I was doing Q/A on an expansion to a well known title. It was the 6th expansion, and we had gotten to the point in crunch time where the Producers swoop down, and give us a high priority task they had forgotten up to that point.
We were days before Gold, and our Q/A head stops by my cube, and says, “We need you to test the expansion’s compatibility with previous expansions. Oh, and you need to wipe your computer and reload it from a network disc image, so we have a clean boot.”
Being half wacked out of my skull from lack of sleep I said ok… and wiped my computer, and started fresh. It took about an hour to load a fresh disc image… then another 20 minutes to load the original game, then another 15 to load the 1st expansion pack, and then another 15 for the new expansion pack. Then I had to play it for a bit just to make sure nothing crazy happened Overall it took about 2 hours from start to finish. Then I wiped the computer, and this time loaded the second and the new one. I figured about 10-12 hours to get it all done.
A couple of hours later my lead comes over to ask me how it’s going. I told him that I was almost done with the second one, and he totally flipped out. He then hands me a handy spreadsheet that the Producer had thoughtfully made for him. There were something like 200+ combinations on the spreadsheet that they wanted tested. Not only did they want to check the specific expansions, the producers wanted us to check EVERY POSSIBLE COMBINATION OF EXPANSIONS, IN EVERY POSSIBLE ORDER. The 200+ combinations on the spreadsheet didn’t even begin to cover that.
Even in my addled state, quick math told me that it was impossible. I Pointed out that even the 200+ combinations they had on the spreadsheet it would take 400+ hours.
I didn’t envy him having to go back to the producer and explain just how stupid the request had been.