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Diary of an Evil Tester
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EvilJon
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Joined: 17 Jan 2004
Posts: 5282
Location: Knutsford

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 4:18 am    Post subject: Diary of an Evil Tester Reply with quote

Right then... I said I'd do it, so here goes. I was originally going to do it on the main site, but it ended up, with no internet access on my home computer, easier to just to come and post on the forums instead.

As you may see, this will be locked as I don't want replies and diary posts getting all mixed up...

Jon.

[edit by Ergo: thread getting outdated, unstickied]

_________________
- The Site Dictator
By the way, I visited the site, it is very bland and unimpressive. - Maniacal Matt
What all I did was tell him to stop some grammer and punc. would be nice. - reign of evil
sorry for my missplesings i am franch - el spartan117
I doubt that sick wierdo will help me. He did found this wastehole. - Mister Fluffersby
Have you visited BadAdverts.co.uk yet?



Last edited by EvilJon on Fri May 28, 2004 11:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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EvilJon
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Joined: 17 Jan 2004
Posts: 5282
Location: Knutsford

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sunday 23rd May

Moved into my new place in London yesterday. I actually travelled down to London with my long suffering mother on Thursday morning, and spent two weary days travelling around the north of the capital in search of a place half habitable. We camped out most of the day at the Elixir offices, which provided a great base. They gave us drinks, and let us use their computers to search houses. The receptionists and admin ladies (no names, as some like to stay behind the scenes!) were fecking brilliant and deserve a medal for letting us take over the reception, their desks and their time...

Elixir Studios is located in Camden Town, which is N1 (the first place you come to in Zone 2 when you travel north from central London, which is Zone 1). This is pretty ideal - it's close enough to the centre to feel you are living in a bustling part of the area with all that London provides, yet just far enough out to make tube journey's vaguely possiuble in terms of price.

The place I found, after searching on countless websites, looking through dozens of ads and visiting a good handful of places, is on in Archway. Archway is about 2-3 stops up the tube from Camden Town, and is also in Zone 2, which is damn useful. If I feel fit, it is also close enough to walk into work, assuming I get up at a half decent time. Work at Elixir starts at 10:00am (we're computer programmers, remember!) so that shouldn't really be too hard.

The room I got is on the top floor... wooden floors, and a decent enough view out of the window which views the street in front. The house ain't bad - huge, although kinda smelly kitchen (with dishes that look like they have never seen water) and an even bigger batchroom on two levels with wooden everything, kinda like a sauna. No bog roll to be found anywhere though, so it was a good job at Sainsbury's is about, ooooh.... 15 seconds away (assuming you have to actually stop and wait for traffic when crossing the one road to it).

Just noticed the KFC down the road, which will be an absolute bitch to avoid. Damn.

The tube place is right next to a couple of newsagents and the local Woolworths, which is useful, and all within about 3 minutes casual stroll. Coming from Knutsford, which is in a kinda of bubble compared to the realities of life anywhere else (99.99% white and reasonably affluent), it is a real culture change down here. Not that I mind it, for it is great to see different people mixing, but it is still suprising how much I notice it when others wouldn't. That sounds kinda bad, but it's truthful. And enlightening.

Anyway - got bugger all to do all day as I know precisly 0 people in this area, but I may take the opportunity to check out any local University groups or something like that to meet a couple of people who are kinda around my own age. At least, if nothing happens there, I have a TV in my room to relieve the boredom Smile

OK - enough of my ramblings, as I'm sure you are more interested in the work I'm doing than the life I'm leading. More tommorrow.

Jon.

_________________
- The Site Dictator
By the way, I visited the site, it is very bland and unimpressive. - Maniacal Matt
What all I did was tell him to stop some grammer and punc. would be nice. - reign of evil
sorry for my missplesings i am franch - el spartan117
I doubt that sick wierdo will help me. He did found this wastehole. - Mister Fluffersby
Have you visited BadAdverts.co.uk yet?

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EvilJon
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Joined: 17 Jan 2004
Posts: 5282
Location: Knutsford

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monday 24th May

The Elixir day is the standard 8 hours, although shoved an hour back from the norm to a rather leisurely 10am - 6pm. It suits me fine - it means the evening is not too long so I don't get totally and utterly bored; nor do I have to get up that early. Funnily enough, I've been up before 8 every day since arriving in London, which for those who know me will know ius almost unheard of, and to be perfectly honest, it is a trend which I would like to keep going.

Anyway, enough about personal life... what about the job?

I got in at an impressivly early 9:40, which no doubt won't happen every day, to find that I had no computer to work with, let alone an account to actually log into. Luckily enough the tech guys at Elixir are as quick as they are clever, and before long I was up and running. The testing room is a little, rather bland room off the main coding area. I'm sharing it with the other new recuits, all of whom started earlier than myself so they know the ropes regarding testing, even though I had a head-start in some respects because I've done the job before.

My aim for the day, and for tomorrow too, is simply to play. I think it's called focus testing... not sure, but it's one of those buzz words that get thrown about a lot. Basically, I am obliged to sit there and just get to grips with the game, how it feels, and how intuative the controls are. It was pretty fun, but I never felt that I could really just sit there and enjoy playing the game... I was always very aware of the fact that I was being payed to do so, and therefore felt obliged to write notes and comments about everything I saw and any of the (remarkably few) bugs that I came across. I think tomorrow when I'm more settled into the job, I'll enjoy getting to grips with the game a little more than I did today - especially as I know understand the basic rules and commands much better now.

And that was it. Loaded the game up, started play it at around 10:30. Stopped for lunch hour, and then back to the keyboard to continue. For some it sounds like the idea of heaven. I have to say, that whilst enjoyable and certainly a hell of a lot better than many jobs, the "I'm playing games as my job!!!" side wore off fairly soon as it dawned on me that if I didn't do my job very well, it could mean that bugs may be missed, tarneshing the game upon release if not found by one of the other testers. That is not to say that my job is anything like as important as the actual coders and designers - of course it isn't - but it is a little unnerving that we (as a group) are the last line of defense against any problems, and if we let anything slip through, it could be pretty bad!

Realising that I have to save enough info and bite-size chunks of info to cover two months of diaries rather than just today, I'm gonna keep this short. Suffice to say that the game as a whole has improved both in stability and visuals enormously since I last saw it, and will no doubt be a blast to play when the pressure of work is off! More on this in future instalments.

Okey dokey, enough rambling... off to bed...

Jon.

_________________
- The Site Dictator
By the way, I visited the site, it is very bland and unimpressive. - Maniacal Matt
What all I did was tell him to stop some grammer and punc. would be nice. - reign of evil
sorry for my missplesings i am franch - el spartan117
I doubt that sick wierdo will help me. He did found this wastehole. - Mister Fluffersby
Have you visited BadAdverts.co.uk yet?

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EvilJon
Site Owner
Site Owner


Joined: 17 Jan 2004
Posts: 5282
Location: Knutsford

PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tuesday 25th May

Got in even earlier than normal at work today. Not because I am some little saddo that has nothing better to do, but because it's the only place I can get free Internet connections, so that extra half an hour in the morning at work is well spent.

Anyway, my focus test continued through the day's entirity. As I suspected, today was a lot more fun than yesterday was. As I explained yesterday, this was partly because I have become a little more relaxed about my current role of "play it for a few days then tell us what you thought". It was also due to the fact that I am slowly beginning to work out how the game functions at a deeper level, and therefore my thinking has started to become a little more strategic. No more control centres at the front enterance of my base for me!

I've come to the stage of the game when you instantly start thinking... "OK, yeah... I got this game sorted now.... so I wanna start again!" No doubt there will be plenty of time for that in the coming weeks.

At the end of my focus test, I will be asked to write a short report about the game. This should cover my general opinions of the game (which, without going too far, have been generally very good), what confused me, what is unclear, what should be put in or missed out, and so on. I've been keeping notes as I go along, so I'm not too worried about writing the report - it's hardly like there is a right or wrong answer or anything. But I am aware that my opinions are carefully considered, so I'll be spending time this evening musing over what to write (whilst watching "Hell's Kitchen on ITV of course). Anyway - I gotta have it done by the early part of the afternoon, after which I kinda graduate to being a proper tester (i.e. I do certain things repeatedly and so forth). No doubt I'll feel like one of the minions that I so regularly use as cannon fodder...

Now that I have had 5 mins to look over the site, I am acutely aware of innacuracies in the information, or more likely, things that were correct but are now rather dated. The game is really progressing at a very fast speed, with some great new ideas. And I am fully aware that I am not even a third of the way through the game yet, which is kinda exciting.

The final evil genius character, details of which have not yet been released, is pretty damn cool. I'm playing as [this character] at the moment. Wish I could say more...

The game is actually pretty damn challenging (although certainly not at a frustrating level). I am playing it on easy at the moment, and I'm glad I am... I think I would have been up a certain creek by now otherwise.

Right, enough of that for now. Tomorrow is a pretty huge day - I've been asked to stay till 9:00 to work towards some sort of milestone, so that should be fun. More soon...

Jon.

_________________
- The Site Dictator
By the way, I visited the site, it is very bland and unimpressive. - Maniacal Matt
What all I did was tell him to stop some grammer and punc. would be nice. - reign of evil
sorry for my missplesings i am franch - el spartan117
I doubt that sick wierdo will help me. He did found this wastehole. - Mister Fluffersby
Have you visited BadAdverts.co.uk yet?

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EvilJon
Site Owner
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Joined: 17 Jan 2004
Posts: 5282
Location: Knutsford

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wednesday 26th May

I was preparing myself for a real long stint today - I thought I would be in Elixir until around 9:00pm, but it seems that now I am not needed. Not that I really mind, for I was a little annoyed that I was going to miss the football on TV Smile

Anyway, I finished my focus test today and wrote a decent 8 page report about what I thought. Looking back on what I wrote, I think what I wrote was too full of little things (both good and bad) rather than enough about he general game play experience, but I think I did a decent job anyway.

I finished the report about 4:00pm which gave me ample time to get set up for the next stage in testing. Once the latest build of the game had been downloaded and installed (installing was nice and easy, but they did all kinds of weird downloads which I didn't understand Wink) I jumped back into the game. Some of the testers are doing specific things over and over to ensure they work repeatedly... others, like myself are simply playing. My aim, as I see it at the moment, is simply to complete the game and comment properly on any bugs or glitches I find. There is a proper system for handling bugs - I have a form to fill in online, which gets passed automatically to the right people which is kinda nifty. More often, however, I simply query the problem with the lead tester and if he knows about it, I generally ignore it in the assumption the problem is being dealt with.

So... for the second time I am starting to build my base. It's a litle annoying to have to repeat missions I did only two days ago, but I'm really not complaining for it is great fun.

So - away from the testing side of things. I thought I'd quickly mention one or two things whch have really impressed me. The first is the menu or splash screen - the bit that you get when you boot up the game or press escape. It's absolutely awesome. The menu itself is (currently) fairly basic, but it's not static, which is great. It reall does look professional and I hope that they keep it in for the final release. To complement the great menu I really should also mention the music. Those of you who played Republic will know the excellent soundtrack - and it is looking like Evil Genius will be just as good. In game the music is pretty good, but on the menu and evn more so on the loading screen, the music really is breathtakingly great. I almost wished the loading would take longer so I had more time to enjoy the music - and that's the truth.

So, the football is on in 5 mins, so I'm gonna keep this short, and hopefully have more to talk about tomorrow.

Jon.

_________________
- The Site Dictator
By the way, I visited the site, it is very bland and unimpressive. - Maniacal Matt
What all I did was tell him to stop some grammer and punc. would be nice. - reign of evil
sorry for my missplesings i am franch - el spartan117
I doubt that sick wierdo will help me. He did found this wastehole. - Mister Fluffersby
Have you visited BadAdverts.co.uk yet?

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EvilJon
Site Owner
Site Owner


Joined: 17 Jan 2004
Posts: 5282
Location: Knutsford

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thursday 27th May

OK - we come to another diary. This time, I'm writing it at Elixir rather than my local Internet cafe - I figured that if it was free here, I might as well take advantage of the fact Smile I mentioned these diaries to lead producer Pete today so hopefully he'll take a look at them.

I continued today with a general play test, but have been given the chance to use the proper bug recording system. I found very little in the way of major stuff, but as you will guess, there are still many areas, such as occasional glitches and balancing which needs to be looked at, so I submitted a decent selection of suggestions and comments into the system.

I had hoped that by the end of the week I would have completed the game - of course when you are regularly stopping to write something or show something to someone you don't actually progress very fast. As I mentioned yesterday, I resdtarted the game with the new build, and I did the same again today, so I am going over missions and so forth which I have already done. It's impressive to see that the new version compared to the verison I last played (which was a week old) is significantly better in many areas - the balance, the style, the missions and graphically. There are changes happening every day and it is pleasant to get a new build and play around with the new updates, and comment on whether they are all working properly.

I mentioned yesterday about the sound in the menu and loading screens. I would also like to comment on the excellent in-game sound effects. Many of you will have seen the videos on Gamespot and IGN, and will have seen some of the rooms available in the game, but most of the videos are without sound so the full experience is not avaialable. With a nifty pair of headphones in-game, I have really enojyed zooming as close as I could to different rooms and actions and listen to the sound effects - screaming, or laughing for instance. In the canteen there is a great sizzling sound effect... and in other rooms that have so far not been mentioned publically, there are other great effects. It really does highlight the game experience, and one can only imagine the number of sound clips that must have been captured to achieve it.

I was under the impression that I was going to work a slightly different day again today to get ready for showing the game to the publishers. Yesterday I was told that I should skip the lunch break, and maybe make up the hour at the end of the day (effectivly leave an hour earlier). It only occured to me half way through the afternoon that that idea had been scrapped and everyone else had, in fact, enjoyed some time away from the game for an hour whilst I had been sitting there playing it. AND I had to stay 'till the end too Wink Grrrr! Anyway, when you are playing games, it's not too much of a problem, although I do enjoy using the lunch break to catch up on various Internet things. I'll ensure I don't miss out tomorrow, I guess Smile

It's gone 6:00pm and everyone still seems to be here and workign hard - it happens regularly. And when I come in at 9:30, which as I mentioned earlier is fairly early, many people are again already here. These guys really are dedicated to making a good fun and succesful game.

As far as I can see, it's all falling into place Smile

Right - more tomorrow...

Jon.

_________________
- The Site Dictator
By the way, I visited the site, it is very bland and unimpressive. - Maniacal Matt
What all I did was tell him to stop some grammer and punc. would be nice. - reign of evil
sorry for my missplesings i am franch - el spartan117
I doubt that sick wierdo will help me. He did found this wastehole. - Mister Fluffersby
Have you visited BadAdverts.co.uk yet?

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EvilJon
Site Owner
Site Owner


Joined: 17 Jan 2004
Posts: 5282
Location: Knutsford

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Friday 28th May

It's wierd, but I'm already in a kinda of compfy rut here in London. I get up at precisely 8:25 and turn the TV on. Back in bed I watch the news, sport and weather on BBC Breakfast, then after getting ready to go out, I saunter to Safeway's at approximatly 9:10. Buying a yoghurt for breakfast and a bread roll for lunch (69 pence), I get the tube (single Zone 2 only ticket) and arrive at Elixir for around 9:50am. Work work work. Lunch - ham sandwich. Work work work. Go home. I switch on the TV, scan the listings, choose what I'm gonna watch, and plan an hour in the middle to go to an Internet cafe and chat with friends. Bed at 11:30.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Man, I need a lady in my life Wink

Well, I got the weekend to work on that. And I should point out that I am really enjoying the time working in here - don't get the idea that it is boring or anything, for it isn't. It's actually still great fun and I only wish I could tell you guys more about it (although I should be in a position to write some great help guides about the game after it has been released though) Smile.

Anyway - today it was same as yesterday in the morning - general testing and playing the game through as I wanted. I stopped quite regularly to comment on things - maybe a menu which could be improved or a comment about something, and a couple of my ideas are being incorporated into the game. Others are not Wink.

This afternoon we changed again. There was a new build of the game available today, so instead of us all just playing, we all set about downloading the new build and covering one speicfic topic - namely the sound effects. Each person in the testing team was given a set of rooms to investigate and each item in that room was carefully placed and examined for any possible errors or missed sound effects. Generally speaking, as with all the elements of this game, problems were few and faer between and I enjoyed having the time to look at every single item in the rooms I covered, watch the animations, and chat about how I thought of them. Of course, we cheated to get all the items at the start of the game (we have various cheats which can be used by testers to speed through certain areas of the game or get certain things straight away - no doubt these will be taken out for the final version). It was pretty cool to see all the different things you get to see at the end of the game, although it does mean that it will be less of a suprise for me when I play it through properly I guess Smile. Not like I'm complaining...

Anyway, I got half way through that, and will finish it off on Tuesday (bank holiday on Monday remember).

Got my first paycheck today too - pity I am with a rather random bank so I'll probably spend half of Saturday searching London for my nearest branch to actually cash this cheque in... but it's worth it of course Smile

Off back home now - may go see what big 'ol London can offer me in the way of entertainment this weekend - can't wait...

Jon.

_________________
- The Site Dictator
By the way, I visited the site, it is very bland and unimpressive. - Maniacal Matt
What all I did was tell him to stop some grammer and punc. would be nice. - reign of evil
sorry for my missplesings i am franch - el spartan117
I doubt that sick wierdo will help me. He did found this wastehole. - Mister Fluffersby
Have you visited BadAdverts.co.uk yet?

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EvilJon
Site Owner
Site Owner


Joined: 17 Jan 2004
Posts: 5282
Location: Knutsford

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saturday 29th May

I don't intend on writing too many diary posts for the days when I am not working, as I am sure that you are mostly interested in the work I am doing rather than the life I'm leading. But what the hell, I'm in the Internet cafe and I have 20 mins to waste Smile.

Anyway, I thought I'd spend the day doing the tourist thing, but ended up getting my hair cut and watching the Division 1 playoffs (football) in the local pub. And tonight I'm gonna watch six episodes of Friends.

Oh well, tourist thing can wait Smile

I watched the opening to the new Big Brother last night with my eyes behind my fingers... anyone who watched it will know why. Bloody hell. Well, they're an eclectic bunch, I'll give them that. A little bit embaressing that the mincer who went in first went to the same University as I did.... Rolling Eyes. Talking of Uni, I get my results in about a week. Neutral

Went to KFC again. Fourth time in a week. Damn. hey, at least I live on the second floor so I burn off a couple of calories everytime I go to the kitchen or something...

Meh - enough of my ramblings, they are just *too* dull. More tomorrow, if there is anything worth writing about Smile

Jon.

_________________
- The Site Dictator
By the way, I visited the site, it is very bland and unimpressive. - Maniacal Matt
What all I did was tell him to stop some grammer and punc. would be nice. - reign of evil
sorry for my missplesings i am franch - el spartan117
I doubt that sick wierdo will help me. He did found this wastehole. - Mister Fluffersby
Have you visited BadAdverts.co.uk yet?

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EvilJon
Site Owner
Site Owner


Joined: 17 Jan 2004
Posts: 5282
Location: Knutsford

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sunday 30th May and Moday 31st May

As I said yesterday, there is little point in writing diaries every day just for the hell of it, so this is one of what will no doubt me many double or triple days in one post.

For those who don't know, today is a Bank Holiday here in England, which is basically a day off for everyone except farmers and those in the tourist trade. Which is just as well, for I switched my work clothes (jeans and T-shirt) for tourist clothes (jeans, T-shirt and stupid hat). It's kinda silly to be in London and not go out...

Today I did St Pauls Cathederal, the Millenium Bridge and the Tate Modern (I'm so cultured). St Pauls was as impressive as I expected, although having seen it once many years back I kinda knew that impressive just isn't the word for such a beautiful building. Shame it was covered in scafolding, but there you go.

A 5 minute walk seperates St Pauls and the Tate Modern, and much of that is the the fairly well known Millenium Bridge, which is one sexy bridge if bridges are your thing. For those of you who don't know, it was opened a few years ago and closed a day later because the bridge wobbled so much that pedestrians felt Sick sick. Classic engineering Smile You could see a whole load of places from the middle though - including the London Eye which I must go on sometime.

On t'other side is the Tate Modern, which to those who don't appreciate the "artistic" nature of the building looks like a factory (probably because it no doubt was). Anyway, it's free to go in, which rules, and had an enjoyable few hours mooching around. Some of the stuff was just random so I didn't bother myself with it, but there was some good stuff from Damien Hurst, Dali, Picasso, and the like which is always worth checking out just to say you have. There was a collection of nudes at the top which was funny not for the paintings but for the looks on the faces of horrified parents who unwittingly went in with their kids only to usher them out as they started sniggering and pointing at the rather frank "artwork".

The Tate is currently showing a great collection of works by Edward Hopper, an American(?) who painted in the first half of the the 20th Century. I paid rather a lot extra to go round, but was glad I did for there really was some great stuff including the ultra iconic "Nighthawks" painting whch I must have looked at for some good 20 minutes... Smile Anyone who has seen the famous Simpsons poster which was based on Nighthawks will no doubt know how far its influence has spread Wink

I went to a church in Regent Street yesterday evening (another expensive tube ride Sad), which to be perfectly honest was an attempt to get to know some people my age down here as much as it was to actually go to the service for the proper reason. It was pretty damn grand, but enjoyable and so forth. Some good looking lasses there too, which was a bonus Wink

Back to work again tomorrow, which I am looking forward to, especially seeing as I really can't afford to live with all these days off where I spend too much and earn bugger all (like today). Got myself a bus pass now (man I sound old saying that) so at least the finances for that are sorted.

More about the actual game rather than my boring little life tomorrow Smile

Jon.

_________________
- The Site Dictator
By the way, I visited the site, it is very bland and unimpressive. - Maniacal Matt
What all I did was tell him to stop some grammer and punc. would be nice. - reign of evil
sorry for my missplesings i am franch - el spartan117
I doubt that sick wierdo will help me. He did found this wastehole. - Mister Fluffersby
Have you visited BadAdverts.co.uk yet?

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EvilJon
Site Owner
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Joined: 17 Jan 2004
Posts: 5282
Location: Knutsford

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tuesday 1st June

Back at work today and raring to go. After three days of not really being sure what I wanted to do, I quite enjoyed having something to do again today.

Anyway, it's 7:00pm or thereabouts now, and I am still at Elixir - they have asked me to stay on 'till 9:00pm and do some more stability testing of the second new build out today. In fact, it looks like I wil be staying on 'till 7:00pm at least nearly every day from now on and testing and fixing becomes more and more busy.

I have to say, I really don't mind staying on to do the extra hours. It's good fun, it keeps me busy and they occasionally, like tonight, put on food or order in food to keep us going. I'll be missing the first half of the football this evening, but to be perfectly honest, it's not that big a deal.

Anyway, this morning I finished my testing of the different sounds effects for each item in the rooms that I have been assigned, and spent much of the rest of the day checking out and generally playing the new build (well, the build that was new back then Wink). Pretty fun, but I have to say I enjoy it a little more when I have something specific to test, not leats because I can get proper results written up which makes me feel that I am actually being of use here!

Right - enough procrastinating - I should be installing this new build and going through it... so more later or tomorrow...

Jon.

_________________
- The Site Dictator
By the way, I visited the site, it is very bland and unimpressive. - Maniacal Matt
What all I did was tell him to stop some grammer and punc. would be nice. - reign of evil
sorry for my missplesings i am franch - el spartan117
I doubt that sick wierdo will help me. He did found this wastehole. - Mister Fluffersby
Have you visited BadAdverts.co.uk yet?

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EvilJon
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Joined: 17 Jan 2004
Posts: 5282
Location: Knutsford

PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wednesday 2nd June

You know, I could get used to this staying late into the evening kinda lifestyle - I get paid for the extra three hours (until 9:00pm) and get red some pretty tasty food too, so I'm spending less outside Elixir. It's all good!

Anyway, as you might have guessed, I stayed here 'till 9:00pm this evening, as well as last night, which means I am doing 11 hour shifts here. Which is kinda heavy, but testing games isn't exactly strength-sapping, so it's not like I have a problem with it. In fact, the more the better.

Today was pretty similar to all the others... new builds, and new tests to ensure stability and iron out confusing problems. Of which, yet again, there are suprisingly few, but of course, are there to be found. It's kinda a challenge - there are very few missions and so forth that I have actually done as we are supposed to - I am continually looking for ways to break the game (which really is fun, especially as I'm not the poor sod who has to fix it again Smile)

Have you all seen the new official Evil Genius website yet? www.howevilareyou.com . I think I was the first person here at Elixir to actually notice that it had been updated - it was certainly fun to see what the team members thought of the long-overdue update. It was, as you might have gathered, Vivendi that updated the website... and to be fair, they have done a good job, although I'm gonna be seeing if I can get a section for fansites put in Wink

I also went over to Sandy's desk today (he's one of the lead designers/producers.... not sure which off the top of my head) and chjecked out his "Kinder whip". It's pretty impressive. For those of you who haven't heard of it, check out the last paragraph but one of the most recent developer diary... anyway, it's a two metre long "whip" made simply from Kinder egg inserts. Awesome, if a little sad really Smile

Anyway - it's 9:20pm now... best go.

Jon.

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By the way, I visited the site, it is very bland and unimpressive. - Maniacal Matt
What all I did was tell him to stop some grammer and punc. would be nice. - reign of evil
sorry for my missplesings i am franch - el spartan117
I doubt that sick wierdo will help me. He did found this wastehole. - Mister Fluffersby
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EvilJon
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2004 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thursday 3rd June

It's my dad's birthday today - I remembered it alright, but unfortunatly only today rather than yesterday so I haven't sent him a card which is a little naughty of me... oops! I 'phoned home to wish him a Happy Birthday, but as he's deaf, it didn't really have the impact that it might have...

Anyway, yet again it is 9:15 and I'm writing this whilst still at Elixir. Looks like this is going to be a regular thing, but as I said, I'm not going to complain about free food Smile. I have been approached with the suggestion of working 11:00am - 6:00pm on Saturday - not sure aboutt hat, but it's my decision of course. We'll see if I have anything better to do!

Day started like most others, but instead of general play testing, I was put on to checking every item in the game, and making sure that the picture of it in tghe menus and the explanation of it was all OK. It was quite fun, and as I have mentioned before, it's nice to be able to do something which you can show results for at the end. I found a couple of innacuracies which pleased me in a way for it showed that I hadn't wasted my time doing it!

Half way through the morning we had a fire drill, so we all trampled down the stairs and sat outside in the rather dark London street (it's been pretty cloudy today). Not particularly cold or anything, so it was an interesting change to the norm, but not sure if I really want to do it again. There was a bit of a fight for space in the lift after we were let back in - needless to say I took the stairs (fourth floor, I'm working on).

Installed two seperate new builds today - it's great to see new things going in nearly every day, especially the odd one which I have personally asked for.

About 6:30 I took 15 minutes rest and went and played Pro Evo 3 with some of the other guys. I'm not great at it, but proficient enough to be able to give someone a half decent game, which was pretty good. Hope they don't bring out any other PS2 games though, as I'd be pretty rubbish at them...

It's pretty nice working here as it's possible to get some pretty fast download speeds on the local network during lunch break - meaning that sessions of online multiplayer games work a treat, as does downloading pretty much any video. Not sure if I'd be allowed MSN Messenger though, which is a pity Smile

Anyway... the others are all leaving, so I best too...

More tomorrow!

Jon.

_________________
- The Site Dictator
By the way, I visited the site, it is very bland and unimpressive. - Maniacal Matt
What all I did was tell him to stop some grammer and punc. would be nice. - reign of evil
sorry for my missplesings i am franch - el spartan117
I doubt that sick wierdo will help me. He did found this wastehole. - Mister Fluffersby
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Friday 4th June

The days are certainly rolling by now... end of another week (well, it's not, as I'm in again tomorrow, but not for too long)... and I have really gotten into a stride now. I have to say, today was harder than most - I was simply trying to beat the game, and as most testers will testify to, the game is not finally balanced yet, meaning that at times I felt I was almost going backwards which was a little frustrating. It will be awesome once the game is properly balanced - the correct amount for completing missions, the right amount of stats to gain and loose and any particular moment, and so forth.

What's great is that I have so much still left to find out. I know about all the room items in the game (as I had to cheat and get them all to test them!) but I have hardly covered traps yet. It takes a while to get to the stage of the game where traps are of real use, so I'm just going to bide my time and stay in joyful anticipation of what cool things I'll be able to do, or attempt to do, to my enemies.

The guys I am testing the game with are good fun too, which is always a bonus. Jez, the "lead" Rolling Eyes tester is plain crazy at times, and seeing as he is surrounded by people who really can't move from their desks much, he loves spending way too much of his time pissing us all off Smile. Of course, the long days bring the stupidity out of all of us, and we can't help being enjoyably immature at times. Case in point: one of the testers, who is female and Turkish, found a bug where one of the gun racks disappeared. She really didn't understand what we were laughing at when she repeatedly asked out loud: "Where is my rack?".

Yes, it's that immature. Another tester made the mistake of explaining that he hated the song "Wild Wild West", so you can imagine what gets sung every 10 minutes...

During my lunch break I played Pro Evo 3 again - won 1-0 with what I must say was a perfectly brilliant sissor kick from outside the box which screamed into the top corner. Quite magical... and it was great to beat one of the guys who trounced me yesterday.

This evening I left at 7:00 rather than 9:00 as it is football night. About 8 people normally play for an hour at one of the local sports halls, and I rather crazily asked to join. Demis, who normally plays, was away, as were a few others, so I was given the opportunity in a 3-a-side game. I knew I wasn't exactly fit, but my goodness, it sapped me totally... I could hardly walk down the stairs afterwards. I nearly fainted, which was a little scary Smile. Anyway, even with all that, my team won both games, which was probably not really down to me too much, but I won't dwell on that! It was great fun, and I'm doing it again next week, when I may actually remember to bring a change of clothes and a towel for afterwards... I really wasn't the best person to sit next to on the bus afterwards Wink

Right, with that done, I'm about to flop... and think about some dinner.

More tomorrow...

Jon.

_________________
- The Site Dictator
By the way, I visited the site, it is very bland and unimpressive. - Maniacal Matt
What all I did was tell him to stop some grammer and punc. would be nice. - reign of evil
sorry for my missplesings i am franch - el spartan117
I doubt that sick wierdo will help me. He did found this wastehole. - Mister Fluffersby
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saturday 6th June and Sunday 7th May

It's pretty early on Sunday to actually think about writing my diary, but as I have very little planned for the rest of the day, I might as well do it now, especially as I was a little too busy to do yesterday's yesterday Smile

Anyway, Saturday started with the awesomely fun task of paying the rent. It's not easy taking

_________________
- The Site Dictator
By the way, I visited the site, it is very bland and unimpressive. - Maniacal Matt
What all I did was tell him to stop some grammer and punc. would be nice. - reign of evil
sorry for my missplesings i am franch - el spartan117
I doubt that sick wierdo will help me. He did found this wastehole. - Mister Fluffersby
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monday 7th June

It's the end of another long day, and this one really took it out of me. Working 11 hour shifts isn't really what I'm used to!

I went swimming before coming into work today (which possibly accounts for my tiredness a little) which was plesant. There is a great pool with slides and jacussis and so forth so I spent a very relaxing hour before chugging to work in the bus.

I've been continuing with regression testing. On Saturday I started with 188 fixed bugs to check over, and as a team we've done about 100, although as I've been the one doing it specifically I think I did about 90 of them... it certainly feels like it anyway. Vivendi have their own set of testers who go through the game very thoroughly and send back the most professional bug reports, which kinda put me and the other testers in the shade a bit, but it's great to have them as extra backup for the issues we fail to find ourselves.

Elixir bought me tea as normal this evening, as I worked late. I had a pretty nice "American Hot" pizza, which was easily one of the hotest things ever to pass through my lips (not like that Wink) and only about 4 pints of water got me through it. Feel very contented now though!

The team is still here, busy as usual. I hope everyone who bitches about games being late (especially Republic) realise how much time and effort goes into making a A game like this - they work Saturdays and sometimes Sundays, and from 9am - after 9pm most days. It really is a dedicated lifestyle that a lot of these guys lead, especially since some are on a wage that does not increase when hours do and do the work for the love of it and the desire to create a top-notch game.

The main menu and introduction screens have been radically redesigned in today's new build. I quite liked the old one, but the new one is just as awesome, if not more so, so I hope you like it if it stays for the final release. Lovely and quirky Smile

Demis is working away diligently on the other side of the room from where I am. I realised a day or two back that I have said little more than 5 words to him since I arrived, so I'll be sure and say a proper, if rather belated "Hello" at some point Smile. And maybe get permission to sneak a peek at Blue Vault whilst I'm at it Wink.

Right - off to bank today's check for last week's work, which is very welcome... so more tomorrow. Please please please contact me or write on these forums if you have any comments on these diaries or whether you are enjoying them - it makes it much more worthwhile for me to write them if I know they are being appreciated.

Jon.

_________________
- The Site Dictator
By the way, I visited the site, it is very bland and unimpressive. - Maniacal Matt
What all I did was tell him to stop some grammer and punc. would be nice. - reign of evil
sorry for my missplesings i am franch - el spartan117
I doubt that sick wierdo will help me. He did found this wastehole. - Mister Fluffersby
Have you visited BadAdverts.co.uk yet?

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