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Old 10-05-2007, 10:02 AM
trucknisse trucknisse is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Diego
Posts: 126
Default Software Engineering

These guys obviously have never heard of Software Engineering. If they have a software engineer employed, they must have found the worst one that walk the face of the earth. I have no doubt that the individual developers in this game are good at what they do. The trailers and screenshots confirm this. Software engineering is not only about design, programming, modeling etc, but it also means to have a clearly defined process for how to design, implement,test and evaluate the product. Each step in this process must be clearly defined, and each step should have their own process, but they should be completely defined within the larger process. With a well defined process you already most test cases should already be completely defined before any implementation of code actually starts. Yes, this a LOT of work, but without doubt it pays off.
It is fairly obvious from the reports we've been getting from this project that they don't have a clearly defined process, or it does not work very well.

For example:
"We are developing the system of automatic error checks for the game."
Testing is one of the most important aspect of a software process, and a system for error checks should be completely defined before implementation starts. Or do they mean implementing the system of automatic error checks? Still, this is done at a very late stage.

"The game world has gone through technical testing (testing on the consistency of the objects in the game world), right now we are testing the characters of the game world."
This is good. This indicates they have a working test process.

"The development of missions is complete. We are testing it and fixing all the bugs."
"We are also finishing the different scenarios that will be possible in the game."
This is however, not good. This seems to indicate that they develop missions as the project goes along, and as they come up with new ideas. When you add features at a late stage in a project, there is a big risk this will have implications on other parts of the code and modules, meaning a lot more testing is needed that might trigger redesigns to optimize for the new solution.

Now, I must also say that developing a game world of this size is a huge task. It might very well be so that for the task at hand, they are way understaffed. 5 years for a project like this is just crazy. Missing a deadline is a strong indication that there was something wrong with the process, but happens most of the time as deadlines often are deliberately underestimated in order to get the project started in the first place. Imagine if someone you something like this: "We have just started developing a new truck simulator, and with our previous work in the business, it will be the best game ever... and you can expect it in stores just in time for the holiday season of 2012".
Well, these guys have missed the release date not once, twice, thrice, I don't know, but hey, they have missed it alright.

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