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ALPHA v0.3

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You Know Your Game Is In Trouble When...

Topic: programming

You know your game is in trouble when...

New Contributions

* ...when your management writes a letter to a porn star to let her know "together we can make wonderful games, that kick ass!"...

* ...when your new boss refers to his latest management scheme as the "New Regime"...

* ...when your developement computers don't meet the game system requirements.... (Anonymous)

Previous Contributions

Note: This next group are the ones that Started It All....

* ...when one of your engineers asks, "Is that an explosion or a tree?".

* ...when the CPU count is higher than the polygon count.

* ...when you remove your debug code, and it runs slower, then stops.

* ...when your engineers are more interested in what's in the cookie jar than the code.

* ...when the managers start asking the engineers "Is it done yet?" while holding a schedule for the next game.

* ...when the tanks float in midair, move sideways, then disappear.

* ...when you've already built up 40 hours of comp time this week--and it's only Wednesday.

* ...when two terrain blocks fill up all available memory.

* ...when your producer "forgets" to bring in cookies.

* ...when Jesus appears in your texture maps.

* ...when all your engineers are playing the competition's game.

* ...when your engineers begin planting subliminal messages in the textures that say "This game doesn't suck."

* ...when you see the managers having a blast playing the game, then discover they haven't coined in yet.

* ...when the copyright take up more disk space than the code.

* ...when the game contract weighs in heavier than the code documentation. (All of the above courtesy of the Real3D Gamers)

* ...when you do half the coding in your sleep....

* ...when your code has more occurances of "//FIXME" than "typedef"...

* ...when your code has more global variables than functions...

* ...when your 3D vector routines assume that ROLL "really isn't all that important"...

* ...when you use variable names like "bob", "temp", and "x" for easy cut & paste...

* ...when your code makes use of the popular BAH (branch-and-hang) instruction...

* ...when your code has a function named "Sys_BlueScreenOfDeath()"...

* ...when your programmers think they're being clever by using an int called "eger"...

* ...when your co-programmer writes all his code in Pascal, then uses a freeware Pascal-to-C converter...

* ...when your head programmer decides two months to release to delete all his code and start from scratch...

* ...when Carmack takes your lead programmer out to dinner.

* ...when the artists get mad at you if after their 6 months of work making the entire tilesets for the game that you said 90 X 90 not 9.0 X 9.0...

* ....when you discover...two weeks before shipping...that the hardware you've been developing on isn't the production boardset....

* ....when you can't get $5K to finish the sound for a game that's due out by the end of the month, but your managers are flying around the country spending a cool million to line up "demos" for the company's hardware line....

* ....when your mangement will cheerfully spend thousands of dollars to drag you across the country to work an emergency integration effort but won't let you spend $50 on a new reference book.....

* ....when you spend more time putting together progress reports than actually adding new features to the game....

* ....when your managers start talking about what a great future the company has in doing applications work....

* ....when your managers use the phrase "management challenge" in any context whatsoever....

* ....when your management justifies any decision with the phrase "...you need to look at the big picture...."

* ....when your managers admit to having negotiated an "aggressive schedule".... (Courtesy of yours truly....)

* ...when your managers switch from coffee to Pepto-Bismol.

* ...when you finish the game, and discover that your company doesn't DO games anymore.

* ...when the software developers suddenly begin taking home all of their personal belongings.

* ...when your AI starts telling you the game sucks.

* ...when you texture a model with the sound files, and it looks BETTER...

* ...when you use a model AS the sound file, and it sounds BETTER...

* ..when you have spent 16 hours burning EPROMS, only to discover the burner wasn't plugged in...

* ...when strange looking people start surveying your room for their future expansion...

* ...when the roofers, who are surveying the new leak above your pc, make the comment "well, it only needs to hold for a few more days..." (These gems courtesy of John Woznack)

* ...when management fires the producer who thought up the game, and forms a committee to "ensure it's going in the proper direction"...

* ...when your new producer declares that Myst was the "pinnacle of game development"...

* ...when marketing throws a company wide party celebrating going Beta, and this completely surprises the development team....

* ...when you can read a huge "You know your project is in trouble when..." list and say "Yep, been there" to most all of them...

* You are a programmer. They fire the producer. They have no intention of hiring a new one. You now report directly to the VP of Marketing. You are in Hell. (From Jeff Thomas, who swears it's all really happened to him...)

* ...when the GIF promoting your web site is cooler than the title screen in the game... (Courtesy of Jeremy Lowrey.)

* ...when upper management comes to tell you that they have just acquired a movie license, so you need to change the name of your game... (Courtesy of a self-described "thankfully former Kesmai employee"...)

* ...when you wonder if you could optimize your fps counter function in order to gain extra fps...

* ...and you double your fps doing so. (Courtesy of one Jacques Lemire....)

* ... when you use the word "technically" to describe whether something works or not... (Courtesy of on Blaine Hodge....)

* ...when you move development to your parents' computer...

* ...when you start wondering if banging the mike on the desk really makes a realistic gunshot sound... (Kindly provided by Darrell Johnson....)

* ...when your senior programmer is 13 years old

* ...when your title screen takes up 3/4 of the CD. (From the mysterious Thaqui....)

* ...when the whole production team says so...

* ...when your lead artist thinks "true color" means actual photographs... (Courtesy of the adventurous Millenium Falcon...)

* ...when the Lead Artist is replaced with a person whose previous job was "truck driver"....

* ...when there is a clause in your contract saying "employee will be sued for $10,000/month if he/she quits"...

* ...and the boss thinks it's "inspirational"...

* ...and 50% of the company quits anyway.

* ...when the 19 y/o Lead Windows Programmer doesn't know what a zbuffer is.

* ...when programmers are BARRED from being a part of the game design team. Contributed semi-anonymously from somebody at Aramat Productions....

* ...when it takes 6 weeks for the lawyers to negotiate a contract on a 4 week project.

* ...when your producer is a delusional paranoid who sends you long rambling emails accusing you of thinking things about him.

* ...when the development manager and the in-house programmer are having a feud and haven't spoken to each other in 6 months.

* ...when your lawyer and the lawyer on the other side still can't agree on the wording of the NDA.

* ...when your team leader is a paranoid agoraphobic who wants a clause in the contract that says he never has to leave his house or meet anybody in person.

* ...when you get a letter from your publisher's lawyer containing the words "NOTICE OF COMMENCEMENT OF CASE UNDER CHAPTER 11 OF THE BANKRUPTCY CODE"

* ...when the guy who wrote the game engine left the company, left the industry, left the state, and got an unlisted phone number.

* ...when your team leader thinks it would be a good idea to hire id's lawyer. Contributed by the First Lady of Gaming herself, Diana Gruber, who swears each and every one happened to her at one point or another.

* ...when the intro art for your game takes up 2 1/2 CDs.... (An all-too-likely contribution from Bomberman...)

* ...when the lead programmer goes off to buy a Magic 8 Ball to make up for management decisions.... (An eerie missive provided by Charlie Wallace of Universal Studios)

* ...when your AI says, in a calm, soothing voice, "I'm afraid I can't let you do that, Dave"....

* ...when someone asks you what time it is and you reply "oh, 0000 1001 o'clock"....

* ...when you decide to give up and just write the game as one big batch file... Courtesy of Spider Man (apparently taking time off from crime-fighting).

* ...when after telling your artist to use as few colors as possible, he hands in his work in black and white.... Courtesy of Michael Lafreniere of TE Software

* ....when half way through the development cycle, your boss decides that "Well, maybe the game should be real-time instead of turn-based"....

* ....when the Dr. Pepper Company sends you a Christmas card....

* ....when the lead programmer wears a suit to work one day....

* ....when your boss thinks a video codec is a Flic player....

* ....when you're doing a tile based game, and your artists hand over the tile artwork--all 65 by 51 (true story)....

* ....when after an all night session, all you have to show is a save game editor for Daggerfall....

* ....when you spend most of the next day debugging it....

* ....when everyone keeps asking you, "How hard would it be to ...?" a week before release....

* ....when you finally lock down the design....a week before shipping....

* ....when your boss finally figures out what you mean by "If we have time"....

* ....when your lead programmer decides to take a 'short-vacation' to scenic Silicon Valley...on a Tuesday....

* ....when you forget to buy soft drinks for the week, and Dr. Pepper calls you to see if you're ok....

* ....when your boss says, "I've found a way to reduce our development time", while holding a copy of "Klik and Play"....

* ....when your boss wants you to port your new 16 Meg PC title to the Game Boy....

* ....when your development team enjoys playing Windows Solitare more than your game ....

* ....when your technical staff is reduced to one, and the producer keeps asking, "Do we need all these engineers?"....

* ....when your technical staff is reduced to one, and the game deadline is moved up 2 months....

* ....when you finish your game, and Dr.Pepper stock drops 4 points.... (Courtesy of Nick Shaffner and Scott Hansen, who both work for DigiFX and who obviously drink way too much Dr. Pepper.)

* ...when you start begging for a DWIM instruction -- Do What I Mean.

* ...when your head of audio manages to start and finish a game by himself before you even start coding....

* ...when you spend more time debugging the debug code than actually coding...

* ...when you get your head of audio to start coding...

* ...when you spend meetings nostalgically looking at past failed projects...

* ...when your head of graphics has another more important meeting than with the game team...

* ...when you have to beg for corporate sponsorship just to *rent* a scanner for a week...

* ...when you spend more time checking for new e-mail than actually coding...

* ....when your head of graphics thinks that making only one half-done picture a month is funny....

* ....when it takes you eight months to come up with the company name.... (These courtesy of Sunir Shah)

* ...when one week before your game is finished 20 other games in the same genre are released...

* ...when all the neat features in the game only work on your own computer...

* ...when the producer tells you to drop the AI and hire some more graphic artists...

* ...when your AI routine suddenly asks you what the meaning of life is...

* ...when everybody else on your team has been offered better paying jobs... (These courtesy of John Christian Lonningdal)

* ...when your engineers start making "You Know Your Game is in Trouble When" lists.... (This gem courtesy of Chris Bartlett)

* ...when your handwritten, fully optimized assembler code is in reality running slower than the unoptimized C code...

* ...when your game engine won't run without debugger loaded in the background... (Courtesy of Timo Flink)

* ...when you think your game might be more marketable if advertised as a screen saver....

* ...when you've already decided to turn your game into a screen saver, and your release date slips another month....

* ...when you start wishing you knew assembly language well enough to reverse-engineer a competitor's engine...

* ...when you go to bed every night praying that your future self will send a copy of the final release version back in time...

* ...when you start wishing you were the guy in the Twilight Zone episode with the stopwatch that could freeze time (except that your computer would be unaffected)...

* ...when you wish you hadn't developed such a high tolerance level for caffeine...

* ...when you keep checking the bookstores for that new programming book titled "How to Program (name of your game)," with full source code included...

* ...when you remember with nostalgia how your engine looked when it was only 1 month past ship date...

* ...when you remember with nostalgia what it was like to be physically unconscious...

* ...when your development team has to start rationing the coffee supply...

* ...when you start wishing for an ergonomic debugger...

* ...when you try to convince yourself that the publisher will accept a minimum configuration of a Pentium-II/300 with 64 megs of RAM... (These beauts courtesy of Steve Pavlina, who's obviously had way too much caffeine over at Dexterity Software)

* ...when you're all out of overtime-forms...

* ...when your producer buys you a sleeping-bag...

* ...when you depend on Microsoft products...

* ...when your publisher comes over for "just a little visit"... (These courtesy of the wild folks at Funcom Oslo AS and Erlend Simonsen, who collated and sent them to me)

* ...when the lead programmer resorts to exorcisms to fix bugs.

* ...when you've mistaken the deadline for the first milestone.

* ...when after receiving all the art, you have tell the artist 16 colors, not 16-bit colour.

* ...when a TV documentary reports that your target machine causes impotence.

* ...when after final duplication, your testers find a new bug that makes it unplayable.

* ...when after final duplication, you realize levels 2-50 don't work.

* ...when after final duplication, you realize those obscene cheat codes are still in.

* ...when after eight months into the project, you find out it's supposed to be a gulf game, not golf...

* ...when there are more reported errors than lines of code.

* ...when your boss spends more time in your room than he does his own.

* ...when you take the entire piece of buggy code out and the bugs are still there.

* ...when you get the 'in the shops' date and the 'ready for testing' date horribly mixed up.

* ...when you get your first 'proximity bug'. It only crashes in front of important visitors... (These courtesy of Darren Hebden)

* ...when you have to teach the lead programmer how to touch type...

* ...when you halve the screen size to double your fps, and it's still single digit!

* ...when the computer suffers a major crash that destroys all records of the game and its development...and everyone is relieved...

* ...when you suddenly realize no one has programmed anything for user input...

* ...when you get flamed for sending junk email - to your boss!

* ...when the competition sends over a copy of their code out of pity!

* ...when even your AI won't play the game - it just deletes itself... (Great ones courtesy of Dwight Wilkins)

* ....when your lead programmer has PC for Dummies and Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days on his bookshelf, and they are worn ragged....

* ....when you spend more time looking at code from programming FTP sites rather than working on your game....

* ....when all your software relies on hacked copies of Microsoft libraries....

* ....when after 3 weeks, your program is only 100 lines...mostly comments and to do lists....

* ...when the lead programmer decides to write the game in Turbo Pascal for DOS instead of Assembler or C++.

* ...when your artist only uses Windows Paintbrush to create the artwork for the game.

* ...when the company you are writing the game for has been sold 5 times in the during the first 6 months into the game.

* ...when all the programmers of your game come up with these contributions to this page about their company or their game rather than work. :-) (Courtesy of Shawn Christian)

* ....when you spend more time doing paper work to get a feature "approved" that it would take you to just implement it....

* ....when meetings break down into three hour arguments about whether some text should be underlined or italicized...and you consider it just another day....

* ....when your producer says "what a great 3D engine" another game has when it's a top down, isometric view game he's talking about....

* ....when your producer remarks that "We don't know if we're having sound FX in the game yet"....

* ....when your producer constantly thinks that anything easy to do in a 2D game must be even easier in a 6 Degree of Freedom 3D engine....

* ....when your artists are discussing proper use of linked lists....

* ....when the number of people in "administration" outnumbers the development team 3:1....

* ....when all your best programmers are promoted to managers and are too busy managing to program any more....

* ....when your lead programmer says "It's trivial" every five seconds....

* ....when your lead programmer says "It's trivial", and it is, but only to him....

* ....when you ship in the right month, but the wrong year....

* ....when after a year and a half of development, your still arguing about which language you should be writing it in....

* ....when sleeping under the desk isn't fun anymore....

* ....when your code is cluttered with comments that say "Hacka hacka hacka"....

* ....when dealing with Admin reminds you of a Three Stooges routine....

* ....when sections of code scheduled for "2 weeks" take 6 months, and still aren't done....

* ....when, almost every day, you hear things like "Well, we're not sure how we're going to do that, but we have to figure it out or this whole thing will never work".... (Courtesy of Jason Booth)

* ....when there are more empty cans of coke in your office than lines of code.... (Courtesy of Bill Misek)

* ....when the developers spend more time figuring out which features they can copy from the competitor's product than implementing the original ones for their own (the "how'd they do that?" syndrome)....

* ....when the hotshot outside developer hands off what you think is production code on the last day of his contract and says, "You just wanted a proof of concept, right?"....

* ....when you see fancy parchment [resume] paper in the office laser printer....

* ....the one right by your technical lead's office....

* ....when you see the developers comparing clauses in their employment contracts....

* ....when the lead developer asks QA if they found anything yet, and looks both surprised and relieved when they say "no"....

* ....when, three months before the release candidate, you're writing the spec for the bugfix release....

* ....when your boss's boss knows your buglist better than you do.... (Courtesy of Tim Lesher, who claims to have only been personally guilty of three of these..but he wouldn't say which three....)

* ....when you find yourself re-coding the audio decompression in the hotel room the night before the release.... (Courtesy of Jeff+Dave, who admit that this really happened in another life....)

* ....when you find out the senior programmer's only previous experience was writing RPG databases (not role-playing games...)

* ....when your animation programmer who codes in C++ claims not to know C....

* ....when your animation programmer who is developing a PC game claims not to know how to use the DOS prompt....

* ....when you find sprintf(buf, NULL); in your boss' code....

* ....when you spend more time patching together beta versions to send to potential investors than implementing new features....

* ....when it's late September and your game is just starting beta testing (and it's a Christmas release)....

* ....when your art department sees their deadline for submitting media the same as your deadline for delivering the final code.... (These gems courtesy of H4H )

* ...when you spend more time dreaming of strangling the producer than writing code...

* ...when you come in on your last day, after taking care of the third "final bug list", and they come up with a fourth...

* ...when, a month from the (second) delivery deadline, your producer wants to change authoring environments...

* ...when you've got more 'coasters' (bad cd-roms) than lines of code... (These contributions courtesy of Mark Stoner )

* ....when your manager thinks the project will take one week, The week he's on his golfing vaction....

* ....when the alpha with bugs made a year ago is better than the final version....

* ....when you go to show the final version to the client and the message "Your registration period has expired" appears then shuts down.... (Courtesy of Steven Miller....)

* ....when running your game doubles as an easy way to reboot your computer....

* ....when midway through production, your co-programmer decides much he'd rather be the 3D animator.... (Courtesy of Darren Lafreniere....)

* ....when a friend says the graphics are perfect...for radio....

* ...when a beta tester confuses the pre-pre-alpha version with the latest build...and prefers the former... (Courtesy of Joe Kopena, who swears they're both true.)

* ....when the producer fires the lead programmer for working 120 hours/week.

* ....when the lead programmer WAKES UP in the hospital suffering from an overdose of caffeine...

* ....when, after nine months of development the producer says "you know those royalties we promised you... April Fools!"

* ....when the lead artist's excuse for delivering 40 128x127 pixel textures is "I don't DOOO numbers." (Courtesy of Bob Pendleton, who says he "used to be a game programmer, but now only writes about it".)

* ...when the producer tries to justify asking you to put in 80 hour weeks by comparing the final few months to running a race...

* ...when the programmers rig up the framerate counter to add 5 frames to the framecount just to stop the producers from freaking out because the game runs slower...

* ...when the sound for a robot getting hit by laser blasts sounds like someone spitting tobacco into a tin can on their front porch... Courtesy of Robert Kovach, much beleaguered artist.

* ...when cool new hats made up to promote your product are given to the marketing people, but not the programmers....

* ...when your publisher's newsletter lists your title as 2 player split screen...and that's news to you....

* ...when your development manager decides to 'configure the dynamics' after you've worked perfecting them for 6 months.

* ...when the code for the libraries you're using say '#ifdef SEPT_19TH'....

* ...when the mangement structure is a pyramid, but upturned with you at the bottom.

* ...when your product manager comes back from E3 with "a clear idea what WILL differentiate us from the competition"

* ...when your release date is pushed back but your gold master date remains the same.

* ...when your only co-programmer asks, "what does v-a-r-i-a-b-l-e mean?"

* ...when the Marketing guy has been on the project longer than the executive producer and the lead coder....

* ...when management announces halfway through the development that the project is now for the PC rather than the Playstation lead so you can just forget all of those memory limitations.

* ...when the Marketing guy gets a producers credit.

* ...when the developers are reading the back of the box and muttering "when did we put THAT in?"

* ....when your office is reassigned "...and you won't mind working in the playtest room - it`ll help you identify the problems quicker..."

* ....when the playtesters play everyone elses game but yours....

* ....when the audio engineer is making triple what you make....

* ....when you wish retro games would come back big time....

* ....when your graphics artist knows more about the architecture than you do....

* ....when 20fps is about all you can get without drawing any polygons....

* ...when your boss happily gives you a free "Red Bull" every time he walks past your desk... (If you don't know, Red Bull is a super-Jolt-ish drink that will keep you wide awake for many hours...or so the guys who have tried it here tell me!)

* ...when your boss hopes an ex-employee stole a copy of the game source...because nobody else still has it...

* ...when you realise your boss is too frightened to ask you to do anything...five months after joining the company.

* ...when your producer adds 'the answer is yes' to each request for a new feature.

* ...when your typical week is 3 days building the weekly demo, 2 days repairing the damage, 1 day adding new code, 1 day commuting.

* ...when you consider sending QA reports TO the QA testers...

* ...when 190 of the 200 bugs on the QA report were fixed 2 months ago...

* ...when you start putting build numbers on the title screen, and ignore QA reports with the wrong number (Yeah Paul! -- SMW)

* ...when all the experienced programmers are leaving for greener pastures...

* ...and the company replaces them with cheap hires right out of college...

* ...when, after you've burnt the final version of your game onto 6 'gold' CDs, your executive producer walks in and tries to start a conversation with, "How hard would it be to..."

* ..when despite all your attempts to deceive yourself to the contrary, you realise that the one thing killing the framerate in your 1-month-to-release Mech game is the Mechs.

* ...when you tell your producer that you can't give a progess report yet because "the printer is broken and my resume isn't up to date."....

* ...when you are using Microsoft products, and when you finally beg a visit to the developers to find out why you're only getting 10fps, their huge list of "things to try" matches one-for-one with your huge list of "things we have tried that didn't work"....

* ...when you get to the end of the "You know your game is in trouble when" truisms and realise that you recognised ALL of them, down to the most specific ones.

* ...when you see the phrase "Hello World!" pop up on the Head Developers console...

* ...when you're not copying other people's code, you're just making sure that yours is better...

* ...when, the day your project enters alpha phase, your lead programmer comes to you asking if you have "any good books on game development...."

* ...when your producer calls to tell you he decided last night that you need an "expert" to help you tune your game...

* ...five minutes later, the "expert" arrives, and he's only 17 years old...

* ...and you're not even in the Alpha phase yet...

* ... when the development schedule is based on the marketing plan instead of a design spec and technical spec...

* ... when asked where the design spec is, the director replies "In my head"...

* ... when the same director is asked to write the design spec down and he writes it on a napkin during dinner with the product team...

* ... when the developer has to tell the PR and marketing heads of their very large publisher HOW to sell the product...

* ... when a game mag editor writes in his column that your product has been cut from your publisher's release schedule, and you were never told by the publisher...

* ... when the lead designer of your game doesn't play games...

* ....when they come in and catalogue the items in your office...

* ....when a request for a hard drive to store the 4 gig's worth of assets your game has takes 2 months to process because it has to go through 5 people.

* ....when your boss is giving a tour and introduces two associate producers as two of your best 3D artists.

* ....when a guy who hasn't worked on your project at all is asked to present your scedule to the board of directors.

* ....when that same guy tells the board that the project is in big trouble because you keep adding features to list when the features you're "adding" are really just part of the original design.

* ....when your design document is about as long as your resume.

* ....when the VP of game development arranges a meeting and starts it off by saying "I want to start by saying it's been great working with you guys..."

* ....when you try to come into work one weekend and your access card doesn't work....

* ....when your game runs faster playing over the internet than it does over the company LAN....

* ....when you would rather type up a list of truisms than work on your game....

* ....when you have so many meetings you can't remember what it was you were working on last....

* ....when the barometer for whether your game is playable or not is based on the opinion of the Presidents 6 year old son....

* ....when one of the marketing people says "I don't have time to learn how to play the game."

* ...when your game has more multiplayer slots than number of titles sold.

* ....when PC Gamer magazine won't take your phone calls.

* ...when, two months before shipping, your producer says "I got this great idea for the game from a dream I had last night."

* ...when the new VP of 3D game development is an actor.

* ...when you see your company's other titles on sale at Kroger.

* ...when your company has three vice presidents with the word "strategic" in their title.

* ...when the game is designed by a committee consisting of anybody in the company who shows up for the meeting.

* ...when your boss says things like, "We know the game sucks, but it's too late now to change it."

* ...when, after trying to explain to the PC-porting lead why you have so much trouble working with the game box you're writing the new game on, he just laughs and says, "Sucks to be you!"

* ...when you see that the carefully stacked collection of empty soda cans on the developers' desks suddenly overshadowed by the carefully stacked collection of empty Tylenol bottles...

* ...when, after craming every last possible polygon into every frame, your manager asks (in a serious tone), "Can you make this into a two-player split-screen game?"

* ...when you finally blurt out "but the gameplay sucks!", and your producer giggles as he pulls out a chart showing how the projected sales of the merchandising of the game is going to out-sell the game itself by 10 to 1...

* ...when the art people keep comming over to the software engineer and asking things like, "where did the textures for ___ disappear to?"

* ...when your boss asks you, "Can we store an entire database on one of those PSX memory cards?", and you're on the PC-porting team...

* ...when, after your boss spends the whole day trying to figure out why the new 10gig disk drive isn't responding, you happen by and notice that the new SCSI cable he's trying to use really isn't a SCSI cable...

* ...when one of the softare engineers brings in his entire collection of old Atari game boxes, and the whole office ends up watching the two of you play "Tank"...

* ....when your shortest-path routine thinks that an "IMPASSABLE" flag on a wall is more of a suggestion than anything else.

* ....when you hear your producer tell your boss "Real-time shadowing on a 386/33? No problem."

* ....when you see float temp; //<---DONT TAKE THIS OUT!!!!

* ....and while debugging, you notice that 'temp' is never assigned a value, and the memory is never even accessed....

* ....and you proceed to remove 'temp' anyway, and suddenly the code refuses to compile....

* ....so you put the offending variable back in, but it still won't compile until you put the COMMENT back in too.

* ....when, the day before a critical milestone, you discover that all the developer's board sets have been running with the wrong configuration all this time, but when you configure them correctly, they all refuse to work. Then, just to add insult to injury, you can't get them to work again even with the old, but wrong configuration....

* ....when you have more producers in your credits than QA testers.

* ....when your co-programmer is scared to take out an #ifdef MACAROON because he can't remember what it does anymore.

* ....when you pull network support from the feature list, and marketing doesn't list it in the product info sheet, but lists modem play instead.

* ....when someone does a partial rebuild of your program on you and suddenly it's 11K smaller....

* ....when office political power is the inverse of the number of action figures on a desk.

* ....when a publisher that refused to send you different standard controllers asks if you support a new analog controller that hasn't even been released yet....

* ....when you're calling an ex-employee a month after he left asking how to master a CD-ROM.

* ....when you had to list complete strangers in the credits to keep the number of producers from outnumbering the rest of the development team....

* ....when you're maintaining a consistent 59 frames per second and don't know why....

* ....when you find out the artists have been told to use the 'root' account on the SGIs....

* ....when two weeks before shipment, your producer wants to "consolidate" the schedule....

* ....when your final submission milestone is in three days, and you haven't even received your first bug list yet....

* ....when you've never even heard of half the words on your mandatory technical submission checklist....

* ....Milestone Day: your console title runs out of memory on adding another line to the credits....

* ....when your producer says it's OK for your buggy game to ship, since you can put out a patch later....

* ...when you learn that Microsoft supplied the run-time engine, and considers your game a good first attempt to get the bugs out of their engine.

* ...when the number of animation files exceed 2,000, but your production manager only has 300 in her database.

* ...when you have to show your production manager how to manage sound assets.

* ...when Bill Gates talks about 'the advanced technology' in every game done by his joint venture, except yours.

* ...when marketing asks you "so who is the target market for this game?"

* ...when the number of hours you work on utilities to streamline your boss's work is more than the number of hours you work on your game.

* ...when marketing gives everyone on your project cool game tee-shirts, except you.

* ...when your phone is disconnected by your boss, but no-one notices or cares.

* ...when your boss publically promises a ship date of next week at a trade show, and afterwords meets with you to ask how much work needs to be done.

* ...when you spend more time using Photoshop than Visual C++, but you're the main C++ programmer on your project.

* ...when your game's AI is offered a better paying job than you.

* ....when you've written more lines of design doc revisions than actual code....

* ....when these lines of design doc revisions are being made to a program scheduled and budgeted as a straight port....

* ....when you're on your second Jaguar(tm) title....

* ....when your sysadmin decides it would be fun to disassemble, sell and reconfigure pieces of the CD-ROM burning machine the day before a Milestone....

* ....when it takes you six months to convince your sysadmin that replacing your ancient 486 could speed up compilation....

* ....when it takes you a bit longer to convince your sysadmin that it might have been silly to order that Pentium 133 without a level 2 cache....

* ....when you're three months into game development and you still don't have your console development system....

* ....when the company providing your video CODEC keeps saying "I'm surprised that worked!"....

* ....when you're on your third Jaguar(tm) title....

* ....when your producer hasn't looked at your game in three months....

* ....when your producer has promised his producer a list of what features you can add "for free"....

* ....when you start to get used to the fact that your producer has a producer who has a producer and suspect even more layers of random influence beyond THAT....

* ....when people keep forgetting what project you're working on....

* ....when you wish YOU could forget what project you're working on....

* ....when the second programmer on your project is packing up to become a Scottish monk or some such thing....

* ....when you are one of two programmers working on three SKUs....

* ....when you have trouble convincing your producer that you can't make Jaguar(tm) GPU RISC code doesn't port to the Playstation(tm) "transparently"....

* ....when your producer didn't learn after the first beating and wants another list of things you can add for "free"....

* ....when your producer applies your proposed milestone list to calendar days, not business days....

* ....when you can't remember which pieces of your project you still have to write anymore....

* ....when five months into the project your co-programmer finally admits that this is his "first real C program"....

* ....when at age 23 you start to dream of your retirement....

* ....when you read "The Dilbert Principle" and can't find anything far-fetched or even unfamiliar in it....

* ....when your bosses look at your new, almost-complete DirectDraw game and say, "It has to run under Windows 3.1, too." (These provided anonymously by various developers who don't want their bosses to know anything about it...)

Copyright Steven Woodcock, 1996-1998. If you enjoy this plesae feel free to pass it along or post it anywhere, providing (1) it is not altered in any way, (2) you don't use it for profit, and (3) this copyright notice is attached.


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