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Trenches comic: Tuesday Nov. 22, 2011 - Mystery

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

11/22/2011 - Anonymous

I worked for a well known developer in the UK doing Playstation games as a coder. They had a great team but, like a lot of developers, not a lot of management. For instanece, we had no version control on our software.

I was responsible for writing a particularly tricky bit of code to store and replay games. Because memory was so tight I could store only the player inputs and all the rest of the game state had to be determinist. This meant that if anything, anywhere, in the level wasn’t completely deterministic the replay went out of sync.

It was a nightmare to do but it absolutely had to be ready for E3, so I was working 80+ hour weeks on this one problem. I finally cracked one major bug to this problem and proceeded to merge my code into the code base. I downloaded the code base and in an instant completely overwrote all the changes and work I’d done that week.

I sat staring at the screen for about ten minutes and didn’t know what to do. So I got up, went downstairs and sat in a rose bed behind the studio and cried softly. Eventually some other devs came down and I thought they where coming to see how I was, but they walked past me and went to get pizza.

I sat there for about thirty minutes then went back to work. Nobody said anything to me. I managed to get the replay working in time for E3. Happy days.

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    RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    As a developer who has seen more than one serious bug released to production because of source code management issues, I can sympathise with this story.

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    bazurzubazurzu Registered User new member
    edited November 2011
    the real mistery is why she doesn't have tits in the 2nd panel...

    bazurzu on
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    Wolfwood2Wolfwood2 Registered User new member
    I'm having a difficult time understanding why our protagonist is getting so upset. So what if he spent all night working on a game that got canceled? He gets paid the same either way! If his supervisor wants to have him spend all his time on useless work, that's really more of a company problem than his problem.

    Of course, I really have the same feeling about a lot of the stories in the Tales from the Trenches. Workers in these tales seem to get so emotionally invested in hitting those deadlines and helping the company get the game out on time. Is there every going to be a tale from the Trenches where someone says, "Yeah, we totally blew our deadline and failed to get the game out on time. I'm pretty sure I'm the direct cause, because I didn't kill myself trying to get the work done. I didn't care then, and I don't care now."

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    IvarIvar Oslo, NorwayRegistered User regular
    He gets paid, but the work he gets paid for has absolutely no value. That probably doesn't make Isaac feel very useful.
    Also, it's a loss for the company, because Q wasted Isaac's time.

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    LorekLorek Registered User regular
    Do we know if the game was cancelled before or after Q assigned the task?
    His anger seems more reasonable if this is a big prank by Q to make him test the most boring of tests on a game everyone else except the new guy knows is cancelled.

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    MalReynoldsMalReynolds The Hunter S Thompson of incredibly mild medicines Registered User regular
    Portallis was just part of the game, not the whole game.

    "A new take on the epic fantasy genre... Darkly comic, relatable characters... twisted storyline."
    "Readers who prefer tension and romance, Maledictions: The Offering, delivers... As serious YA fiction, I’ll give it five stars out of five. As a novel? Four and a half." - Liz Ellor
    My new novel: Maledictions: The Offering. Now in Paperback!
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    IvarIvar Oslo, NorwayRegistered User regular
    It doesn't matter if it was a part of a game or an entire game, it was still cancelled.

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    Dark Raven XDark Raven X Laugh hard, run fast, be kindRegistered User regular
    Holy shit do I feel bad for the guy in today's tale.

    If the Portallis thing got cut before Isaac started working on it, then it was extremely dickish on Q's part and totally deserves a boss alert.

    Oh brilliant
  • Options
    MalReynoldsMalReynolds The Hunter S Thompson of incredibly mild medicines Registered User regular
    Ivar wrote:
    It doesn't matter if it was a part of a game or an entire game, it was still cancelled.

    People seemed confused as to whether Portallis was part of the game or the entire game, so I was simply clarifying that Portallis is not the entire game.

    "A new take on the epic fantasy genre... Darkly comic, relatable characters... twisted storyline."
    "Readers who prefer tension and romance, Maledictions: The Offering, delivers... As serious YA fiction, I’ll give it five stars out of five. As a novel? Four and a half." - Liz Ellor
    My new novel: Maledictions: The Offering. Now in Paperback!
  • Options
    King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    I'm actually surprised Issac didn't confront Q first.



    I have a podcast now. It's about video games and anime!Find it here.
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    Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo Registered User regular
    Our protagonist shows up at a company where there are no jobs available. He basically forces his way into a job, resulting in a well liked member of the team being fired to make room. He insults the lead. And then when the lead saddles him with some BS work as a form of retribution, our protagonist runs directly to the boss to tattle.

    They really are trying to make Isaac unlikeable, aren't they? The whole "Isaac Cox" name thing aside.

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    Ori KleinOri Klein Registered User regular
    Issac appears less a professional 'good guy' rather more selfish, insecure and amateur with each passing comic.

    If the novelty idea was to render a "The Office" esque comedy/drama under a QA Tester theme comic then seemingly we're drifting away.

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    Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Wolfwood2 wrote:
    I'm having a difficult time understanding why our protagonist is getting so upset. So what if he spent all night working on a game that got canceled? He gets paid the same either way! If his supervisor wants to have him spend all his time on useless work, that's really more of a company problem than his problem.

    Of course, I really have the same feeling about a lot of the stories in the Tales from the Trenches. Workers in these tales seem to get so emotionally invested in hitting those deadlines and helping the company get the game out on time. Is there every going to be a tale from the Trenches where someone says, "Yeah, we totally blew our deadline and failed to get the game out on time. I'm pretty sure I'm the direct cause, because I didn't kill myself trying to get the work done. I didn't care then, and I don't care now."

    He's upset becuase he works in America and is thus assumed to be receiving no overtime pay for his insane hours. Thus if he isn't even being useful then he really did suffer for absolutely nothing.

    Also once you've seen the magic disappearing boobs you can't unsee them.

    Jam Warrior on
    MhCw7nZ.gif
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    El GuacoEl Guaco Registered User regular
    I just have to go on record and say I hate the noses. This style is just...lame. I don't care what ethnic background you have, nobody has a nose like a bright orange Lima bean.

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    Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    El Guaco wrote:
    I just have to go on record and say I hate the noses. This style is just...lame. I don't care what ethnic background you have, nobody has a nose like a bright orange Lima bean.

    Trenches is set in an alternate reality in which all humans are descended from W.C. Fields.

    c5tfW.jpg

    Fatty McBeardo on
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    SyphyreSyphyre A Dangerous Pastime Registered User regular
    Projects getting cancelled is not exclusive to the video game industry.

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    RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    Cox needs to stop being so uppity and learn to suck some cox if it means not living in his sports car. But then again, considering he's holding onto his $50,000 security blanket rather than trade it in for a vehicle that's more comfortable to sleep in, I'm guessing he has some emotional issues.
    Syphyre wrote:
    Projects getting cancelled is not exclusive to the video game industry.
    Your avatar really drives your message home, I can picture her voice deriding the reader and authors for being drama queens.

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    halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    Who on earth does production-level development without version control software? That just blows my mind! I mean... wow!

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    RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    El Guaco wrote:
    I just have to go on record and say I hate the noses. This style is just...lame. I don't care what ethnic background you have, nobody has a nose like a bright orange Lima bean.

    Dammit, that Townsend Television episode with the planet of the brown noses isn't on youtube.

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    sloppyjaloppysloppyjaloppy Registered User new member
    i sort of like having isaac being an antihero, but not in a bad ass sort of sense, but as a gopher to the boss. the boss needs friends too! sure everyone thinks he's a scumbag, but it allows us to see character development through a shared hatred. there are plenty of comics where everyone is friends that we can read. its refreshing to have one where people think that the main character is a bit of an asshole.

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    collinccollinc Registered User regular
    halkun wrote:
    Who on earth does production-level development without version control software? That just blows my mind! I mean... wow!

    Agreed. How can that even happen? Why would the developers not step in and just tell management they need it?

    Free cake. Inquire within.
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    zepherinzepherin Russian warship, go fuck yourself Registered User regular
    You know, I have never seen a secretary actively filing her nails. I have seen it in media, movies, television, web comics, real comics, but never in real life.

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    KhoalaKhoala Registered User regular
    Her nose looks like a Pac-Man about to devour her eye.

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    qrterqrter Registered User new member
    bazurzu wrote:
    the real mistery is why she doesn't have tits in the 2nd panel...

    Ha haaa! Didn't even notice that!

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    IvarIvar Oslo, NorwayRegistered User regular
    She filed them off

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    StaleStale Registered User regular
    collinc wrote: »
    halkun wrote:
    Who on earth does production-level development without version control software? That just blows my mind! I mean... wow!

    Agreed. How can that even happen? Why would the developers not step in and just tell management they need it?

    I've seen huge companies, multi-million dollar departments, use post-it notes for defect tracking.

    Not unusual at all. Especially in years past.

    easysig2.jpg
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    UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    collinc wrote:
    halkun wrote:
    Who on earth does production-level development without version control software? That just blows my mind! I mean... wow!

    Agreed. How can that even happen? Why would the developers not step in and just tell management they need it?

    First question: How much does it cost?

    Second question: Have you been managing without it?

    Conclusion: Don't need to spend money

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    King RiptorKing Riptor Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Our protagonist shows up at a company where there are no jobs available. He basically forces his way into a job, resulting in a well liked member of the team being fired to make room. He insults the lead. And then when the lead saddles him with some BS work as a form of retribution, our protagonist runs directly to the boss to tattle.

    They really are trying to make Isaac unlikeable, aren't they? The whole "Isaac Cox" name thing aside.

    Um what?
    A few things -

    He was promised a job. The boss did not have to honor the promise or force Isaac to choose the person. Isaac was desperate for work and he took an opportunity. I assume people living in their cars would do the same.

    Who could logically guess their boss is a rabid 80s cartoon fan with a rocket horse fetish ?


    And how is going through proper channels to say your supervisor wasted time and manpower on a revenge prank whining? He's acting like an adult not a 14 year old.

    King Riptor on
    I have a podcast now. It's about video games and anime!Find it here.
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    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Our protagonist shows up at a company where there are no jobs available. He basically forces his way into a job, resulting in a well liked member of the team being fired to make room. He insults the lead. And then when the lead saddles him with some BS work as a form of retribution, our protagonist runs directly to the boss to tattle.

    They really are trying to make Isaac unlikeable, aren't they? The whole "Isaac Cox" name thing aside.

    Um what?
    A few things -

    He was promised a job. The boss did not have to honor the promise or force Isaac to choose the person that was unprofessional. Isaac was desperate for work and he took an opportunity. I assume people living in their cars would do the same.

    It's also worth pointing out that Isaac didn't want anybody fired and did what he could to stop the boss from firing people who desperately needed to keep their jobs.

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    collinccollinc Registered User regular
    Usagi wrote:

    First question: How much does it cost?

    Second question: Have you been managing without it?

    Conclusion: Don't need to spend money

    1. 0
    2. You can manage, but it's definitely helpful
    3. Yep you don't need to spend money on version control when there is tortoise svn.

    Free cake. Inquire within.
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    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    qrter wrote:
    bazurzu wrote:
    the real mistery is why she doesn't have tits in the 2nd panel...

    Ha haaa! Didn't even notice that!

    Huh. That's certainly someth-
    Ivar wrote:
    She filed them off

    D:

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    zepherinzepherin Russian warship, go fuck yourself Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Companies can be resistant to change especially if they are profitable. The if it ain't broke don't fix it mentality will generally see a company chipped away for not adapting. Ask the RIAA how their clients if it ain't broke don't fix it business models are doing?

    zepherin on
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    KreutzKreutz Blackwater Park, IARegistered User regular
    Our protagonist shows up at a company where there are no jobs available. He basically forces his way into a job, resulting in a well liked member of the team being fired to make room. He insults the lead. And then when the lead saddles him with some BS work as a form of retribution, our protagonist runs directly to the boss to tattle.

    They really are trying to make Isaac unlikeable, aren't they? The whole "Isaac Cox" name thing aside.

    And he sleeps in his car and stalks his coworkers, don't forget that.

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    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Kreutz wrote:
    And he sleeps in his car

    How does that make him a bad person?
    and stalks his coworkers, don't forget that.

    No he doesn't.

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    Dark Raven XDark Raven X Laugh hard, run fast, be kindRegistered User regular
    He was stalking Q after accusing him of being a door.

    Oh brilliant
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    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Do you know for a fact Q isn't a door? DO YOU?

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    Dark Raven XDark Raven X Laugh hard, run fast, be kindRegistered User regular
    Hey it's late Thursday and there's no new Trenches?

    Oh brilliant
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    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    There has been one all day. It's just that nobody bothered to create a new thread for it.

    i-XFRNF73.jpg

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    Dark Raven XDark Raven X Laugh hard, run fast, be kindRegistered User regular
    Sometimes I forget Trenches has a site.

    I just come to these threads to read it.

    Oh brilliant
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    TubeTube Registered User admin
    edited November 2011
    Gaslight wrote:
    There has been one all day. It's just that nobody bothered to create a new thread for it.

    Maybe you could have sent a PM to a moderator as requested at the top of the forum instead of being a snarky shitbag.

    Tube on
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