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October 14, 2005


Hugh "Nomad" Hancock

I'd love to hear your thoughts on our development process over at Strange Company, despite the fact that we're not exactly games developers, but 1) We're a long way away and 2) We're also very poor...

Still, if we happen to be geographically congruous at some point, I'll certainly be happy to buy you lunch in exchange for any ideas that might pop up!

Joe W.

Can you give us an example of one of those things? I understand if the answer's no, since you'd kinda be giving away a trade secret.

Jamie Fristrom

Well, okay. Just as an example, I was talking to some guys the other day who don't start tracking bugs until after the game's in alpha and is in testing at the publisher. And this is an established developer with multiple titles under their belt and a pretty good track record for quality and timeliness. So, just as an example, if these guys were to hire me, I could help them:
* choose a good product for tracking bugs in-house
* start a culture of "fix the bugs first"
* make production testing someone's responsibility
Now, probably everybody who reads this blog is pretty good about bug tracking. Still, there may be other best practices you don't do, and you won't know what they are until you talk to me. Even if you're a kick-ass developer like these guys.


Jamie, no one is going to hire you to tell them about best-practices. That's the kind of work we would all love to get, but the fact is that most people don't know what they don't know... and they seldom will want to pay someone to come in and tell them that they're dumb. The people who read this blog probably also go to the software engineering type lectures/round-tables at GDC... and if they don't, they probably read the other blogs that cover those topics. You're preaching to the choir, bro.


I'm not worried - I got offered consulting gigs a couple of times while I was still at Activision / Treyarch, which I couldn't do because of my non-compete. Some people know that they don't know what they don't know. And, with the first hour free, what has anybody got to lose?

Will I be able to make a living off it? Doubtful, but it'll still bring some money in, and I'll get the warm fuzzies that come with helping people make better games.

Adam Vandenberg

"Bug tracking from day one" still isn't a given in non-game dev shops, either, along with "use a source control system, any, as long as it's not Visual Source Safe."

Borut Pfeifer

Why not share the wealth? I'd love to read a "Top 10 stupid little things you need to be doing" - It's one thing to take a review of a product like Incredibuild to a manager in order to convince them to use it, hopefully an gamasutra/gdmag article like that would provide a little more ammo...

Probably not as much money in doing that as consulting, though. :)

Billy Zelsnack

I think you can make a living off of such a thing.. You just have to wrap your services in the right shiny looking package. Maybe you should look around at consulting blogs and such and maybe.. Consult someone on how to wrap your services into a shiny looking package.

Noel Llopis

Please, not Incredibuild! http://www.gamesfromwithin.com/articles/0502/000069.html

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Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
    The best superhero games of all time Game Informer
    Top five games of all time Yahtzee Croshaw
    Top five superhero games of all time MSNBC
    Top 100 PS2 games of all time Official Playstation 2 Magazine
    1001 Games You Must Play Before You Die Nomination for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
  • Schizoid
    Penny Arcade PAX 10 Award
    Nominated for XBLA Best Original Game
    Nominated for XBLA Best Co-Op Game