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[TRENCHES] Thursday, June 5, 2014 - Root Word

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited June 2014 in The Penny Arcade Hub
Root Word


Root Word
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/root-word

A Step in the Wrong Direction

Anonymous

So, for a company working as a business consulting and management business, the place I worked wasn’t very good at managing their own business.

I’m a developer, while I’d love to be a games developer, I’m employed to create daft video playing apps for tablets or 10 second kids games for other touchscreens.

Last year I made the most profitable single product we’ve ever sold, an application to be used in the showroom of the most prestigious and one of the wealthiest car manufacturers, and boy howdy were we paid well for it.

When I say we, I mean the company, I’m surprisingly low paid for a dev, at just £1 (yes, I’m British) above minimum wage. But hey, a job’s a job, and I’ve got bills.

So, a couple months back a different car dealership asked us to develop an app for them. I could have easily done this, seeing as I had most of the code assets from previous projects, my completing this project would probably have cost the company less than a £200. That cheap.

I walk in on Tuesday (due to other commitments I can’t work mondays) only to find out that due to “time constraints” they paid an outsourced developer three frakin grand (£3000!) to make this ridiculously simple app.

Then they made me QA it. I should mention, we have a QA person, she literally LOVES what she does, and was more disappointed than I was about the situation, as she didn’t get to QA it.

So, my company paid almost 3 grand too much for a product, and of course the outsourced dev takes a month to do the project, when I would have taken a day or two. Then, when the app was given to us, it was terrible, buggy and barely worked.

We tried contacting the dev - he disappeared completely.

I was still forced to QA it, even though we didn’t have the source, and had no way to correct it.


Geth on

Posts

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    I can sympathise with questionable outsourcing.

  • milskimilski Poyo! Registered User regular
    So what's going on with Gwen's face? Even with the art shift, none of the other characters contort in such a way.

    I ate an engineer
    fortyJohnnyricoMC
  • LieutenantDanLieutenantDan Registered User regular
    I don't understand today's comic at all. I think Trenches has just devolved to people being wacky and unintelligible every strip. milski - I think it's just progressive wackiness.

    JohnnyricoMC
  • Chris FOMChris FOM Registered User regular
    I really have no idea where this comic is going anymore.

    For the Tale, at least it's nice to see that the US isn't the only country that screws things up so badly.

    JohnnyricoMC
  • xspeedballxxspeedballx Registered User regular
    Every week someone says "I don't understand what is going on?" And every week I read it trying to figure out if people are just being intentionally thick to troll. If so, you succeeded with me. The only aspect of this story that seems questionable is Cora.

    Isaac is continuing a process of trying to get people fired. He said that. Everything since is in that process. Also he is a buffoon. Also he is cracking under the pressure of a job he can't handle. He got the responsibility he thought he deserved and is proving he doesn't.

    Gwen made a copy of Rhymeblade as a literally cheap knock off. She had full access to source code and free labor. She wants a quick buck, which since all the profits go to her is surely more than she gets paid already. She now wants to make her rip off and/or the original product better by her own genius. She either is not the top notch programmer designer she thinks she is or is having severe writers block.

    Cora appears to be rebelling against always being a yes (wo)man and cracking under the fact that everyone else does nothing right and/or is a jerk and seem to go unpunished for it. This is less obvious but seems to follow.

    The whole comic is a caricature of the tales we read several times a week. The people are a mixture of archetypes, the issues and personalities are amplified. This is pretty standard mechanics of story telling and comics.

  • Warlock82Warlock82 Never pet a burning dog Registered User regular
    For the tale I want to say there is probably weird copyright issues that would have prevented them from reusing code already sold to another customer - at least, dependant on the contract they signed

    Switch: 2143-7130-1359 | 3DS: 4983-4927-6699 | Steam: warlock82 | PSN: Warlock2282
    JohnnyricoMC
  • AmarylAmaryl Registered User regular
    I am enjoying the on-time updates. :smiley:

    Gaslight
  • LieutenantDanLieutenantDan Registered User regular
    Every week someone says "I don't understand what is going on?" And every week I read it trying to figure out if people are just being intentionally thick to troll. If so, you succeeded with me. The only aspect of this story that seems questionable is Cora.

    I understand the plot and have been reading the Trenches since it started - not trolling. This last strip doesn't do anything to evolve the plot. It just shows Gwen being crazy with her writer's block.

    JohnnyricoMC
  • xspeedballxxspeedballx Registered User regular
    Eh, the comic tends a bit too much on the meandering side for a twice a week affair, however it seems if too much time is skipped people lose track of character development, if more progressive steps happen people complain that nothing is happening and characters are just being off the wall. Sometimes it is nice to see a point like this hammered home, especially on a character that has not had a lot of time spent on.

    All that said, this is a comic that plays on laughs so building punch lines in is also necessary. I generally read the punch lines as just that, and not necessarily "literal" to the story.

    All THAT said, I preferred the humor and writing that was started in the Q/Isaac conversation in the car. While I find this amusing/entertaining for the time invested, that writing was better. I think a balance of long hand exposition comics and the shorter punchlines needs to be balanced.

  • Chris FOMChris FOM Registered User regular
    Every week someone says "I don't understand what is going on?" And every week I read it trying to figure out if people are just being intentionally thick to troll. If so, you succeeded with me. The only aspect of this story that seems questionable is Cora.

    Isaac is continuing a process of trying to get people fired. He said that. Everything since is in that process. Also he is a buffoon. Also he is cracking under the pressure of a job he can't handle. He got the responsibility he thought he deserved and is proving he doesn't.

    Gwen made a copy of Rhymeblade as a literally cheap knock off. She had full access to source code and free labor. She wants a quick buck, which since all the profits go to her is surely more than she gets paid already. She now wants to make her rip off and/or the original product better by her own genius. She either is not the top notch programmer designer she thinks she is or is having severe writers block.

    Cora appears to be rebelling against always being a yes (wo)man and cracking under the fact that everyone else does nothing right and/or is a jerk and seem to go unpunished for it. This is less obvious but seems to follow.

    The whole comic is a caricature of the tales we read several times a week. The people are a mixture of archetypes, the issues and personalities are amplified. This is pretty standard mechanics of story telling and comics.

    I understand this strip just fine. It's the big picture comic that seems to have lost all sense of direction. Penny Arcade can get away with one-off jokes and strips because there's minimal continuity and no overarching narrative driving things. Trenches is, supposedly, also telling a story. At the moment we have at least two primary separate storylines (Isaac and the extra testers, Gwen and the ripoff) that have little to do with each other. We've had an extended detour through Marley's Snuffler comics. There were the "Cora's acting like a weirdo ones." The comic jumps back and forth at random, tossing in new characters with little or no introduction or even context, with no sense of a larger purpose or end goal. Previous runs have had that. We've seen Isacc trying to fit in (and being an unlikeable jerk instead), the fallout from the bugged economy, Q getting the Rhymeblade license and starting the game while again screwing over the testers, etc. All of that narrative direction has been completely thrown out over the last few weeks. I wasn't asking "What's going on?" I was asking "What's the point?"

    GaslightMenasorJohnnyricoMCkiller.zombierobot
  • AntonNULAntonNUL Registered User regular
    I wonder if it'd be good if the Trenches rebooted to just after season 1 again.

  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    Chris FOM wrote: »
    Every week someone says "I don't understand what is going on?" And every week I read it trying to figure out if people are just being intentionally thick to troll. If so, you succeeded with me. The only aspect of this story that seems questionable is Cora.

    Isaac is continuing a process of trying to get people fired. He said that. Everything since is in that process. Also he is a buffoon. Also he is cracking under the pressure of a job he can't handle. He got the responsibility he thought he deserved and is proving he doesn't.

    Gwen made a copy of Rhymeblade as a literally cheap knock off. She had full access to source code and free labor. She wants a quick buck, which since all the profits go to her is surely more than she gets paid already. She now wants to make her rip off and/or the original product better by her own genius. She either is not the top notch programmer designer she thinks she is or is having severe writers block.

    Cora appears to be rebelling against always being a yes (wo)man and cracking under the fact that everyone else does nothing right and/or is a jerk and seem to go unpunished for it. This is less obvious but seems to follow.

    The whole comic is a caricature of the tales we read several times a week. The people are a mixture of archetypes, the issues and personalities are amplified. This is pretty standard mechanics of story telling and comics.

    I understand this strip just fine. It's the big picture comic that seems to have lost all sense of direction. Penny Arcade can get away with one-off jokes and strips because there's minimal continuity and no overarching narrative driving things. Trenches is, supposedly, also telling a story. At the moment we have at least two primary separate storylines (Isaac and the extra testers, Gwen and the ripoff) that have little to do with each other. We've had an extended detour through Marley's Snuffler comics. There were the "Cora's acting like a weirdo ones." The comic jumps back and forth at random, tossing in new characters with little or no introduction or even context, with no sense of a larger purpose or end goal. Previous runs have had that. We've seen Isacc trying to fit in (and being an unlikeable jerk instead), the fallout from the bugged economy, Q getting the Rhymeblade license and starting the game while again screwing over the testers, etc. All of that narrative direction has been completely thrown out over the last few weeks. I wasn't asking "What's going on?" I was asking "What's the point?"
    It's almost as if the writers and artists keep randomly changing every couple of months. Oh wait...

    steam_sig.png
    GaslightcB557
  • dmautzdmautz Registered User regular
    edited June 2014
    That mouth.

    swi6msdsv48s.jpg

    dmautz on
    SmrtnikcB557
  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    It's pretty simple. I don't understand why you guys don't get it.

    Gwen going nuts in this strip is a metaphor for the Trenches author going nuts being the Trenches author.

    LieutenantDancB557Darkewolfe
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    Chris FOM wrote: »
    Every week someone says "I don't understand what is going on?" And every week I read it trying to figure out if people are just being intentionally thick to troll. If so, you succeeded with me. The only aspect of this story that seems questionable is Cora.

    Isaac is continuing a process of trying to get people fired. He said that. Everything since is in that process. Also he is a buffoon. Also he is cracking under the pressure of a job he can't handle. He got the responsibility he thought he deserved and is proving he doesn't.

    Gwen made a copy of Rhymeblade as a literally cheap knock off. She had full access to source code and free labor. She wants a quick buck, which since all the profits go to her is surely more than she gets paid already. She now wants to make her rip off and/or the original product better by her own genius. She either is not the top notch programmer designer she thinks she is or is having severe writers block.

    Cora appears to be rebelling against always being a yes (wo)man and cracking under the fact that everyone else does nothing right and/or is a jerk and seem to go unpunished for it. This is less obvious but seems to follow.

    The whole comic is a caricature of the tales we read several times a week. The people are a mixture of archetypes, the issues and personalities are amplified. This is pretty standard mechanics of story telling and comics.

    I understand this strip just fine. It's the big picture comic that seems to have lost all sense of direction. Penny Arcade can get away with one-off jokes and strips because there's minimal continuity and no overarching narrative driving things. Trenches is, supposedly, also telling a story. At the moment we have at least two primary separate storylines (Isaac and the extra testers, Gwen and the ripoff) that have little to do with each other. We've had an extended detour through Marley's Snuffler comics. There were the "Cora's acting like a weirdo ones." The comic jumps back and forth at random, tossing in new characters with little or no introduction or even context, with no sense of a larger purpose or end goal. Previous runs have had that. We've seen Isacc trying to fit in (and being an unlikeable jerk instead), the fallout from the bugged economy, Q getting the Rhymeblade license and starting the game while again screwing over the testers, etc. All of that narrative direction has been completely thrown out over the last few weeks. I wasn't asking "What's going on?" I was asking "What's the point?"

    I actually feel like The Trenches has a few rough spots, but largely is hitting its stride right now. The story-telling is clear, the art is exceptional, and while the narrative is taking time to unfold, it has so far been worth the wait.

    Do I wish it updated more often, with more regularity? Yes. Absolutely. That would improve my enjoyment. However, I feel like even with this pace, there is a strong story being told and I am glad I get to see it unfold.

    When I read your comment, I don't see anything objectively bad. Multiple narratives isn't typically considered a criticism; in this case, I enjoy the dual narrative, and think it is working well. The Marley/Snuffler diversion wasn't my favorite aspect ever, but I found it amusing, and view it as the price we pay for serial story-telling. Sometimes, writers/artists have weeks where they take a break from the main continuity.

    It sounds like you aren't enjoying the comic and haven't been enjoying the comic for a while. That's OK! We all like different things. The only thing that feels really weird to me is the way you're making a case for how your dislike/lack of enjoyment is somehow an objective and shared experience.

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    Every week someone says "I don't understand what is going on?" And every week I read it trying to figure out if people are just being intentionally thick to troll. If so, you succeeded with me. The only aspect of this story that seems questionable is Cora.

    I understand the plot and have been reading the Trenches since it started - not trolling. This last strip doesn't do anything to evolve the plot. It just shows Gwen being crazy with her writer's block.

    Is that a bad thing? I get that you might wish it was more focused, but I thought this was funny; a good visual gag. This is what I'm finding confusing about the crits; they seem to be subjective.

  • ShowsniShowsni Registered User regular
    Gwen made a copy of Rhymeblade as a literally cheap knock off. She had full access to source code and free labor. She wants a quick buck, which since all the profits go to her is surely more than she gets paid already. She now wants to make her rip off and/or the original product better by her own genius. She either is not the top notch programmer designer she thinks she is or is having severe writers block.

    That's not quite right - she didn't do it to make money. She entered the company excited that she'd be developing things, and was disappointed to learn all they needed her for was keeping the current game going with a few updates now and then. So she made a copy that got to the market faster to force the Rhymeblade makers to try innovative new stuff to compete with the copycat games. But now she's totally stumped on actually coming up with the innovative new stuff, so she's shot herself in the foot.

  • LieutenantDanLieutenantDan Registered User regular
    streever wrote: »
    This is what I'm finding confusing about the crits; they seem to be subjective.

    Well, uh, yes.

    fortystreever
  • milskimilski Poyo! Registered User regular
    streever wrote: »
    Every week someone says "I don't understand what is going on?" And every week I read it trying to figure out if people are just being intentionally thick to troll. If so, you succeeded with me. The only aspect of this story that seems questionable is Cora.

    I understand the plot and have been reading the Trenches since it started - not trolling. This last strip doesn't do anything to evolve the plot. It just shows Gwen being crazy with her writer's block.

    Is that a bad thing? I get that you might wish it was more focused, but I thought this was funny; a good visual gag. This is what I'm finding confusing about the crits; they seem to be subjective.

    Can objective criticism even exist?

    Sure, the criticism is subjective. Sure, the crowd has a few varying grievances, and not everybody ranks every grievance as highly. But that's pretty much how things work; people can believe a work underperforms without needing to come to an objective consensus.

    Some people don't like the rapid and diverging plots. That's fine! So is liking them.

    Some people don't like the previous schedule slippage. That's fine! So is liking the strip regardless of scheduling issues.

    Some people like the older art better/don't like relatively rapid art shifts. That's fine! So is liking the new art better or thinking the changing styles keeps it fresh.

    Some people feel like the characters/strip has diverged from its original direction. That's fine! So is thinking they're still on track/liking the current direction.

    They're all subjective, yes, but I don't find it weird that any of the issues would be problem spots for some people. I also don't find it weird that other people would not mind/enjoy some of the changes.

    I ate an engineer
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    streever wrote: »
    Every week someone says "I don't understand what is going on?" And every week I read it trying to figure out if people are just being intentionally thick to troll. If so, you succeeded with me. The only aspect of this story that seems questionable is Cora.

    I understand the plot and have been reading the Trenches since it started - not trolling. This last strip doesn't do anything to evolve the plot. It just shows Gwen being crazy with her writer's block.

    Is that a bad thing? I get that you might wish it was more focused, but I thought this was funny; a good visual gag. This is what I'm finding confusing about the crits; they seem to be subjective.

    Can objective criticism even exist?
    Yes.

    streever
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited June 2014
    milski wrote: »
    streever wrote: »
    Every week someone says "I don't understand what is going on?" And every week I read it trying to figure out if people are just being intentionally thick to troll. If so, you succeeded with me. The only aspect of this story that seems questionable is Cora.

    I understand the plot and have been reading the Trenches since it started - not trolling. This last strip doesn't do anything to evolve the plot. It just shows Gwen being crazy with her writer's block.

    Is that a bad thing? I get that you might wish it was more focused, but I thought this was funny; a good visual gag. This is what I'm finding confusing about the crits; they seem to be subjective.

    Can objective criticism even exist?

    Maybe I should have been clearer; I can't entirely tell what is being criticized. I didn't realize that some of the criticism IS criticism, on the basis of content. The tone reads as criticism, but the content just sounds like a preference.

    Objective criticism does exist, especially in writing and art, in so far as evaluating if a work is consistent & true to the generally recognized criteria of other works in the genre. What I'm finding confusing is that the complaints are entirely focused on personal preferences, but the tone is the same level of emotion and emphasis I'd expect to find for a crit of a work that is a complete failure in the major criteria. As a comic, I expect this comic to employ humor in writing and art; so far, I see it doing both. As a story comic, I expect it to maintain continuity and tell a story over a time period; so far, I see it doing this as well. As a story about people, I ask if the people are interesting, plausible, and well-written; again, I see this as being done well.

    I would say that the ultimate conclusion of the criticism *is* objective. People are stating that the comic has lost the narrative. That's pretty objective; does the comic follow a narrative or not? In this case, it does, and I don't know how someone could say it doesn't; what they've listed in support of that idea is completely arbitrary and subjective criticism which doesn't actually support their conclusion. That's what I'm confused about.

    I think the crit basically boils down to, "I'm not enjoying this." Which is fine; I'm just confused by the presentation, which is "This comic is bad and failing because of (list of subjective personal opinions)."

    streever on
  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    streever wrote: »
    Every week someone says "I don't understand what is going on?" And every week I read it trying to figure out if people are just being intentionally thick to troll. If so, you succeeded with me. The only aspect of this story that seems questionable is Cora.

    I understand the plot and have been reading the Trenches since it started - not trolling. This last strip doesn't do anything to evolve the plot. It just shows Gwen being crazy with her writer's block.

    Is that a bad thing? I get that you might wish it was more focused, but I thought this was funny; a good visual gag. This is what I'm finding confusing about the crits; they seem to be subjective.

    Can objective criticism even exist?
    Yes.
    Oh, it's a joke site.

  • milskimilski Poyo! Registered User regular
    streever wrote: »
    milski wrote: »
    streever wrote: »
    Every week someone says "I don't understand what is going on?" And every week I read it trying to figure out if people are just being intentionally thick to troll. If so, you succeeded with me. The only aspect of this story that seems questionable is Cora.

    I understand the plot and have been reading the Trenches since it started - not trolling. This last strip doesn't do anything to evolve the plot. It just shows Gwen being crazy with her writer's block.

    Is that a bad thing? I get that you might wish it was more focused, but I thought this was funny; a good visual gag. This is what I'm finding confusing about the crits; they seem to be subjective.

    Can objective criticism even exist?

    Maybe I should have been clearer; I can't entirely tell what is being criticized. I didn't realize that some of the criticism IS criticism, on the basis of content. The tone reads as criticism, but the content just sounds like a preference.

    Objective criticism does exist, especially in writing and art, in so far as evaluating if a work is consistent & true to the generally recognized criteria of other works in the genre. What I'm finding confusing is that the complaints are entirely focused on personal preferences, but the tone is the same level of emotion and emphasis I'd expect to find for a crit of a work that is a complete failure in the major criteria. As a comic, I expect this comic to employ humor in writing and art; so far, I see it doing both. As a story comic, I expect it to maintain continuity and tell a story over a time period; so far, I see it doing this as well. As a story about people, I ask if the people are interesting, plausible, and well-written; again, I see this as being done well.

    I would say that the ultimate conclusion of the criticism *is* objective. People are stating that the comic has lost the narrative. That's pretty objective; does the comic follow a narrative or not? In this case, it does, and I don't know how someone could say it doesn't; what they've listed in support of that idea is completely arbitrary and subjective criticism which doesn't actually support their conclusion. That's what I'm confused about.

    I think the crit basically boils down to, "I'm not enjoying this." Which is fine; I'm just confused by the presentation, which is "This comic is bad and failing because of (list of subjective personal opinions)."

    None of the things you say make any sense with my definitions of "objective" and "subjective," and to be honest that discussion sounds incredibly awful.

    I'm not going to bother discussing it further, but I use "objective" to mean factual or based on bias-free reasoning, and subjective is based on opinions or biased reasoning. That seems to be somewhere between the exact opposite and and at a right angle to your definitions, but I do not see any way to align a paragraph of "I see" statements with objectivity.

    Finally, your confusion confuses me. I don't know what group of people you typically talk to, but for most people, if they say "this is bad," they mean "I believe this is bad," not "Objectively, this is bad." Likewise for saying something is a failure, sucks, is terrible, etc. Hell, they even teach you not to use "I think" in writing courses because it's implied 100% of the time if you make a subjective statement and makes your arguments longer and wordier.

    P.S. As an alternative to this discussion, you could have the same definition of objectivity as me, but believe your opinions on the comic are verifiable facts and that everybody who disagrees must then be irrational. To support this, half salad cigar bracers.

    I ate an engineer
    forty
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    Finally, your confusion confuses me. I don't know what group of people you typically talk to, but for most people, if they say "this is bad," they mean "I believe this is bad," not "Objectively, this is bad." Likewise for saying something is a failure, sucks, is terrible, etc. Hell, they even teach you not to use "I think" in writing courses because it's implied 100% of the time if you make a subjective statement and makes your arguments longer and wordier.

    P.S. As an alternative to this discussion, you could have the same definition of objectivity as me, but believe your opinions on the comic are verifiable facts and that everybody who disagrees must then be irrational. To support this, half salad cigar bracers.

    I'm responding to the statement that 'the comic has lost it's narrative'. I'm not aware of any opinion that exists without *some* bias; the bias may even just be the choice to think about the topic. So, in criticism, you typically use a more nuanced definition of objective & subjective.

    You're right, of course, that it is someone's opinion; there are two different types of opinions though, aren't there? Informed and uninformed opinions. An informed opinion is built on a concrete grounding of facts and objective information; information that others can understand. They may disagree with your conclusion, but what you are saying has meaning, and they can understand your point.

    Uninformed opinions are just that; they are based on a series of guesses and assumptions that may not bear out through examination.

    I'm not sure why people share uninformed opinions unless they want to discuss the assumptions that led to them; when I read the statement 'the comic has lost it's narrative', it is incredibly subjective, because the person isn't talking about the actual narrative. They are talking about their level of interest in the narrative. Objectively speaking, the comic doesn't update often (twice a week), so I expect the complaint is really that people aren't interested in following the comic at this pace.

    I don't think my opinions on the comic are verifiable fact; I do think the comic has a narrative, and I'm OK with the pace it is unfolding at. Some people may not like the pace, but that's a preference thing, not necessarily a factual statement like 'the comic has lost it's narrative'.

    You're correct about professors teaching you not to say 'I think', but really, in criticism, they teach you to avoid subjective opinions that you can't support with information from the source or authorities; the negative statements in this thread wouldn't be considered 'criticism' in an academic environment. That's all I'm saying; the criticism isn't very good, and boils down to a series of 'i think' statements. I'm not trying to censor anyone. I'm just discussing the comic and the criticism.

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