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[TRENCHES] Thursday, July 24, 2014 - An Angel To Some

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited July 2014 in The Penny Arcade Hub
An Angel To Some


An Angel To Some
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/an-angel-to-some

Read the Titles

Anonymous

Two years ago,  I got a job at a small mobile development studio that’s focus was supposed to be “simple, innovative games”.  While taking my tour of the studio, all I could think was, “Whoa, this place is incredible!  It’s like every other studio I hear or read about with a never-ending flow of drinks and snacks, break rooms with huge TV’s, and even a gym for employees to get healthy in.  There’s even a few masseuses on staff that will give you massages once a week.  What isn’t there to love?”

Turns out it was the focus of the studio executives focus to keep the employees as happy as little hamsters in a cage so they wouldn’t question why they were ripping other popular games ideas.  These games would then be priced cheaper and have a similar enough name that enough unsuspecting people would buy and download it before realizing it wasn’t the game they were originally looking for.  This might not seem like a big deal, but cashing in on a well known games popularity can net millions of dollars just like that.

In one of my first assignments, I was given a budget of $10000, and told to create new iTunes accounts, one at a time, buy one of the studios just released games, and rate it five stars with some ambiguous glowing praise.  While I morally despised this, I needed a job and desperately wanted to work in the industry.  After a while, I started to get creative with the names I used (think Seymour Butts, but more dirty).  It became a soul sucking job, but hey, I was in it for the perks.

There’s really no point to this story, other than to warn you to read the titles of what you’re buying carefully, as someone is always trying to profit from the popularity of someone else.


Geth on
cB557

Posts

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    It took me a minute to get that, but I love it. I love her face in panel 3; perfect.

  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    And Trenches got really dark after Gwen became a cenobite

    YL9WnCY.png
    DarkewolfeDonnicton
  • DusdaDusda is ashamed of this post Registered User regular
    Yes! Love the last two panels.

    and this sig. and this twitch stream.
  • agoajagoaj Top Tier One FearRegistered User regular
    In two months Trenches will be fully animated.
    In two years it'll be fully sentient

    qnu0EMk.png
  • Man in the MistsMan in the Mists Registered User regular
    In two years and two months its vengeance on humanity will be complete.

  • klemmingklemming Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    I lost my job because I refused to write some false 5-star reviews for an app our company released.

    I didn't feel comfortable doing it personally (it wasn't any part of my job description), but a larger part was that this app was associated with a larger company that had a very stringent policy on false representation.
    Not giving any names, but this was a publicly-funded broadcasting corporation based in Britain (could be anyone), and after a fairly public editing gaffe had gotten them in trouble, the entire company got lectures on what was regarded as 'lying' to the public, and exactly how much on the safe side we were expected to play it (very).
    3 months later, we released an app and everyone in my department was asked (told) to buy it and review it (including people like me who didn't have any devices that could run it). I turned a thirty minute meeting into a ninety minute one by objecting, pointing out what kind of response we'd get if anyone knew it had been done, and eventually getting pretty much the entire team on my side.

    Two months later I was fired for my 'conduct'. (no-one was able to tell me how it had changed from the previous four years, which had apparently been fine)
    I'm not too bitter about it through, as I saw it as a moral victory, and I got a better job afterwards. So yay Karma, I guess.

    klemming on
    Nobody remembers the singer. The song remains.
    cB557GreenBobbleSmrtnikPolaritieRottonappleAndy JoeCommander ZoomIncenjucar
  • AzeleaAzelea Registered User regular
    Geth wrote: »
    .. warn you to read the titles of what you’re buying carefully, as someone is always trying to profit from the popularity of someone else.

    That someone is you. You're the one profiting from someone else's popularity.


    klemming wrote: »
    I lost my job because I refused to write some false 5-star reviews for an app our company released. And I got a better job afterwards.

    Congrats!

  • Chris FOMChris FOM Registered User regular
    streever wrote: »
    It took me a minute to get that, but I love it. I love her face in panel 3; perfect.

    You're way ahead of me. I have no idea what's going on in the last two panels, other than Gwen being disappointed.

    forty
  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    Geth wrote: »
    There’s really no point to this story, other than to warn you to read the titles of what you’re buying carefully, as someone is always trying to profit from the popularity of someone else.
    This seems like the sort of thing parents or grandparents fall for when buying a gift for kids/grandkids. But then they're not the ones reading this.

    The best card in Hearthstone is your credit card.
    The lie of the year.
  • UNHchaboUNHchabo Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    klemming wrote: »
    I didn't feel comfortable doing it personally (it wasn't any part of my job description), but a larger part was that this app was associated with a larger company that had a very stringent policy on false representation.

    Not to sound like an armchair general, but why not report this infraction further up the chain, to the "larger company"? You did good by holding up to the pressure from your management, but the "larger company" now might still have a working relationship with this less-than-scrupulous company you worked for.
    Chris FOM wrote: »
    You're way ahead of me. I have no idea what's going on in the last two panels, other than Gwen being disappointed.

    I'm pretty sure the puzzle box contains her Emergency Stress Cigarette. The perspective is kinda skewed in the last panel, making it look like the box is huge, but in the third panel you can see it's roughly hand-sized.

    UNHchabo on
  • glithertglithert Registered User regular
    Don't do it

    Cigarettes are the devil's drug

  • klemmingklemming Registered User regular
    UNHchabo wrote: »
    klemming wrote: »
    I didn't feel comfortable doing it personally (it wasn't any part of my job description), but a larger part was that this app was associated with a larger company that had a very stringent policy on false representation.

    Not to sound like an armchair general, but why not report this infraction further up the chain, to the "larger company"? You did good by holding up to the pressure from your management, but the "larger company" now might still have a working relationship with this less-than-scrupulous company you worked for.

    No proof besides the word of someone who's been fired, and it's not like they actually did anything.
    To be clear, this wasn't a company policy or anything (we weren't digital-focused, and this was our first app), and our supervisor seemed to have come up with the idea on his own. A good part of the discussion covered the fact that every time this was found to have happened, it hadn't ended well for the apps popularity.
    I doubt they adopted it as a habit afterwards.

    Nobody remembers the singer. The song remains.
  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    UNHchabo wrote: »
    Not to sound like an armchair general, but why not report this infraction further up the chain, to the "larger company"? You did good by holding up to the pressure from your management, but the "larger company" now might still have a working relationship with this less-than-scrupulous company you worked for.
    It sounds like klemming had won the argument about writing reviews for the app, so he probably figured since they weren't going to do it, no need to report it to any higher ups. Then, after 2 months went by and he was let go, it likely would've been hard to tie the firing back to the app review controversy. It seems like his boss was waiting just long enough to fire him as petty payback.

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    Today's story reminds me of the Asylum company.

  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    No new strip yesterday, but a new tale:
    http://trenchescomic.com/tales/post/how-to-make-a-game-bug-free
    How to make a game bug free.
    07/29/2014 - Anonymous

    Working as QA on a large title for a sugar-daddy publisher that had very deep pockets, but knew next to nothing about a proper game production schedule and would force ridiculous milestones on the studio. For most of the project, most of the studio had been working solid 70-80 hour weeks, and QA was working 60-72 hour weeks. Depending on how hectic things were, we were working 10-12 hour days, 6 days a week. This went on for 6 months by the time I left.

    We were coming up on a major milestone where our publisher wanted us reporting zero bugs, like a beta. The game was far, far away from being able to do this. So two higher-ups in the studio, like elves in the night, went into the database and started deleting entire swaths of bugs from the database. The next day the bug database was considerably lighter, and the two higher-ups sent out a celebratory email that we were reporting zero bugs, and we were all given cookies.

    The problem is we were reporting zero bugs on a game where we still couldn’t play all the way through the base story line from start to finish without using debug commands or cheats, and without coming across a major blocker or the game crashing. The next day the two higher-ups actually PLAYED the game, then came back and tore our QA manager a new one about how bad the game was, and how DARE the bug database lack these 3,000 bugs they had just found while playing through the game. QA manager turned around, yelled at QA for making him look bad, and made us all stay until the wee hours of the morning doing a full level-by-level sweep of the game to re-bug all of these issues while he went home at 6.

    I quit. From what I’ve heard, this sort of nonsense is still going on.

    If I was working at that company, I'd make it a habit to make a local backup of all my bug reports, then resubmit the deleted ones after one of these "purges."

    Smrtnik
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    Chris FOM wrote: »
    streever wrote: »
    It took me a minute to get that, but I love it. I love her face in panel 3; perfect.

    You're way ahead of me. I have no idea what's going on in the last two panels, other than Gwen being disappointed.

    It's animated; the animation is a little choppy, but if you keep watching it, you'll see that the puzzle box, when solved, produces a cigarette ;-)

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