[MUD-Dev] MMORPG Comparison (UO, EQ, AC, AO, DAoC)

Dave Rickey daver at mythicentertainment.com
Mon Oct 15 19:32:46 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

-----Original Message-----
From: John Buehler <johnbue at msn.com>
> Dave Rickey writes:

>> Our QA process was pure blasphemy: Everyone was expected to track
>> and fix their own bugs.

> I find it remarkably scary that this is considered blasphemy, even
> said tongue in cheek as I assume it is.  I started my career at
> DEC, and while there, we had very strict responsibilities.  As a
> developer, you were responsible for coding and testing your area
> of functionality to make sure that it worked.  You knew the
> boundary conditions, you knew the mainstream scenarios, you knew
> the performance expectations/requirements, etc.  When I moved to
> Microsoft, I was aghast at the casual attitude of many engineers
> about writing code shoddily and then assuming that testing would
> pick up the bugs.  It's the kind of thing that makes you fall out
> of your chair.

For me it came naturally, since I'd mostly programmed in small shops
that didn't have QA departments.  But my experience of larger
developers, and anecdotal evidence, indicated that it wasn't the
standard practice.  "It's not a bug until QA says it's a bug," and
your performance rating suffered for every bug QA managed to make
stick to you.  Lots of substitution of process for progress.

Such a structure seems to creak under the best of circumstances, but
an MMOG's complex featuresets, inter-related systems, and the sheer
volume of reports a large beta-test could generate seemed to just
completely overwhelm the system in all of the "Big Three".  Mythic
couldn't afford a full-fledged QA department, so we depended heavily
on a direct linkage between developers and the beta testers.  Seemed
to work.

--Dave Rickey

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