Single Status Update
I've been beta testing a game. I put a lot of time in. I write the dev team a lot of notes. This is all unprofessional, unpaid. I'm starting to question the developer's talent. The game is pretty awful and its been in development for 2 years. There are glaring errors that I feel like they don't even play the game when they give it to me to beta test. Several game breaking things that just kind of waste my chance to play it since they feed me a new test every day. If there's something right at the beginning that fails to work. I just can't test it for a day. If they forget to put the ammo in the level, its another day until I get a new build.
The whole questioning the team's talents have lead me to start C++ programming again just so I can tell them how to fix what's wrong. Yet they don't. I question how long I can endure testing this awful game.
I would spill the beans and tell you the game, but it would come back to me. Not that I'm being paid, but a friend works there and the heat would come back to him. Plus, I don't want the game to get derailed as being shit when they could fix things and maybe the game won't be shit. I'm really leaning toward this thing will be shit no matter what happens.
Thankfully my friend isn't the level designer or the programmer, or we probably wouldn't be friends anymore :-)
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I think it's pretty important for the developers to play it too. How else they know if it's good or not? And not wanting to play it on their own time for free, kind of tells it's not good. If no one in the team wants to play the game, what for are they even doing it?
Usually it is that, if you're doing something you don't like/care, everyone else will treat it the same way.
And art can be polished later. First every asset can be prototype/placeholder kind of stuff. Not much point making some really good looking texture, level, sounds, model, animations or whatever that might not even get used in the final game.
You can swim in X-Com: Terror From The Deep.. or at least walk at the bottom of that ocean.
Well the project leader told everyone last Monday that every Friday night there will be a non mandatory work party complete with beer. Because its cheaper for the staff to drink and party for free instead of go to the bar and pay for drinks. My friend had me show up, so I met everyone which was unique and really pleasant.
One of the original guys that worked for the game and left came there, because he was invited, he told me that he used to play the game, but he knows it sucked so he stopped playing. That was a year ago. goddamn.
Another of the newer staff, one of the modelers said he knows the game sucks, but he doesn't want to tell anyone, because money is money and its his job to make models not make the game be good.
The new 'special effects guy' making employee #10 told me the game is too powerful for his home PC and they don't play at work, because the boss pays them to work not play.
Yet another guy said he played the game, didn't like it and hasn't felt that its improved enough to make him want to play it again. He also said the game isn't ready for beta testing, its still not a game yet, its a bunch of scraps slapped together.
I talked with the project manager and asked if he played the game. Of course he plays the game all the time. Like 6 hours a day when he's mapping. These maps are awful btw. I asked if he plays in the editor or out of the editor. He said in the editor, because it takes too long to make a new build and play the game. Ah that's why he doesn't know how shit the game is.
Eventually there was what I can only describe as an unofficial meeting. The project manager discussed what was good and gave a lot of compliments to everyone then told them where they're going in the next week.
Then he asked me what he thought about the game and its progress after hiring the new people and how far they've come in the past two weeks with the new people. I tried to shy my way out of answering. After beating around the bush as I always do, I told them the new stuff isn't the problem. The lack of good controls, enemies, models, animations or weapons isn't the issue. The levels are awful and there is probably the most basic gunplay or worst gunplay there's ever been in a FPS.
I even recommended they fire up the PCs and play some single or multiplayer. They did. The party died, people started leaving. Leaving when there's free beer, leaving at 10 pm.
At some point, I started texting my friend sitting next to me, 'uh this game is fucked.' He texted back,'party didn't take long for people to empty out.'
The project manager was playing and I watched him. He knows exactly what to do and where to go, its as if he knows how to avoid the bugs to stay ignorant about things.
Then when I was playing, I'd fall through walls and shit. Everyone would laugh. Man I've been sick of the game, but the fact these drunk devs were laughing at there own game made me sad. Not everyone should care about the product since they're just there to make models, animations, effects, textures and so on. Someone else is just fucking it up making shitty levels and awful bare bones gameplay.
Well I guess my part is over. The dev studio house moved to some place cheaper... Arkansas I think. My friend chose not to go, almost everyone else moved with him since its a bigger house with $0 rent and they still get paid. Just seems like a cult, it'll be 8 people living together making an awful FPS.