Peliteollisuuden outouksia

22.08.2006 11:52 Jukka O. Kauppinen

Pelien tekeminen ei ole aina pelkkää iloista naputtelua. Paljon riippuu firmasta, esimiehistä ja työtovereista. Joskus pelipuljun esimiehillä tai päättävillä elimillä voi olla kerrassaan harhaisia ajatuksia bisneksestä ja peleistä. Näitä on kirjoiteltu talteen eräällä foorumilla, ja tarinat ovat niin hämmästyttäviä että niistä on pakko vinkata eDomelaisillekin…

Lyhyempiä tarinoita ja kommentteja:

* But not-quite-so-messed-up-beyond-hell examples I’ve seen include toolsets that inserted a ”default” texture when a material wasn’t assigned to some object, and that default turned out to be so inconspicuous that some leveldata was compiled with unassigned materials in place. Then when the ”default” texture got changed, we were suddenly left wondering why all these canyons had walls of rock with the face of George W. Bush on them.

* Some of the more innocuous things include artists who, as the result of an engine switch, got so excited at the prospect of finally being able to use high resolution textures that they started blasting through making 1024×1024 textures for everything… except for particles, thankfully. It culminated when I finally got through importing a character who had diffuse/bump/specular level/specular exponent all over… but he was also broken up into enough parts that the guy had a grand total of 24 textures — all 1024 with no extra miplevels. 3 were alloted solely for the guy’s hat.

* Marketing putting the features of an entirely different game on the actual shipping box packaging for a game

* A pc game was shipped that was known not to work on some %20-30 of pcs – ”We’ll patch it later”

* Game controls/settings that actually were broken/non-functional in the shipping product and no one noticed

* A producer having a nervous breakdown at 1am the night before a 10am milestone with weeks of work left to do on the project and the entire company’s budget depending on meeting the milestone

* Someone from management trying to force the development team to implement a level with a 100 or so bone animated creatures when the machine could handle 2-3 max and the team getting poor reviews for failing to live up to the task

* Funding current late and over budget projects by signing up new projects that the company has no possible way of working on

* A very senior, very long time employee getting into what he thought was an hour long light-hearted debate with the president of the company over the project schedule and state in front of the entire team and realizing it wasn’t so light-hearted the next day when he was fired

* An artist who without permission had every computer in the company running as his personal renderfarm each night for his reel.

* The network gurus sending back a broken PS2 development kit to SCEA, after they clearly tampered with the sealed stickers in an attempt to possibly find what was wrong. Even worse was that they threw out the original box the PS2 dev kit came in, and decided it was ok, to send it back to SCEA in a… get this… Xbox development kit carton. suffice to say sony sent us pictures of this to our upper managment in amazement.

* Being told I had to ship a game in 4 months (from scratch) on console without the dev team having a dev kit or any expeience developing a console game.

* Getting laid off and re-hired three times in one year, each time with an increase in pay by the same company. Internal power struggle over who should run the company and one hand not knowing what the other was doing. They would lay me off, only to call back later that day offering me a new contract. oh and did i say I got laid off the first time on my birthday?

* Working with a development team in another country that barely spoke english. After four months of work they decided to ask ” What does this word ”fun” mean? ” …

* ”But I thought the bots aren’t going to change weapons. I mean, there’s never been a game where the bots change weapons before. And I’ve seen a lot of games they make.”

* ”I only write codes in my spare time and all, but I’ve always known that random functions are the very basis of AI.”

* ”What? There’s a Final Fantasy game? Someone actually made a GAME based on THAT movie?”*

* ”Maybe we ought to switch over and make a porn game, y’know. No one has ever made a porn game before; we’d totally corner the market.”

* ”Here’s something that doesn’t make any sense to me — why is that after these companies have made a game, they still keep programmers around?”


Pidempiä tarinoita

Natseja vai ei?

Art Director : Sheesh, this guy’s carrying a huge load of equipment.

Character Artist : Don’t look at me, the beast was frickin’ crazy about guys carrying 40 weapons or some sh*t…

Art Director : A guy’d have to be monstrous to carry that much stuff around on the battlefield.

Character Artist : They’ll all pretty much have to be if we want to keep that moron off our backs.

Art Director : That’s f**king insane! Everybody is Aahnold…

Character Artist : *laughing* Yeah, that’ll be perfect… They all swagger around and they say all these ”gii~rly mahn” remarks.

Art Director : *laughs* And everybody will have these thick Austrian accents.

It : *passing by* No! Wait! Make it German! They should all be Nazis!

Character Artist : Oh, for crying out loud…

Art Director : Geez, what the hell is with you?! Get off your goddamn Nazi kick already! No NAZIS!!!

Character Artist : Of all the things for you to think about on your way to the bathroom! The only thought in your head is f**king Nazis?!?

It : All right!! Okay!! I’m sorry! I’m a really big fan of Hitler! Can you blame me? The man was a genius!

*whole room goes quiet…*

It : What’s wrong with everybody?…… whatever. *leaves*

Female coder : I’ve never heard anyone say that who wasn’t wearing a white sheet.

Art Director : I think we all expected that, but him blurting it out loud was something else.

Lisää myyntiä sisältöä vaihtamalla

It : So, I have to ask you something. This is a total mystery to me.

Me : Okay.

It : So my plan has always been to take this game and swap it around.

Me : Swap it around?

It : Yeah.

Me : What do you mean swap it around? Swap what?

It : Well, you know like the textures and the new looks for this and that.

Me : …and?

It : And the thing is that all this stuff out there and all the guys tell me that doesn’t work.

Me : What do you intend to achieve by changing the content alone?

It : Basically, if you take a game that sells 40 million copies and make it look better the next time, it will sell 50 million… you know?

Me : What makes you think content changes alone will do that? For that matter, where do you get nonsense like 40 million sales?

It : Well, if you kill these alien machines, and then they’re like high optonic aliens later, it’s a whole new game, isn’t it?

Me : Yyyyyou lost me with the ”optonic aliens” part. *struggling to contain laughter* I have no idea what that is.

It : Come on man, I thought you programmers were supposed to be almost smart.

Me : I’ve never heard the word ”optonic” in my life.

It : Well, worry about that later, but when you’re making things look like the state of the art in being totally futuristic and functional… you know… the next step is improving on that futuristic vision. You know, this is the thing I’ve always got in my head.

Me : Okay, but the state of the art in what you can achieve is a moving target.

It : Yeah, but we have codes that work, and when new technology comes around, you just use it.

Me : Which means more work on both content and code side. Using the new technology means telling the machine to use it and how you want it used.

It : But then it’ll also be smarter and think more so that it knows what I want.

Me : That was an incredible misconception.

It : Well, I’m saying that making new aliens is about how they look. It’s like when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, it’s a whole new existence.

Me : So the machine doesn’t have to worry about what the devil ”optonic” means. And hopefully, I won’t either. We’ll just turn into butterflies.

It : Are all gamers out there as thick as this?

Me : Yes…. yes, they are.

Miksi siili myi?

It : ”Why was this guy on the phone saying that he’d be surprised if that game even sold 5,000 copies? I figured you put in a few hours, you make a little art, and sell a couple hundred thousand copies. I mean, if that weren’t true, nobody would have bought the porcupine thing; I mean the graphics were a total joke.”

AI Guy : ”Porcupine thing?”

It : ”Yeah, that thing where there’s a porcupine and a nuclear fox and they run around in these tubes.”

AI Guy : ”Nuclear fox?”

Me : ”I… think you’re referring to Sonic the Hedgehog.”

AI Guy : ”Nuclear fox?”

Me : ”I’ll give him that one… He had two tails.”


So here’s one involving me (as the manager at that point), and a relatively junior coder who was hired to take on lighter, though more numerous, tasks.

It : ”So what do you have him working on next?”

Me : ”Well, the main thing I’m thinking for him next is to start architecting the trigger system.”

It : ”Triggers? I thought I said we weren’t going to use triggers.”

Me : ”What? Why wouldn’t we? We kind of need it for a number of things.”

It : ”But we had [AI Guy] working on pathfinding all this time, and now you want to use triggers instead?”

Me : ”Not instead… This is mutually exclusive of pathfinding.”

It : ”Exactly. That’s the problem. We have to mutually exclude pathfinding if you want to do this crap.”

Jr. Coder : ”That’s not what this is about. This is in addition to [AI Guy]’s work. Initially, it’s going to have more to do with the player or anybody else being in certain locations and ’triggering’ actions in the world.”

Me : ”Exactly, for things like doors and elevators and so on.”

It : ”Well, those just plain work. Like the things at the supermarkets.”

Jr. Coder : ”How do you think they work in the first place?”

It : ”You just go there and they open.”

Jr. Coder : ”I mean what do you think makes them open?”

It : ”It just does.”

Me : ”Those doors aren’t friggin’ psychic! They have to have a sensor to detect that you’re there.”

It : ”So just have the animators make some sensors. I don’t see what’s so difficult about that.”

Jr. Coder : ”Just having the object doesn’t mean it does anything.”

It : ”Come on. Haven’t you ever heard the phrase, ’If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck’? I thought you programmers were supposed to have some more brains than other workers.”

Me : ”That’s what he’s going to be doing! He’s going to make sure it quacks like a duck. Artists can only make it look like a duck!”

It : ”When did we start adding ducks into the game?”


Jr. Coder : ”You have to deal with this all the time?”

Me : ”Yep. Is it any wonder we can’t ever get our ’ducks’ in a row?”

It : ”Ducks?”

Me : ”Yes. Ducks. The ducks have to quack.”

It : ”Isn’t that more of a sound issue? That would make it your job rather than his.*”

Jr. Coder : ”…………………”

Me : ”I’ll put it simply. There’s work to be done on the code side that doesn’t really block anybody else’s work. He’s going to be doing that.”

It : ”I’m going to have a talk with [AI Guy] and see what he thinks about all this trigger business.”

Me : ”Yes, you do that.”

(I was also doing sound effects and music for a good while there)

Seksikäs hoitsu

It : ”So what do you guys plan to do about giving the player health?”

Art Director : ”Well, I guess he’d have a bunch of stations he’d go to or something. It is fair to say that the idea of healthpacks which magically heal a guy instantly is a bit contrived.”

It : ”No, that’s just not good. You need to have this sexy nurse on the battlefield and she follows everybody around and you just go to her when you need health.”

Art Director : ”hm… well, I guess… that sort of works. There are medics on the battlefield and all… not necessarily sexy ones, but we can wave our hands on that.

It’d be some extra work, but it’s feasible.”

It : ”Well, what do you plan to make her wear? She does have to be sexy, you know what I’m saying?”

Art Director : ”Probably just be light troop wear, light armor with lots of pockets for tools and first aid supplies. It is a warzone after all.”

It : ”Oh, NO! Come ON!! She has to be SEXY! You need to put her in a MINISKIRT and some really high stilleto boots and she needs a vibrator.”

Art Director : ”I don’t see how that really works. I mean, it’s *war*… that’s not really suitable attire. Anyone in stilleto heels wouldn’t be able to keep up in weathered terrain”

It : ”Well, then how do you plan to have her deliver health?”

Art Director : ”Oh, I figure she’ll probably have some kind of injector thing that just does a quick shot to heal you up. Kinda like the whole Star Trek thing. I know you like that reference.”

It : ”Oh, GOD! NO!!! That’s totally BORING! You need to have the character go up to her, and he grabs her and starts… kissing on her NECK… and he keeps getting health as he goes on. And when he finally reaches full health, she has to fight him off because he’s worked his way down to her TITS. Now THAT’s healing.”

Art Director : ”Okay, I’m sorry, but that is really the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard in my life. And that’s saying something. Yeah, we’ll really get on the shelves of Walmart by making a porn game.”

It : ”Walmart carries porn, don’t they?”

Art Director : ”Like hell they do! Walmart is way more conservative than that.”

It : ”I remember my brother telling me about this vibrator and he said he got it from Walmart.”

Art Director : ”Okay, that was too much information.”

It : ”Well, you need to listen to what I’m saying. The point isn’t about porn, I’m saying the healing has to be sexy… you know, so that… you know, it keeps the player interested… even though there isn’t necessarily any specular or bump or ragdoll. Well I guess there could be ragdoll… That might be… hmm… oh… mmmmm…”

Art Director : ”Umm… do you need to be alone or something? I can leave.”

Järkeä jatko-osissa?

It : ”I was wondering, y’know, what’s the point of making more than one game?”

Me : ”What? How about making some actual money…”

It : ”I mean, you make one game, you’re already making millions.”

Me : ”Assuming the game sells well.”

It : ”Well, you know, you spend a little time, put it on the market, and there you go, you can sell a couple hundred thousand without even trying.”

Me : ”I don’t know enough words to describe how wrong that is.”

It : ”Well, millions, then”

Me : ”That’s not what I meant.”

It : ”Really? Tens of millions? It’s really that easy?”

Me : ”Ugh… I have a headache.”


Ja kaiken huipennuksena erään pelin käsikirjoituksesta…

Oh, yes, you’ll have a sniper rifle that is ”more functional” than any other ever made because it glows and shines a spotlight beam on the target you’re aiming at. All guns have muzzle flashes that need to be a minimum of 4 feet wide. Of course, the final boss is Hitler II himself, and when you seemingly kill Hitler the first time, it’s revealed that he’s actually a liquid chrome shapeshifter who has joined with a neural network in order to become the ultimate being. So now you have to kill ”King Hitler”… and then it’s revealed that the neural network was just using Hitler to get to you in order to find the supreme human (in order to combine with you making a neural net cyborg), thereby making you the new World’s Fuhrer so that you can rule the world with an iron hand (oops… I mean, ”chrome hand”) in your own image.

I mean, where else can you find a game where Hitler rides on a T-Rex?


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