Ventures of an ex indie game developer

Inhumane Corp.

At the day job we're going to sit in meetings all day. For two weeks! Estimation meetings. And the reason is... tada! not that we should re-estimate the work left ahead of us (for the third time, it's been done twice before - for real). No, the reason is that the requirements folk don't want to clarify the input, and the project managers can't tell it to their face. I shit you not! Inhumane company politics to a net worth of $100,000.

The other day I ran into a bug in one of Big Fish's point-and-click "hidden object" games. Twice. First time I wasn't sure how to I had caused it, but it caused the game to stall so I couldn't get passed that point. So I replayed a couple of hours and ran in to the same thing, in the same place once more. Mhm. So I sent this bug report to Big Fish explaining to them exactly how to reproduce the bug, which was somewhat serious. I'm certainly not the first one to run in to it (though quite possibly the only one who did it twice and still retried it for a third time). I kept it simple and clear, and I wanted to give them the information to help them become better. That's what people do with companies they keep in high regard; customers will try to help them improve. After a few days I got a 90-line mail back from a Big Fish support guy stating that:
  1. he knows it's no fun when a game stalls;
  2. I could get another Big Fish game as a refund;
  3. otherwise he'll certainly want to fix this; (otherwise?)
  4. he passed me a link to a walkthrough of the game;
  5. he also added a link to a forum page

If the above won't resolve my bug (duh!) he goes on to ask what items were in my inventory when the bug occurred. Did the "hint" button still work? Had I tried re-installing the game at all? He then informs me how to re-install the game. I gave them 30 minutes of bug-reporting time, apart from the three hours of replaying required to start over three times; and now he wants me to experiment and try this and that. I've been more then generous: I've paid them money, I've invested hours in one of their bugs, I've reported an error which he/they could easily reproduce and fix; and yet they fail to recognize that all I wanted was for them to improve. The tech in their point-and-click "adventure" games are based on XML charts, so they could quite possibly have fixed the bug in minutes, but instead they mailed me this... insult. Inhumane support.

I hope I, for as long as I live, never lose sight of the human at the other end of the company. It may not matter much to others, but it does to me.

About the author

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Gothenburg, Sweden