Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Drive Fast and Crash a Lot

My first testing job was for a game where you drive really fast and crash your car a lot by that publisher people hated for a long time but don’t anymore. They make a lot of sport games.

Anyway, I sat down at my Xbox to do gameplay testing on the title - it was set to be released in a couple of weeks and was supposedly finished after having been tested to death already. In, no joke, TEN MINUTES I found a 100% reproducible crash that affected roughly a third of all the levels. I reported it and almost immediately a crowd of seniors, skeptical at the abilites of the new boy, gathered. I was able to repro the bug on multiple discs across multiple consoles, making it an immediate show-stopper. A lot of the testers who tested it previously got ripped a new one for missing such a huge bug, and I got a pat on the back and all the best projects from that day forward.

But that’s not actually the story. The best part is how they handled it. Instead of fixing the bug, they ended up removing all the affected levels. Yes. That’s a third of the entire game.

I’m sorry everyone.