Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Ship It.

Suppose you found a bug in a game that rendered a console unplayable? Suppose it was something akin to the original Myth II Uninstall problem where it basically formatted your hard drive, only worse?

There was a game that was released in the last 10 years that had a peculiar issue toward the end where you could crash the title just before one of the end bosses by doing a manual save just as it was autosaving.

If you did, it caused the console kernel to overwrite itself, rendering the entire unit non-functional.

After causing this to happen once, I was asked to replicate the issue in front of people who made a lot more money than I did.  After sixteen hours of play, I, again, saved while the game was autosaving, and watched with everyone else in the room as the screen turned black and the console shut down. Attempting to boot it up didn’t even result in an error screen, it would just power on and then shut back down.

(To me) “You can do this every time?”
“If I want to, yeah.”
(To a marketing guy) “How long until we’re supposed to ship?”
“We’re supposed to go gold in a week.”
(To a developer) “How long would this take to fix?”
“We’ll have to rewrite the entire file structure.  Weeks, at least. Probably months.”

The game shipped.

I got fired.