Jump to content

This game and others are more fun to me now


LookBehindThee

Recommended Posts

So after watching a family member put out her demo after coding, doing the art and writing the story I have to say I have a whole new appreciation for the people making this game and others. The difference is these games they are larger and have teams of people working on them of course but, still problems do not always present to be able to fix.

The basics are the same. One . or / or ' wrong and the game is unplayable at a certain point. Just in the coding and even with test persons things can be missed I have seen it. Some errors are not easily found and a search is on.

 

Then you add proof reading, and what becomes vitally important the art quality it is major to say the least. I am not saying that BioWare is perfect a EA is no friend to games, but I do not think it is as easy to find what causes a certain bug and in fixing it, it may cause another down the code line. I hate bugs but I think I am going to be a bit more forgiving now.

 

More contact is what Bioware needs and this seems to be happening. I do not post here hardly because until I watched the process with my own eyes I was really ignorant of the issues of making and giving a game to the market.

 

I am going to enjoy this game and others more now

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 56
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Having worked in the dev industry for years I can heartily agree.

 

I still think that all gamers should spend one week in a dev. house in the pit and another week on the front lines (TS/CS).

 

It would open their eyes.

 

Yep even though she did it the hard way, alone I can imagine bigger game same issues more people but the game is massive so same problems. What I did notice that helped was she was in constant communication with the people waiting and maybe she could be cause it wasn't in numbers games like this is. She would say "hey this is working I don't know why yet am trying.." people were pretty forgiving when they knew what was happening, I think a lot around here would be also .....sigh maybe I am dreaming :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So after watching a family member put out her demo after coding, doing the art and writing the story I have to say I have a whole new appreciation for the people making this game and others. The difference is these games they are larger and have teams of people working on them of course but, still problems do not always present to be able to fix.

The basics are the same. One . or / or ' wrong and the game is unplayable at a certain point. Just in the coding and even with test persons things can be missed I have seen it. Some errors are not easily found and a search is on.

 

Then you add proof reading, and what becomes vitally important the art quality it is major to say the least. I am not saying that BioWare is perfect a EA is no friend to games, but I do not think it is as easy to find what causes a certain bug and in fixing it, it may cause another down the code line. I hate bugs but I think I am going to be a bit more forgiving now.

 

More contact is what Bioware needs and this seems to be happening. I do not post here hardly because until I watched the process with my own eyes I was really ignorant of the issues of making and giving a game to the market.

 

I am going to enjoy this game and others more now

 

I won't pretend to know what it takes to fix bugs but I've always wondered why EA/BW don't consider hiring an outside firm or consultancy to help them. My frustration comes from the fact that I feel they are not trying everything in their power. We all know EA/BW is making a good amount of profit from the star wars title, the least they could do is hire an outside QC firm if the Devs are feeling overwhelmed.

 

This is the major gripe I have with this game I could live without new content for a couple of months if it meant fixing the bugs that exist in the game right now. I mean I've been dying to know when courting gifts will be fixed as an example. I understand things take time but it seems like they only care about fixing chapter related bugs, which I understand but it sucks. :(

 

Regardless I still support the game despite the bugs because I do love it. I mean even Ben at least acknowledged the trouble players have been having the last couple of months. For me even if those were just words it's a step forward in the right direction hopefully. :)

Edited by squirrelballz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep even though she did it the hard way, alone I can imagine bigger game same issues more people but the game is massive so same problems. What I did notice that helped was she was in constant communication with the people waiting and maybe she could be cause it wasn't in numbers games like this is. She would say "hey this is working I don't know why yet am trying.." people were pretty forgiving when they knew what was happening, I think a lot around here would be also .....sigh maybe I am dreaming :)

 

The small house (that I ended up owning) was very communicative but we also only had some thousands of users, not hundreds of thousands. It gets difficult the more users there are, yup.

 

With respect to communicating with clients/end-users, it takes a certain type personality to be able to do it. Thick skin, sense of humour, sense of fairness but ability to lay down the hammer when needed. It's not an easy job and, as you might've seen around here, "manners" are suspended in lieu of "I pay so I want what I want and I want it right damn now, to hell with everything else".

 

You gotta love what you do or you'll burn out in short order. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a bug in a piece of code I wrote go unnoticed by anyone in my company for 2 years. It was so subtle, occurred only under the rarest of circumstances, and required the sharpest eye to spot.

 

A new employee joined us, and he spotted it his first week on the job, and he wasn't a programmer, just a very bright finance major fresh out of college who had to use my software.

 

The bug was there in front of our faces the whole time but the data on reports that the bug contributed to looked perfectly ordinary and well within business limitations.

 

It wasn't the hardest thing in the world for me to fix, probably a day or so, but he noticed. Sometimes we see what we want to see and it takes a completely fresh pair of eyes to spot. Another week, and someone probably would have told him "oh, that's normal, that happens from time to time," and we'd never have spotted it. Was it huge? No. But a bug's a bug.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I won't pretend to know what it takes to fix bugs but I've always wondered why EA/BW don't consider hiring an outside firm or consultancy to help them. My frustration comes from the fact that I feel they are not trying everything in their power. We all know EA/BW is making a good amount of profit from the star wars title, the least they could do is hire an outside QC firm if the Devs are feeling overwhelmed.

 

This is the major gripe I have with this game I could live without new content for a couple of months if it meant fixing the bugs that exist in the game right now. I mean I've been dying to know when courting gifts will be fixed as an example. I understand things take time but it seems like they only care about fixing chapter related bugs, which I understand but it sucks. :(

 

Regardless I still support the game despite the bugs because I do love it. I mean even Ben at least acknowledged the trouble players have been having the last couple of months. For me even if those were just words it's a step forward in the right direction hopefully. :)

 

I get that and I do not know why or the mechanics it takes to fix courting gifts drives me nuts too. What I do know is with the person I know who has done this if she had people involved first she would have to pay them for SWTOR I do not know if they have issues with that.

 

Where they might share common issue in the second reason.

 

Intellectual property in her case having involvement outside meant giving up some creative control (hers is story driven) and full rights of ownership since it is possible using others outside yourself or corporation who use whatever tools they use to help you might mean they assume ownership over the work within the game they did. It isn't a straight line.

I am not offering excuses to BioWare I do not like the bugs as a player I just think we as players might want to look at them less simply. I think the fact that that them communicating with you means as you said above says a lot.:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The small house (that I ended up owning) was very communicative but we also only had some thousands of users, not hundreds of thousands. It gets difficult the more users there are, yup.

 

With respect to communicating with clients/end-users, it takes a certain type personality to be able to do it. Thick skin, sense of humour, sense of fairness but ability to lay down the hammer when needed. It's not an easy job and, as you might've seen around here, "manners" are suspended in lieu of "I pay so I want what I want and I want it right damn now, to hell with everything else".

 

You gotta love what you do or you'll burn out in short order. :)

 

Yeah and I have seen hiding under your covers pretending to be dead helps too. !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get that and I do not know why or the mechanics it takes to fix courting gifts drives me nuts too. What I do know is with the person I know who has done this if she had people involved first she would have to pay them for SWTOR I do not know if they have issues with that.

 

Where they might share common issue in the second reason.

 

Intellectual property in her case having involvement outside meant giving up some creative control (hers is story driven) and full rights of ownership since it is possible using others outside yourself or corporation who use whatever tools they use to help you might mean they assume ownership over the work within the game they did. It isn't a straight line.

I am not offering excuses to BioWare I do not like the bugs as a player I just think we as players might want to look at them less simply. I think the fact that that them communicating with you means as you said above says a lot.:)

 

Thanks for the thoughtful input and dialogue. I definitely respect and hear what you're saying and as others have said not everything is cut and dry when it comes to code. I guess I'd just like an answer as to why hiring an outside QC would cause problems such as ownership? Aren't they being paid to fix a property or is there some other legal issue? Again I'm not educated in this topic so any answers are appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a bug in a piece of code I wrote go unnoticed by anyone in my company for 2 years. It was so subtle, occurred only under the rarest of circumstances, and required the sharpest eye to spot.

 

A new employee joined us, and he spotted it his first week on the job, and he wasn't a programmer, just a very bright finance major fresh out of college who had to use my software.

 

The bug was there in front of our faces the whole time but the data on reports that the bug contributed to looked perfectly ordinary and well within business limitations.

 

It wasn't the hardest thing in the world for me to fix, probably a day or so, but he noticed. Sometimes we see what we want to see and it takes a completely fresh pair of eyes to spot. Another week, and someone probably would have told him "oh, that's normal, that happens from time to time," and we'd never have spotted it. Was it huge? No. But a bug's a bug.

 

Oh my gosh it is an awful thing when you need am exact replication for a bug to show. I agree fresh eyes are good, but how do you do that with a created concept and product without it getting stolen or sharing ownership?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Intellectual property in her case having involvement outside meant giving up some creative control (hers is story driven) and full rights of ownership since it is possible using others outside yourself or corporation who use whatever tools they use to help you might mean they assume ownership over the work within the game they did.

 

In 29 years, whether writing technical manuals or software or building corporate web sites, I never owned a single keystroke of what I did, even as an outside contractor. In the 90's, first technical manual I ever wrote for a company, the guy interviewing me on an outside basis asked if his company would have to pay me a fee to use the material going forward and I said no.

 

I knew a lot of writers who did that, and I knew they did it as a means to preserve income, but when I write it, they own it, and I've held that policy ever since. Even this latest fiction thriller that I ghost wrote for someone in which I re-wrote entire chapters from scratch, I said just pay my up-front editing fee and I'll be happy, keep your royalties.

Call me weird, but I've never wanted to cause anyone else any grief whether I'd cast a shadow over their work one day to ask for more money. I do it, I'm done with it, keep your stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the thoughtful input and dialogue. I definitely respect and hear what you're saying and as others have said not everything is cut and dry when it comes to code. I guess I'd just like an answer as to why hiring an outside QC would cause problems such as ownership? Aren't they being paid to fix a property or is there some other legal issue? Again I'm not educated in this topic so any answers are appreciated.

 

Might have to do with intellectual property (as in keeping within the company) or something as simple as logistics. Now days much if not most TS/CS is outsourced which, to me, is asking for trouble in that it makes the line between the customer and those who can actually DO something about an issue/problem wobbly.

 

*begin rant* Problem is CS/TS are very low paying jobs and the churn rate is horrific. As you may have noticed, customers seem to think they can be real prats and it's okay to do so. Got to a point where outsourcing was pretty much the only affordable way to handle that aspect of business. *end rant*

 

Back to outsourcing anything to do directly with code. Rarely does that happen. Some companies will have vetted QC testers under tight NDA that aren't employees but they usually aren't allowed near the code itself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the thoughtful input and dialogue. I definitely respect and hear what you're saying and as others have said not everything is cut and dry when it comes to code. I guess I'd just like an answer as to why hiring an outside QC would cause problems such as ownership? Aren't they being paid to fix a property or is there some other legal issue? Again I'm not educated in this topic so any answers are appreciated.

 

Ill do my best to explain as I understand it but this is not my thing so my understanding is for sure lacking.

 

Most programs that one might use if purchased has a license limitation to the person or corporation who purchased the license. An extended license needs to be purchased for 3rd party work. Like is a company wants to QC BioWare game coding. Within that license is a whole bunch of fine print and if you do not have a good legal department or understanding the process you could be giving up the ownership right or the ability to hire some other QC firm of the part of the code the 3rd party team worked on.

 

Just like if you want to port a game to apple for an app etc you have to agree to the terms they offer and many do because of the market share they have but it is not the most friendly agreement when you break it down.

 

Make sense........did I just confuse more?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh my gosh it is an awful thing when you need am exact replication for a bug to show. I agree fresh eyes are good, but how do you do that with a created concept and product without it getting stolen or sharing ownership?

 

How do you do that with a created concept? ---

ideas are not subject to copyright, only their implementation in physical form. Plenty of people can write about space battles -- Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, Star Wars -- they all have space battles. The idea of a space battle cannot be copyrighted, just how they go about expressing the idea.

 

Without it getting stolen ---

I have 30,000 words toward my own sci-fi story, and it's currently distributed among 8 of my friends who are also writers (so I can get their feedback), and I have zero fear about them walking off with it. While I do have a piece that I've copyrighted on my own that is now in the U.S. Library of Congress, I have since learned that's quite unnecessary. Under American copyright law, soon as I type it, it's protected by copyright. I'm not concerned about thievery.

 

or sharing ownership? ----

Ownership under a collaborative arrangement in which two or more people contribute to a work must be handled by prior agreement. For me, when I collaborate with someone, I get paid cash up front, and in accepting that cash, I'm agreeing not to pursue any claims of ownership, future profits, etc. etc. Whatever the arrangement is, if ownership is an issue with a collaborative effort, get the ownership issue out of the way in written form if you must. My word has been enough for everyone I've worked with in the last 3 decades, but if someone wants clarity with collaboration, document it in an agreement as to who owns what.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Might have to do with intellectual property (as in keeping within the company) or something as simple as logistics. Now days much if not most TS/CS is outsourced which, to me, is asking for trouble in that it makes the line between the customer and those who can actually DO something about an issue/problem wobbly.

 

*begin rant* Problem is CS/TS are very low paying jobs and the churn rate is horrific. As you may have noticed, customers seem to think they can be real prats and it's okay to do so. Got to a point where outsourcing was pretty much the only affordable way to handle that aspect of business. *end rant*

 

Back to outsourcing anything to do directly with code. Rarely does that happen. Some companies will have vetted QC testers under tight NDA that aren't employees but they usually aren't allowed near the code itself.

 

That makes sense thanks for that I can see why outsourcing can be a problem. Here's my other questions if y'all don't mind, what about getting a QC team from EA that currently isn't working on fixing any new content for other games? If not what about buying out a small QC firm, wouldn't that remove the trade secrets issue?

 

Just like if you want to port a game to apple for an app etc you have to agree to the terms they offer and many do because of the market share they have but it is not the most friendly agreement when you break it down.

 

Make sense........did I just confuse more?

 

Makes perfect sense thanks for the answers. :)

Edited by squirrelballz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Insofar as bugs go, i think most players' gripe is not so much with the developers, than with the management, even if they don't realize it. And another thing is: many problems won't go away faster/easier just by "throwing money" (hiring more people) at it. Being understaffed is one thing, but there comes a point where more staff just makes things worse (too many cooks spoils the stew). Whether we've reached that point, here, with SWTOR, or not is certainly open to debate, and i have no idea of the inner workings of either EA or BW. But it';s something to keep in mind

 

I know if i was a coder working on this game, i certainly would not want to look at the forums at all. Probably wouldn't have time anyways!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That makes sense thanks for that I can see why outsourcing can be a problem. Here's my other questions if y'all don't mind, what about getting a QC team from EA that currently isn't working on fixing any new content for other games? If not what about buying out a small QC firm, wouldn't that remove the trade secrets issue?

 

Possible, both but knowing the code is a huge step toward being able to ferret out problems. Bringing a team from another project could be done but they wouldn't be as efficient and it might end up being "too many cooks spoil the code" :p

 

As for buying out a firm...again, possible but the few independent QC firms I've seen didn't fare very well (again with the trust factor) and back to the familiarity with company methodology, structure, hierarchy, procedures blah blah etc. etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In 29 years, whether writing technical manuals or software or building corporate web sites, I never owned a single keystroke of what I did, even as an outside contractor. In the 90's, first technical manual I ever wrote for a company, the guy interviewing me on an outside basis asked if his company would have to pay me a fee to use the material going forward and I said no.

 

I knew a lot of writers who did that, and I knew they did it as a means to preserve income, but when I write it, they own it, and I've held that policy ever since. Even this latest fiction thriller that I ghost wrote for someone in which I re-wrote entire chapters from scratch, I said just pay my up-front editing fee and I'll be happy, keep your royalties.

Call me weird, but I've never wanted to cause anyone else any grief whether I'd cast a shadow over their work one day to ask for more money. I do it, I'm done with it, keep your stuff.

 

Well I would love to say most are like you but it has not been what I have seen in trying to help. Since this is an ongoing project it is the nature of the game and also future games being created it seems a lot of offers also included a future piece of ownership. It may be the nature of this type of property then in corporate. SWTOR is an ongoing project and If what I have seen people would like to cash in on a future they think is going somewhere.

Thank you for the way you do it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Insofar as bugs go, i think most players' gripe is not so much with the developers, than with the management, even if they don't realize it. And another thing is: many problems won't go away faster/easier just by "throwing money" (hiring more people) at it. Being understaffed is one thing, but there comes a point where more staff just makes things worse (too many cooks spoils the stew). Whether we've reached that point, here, with SWTOR, or not is certainly open to debate, and i have no idea of the inner workings of either EA or BW. But it';s something to keep in mind

 

I know if i was a coder working on this game, i certainly would not want to look at the forums at all. Probably wouldn't have time anyways!

 

I didn't say this :D but there is sooooo often a HUGE gap between the "doers" (coders, QA, TS/CS etc.) and "management", especially in cases like EA/BW where there's a parent company and a dev house.

 

Even in small dev. houses management has such a different understanding of and expectation of how the process works it can get very frustrating and downright ugly. I've seen some hellacious battles between mgmt. and "everyone else". Often, too, management haven't the first bit of experience in the nuts and bolts of development, they're, well, management not coders etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know if i was a coder working on this game, i certainly would not want to look at the forums at all. Probably wouldn't have time anyways!

 

It's not unusual for coders to be encouraged NOT to check forums. :)

Edited by DieAlteHexe
Because I r teh dum
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Possible, both but knowing the code is a huge step toward being able to ferret out problems. Bringing a team from another project could be done but they wouldn't be as efficient and it might end up being "too many cooks spoil the code" :p

 

As for buying out a firm...again, possible but the few independent QC firms I've seen didn't fare very well (again with the trust factor) and back to the familiarity with company methodology, structure, hierarchy, procedures blah blah etc. etc.

 

Fair enough I can understand that. Not the biggest fan of EA but alot of their policies and licensing agreements are fairly rational. I'd have to think if I owned a company that large I'd also be reluctant to hand over code to someone else. Better to be cautious and all, it sucks but at least I understand now why they probably have a small QC team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Often, too, management haven't the first bit of experience in the nuts and bolts of development, they're, well, management not coders etc.

 

Bean counters. Rabid bean counters are the worst. Management that likes rabid bean counters cause soul rust, drought, acid rain and cooties. Not to mention that they smell of mildew, and moldy elderberries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fair enough I can understand that. Not the biggest fan of EA but alot of their policies and licensing agreements are fairly rational. I'd have to think if I owned a company that large I'd also be reluctant to hand over code to someone else. Better to be cautious and all, it sucks but at least I understand now why they probably have a small QC team.

 

Yup. This is a HUGE money business. Espionage happens. I remember a huge flap back when WoW and EQ were released accusing one and other of "idea theft".

 

It's frustrating to sit and wait on fixes or features, I know. I am so happy that I have seen both sides of the issue though. I've a lot of patience having had the experience. I also have no patience when I see a company just start "phoning it in".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Might have to do with intellectual property (as in keeping within the company) or something as simple as logistics. Now days much if not most TS/CS is outsourced which, to me, is asking for trouble in that it makes the line between the customer and those who can actually DO something about an issue/problem wobbly.

 

*begin rant* Problem is CS/TS are very low paying jobs and the churn rate is horrific. As you may have noticed, customers seem to think they can be real prats and it's okay to do so. Got to a point where outsourcing was pretty much the only affordable way to handle that aspect of business. *end rant*

 

Back to outsourcing anything to do directly with code. Rarely does that happen. Some companies will have vetted QC testers under tight NDA that aren't employees but they usually aren't allowed near the code itself.

 

I don't know if my experience is just really unique. Everyone she sat down with before doing it alone wanted future stake in the game. I don't know if it was because she is more an "Art" type instead of a "code" type person although not anymore :p So maybe people thought they could do something outside the normal that within a more established company would know better?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bean counters. Rabid bean counters are the worst. Management that likes rabid bean counters cause soul rust, drought, acid rain and cooties. Not to mention that they smell of mildew, and moldy elderberries.

 

LOL I have no idea the pain you've been through but that was hilarious. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...