Trenches comic: Thursday Nov. 10, 2011 - Anguish

BogeyBogey I'm back, baby!Santa Monica, CAModerator mod
edited November 2011 in The Penny Arcade Hub
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Graveyard

11/10/2011 - Anonymous

Years ago I was working contract QA for a large corporation with a number of subsidiary development studios. I was a part of the build verification and performance testing team, and needless to say our job was fairly easy; check the newest and freshest build from the developer and create save points along the way, all the while logging performance issues and ad-hocing the shit out of the game.

Since the job came with a fair amount of “down time,” we were frequently asked to perform random jobs. “Play through the game for screen caps,” “provide saves for this team or that team,” “create unique scenarios for another team for marketing…” Fun stuff.

Then one day we were given another task… one unique to itself and all-together scary (for someone relatively new to the industry at the time). Three others and I were put into a shuttle and driven to an offsite building on another part of town. Once there we realized that we were standing in the shell of what was once a bustling and active studio, decorated with all things attractive and unique to a game studio. Arcade machines still plugged in, giant flat screens, whiteboards covered in gaming jargon and designer notes…and of course the free drinks fridge.

What was missing were the people. Not a single person was there. Controllers lay on the ground, placed there in haste as though the person handling it was forcibly removed from the office. Desks were scattered with random notes and pieces of technology, ideas still scribbled down on so many sticky notes as though they were going to be picked up later for a stand-up meeting to be relayed to some other “team.”

Well…no team existed anymore. This place was shut down and void of life. I knew that we were there to “save the valuables”... dev kits, monitors, controllers…it all had to go. What was once a hub of ideas was now a scrap yard of product to be recycled and re-used. I thought long and hard after cleaning up that mess of a studio… Was I making the right choice working for a small hourly wage while performing a task that most other industry folk look down upon knowing that maybe, I could end up like this place in the bat of an eye?

My answer: absolutely 100% you bet your fucking ass yes… this place may have now been deserted, but when it was moving full steam I have no doubt that it was a blast to work in and bustled with creativity and growth. The game industry will always have failed studios and horror stories about publishers shutting down projects. From every one of these comes a new batch of talent, ready to re-enter the workforce or forge ahead with their own team as independent studios. It’s been 4 years since I helped pick up the dead pieces of this studio, but I never forgot about it.

Rest in peace, FASA.

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Posts

  • PikaPuffPikaPuff Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    dang. I played their shadowrun and battletech stuff. RIP indeed.

    PikaPuff on
    jCyyTSo.png
  • NoOutletNoOutlet Registered User regular
    So in case we weren't confused enough about what LaiiStar? was (the product or the desktop background image), now the logo appears on the boxart for a game called Portallis that is made by Vega.

  • jackaljackal Registered User regular
    I assume "Portallis, City of a Million Doors" is a location within the Lawstar universe.

  • Ori KleinOri Klein Registered User regular
    The Mechwarrior and Shadowrun licenses were rented from Microsoft by Smith & Tinker, a company founded by one of FASA's founders - Jordan Weisman.

  • rabidmuskratrabidmuskrat Registered User regular
    That graveyard post was both encouraging and depressing at the same time.

  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    The rated 14 and over for Punches and Poop Talk was easily my favorite thing so far in any Trenches comic so far.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    As a BattleTech/MechWarrior fan, reading that post almost brought a tear to my eye.

    NoOutlet wrote:
    So in case we weren't confused enough about what LaiiStar? was (the product or the desktop background image), now the logo appears on the boxart for a game called Portallis that is made by Vega.

    There is nothing suggesting Portallis is the title of the game. The most logical explanation is that Portallis is a location within the LawStar universe.

    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
  • kingworkskingworks Registered User regular
    I think Portallis is Tycho's version of Sigil.

  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    That was FASA Interactive. I have been to FASA Studios, back when it existed, in 2000. Sadly, no arcade machines that I saw. There was much cooler stuff personally, though!

    Plus, FASA Studios closed in 2001/2002. So this has to have been FASA Interactive.

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  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    I am now wondering how many doors there are in, say, the average city or residential suburban square mile. In my house there are eight doors which actually open and shut (counting the garage door but not the cat door). Now if I could use Google Earth to figure out a house density...

    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
  • AurichAurich Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Gaslight wrote:
    I am now wondering how many doors there are in, say, the average city or residential suburban square mile. In my house there are eight doors which actually open and shut (counting the garage door but not the cat door). Now if I could use Google Earth to figure out a house density...

    I assume there's more to Portallis than just the fact of the million doors. Like, their buildings are probably MADE of doors. Or maybe the entire city is just a nigh infinite corridor lined with doors.

    Aurich on
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    This story was actually kind of scary.

  • SyphyreSyphyre A Dangerous Pastime Registered User regular
    If there is a million dollars behind one of Portallis's doors, and a dustball behind all 999,999 others, how do you decide which one to open?

    Steam ID - Syphyreal --- 3DS Friend Code: 2723-9387-1002
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Aurich wrote:
    Gaslight wrote:
    I am now wondering how many doors there are in, say, the average city or residential suburban square mile. In my house there are eight doors which actually open and shut (counting the garage door but not the cat door). Now if I could use Google Earth to figure out a house density...

    I assume there's more to Portallis than just the fact of the million doors. Like, their buildings are probably MADE of doors. Or maybe the entire city is just a nigh infinite corridor lined with doors.

    Planescape.

    What is this I don't even.
  • TIFunkaliciousTIFunkalicious Kicking back in NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Just like old homes, defunct community websites, and obsolete MMOs something thats empty where it clearly was not meant to be is always a little depressing

  • HenroidHenroid Seize the Memes Registered User regular
    This story was actually kind of scary.

    What's that bomb that kills all life without leveling any structures / equipment? Neutron bomb or whatever?

    Yeah.

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote:
    What's that bomb that kills all life without leveling any structures / equipment?]
    Rebecca black Friday I think is what you are looking for.

  • 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
    Syphyre wrote:
    If there is a million dollars behind one of Portallis's doors, and a dustball behind all 999,999 others, how do you decide which one to open?

    after choosing one, the host opens 300,000 doors, all containing dustballs. He then asks if you would look to keep your door or switch to a new one

  • pkninjapkninja Registered User
    Does anyone know what kind of headphones Marley is wearing? The logo kind of makes it look like mine: http://www.kicker.com/hp541tj

  • RothideRothide Registered User new member
    Really, I see Battletech and Planescape, but no Crimson Skies?

    That was the first, last and only arcade flying simulator that I ever played. And is in my top 10 best games of all times.

  • agilemaniaagilemania Registered User regular
    pkninja wrote:
    Does anyone know what kind of headphones Marley is wearing? The logo kind of makes it look like mine: http://www.kicker.com/hp541tj

    Earlier on in the strip they had a red/orange "h" on the cans, which reminded me of the "b" on Beats (by Dre).

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