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A programmers perspective on a buggy release.

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Bug Reports' started by civhawaii, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. Malchar

    Malchar Chieftain

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    Honestly, I'm disappointed to say that every game I've played for the last few years has had a crap release. However, they all get better over time. Since Civ 5 seems to be embracing the internet 2.0 movement, it seems like it has a lot of space to grow. Keep in mind that most of the people that like the game and that don't have any problems with it aren't posting about it. Although, I agree that there are a number of issues and that the game creators should endeavor to have their games work for as many people as possible.
     
  2. gingerbill

    gingerbill Chieftain

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    haha , your a programmer , hehe . I play football on sundays can i go around saying i'm a footballer and offering ronaldo and messi advice?

    what a stupid post by someone trying to feel important . I've played for 25 hours fine so far.

    'i'm a programmer' , hehehehe .
     
  3. Kruelgor

    Kruelgor Chieftain

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    What bugs are you referring to? The software that you design, is it as complex as Civilization 5? Civ5 is nearly 5GB of code, how big are your software programs? Care to show us any of your business software creations?

    I've been playing CiV5 fine with no crashes nor bugs yet.
     
  4. nokmirt

    nokmirt Emperor

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    Well for years everything has been rushed out, and fixed later. Maybe they should look into some quality control. Extend the deadlines a bit for the release date, have a period for QA and testing, so you do not have to fix so many bugs later. Products released would be more complete, and customers would be happier. Software companies would gain a much better standing with their customers.

    As far as Firaxis goes, and 2K, and this release of CIV 5. I have alot of disagreements with the way things were handled, but I can go into that in other threads. I can tell you this I am certainly not alone.
     
  5. Kruelgor

    Kruelgor Chieftain

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    This is the whole reason why so many game developers have abandoned the PC and make just console games. There are endless different hardware components and configurations which PC gamers have and it vastly opens up the possibility of bugs and issues.

    Those game developers which have OPEN public beta testing have far fewer bugs on release than those which have small private beta testing. I believe CiV5 did the latter.

    For Civilization VI lets have open public beta testing.
     
  6. kozzer

    kozzer Liberated Autocrat

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    That's funny stuff man. "Extend the deadlines"... heh.

    And, since I am also a professional programmer and thus infallible on the topic, there's absolutely no chance any piece of software with any complexity can be released for public consumption without any bugs. No chance at all.

    Anyway, in my experience with Civ5 so far, it's running beautifully on my laptop that is below minimum specs and I've not run into 1 bug yet. So the game can't be that buggy, there are probably just hardware/device driver compatibility issues. And if you expect developers to test for every hardware configuration, you're expecting something implausible and unreasonable.
     
  7. Acidrain

    Acidrain Chieftain

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    You cant compare games with other software. Games are so much more complex than other software. Unless your writing some Astronomy galaxy collision physics simulator or w/e.

    I've read lots of software development books and they all say, games are the hardest to program.

    WoW is out since 2004 ? 5mil lines of code... it still produces bugs over these years.

    The patches are gonna come anyway.

    After my first 7-8 hour game in Civ5 I found only one bug, which made me "ugh", if you got embarked unit.. and you will go on land, while being 2 or more tiles away from the land tile, like at least one empty water tile between your embarked unit and land, it dosent show the animation that the boats sale towards land and then go on land, it just teleports from your start tile to land tile.
     
  8. gingerbill

    gingerbill Chieftain

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    I'd like to add that its a myth that this is something that has only started recently , Games have always been this way . There were spectrum games ( big selling and highly rated ones) you couldnt complete because of bugs and there were no patches. The amiga and ST had games with silly amounts of bugs that never got fixed .

    It's nothing to do with evil companies who dont care anymore and hate you , its always been this way and always will be.
     
  9. mjs0

    mjs0 The 4th X

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    Background: Over a career spanning almost 30 years I have held many positions in software development from QA, through developer, lead developer and architect all the way up to VP of Development.

    I must echo the many comments made in response to the OP explaining the fundamental difference between developing straightforward software for a relatively homogenous business platform and the incredibly diverse hardware platforms that PC games must deal with.

    I would add the following observations for you to ponder:
    1. When a large company purchases business software it often (normally) pays for annual maintenance (17% of purchase price is my experience). This entitles them to upgrades and bug fixes. Some companies pay a premium to get accelerated bug fixes.
      Why would they do that if there are no bugs in business software?

    2. When a new release of a major software package or even just a patch is released must large companies will test and evaluate it themselves before rolling it out to their users.
      Why would they do that if there are no bugs in business software?

    3. Most software companies that develop and sell large software packages have a large and complex support organization that handles customer support calls, if level 1 support cannot handle a call it gets escalated to level 2 and eventually to level 3 (or as we called them the change team). The change team built fixes that could be shipped to users to patch software problems.
      Why would they do that if there are no bugs in business software?

    My own Civ5 story:
    I have not been on the boards since tuesday because I have been playing the game and working through a problem it was giving me.

    I could only play the game for between 5-10 turns before Windows 7 gave me a blue screen of death (the first I have seen in 12+ months of running Windows 7. This was consistent...every 5-10 turns bang.

    Rather then rant at the developers and complain about a buggy software I decided to do my due diligence and find out what was happening, by stress testing my hardware (MemTest86, etc.) and then tracking down the issue.

    It turns out the BSOD was caused by my hardware setup. I had three 1920x1080 monitors connected to my system, two through my main gfx card (A GTX 260) and one that I had added later using a cheap second gfx card (a GeForce 210). This is a decidedly non standard setup and one I'm sure would not have been tested by QA.

    As soon as I disabled the second gfx card all my problems went away and I can run the game on max settings for hours at a time without a single glitch.
    Should I get mad with Firaxis because they didn't test my exact setup, or should I realise games like civ5 really stress hardware limits and there will always be issues from this sort of software that don't happen with business software in the safe sterile environment that it will run?

    I choose the latter option because I know and understand the difficulties involved.
    My situation was extreme and a very unusual setup, but anytime you combine two pieces of hardware that have not been explicitly tested together you run this risk.

    Beyond this hardware compatibility issue I have not seen a single problem with Civ5 that I would classify as a showstopper bug (one that should prevent release). There are a few rough edges in the UI and some limited areas that are missing functionality but nothing significant to the overall experience for the primary target market.

    The result: I love the game and am very happy with my purchase despite my 3 days of BSODs!
     
  10. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    Actually a considerable number of people were fired - though prior to release. :eek:

    Ummm... to make sure there aren´t any bugs left?
     
  11. nokmirt

    nokmirt Emperor

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    It is not all that funny, and I am not saying bug free, just not so in a rush to slap the program together. They should take a bit more time. It is not CIV 5, I have had no problems either. All I am saying is that they should have a Q&A and testing period. This period will not fix everything, but perhaps may address a few unseen concerns. I don'[t rember saying bug free, please don't put words in my mouth.

    And my quote,"so you do not have to fix so many bugs later." How is that transformed into no bugs???
     
  12. Sofar Sogood

    Sofar Sogood Chieftain

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    Just want to note that, by this same token, there may very well be just as many folks who do have a problem and aren't going on a board saying such. How many people do or do not have the issue isn't something we can really determine when what'd probably be a majority of the people playing aren't accounted for in the first place.

    All I can get from that is "We don't quite know how widespread the issue is."

    But what we do know is that the issue exists. We know it exists to the extent that there's a notable number of people who can claim they've run into it. Whether or not they're in the minority, it's there. It's breaking folks' games.

    I'd figure that'd qualify it for a fairly prompt fixing. :S

    Just saying, anyhow. The whole "Well, you're just the guys speaking up," argument doesn't quite seem to stand on its own. Not as presented.
     
  13. lemmy101

    lemmy101 Chieftain

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    Of course, you're completely correct.

    However I suspect that, from the actual polls littering this board, which all come up heavily in favour of Civ 5, I still suspect though obviously I have no way to confirm as such, that it's a case of a very much a vocal minority.

    That aside obviously you are right on this.
     
  14. markdata

    markdata Chieftain

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    I have to agree with the statement "incredibly diverse hardware platforms that PC games must deal with." Trouble is the Civ developers do not develop for the common denominator but for the leading edge. I just received my copy, installed it, ran it up a couple times - it either abended with a note or just locked up. Funny how all my processing and graphics intensive apps work just fine on this machine - commercial CASE, modeling, and simulation tools. But I have yet to get a CIV game from PTW on to work right out of the box without having to buy a new machine. A fifty buck game suddenly costs five hundred+. And BTW developers of these modeling tools and such have the same platform diversity issues as in the game world - they can make it work, so why can't the CIV guys?
     
  15. stormerne

    stormerne is just a Retired Moderator

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    I have to say, I have some sympathy with the original poster. Perhaps we have a similar background. I've done 35 years of successful commercial software development, creating a wide array of products from flight simulators for airlines, to games, to mobile phone software, from small user populations to millions.

    From the point of view of professional pride, yes I'd be disappointed if I produced something that was fragile on all but the newest high-end machines. I'd be disappointed at the level of bugs I see in Civ5. I'd even be disappointed in my QA colleagues for not sweeping up after me efficiently! ;)

    But I also understand the pressures that people at Firaxis are under. I've worked at all sizes of company, and Firaxis would rate well toward the small end of that spectrum. On a long development cycle, there comes a time when you need to get payback. If the project is not well managed (and I have no clue whether or not it was in this case - though I'm sure you know the scenario well), you'll be cramming towards the advertised delivery date, and you'll get... well... exactly what you've seen in Civ5.

    I guess we have one thing to comfort us. It seems obvious, to me at least, that the software has been implemented using tools that make it easy to modify (and customize) rather than quick to run. Perhaps it even uses some kind of dynamic interpreter or parses the XML on-the-fly every time! Apart from really bad design - and I'm assuming that that's not the case - I can see no other reason on earth to explain why it should run so unnecessarily slowly for the kind of application that it is. If so, then some problems at least should be quick to fix, though of course the danger in applying such quick fixes under pressure is skimping on regression testing and introducing other bugs.

    I guess we'll see. I'm giving the game a fair trial. I eventually found a configuration that trades graphics quality sufficiently for usability on my laptop. And later I tinkered with the .ini files to improve it still further. Now I can at last get on with playing the game and seeing what it's like.

    Meanwhile, if Firaxis want an experienced developer or project manager who could ensure the reception of Civ VI was rather more universally positive (and make a lot more money for them en route), they can send me a private message... ;)
     
  16. Rashiminos

    Rashiminos Fool Prophet

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    You can have thousands of free testers find zillions of bugs in an open beta, yet still release a game that gets rejected in salty tears of ignorance on arrival. Removing the testing manpower just shortens the odds.
     
  17. mamba

    mamba Chieftain

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    It works on my laptop that is between minimum and recommended, certainly is way better on my new PC however (just bought it two weeks ago) :D

    As to not encountering any bugs, I consider a leader offering me the majority (5 of 7 or 8 cities) of his / her empire after I declared war and killed about 7 units (and lost 3 of mine, leaving me with a total of two on the continent) without me even yet attacking any of the cities a bug.

    And it certainly wasn't because I was so strong, just not on that continent either, I had three units on my own continent at that time....

    Had one crash too, but that is ok in my book.
     
  18. mamba

    mamba Chieftain

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    Sounds like SAP to me, in any case, the maintenance fee it is not just for bugfixes but also for new releases (i.e. you get them 'for free' after you bought one release and paid your annual fees).

    Other than that I agree with your list.
     
  19. Dunsparrow

    Dunsparrow Chieftain

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    What people who keep complaining are failing to realize is that you're playing Civ 5 right now. Yes, you might be experiencing bugs, yes, you might encounter a few annoyances, but you're playing. If they had not shipped it with these bugs, they would have had to delay shipping, which means none of you would even have it.

    In today's environment, its much more cost effective to ship a product at a level that couldn't have shipped a decade ago. It also gets the game in the hands of players faster, which the vast majority want.

    If you're so dead-set against buggy releases, just don't buy any game for a month or two after it comes out. Problem solved. But none of you will do that, will you? Then stop complaining. :)
     
  20. mattavich

    mattavich Civ5 Fanatic

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    Have to agree, I worked in a web design agency and any bugs are completely NOT acceptable and cost reputation.
     

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