Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Magics of Rockets

Let me set you the scene for how my first title in QA was shaping up. We had about twenty people in a bay doing multiplayer testing on a AAA title. After a few months of us doing this, they moved us to different bays and expanded our team because the game was falling behind (surprise!) and we couldn’t test fast enough (they felt).

Most of us were not pleased about that as about three fourths of our bugs were coming back with large “working as intended” notes. Those of you have worked in the industry doing QA know that is dev speak for “die in a fire” so we were a little miffed about them adding more people to the title.

Fast forward a month and we are on day 30 of what will become 45 days of “voluntarily” overtime at 12 hours a day in an attempt to find a version of the game that won’t have the fans of the franchise screaming for blood in the streets outside the design studio. By this time anyone that has worked those hours can tell you tempers get short and ideas get crazy.

This is when I found the issue with the autolock with the RPG. You see, simply by pointing the screen (this was a third person shooter title) and jumping the way you were running you would ensure that the rocket would find a nice cozy home in the target’s chest. Since his seemed broken I wrote up the bug and submitted it to be sent to our devs and was greeted by our lead a few minutes later who wanted me to show him why I thought it was an issue. I then proceeded to go through about three games with nearly no deaths before he gave a heavy sigh with the words “They’re not going to like this.” before he went to send the bug in.

Can anyone guess what the dev response was? That’s right. “Working as intended, this is not a bug.”

They then patched it within three weeks of the title launching after the forums exploded about how broken it was.

So do us all a favor, if you are a dev and your testers submit something that seems to be broken don’t give them the knee jerk reaction of saying it’s not a bug. Actually look into the issue and see if it might be something that needs fixing.