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[TRENCHES] Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - Not Going To Fly

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited July 2014 in The Penny Arcade Hub
Not Going To Fly


Not Going To Fly
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/not-going-to-fly

Short and Succinct

Anonymous

E3 has come and gone. Our game won multiple Game of Show nominations and awards, thanks in part to a solid month of 80 hour work weeks by the test team. We poured our evenings and weekends into ensuring every nook and cranny of our demo was polished to a fine sheen. So naturally, a celebration seemed fitting for when the production team came back to the studio hoisting our awards like the Lombardi Trophy.

That was until our morale was crushed with one short-sighted sentence, wrapped in an email and tossed our direction like picked away bones to vultures:

“Unless you have explicit approval, the test will be skipping morale events moving forward.”


Geth on
cB557

Posts

  • cB557cB557 voOOP Registered User regular
    Hrm.

    Darkewolfe
  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Maybe it's because I work in an environment where testers have been tightly integrated to all levels of a project, but I cannot wrap my head around the philosophy of exclusion the Trenches stories seem to uncover.

    Smrtnik
  • ManetherenWolfManetherenWolf Registered User regular
    Mile Fries & Club Sandwich.

    subtle.

  • Andy JoeAndy Joe The AdirondacksRegistered User regular
    Hah! The comic's referencing all the people who didn't know who Alexis was.

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Awesome to see that they've brought in Tim Buckley to do some of the writing.

    What is this I don't even.
  • AntonNULAntonNUL Registered User regular
    “Unless you have explicit approval, the test will be skipping morale events moving forward.”

    Can somebody please clarify what this means?

    forty
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    AntonNUL wrote: »
    “Unless you have explicit approval, the test will be skipping morale events moving forward.”

    Can somebody please clarify what this means?

    I assume they meant to write "the testers will be skipping morale events moving forward" so no celebration for the grunts.

  • sorwahsorwah Registered User new member
    Maybe it's because I work in an environment where testers have been tightly integrated to all levels of a project, but I cannot wrap my head around the philosophy of exclusion the Trenches stories seem to uncover.

    In my experience it does depend on the studio environment. I worked for a publisher's testing house. The department was generally split up across 3-5 different games at a time. Our in-house studio did have more interaction with the QA department, but a high majority of our products were out of house or non-owned studios. The non-owned ones generally looked at QA publisher testers as gate keepers keeping them from their milestone payments and approvals. A lot of bugs and feedback would go ignored because obviously we wouldn't have a clue about the product at all. We generally wouldn't get much discussion in the design process or even what to expect in the next build. We'd just be given a build with little notice on changes, some bug fix regressions to do, and have to just play it out to see what they added. Does the second level have a new gameplay feature? Did they alter the terrain? Is the new functionality of a weapon the designed method or a bug? Who really knows until we used the only means of communication by putting in a bug and waiting for the reply.

    I remember the test team being "invited" to the launch party in Las Vegas (We were stationed on the East Coast of the US). We were all happy to see it, but unfortunately we noticed the launch event was scheduled to happen in 3 days. So it was a blow since they were inviting us to an event that we had no way of actually attending (both in getting time off because we were always under crunch, and affording the ticket/lodging in 3 days notice).

  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    darkmayo wrote: »
    I assume they meant to write "the testers will be skipping morale events moving forward" so no celebration for the grunts.
    I read "the tests" as being slang for QA dept, but yeah, basically the testers are banned from anything fun.

    marsilies on
  • faintpremonitionfaintpremonition Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Awesome to see that they've brought in Tim Buckley to do some of the writing.

    The Trenches has been suffering since it lost that three person writer's room treatment before every strip. That kind of rapid iterative development really helps, and I think people underestimate how rare it is. The current writer could really use someone to bounce ideas off, he's getting stuck in his own head.

  • Commander ZoomCommander Zoom Registered User regular
    I'm sorry, but this suggests that there was a time when the Trenches was not awful - a half-baked idea that Gabe, Tycho and Scott handed to a bunch of unknowns looking to break into the industry, willing to work for little credit on someone else's project, who eventually burnt out and were replaced by a seemingly endless stream of others just like them. That the ongoing trainwreck of the process so closely resembles what's covered in the strip and tales is one of the choicer ironies.

    I've said it before, but IMO the kindest thing to do would be to get rid of the comic and just post the tales alone, in all their schadenfreude-filled glory horror. That's why most come here anyway, right?

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  • CristovalCristoval Registered User regular
    This is a good comic. I like this. Just gonna get back on this Trenches train...

  • CristovalCristoval Registered User regular
    The character banter in the background is very reminiscent of something in Scott Pilgrim

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    I'm sorry, but this suggests that there was a time when the Trenches was not awful - a half-baked idea that Gabe, Tycho and Scott handed to a bunch of unknowns looking to break into the industry, willing to work for little credit on someone else's project, who eventually burnt out and were replaced by a seemingly endless stream of others just like them. That the ongoing trainwreck of the process so closely resembles what's covered in the strip and tales is one of the choicer ironies.

    I've said it before, but IMO the kindest thing to do would be to get rid of the comic and just post the tales alone, in all their schadenfreude-filled glory horror. That's why most come here anyway, right?

    No, I actually come for the comic; I hate the tales and usually skip reading them unless the comments make them sound interesting. I really like this comic.

  • melaltonmelalton Registered User regular
    Well, all right. The story's moving forward, I like the art, and I lol'd at the "who's he talking about?" lines.

    /Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • NeuroskepticNeuroskeptic Registered User regular
    I'm sorry, but this suggests that there was a time when the Trenches was not awful - a half-baked idea that Gabe, Tycho and Scott handed to a bunch of unknowns looking to break into the industry, willing to work for little credit on someone else's project, who eventually burnt out and were replaced by a seemingly endless stream of others just like them. That the ongoing trainwreck of the process so closely resembles what's covered in the strip and tales is one of the choicer ironies.

    I've said it before, but IMO the kindest thing to do would be to get rid of the comic and just post the tales alone, in all their schadenfreude-filled glory horror. That's why most come here anyway, right?
    No.

  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    I'm sorry, but this suggests that there was a time when the Trenches was not awful - a half-baked idea that Gabe, Tycho and Scott handed to a bunch of unknowns looking to break into the industry, willing to work for little credit on someone else's project, who eventually burnt out and were replaced by a seemingly endless stream of others just like them. That the ongoing trainwreck of the process so closely resembles what's covered in the strip and tales is one of the choicer ironies.
    I don't think any of the artists "burned out." You have Scott stop drawing and eventually leaving because of the sudden success of his other works leaving him less time; you have Mary Cagle leaving because she moved to a freaking different country for a new job (which likely didn't leave time for the comic), you have Gabe & Tycho leaving because their main reason for doing it was Scott and their new focus on other projects, and you have Monica leaving because of a new job.

    Now, I'm sure that PA pays the artists a decent wage for their work, but it's likely only a "part time" salary, since it's only 2 comics a week, so while Mary and Monica likely never got tired of it, they weren't going to turn down full-time jobs to continue. I'm guessing that since Ty is both writing and drawing now, he's getting whatever Monica got paid for the art in addition to his original writer's salary, so he may be in a good position, pay-wise, plus it leaves him with enough time to pursue his other works. So we may possibly see a period of stability with the comic for a while.

    Also, at least PA gives credit to the artists on the site, and allowed each one to modify the art style a bit to their sensibilities. It's not like some mainstream comics where the creator handed off the actual making and drawing of the comic to some anonymous workers that nonetheless have to match the original art style to make it seem like the creator is still doing it.

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