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[TRENCHES] Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - No Good Deed Goes

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited February 2014 in The Penny Arcade Hub
No Good Deed Goes


No Good Deed Goes
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/no-good-deed-goes

Fowl play

Anonymous

A few years ago I was working as a tester on a AAA title that you’ll all have heard of, when I ran into one of the most amusing and bewildering bugs I have ever experienced. After around 20 minutes of play, all projectiles in the game would turn into chickens. Your guns would fire chickens, the enemy guns would fire chickens, and tanks would fire chickens as shells.

Whilst this was initially rather amusing, it was obviously not intended behaviour. Furthermore, it wouldn’t reproduce on any other computer but my testing station. I filed a bug, and was instructed by one of the devs to re-install the game. I did so, but the problem persisted. Several other suggested solutions failed to work, too. By this point, my ability to test the game was rather diminished.

A couple of days later, a developer showed up in the testing department along with the project manager. I walked them through the bug, and after we all stopped laughing we set out to find a solution. During a re-install, the developer spotted something strange. My installation image was on a shared network drive, but it was not the usual one. I’d had my machine set up by the testing manager, so I had no idea that anything was amiss. They switched to the correct image and the bug disappeared.

I was later informed by the developer that the image I was using was an unofficial build on a developer’s machine, which had had some of the copy protection code removed. The computer also had a BitTorrent client installed, seeding an ISO of the build on a popular torrent site, months before the game was due for release. Thankfully, in this case, our office internet connection had horrendously poor upload performance and we managed to kill it and fire the developer before the whole file was leaked.

The “feature” still exists in the release and, from what I’ve read, plagued most people who downloaded the first pirate releases.


Geth on

Posts

  • someboddysomeboddy Registered User regular
    And you fixed it? WHY?!

  • spoothead656spoothead656 USARegistered User new member
    The game in the Tales is Crysis: Warhead, obviously. That's well known as one of the more creative ways developers screw with pirates.

  • AntonNULAntonNUL Registered User regular
    The game in the Tales is Crysis: Warhead, obviously. That's well known as one of the more creative ways developers screw with pirates.

    Even if I buy a game, I want to get a pirate copy if I know there's something like that in there. Or just a launch command that simulates piracy.

  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    Copy-protection shenanigans are the best shenanigans. They not only screw with the pirates, they get them to out themselves too. I wish game developers did that more often. I'm actually kind of sad to learn this one was unintentional.

    I have a new soccer blog The Minnow Tank. Reading it psychically kicks Sepp Blatter in the bean bag.
  • XaphireXaphire Registered User new member
    Cora's reaction here kind of confused me, the last time she said anything about Q it was that he was awesome.

  • ipsumipsum Registered User regular
    Xaphire wrote: »
    Cora's reaction here kind of confused me, the last time she said anything about Q it was that he was awesome.

    Yup. As I've said before, this comic makes no sense anymore. Cora had always expressed profound respect for Q. She went against him for the customer, but that wasn't to "fuck with that jagoff", it was to protect the customer.

    It's too bad. The comic was likeable when the characters weren't all horrible people.

  • wormspeakerwormspeaker Objectively Terrible Registered User regular
    I have to believe that developer just poisoned the well for any professional coding job he may ever hope to get. On the flip side I also can't believe that the network security was so lax as to not catch a bit torrent upload running without permission.

  • someboddysomeboddy Registered User regular
    The game in the Tales is Crysis: Warhead, obviously. That's well known as one of the more creative ways developers screw with pirates.

    Either that or Chicken Invader

  • HardtargetHardtarget There Are Four Lights VancouverRegistered User regular
    ipsum wrote: »
    Xaphire wrote: »
    Cora's reaction here kind of confused me, the last time she said anything about Q it was that he was awesome.

    Yup. As I've said before, this comic makes no sense anymore. Cora had always expressed profound respect for Q. She went against him for the customer, but that wasn't to "fuck with that jagoff", it was to protect the customer.

    It's too bad. The comic was likeable when the characters weren't all horrible people.
    uhhh
    so then that was never?

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  • HardtargetHardtarget There Are Four Lights VancouverRegistered User regular
    ipsum wrote: »
    Xaphire wrote: »
    Cora's reaction here kind of confused me, the last time she said anything about Q it was that he was awesome.

    Yup. As I've said before, this comic makes no sense anymore. Cora had always expressed profound respect for Q. She went against him for the customer, but that wasn't to "fuck with that jagoff", it was to protect the customer.

    It's too bad. The comic was likeable when the characters weren't all horrible people.
    uhhh
    so then that was never?

    steam_sig.png
    kHDRsTc.png
  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    ipsum wrote: »
    Xaphire wrote: »
    Cora's reaction here kind of confused me, the last time she said anything about Q it was that he was awesome.

    Yup. As I've said before, this comic makes no sense anymore. Cora had always expressed profound respect for Q. She went against him for the customer, but that wasn't to "fuck with that jagoff", it was to protect the customer.

    I suspect the fact Cora has now seen Q's disregard for customers has made her lose whatever respect she had for him.
    It's too bad. The comic was likeable when the characters weren't all horrible people.

    There has never been a time when they weren't all pretty horrible. Some people just didn't realize that Cora, for one, was horrible because she is a White Knight.

  • SorceSorce Not ThereRegistered User regular
    Yeah, Cora started disliking Q when he decided to monetize the fuck out of the sloths (or whatever it was) instead of making a game that'd show off her Dad's books.

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  • michaelkdawmichaelkdaw Registered User regular
    Cora seems to dislike grossly incompetent people. As she points out, Isaac has always been that way, so it's no surprise she doesn't like him. I think Cora first realized this about Q when she went upstairs to find that the development group was made up of an old lady and a bat. I can understand her frustration. She works hard. We are given the impression that it is due to her intervention that the game was released at all. And yet everyone around her is worthless. Most are career game testers, for god's sake. I don't think she can be considered "horrible" for airing out her feelings a bit.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    I don't think she can be considered "horrible" for airing out her feelings a bit.

    No, but we can consider her horrible for concealing Isaac's incompetence in hiring a ridiculous number of people for the QA team, which is bound to have negative consequences for the company, and for the various things she's done in the past that have actively fucked over her co-workers

  • michaelkdawmichaelkdaw Registered User regular
    I'm trying not to be combative here, but I can't really think of how she's fucked over her co-workers. The leaking-info-to-the-players thing? Were her co-workers adversely affected? From what I understand, the game subsequently went FTP and made a shit-tonne of money. Q used the money to start a new (unbeknownst-to-them, shitty) company, and hired them all. Seems alright.

    She does the word search in highlights, yes.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    I'm trying not to be combative here, but I can't really think of how she's fucked over her co-workers. The leaking-info-to-the-players thing? Were her co-workers adversely affected?

    Seeing as they had their computers taken away and couldn't do their jobs as a result of the mole hunt, I'd say yeah, they were adversely affected.

    Another instance of her screwing her co-workers is when she let Marley take the fall for her leaks. Yes, Isaac was the one who framed Marley as the mole in some sort of misguided attempt to win Cora's affection (and Marley probably deserved to lose his job anyway for being an incompetent pothead), but for all her indignation about what an asshole Isaac was afterwards she could have stepped up and admitted responsibility. She was happy to reap the rewards of the framejob even if she acted upset about it.

    As for the game going F2P as a result of the player protest Cora organized, yes, that was the result, but it isn't the one Cora intended and certainly not one she expected. For all she knew the protest would cause the game to fail and cause everybody to lose their jobs. Cora and her co-workers also didn't reap any of the profits of the game going F2P; Q (and probably the other developers) did, but all Cora and the others got out of it is going from one shitty company to another in the same type of bottom-rung jobs.

    Now Cora is happy to see the company suffer just because of her dislike for Q and her grudge about the way they've handled her father's IP...when even her father himself has made it clear he's cool with it, and the failure of the game will, once again, probably result in everybody losing their jobs (and stop the flow of nice royalty checks to dear ol' dad). And let's not forget she was the one who helped talk her dad into signing the rights to his work over to Q's company in the first place, which she did knowing Q's less-than-scrupulous mindset about monetizing a game and managing the player community.

    Cora has very strong opinions about the way games companies should treat their players and their source material, and some of those opinions may even be correct and admirable up to a point...but she acts on those opinions in a short-sighted and fanatical way with no regard for how the consequences of her actions will affect the people right in front of her (like her co-workers and even her dad) because everything she does is justified in her mind because she "Fights for the users" or some other firmly held self-righteous conviction.

    Gaslight on
  • michaelkdawmichaelkdaw Registered User regular
    You're right. She's a bitch.

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