was the third guy they were talking to earlier who is joining in off panel.

  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited October 2011
    Ivar wrote:
    Maigaard wrote:
    Isaac! You don't get the DM fired!

    Regarding the story: what kind of MMO can be beaten in one day? Seems a bit short/too easy/broken.

    What kind of MMO can be beaten at all?

    LEGO Universe can, apparently. Before the updates, the early version of the game was lacking content to the point where you could complete all content in a few hours and have literally nothing left to log in for.

    So I'm guessing he's talking about LEGO Universe.

    JustinSane07 on
  • yosaphbridgeyosaphbridge Registered User new member
    I'm not that in to the orange noses, but I think people are super critical of weird things... How can you not follow the conversation well enough to know who is talking in the third bubble of the middle panel? The TEXT tells you who is talking even if the bubble is not pointing right at him.

  • AthenorAthenor Who needs lions when you have a battlecruiser? Registered User regular
    This is the first Trenches comic I've outright laughed at. the situation just feels so insane. I don't feel bad for Issac so much, just... yeah, I laughed.

    iLaXVZ7.png
    Steam & NNID - Athenor // 3DS: 3883-5283-0471
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
    I'm blogging about my experiences purging my toy collection... read about it here!
  • GriswoldGriswold (a superset of all possible mathematics) (his body disintegrated)Registered User regular
    "I can make the bars go up" is the best line yet in the entirety of the strip.

    Battle.net: Snowcrash#1873
    Path of Exile: snowcrash7
  • Dark Raven XDark Raven X The woods are lovely dark and deepRegistered User regular
    Marley seems like less of a hostile dick than Test Lead. And Cora obviously likes Isaac. But eh, she's new too, so...

    And miles to go before I sleep.
  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    I'm not that in to the orange noses, but I think people are super critical of weird things... How can you not follow the conversation well enough to know who is talking in the third bubble of the middle panel? The TEXT tells you who is talking even if the bubble is not pointing right at him.

    It's just weird placement of the bubbles. If he's standing to the right of Isaac, then Isaac's text in panel 2 should be pointing to the left edge, not the right. The way it is now, it looks like Isaac got up, got behind the guy, made the comment about John and then sat back down.

    They could have been going for positioning those bubbles to match up to panel 3 but it still looks odd. If that was the case, they should have extended the tail across the border and into the large bubble.

  • King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    He can't be healer and DM. That's a serious conflict of interests!

    I have a podcast now. It's about video games and anime!Find it here.
  • -Tal-Tal The history of Hyrule is the history of the Calamity Ganon. Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    wait so is John dead

    was that a poisoned dart

    otherwise he can still play games

    -Tal on
    yGivUB5.jpg
  • King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    It might be a work place only game like they play on late night testing sessions.

    I have a podcast now. It's about video games and anime!Find it here.
  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo Perpetually Tired Registered User, Moderator mod
    While I'm enjoying the new comic in terms of content, am I the only one not completely sold on the artstyle? The weird body/head shapes and especially the bright orange noses just haven't clicked with me yet. I look forward more to the accompanying stories than the strips themselves.
    I find it weird that Kurtz claims to enjoy drawing it, and yet is constantly copy-pasting in strips. It's obvious that we're at least looking at the same Marley in Panel 1 & 3, if a not every panel.

    U9Syuit.png
  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    Rorus Raz wrote:
    I find it weird that Kurtz claims to enjoy drawing it, and yet is constantly copy-pasting in strips. It's obvious that we're at least looking at the same Marley in Panel 1 & 3, if a not every panel.

    I thought you might be mistaken--that she only looks cut & paste because it's drawn similarly--but you're right, there's a lot more that's identical than I thought:

    esMi6.gif

  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo Perpetually Tired Registered User, Moderator mod
    That's Cora.

    Marley is the blue-haired guy in headphones.

    U9Syuit.png
  • Speed RacerSpeed Racer Scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratchRegistered User regular
    the lines are pretty clearly different widths in places

    she's just drawn consistently

  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    Rorus Raz wrote:
    That's Cora.

    Marley is the blue-haired guy in headphones.

    You'd think some part of my short-term memory could have retained something from the first speech bubble.

  • LorekLorek Registered User regular
    It might be a work place only game like they play on late night testing sessions.

    Then why is the new girl also involved in these games and knows whats going on...

    steam_sig.png
  • Speed RacerSpeed Racer Scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratchRegistered User regular
    Lorek wrote:
    It might be a work place only game like they play on late night testing sessions.

    Then why is the new girl also involved in these games and knows whats going on...

    she's worked there before and was reapplying

    that's why she got immediately hired back on

    but yeah I don't really get why John couldn't continue playing with them

  • B:LB:L Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    the lines are pretty clearly different widths in places

    she's just drawn consistently

    The Test Lead has a really consistent head as well.

    jq6zys.gif


    The center dialogue box is weird though since the main character is supposed to be in the middle between Cora and Gorrilaz dude, so that text bubble is just coming from left field.

    Unless he has a special skill in ventriloquism.

    B:L on
    10mvrci.png click for Anime chat
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    This art is just boring. The Gabe and Tycho characters are drawn with a consistent style in those strips as well, but their faces are usually very expressive in an interesting way. Blue-haired guy was either just copy/pasted, or he should have been since there's just nothing interesting about him as art.

    What is this I don't even.
  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote:
    This art is just boring. The Gabe and Tycho characters are drawn with a consistent style in those strips as well, but their faces are usually very expressive in an interesting way. Blue-haired guy was either just copy/pasted, or he should have been since there's just nothing interesting about him as art.

    I don't know; he kind of reminds me of Zoot:
    zoot.jpg

  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    the lines are pretty clearly different widths in places

    she's just drawn consistently

    Yea... that has to be among the weirdest of complaints I've read about this series.


    and even if he did, why does it matter? does it somehow cheat you of your free webcomic reading experience in some way?

    tastydonuts on
    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Oh, yeah, he is a cool character design. But in the comic strip, seeing his concept art three times, rather than any sort of motion from his character, etc. is what I mean.

    What is this I don't even.
  • ThatDudeOverThereThatDudeOverThere Clock King Registered User regular
    the art can be very static at times but there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the concept of a character who just doesn't move much

    there are people like that, after all

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    the art can be very static at times but there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the concept of a character who just doesn't move much

    there are people like that, after all

    Nothing is visually interesting about this strip, though.

    What is this I don't even.
  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo Perpetually Tired Registered User, Moderator mod
    the lines are pretty clearly different widths in places

    she's just drawn consistently
    Yea... that has to be among the weirdest of complaints I've read about this series.


    and even if he did, why does it matter? does it somehow cheat you of your free webcomic reading experience in some way?
    Its being free does not somehow render it immune to criticism. I'm not demanding my money back or asking for Kurtz's head. I don't mind the character designs themselves, but the art within each strip isn't very interesting and seems like a copy-paste job. Which, you know, is understandable given Kurtz's juggling two PA TV shows and his own comic, but I found it weird because he has been claiming that drawing Trenches has been more fun than PvP. Yet PvP's art at least has more expression going on.

    U9Syuit.png
  • Skelly BSkelly B Registered User
    This story actually sounds like a pretty pleasant experience. I'd take that over filing or scanning books any day.

  • Speed RacerSpeed Racer Scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratch scritch scratchRegistered User regular
    Skelly B wrote:
    This story actually sounds like a pretty pleasant experience. I'd take that over filing or scanning books any day.

    yeah I mean

    it seems like they ran out of actual "horror stories" about two weeks in

  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Kurtz' work on PVP, regardless of how you feel about the comic, is a lot more dynamic. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Trenches art evolve and get more interesting as he gets more comfortable with the style and characters.

  • PeccaviPeccavi Registered User regular
    The story could also be about Wizards 101, which can also probably be completed in a day.

    Or nevermind, "Everyone's Favorite Childhood Toy" is pretty obviously LEGO.

  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    Skelly B wrote:
    This story actually sounds like a pretty pleasant experience. I'd take that over filing or scanning books any day.
    Seriously, I worked conveyor belts with less interesting stuff going on.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.