Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Justice in the Trenches

My production team was doing full QA for a space sim as part of a new endeavor to provide a QA service during development downtime. This particular space sim was awful.  We spent hours trying to divine controls, objectives, and how to shoot down a single enemy craft. (When all was said and done, I destroyed one fighter in 3 months of testing in god mode after chasing it for an hour). 

The game wasn’t that buggy, it was just BAD. I recall one impossible mission that required the player to shoot down 8 enemy craft in ten minutes or the objective corvette-type vessel became invincible.  Except none of this was actually explained. It just threw you in and you were expected to know.

The highlight of the experience came one day after submitting constructive feedback like “maybe you should lower enemy health or increase player weapon damage.” We received an e-mail from the lead designer in bold, underlined, red text that “MAYBE YOU NEED BETTER GAMERS IN YOUR TEST DEPARTMENT.” Keep in mind, my team was comprised of gamers that would get saluted in the trenches for their gaming knowledge and fragging skills.

In a rare fit of justice for QA everywhere, the game was scrapped, the designer shown the door, and the game never saw a release.