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[TRENCHES] Thursday, January 23, 2014 - Not Again

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited January 2014 in The Penny Arcade Hub
Not Again


Not Again
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/not-again

Anonymous

Anonymous

I worked at a major publisher of PC games about 10 years ago. I was thrilled to be working on the latest iteration of a marque RPG franchise. There were complications, however, because the dev team was working half way around the world, and we were receiving nightly builds via FedEx.

This is back when a good 30-40 hours was the norm in an RPG. This lead management to assign each of us 3 levels to test over and over each day. We would use cheat codes to level up and then run our levels as many times as we could in a 16 hour day.

We were killing bugs left and right and the game was looking very good. We came in one morning to find out the game had gone gold. I mentioned for not the first time that no one had actually played the game from start to finish yet. They finally assign me to do that, and half way through the game, at the point where you transition between one set of levels and the next was a bug that corrupted your auto-saves, losing you all progress since your last manual save.

I replicated it, recorded it, and brought it straight to the lead producer. He thanked me for my hard work assured me that he would put it at the top of the list. Two days later he had retired, the bug was gone from the system and we were on a new project.


Geth on

Posts

  • tarnoktarnok Registered User regular
    Ah, bitten in the ass by the classic "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts."

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  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Doesn't sound like they were bitten in the ass by it. Well, unless "Retired" is a euphemism for "Fired, then beaten with sticks on his way out", and "New project" actually meant "Looking for a new job".
    All things considered, this is a happy ending for the Trenches. Dude wasn't fired for pointing out a flaw in the test procedure, flawed testing procedure was updated, the game breaking bug was fixed, and the lead producer retired after the game was shipped. All it's missing is a couple glasses of cheap champagne at the end and it's the happiest Trenches ever.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    see317 wrote: »
    Doesn't sound like they were bitten in the ass by it.

    I think he just means the game's development was bitten in the ass, not that the testers were bitten in the ass in terms of their job situations.

  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    edited January 2014
    see317 wrote: »
    All things considered, this is a happy ending for the Trenches. Dude wasn't fired for pointing out a flaw in the test procedure, flawed testing procedure was updated, the game breaking bug was fixed...
    I think you may have misinterpreted the tale. I took "the bug was gone from the system," to mean that someone had deleted the bug report, not that the bug had been fixed. So the developer basically swept the save-erasing bug under the rug.

    marsilies on
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    marsilies wrote: »
    see317 wrote: »
    All things considered, this is a happy ending for the Trenches. Dude wasn't fired for pointing out a flaw in the test procedure, flawed testing procedure was updated, the game breaking bug was fixed...
    I think you may have misinterpreted the tale. I took "the bug was gone from the system," to mean that someone had deleted the bug report, not that the bug had been fixed. So the developer basically swept the save-erasing bug under the rug.
    That's entirely possible. It could be read either way, the optimist in me likes to believe it was fixed rather then ignored.
    The part of me that's worked tech support knows that it's more likely that it was ignored though.

    Still, the trencher from the story still had his job at the end. That's a plus.

  • Zazu YenZazu Yen Senior Developer San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    Yeah, if the bug had been fixed it would have been in the system as fixed, it wouldn't have vanished from the system. Sadly it seems more likely that the manager knew he would catch hell for going gold with a show-stopper bug so he wiped it from the system and retired, knowing he would be well out of the way before the shitstorm. But the tester kept their job, so yeah, a win for the Trenches.

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