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Nicholas Kong

What gets a game to pass certification by a publisher?

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It seems weird or more appropriately baffling how games with bugs, low frame rate and poor gameplay pass certification in which then the game distributed to the consumers? Am I missing something about certification by the publisher?

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Also to be quite frank, the console makers are often willing to look the other way when a big company asks for some ... flexibility in hitting the requirements.

 

flexibility as in being lenient with the rules? Is it necessarily so that the game can hit the deadline? I'm guessing since the publisher is publishing the game, they obviously want the game to be shipped so they have return on investment?

 

May you give me one example of a worst case that happened to a game but the game still got shipped? If specific information cannot be disclosed, I can understand. 

Edited by warnexus

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flexibility as in being lenient with the rules? Is it necessarily so that the game can hit the deadline? I'm guessing since the publisher is publishing the game, they obviously want the game to be shipped so they have return on investment?


I believe that flexibility is earned in a similar way to how the Mafia earns flexibility from the police.

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In the network case you mentioned, Call Of Duty should fail. Yet it is published. 

 

Can you imagine Microsoft refusing to certify COD ?  smile.png  Don't get me wrong, as far as I am concerned they should.

 

As far as I am concerned, certification is a good thing. It can be annoying, but no more annoying than bug reports you get from internal QA.

 

I had one many years ago...

 

BUG              : Game crashes

Actions          : Press these 5 keys with your left hand, these 5 keys with your right hand, and press the spacebar with your nose

Repeatability : 100%

 

The bug fix was "Don't fecking do it"

 

There are times when certification has to be "massaged". In my experience it is always when the test case that fails was badly designed.

 

For example we had massive problems getting a JVM certified by Sun. The test  case was the garbage collector. The Java garbage collector is crap, it has a known bug in it that means it will eventually fail. The test case exercised the garbage collector and had to run for 10 hours. 

 

This was fine for a normal JVM, but ours ran the test 147 times faster than the original Sun JVM. This meant we had to run for the equivalent of 1470 hours or 2 months. After between 9 hours 47 minutes and 9 hours 49 minutes, our JVM crashed.

 

We eventually managed to get Sun to accept that it was the test case that was at fault and we got our certification.

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The bug fix was "Don't fecking do it"

 

Oh boy...

 

Still it is important to fix the bugs, very important to the customers. I can understand the game needing to meet the deadline and fixing the bugs might comprise a lot of time in other things that still need to be worked on. It still should be fixed.

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Still it is important to fix the bugs, very important to the customers. I can understand the game needing to meet the deadline and fixing the bugs might comprise a lot of time in other things that still need to be worked on. It still should be fixed.


I know the feeling. I've worked on some input bugs that were most easily reproduced by slamming a bunch of buttons at a certain time, and it's easy to say the users deserve to break the game if that's what they're trying to do, but those have been tip-of-the-iceberg style bugs that have revealed issues such as race conditions in the underlying input system. It's easy to complain about QA doing stupid things, but they're only bugs because programmers did stupid things.

I know too many engineers who get something up to about 95% working properly when they're supposed to be finishing tasks and then get tons of praise from management (a) for "completing" work and then (b) fixing piles of bugs later. Of course, not all of them get fixed, and we ship games with these sorts of crashes, while they laugh at stupid QA.

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