Tales from The Trenches Archive

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I worked at a major publisher of PC games about 10 years ago. I was thrilled to be working on the latest iteration of a marque RPG franchise. There were complications, however, because the dev team was working half way around the world, and we were receiving nightly builds via FedEx.

This is back when a good 30-40 hours was the norm in an RPG. This lead management to assign each of us 3 levels to test over and over each day. We would use cheat codes to level up and then run our levels as many times as we could in a 16 hour day.

We were killing bugs left and right and the game was looking very good. We came in one morning to find out the game had gone gold. I mentioned for not the first time that no one had actually played the game from start to finish yet. They finally assign me to do that, and half way through the game, at the point where you transition between one set of levels and the next was a bug that corrupted your auto-saves, losing you all progress since your last manual save.

I replicated it, recorded it, and brought it straight to the lead producer. He thanked me for my hard work assured me that he would put it at the top of the list. Two days later he had retired, the bug was gone from the system and we were on a new project.