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Laundry lists discussion; bug fixes and prioritization

by DellaLuna48
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Original Post

Laundry lists discussion; bug fixes and prioritization

[ Edited ]
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@xochiquetzl_xkvn wrote:

I don't work for EA, but do work for a different software company (as a DBA rather than developer), so... they almost certainly have a not-infinite number of people working on bugfixes and have to prioritize which ones to work on first. I assume that the laundry list is the sweet spot of "we know what causes it AND have evaluated its impact on gameplay," which is the answer to "Why haven't they fixed this yet?" (Either they don't know why, or their limited resources were assigned to other bugs.)


@xochiquetzl_xkvn That's fair, about the amount of people working on the game. It's been pretty easy to see that, especially recently. I really feel for our developers.

The frustrating part with this is that the January/Paranormal patch caused this bug. A couple of patches before this, Get Famous got broken (couldn't stop people from gaining fame in the options), and that took a couple of months to fix. So on this side, the players/non-programmer side, it feels like "Well, if they recently broke it, why can't they just fix it right away?"

So we've got people out there not patching their games because it feels like they're breaking more than they're fixing these days. Meaning, modders have already made fixes for a ton of these bugs already, so it's less worth it to patch the game, knowing something else will break.

The thumbnail may not bug you much, but for a lot of people, it's game-breaking. I give a lot of grace to the developers, because I know this is a management/budgetary issue, not a lack of love for this game. But when it comes to EA, a billion dollar company? Not so much. They need to take care of their teams.

 

(CM: Edited to add thread title and include a quote (from the post being replied to) for context, considering opening post and others were split from other thread to help keep threads on topic and provide a space to discuss the different subjects)..  

Message 1 of 20 (936 Views)

Dot.: [OPEN] Baby icon/household picture different colour than Sim

[ Edited ]
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@xochiquetzl_xkvn" I wish this was the biggest bug affecting my game."

Hoo boy howdy, ain't that the truth!

However, lots of the bug fixes we do get are minor things that don't affect the way I play my game that much either but are just easy to locate and fix. And this one seems like it should be fairly easy to fix.

So... Why not?

 

Although, to be completely honest, this one doesn't bother me nearly as much as the loss of cat whiskers. I know it's just another cosmetic glitch, but it seems so... cruel!

Message 2 of 20 (900 Views)

Dot.: [OPEN] Baby icon/household picture different colour than Sim

@DellaLuna48  I hear you, and sure, every user thinks the bug that affects them is the most important bug. That’s human nature! 

 

But the point I’m trying to make is: Bug fixes don’t make money. I’m not saying that to say it’s a good or bad thing, just that it’s a fact. I’m sure the Sims team loves their game and wants it to be the best it can be! On the other hand, if they don’t make money they can’t pay their developers. 

As for EA, well, it’s normal business practice to emphasize profit centers over cost centers. Again, not saying that to say it’s a good thing or a bad thing. What makes money? New DLC. What doesn’t make money? Bug fixes. We can say that EA should prioritize supporting bug fixes, but they’re going to want to prioritize profit. (Again, not saying that’s good or bad, moral or immoral, etc., just that... they’re a business.)

So while I feel your frustration—believe me, I have bugs I want them to fix!—when i see a whole bunch of people saying “How can they not have fixed this already?” That’s how. They have X number of developers assigned to bug fixes and have to prioritize, based on how many people have the problem (*waves*) and what it will take to fix it. 

The whole thing with patches to support new DLC causing more bugs is driven by the whole “How can they afford to pay their developers?” thing. Their code base must be crazy to work on with the patchwork of DLC. 


Anyway. That’s how.

Message 3 of 20 (1,048 Views)

Dot.: [OPEN] Baby icon/household picture different colour than Sim

@stjmk  Aww, poor kitties with no whiskers!

 

Sure, I assume—and you know what they say about assuming 😉—that it’s an easy fix. Based on my non-dev opinion. 

I’m not the one who picks what gets worked on next, as much as I wish I was. So sure, bug fixes all around! As you say, why not? 

 

On the other hand, I had to download a mod to stop my Sims from having inappropriate romantic interest in their children so I kind of wish they would work on that. At least I have a mod. 

Are there any modders who want to take this thumbnail icon thing on? 

Message 4 of 20 (1,041 Views)

Dot.: [OPEN] Baby icon/household picture different colour than Sim

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@xochiquetzl_xkvn "Bug fixes don’t make money."

But not fixing bugs will cost 'em. Potential customers will hear about it and refrain from buying, and existing customers won't want to buy additional stuff from them.

One thing I suspect is that developers are predisposed to enjoying creating new stuff, as opposed to troubleshooting, or analyzing and fixing what doesn't work.

Maybe, it's part of EA's management, as well. But short-changing quality assurance is not a good strategy.
Message 5 of 20 (1,028 Views)

Dot.: [OPEN] Baby icon/household picture different colour than Sim

@stjmk  I suspect they're two different teams, TBH.  I suspect QA gets our bug reports and tries to consistently reproduce them, and then passes them on to the bugfix dev team.

 

Sure, there's a reputation hit;  no one wants to be the company that makes buggy unplayable games.  OTOH, well.  They have to pay their devs somehow.  It's a fine line. 

 

(And I digress.  Yep, still a bug.  Y'all are going to fix whatever bugs you fix, but again, I downloaded a mod to prevent my Sims from having inappropriate romantic interest in their children, so just sayin'.  Also this parenthetical is probably useless because you're probably looking at reply counts instead.) 

Message 6 of 20 (1,008 Views)

Dot.: [OPEN] Baby icon/household picture different colour than Sim

[ Edited ]
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@xochiquetzl_xkvn"I suspect they're two different teams, TBH. I suspect QA gets our bug reports and tries to consistently reproduce them, and then passes them on to the bugfix dev team."

You are much more sanguine than I am.

"Sure, there's a reputation hit; no one wants to be the company that makes buggy unplayable games. OTOH, well. They have to pay their devs somehow. It's a fine line."

Mini-Max for sure. I just don't think they're doing it right from what I've seen. I've seen a lot of "buggy unplayable game" comments.

Maybe EA should consider test-driven development.

Message 7 of 20 (998 Views)

Dot.: [OPEN] Baby icon/household picture different colour than Sim

[ Edited ]

"You are much more sanguine than I am."

 

At my place of employment, devs don't touch it until QA confirms it's a thing.  Anything less is considered "wasting Development's time," and devs are paid more than QA.

Message 8 of 20 (968 Views)

Re: Laundry lists discussion; bug fixes and prioritization

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@xochiquetzl_xkvn In addition to that, I think the so called "laundry list" is what EA is providing to us (the public), which doesn't necessarily mean it's the complete list. I am pretty sure they're keeping an "internal laundry list" that might be considerably longer than we think. They are only showing us the ones of which they have concrete plans/milestones for a fix with actual dev people assigned to it. I for myself wouldn't want to go through 200+ pages each time a laundry list is being released just to see that a bug is being looked into.

Message 9 of 20 (732 Views)

Re: Laundry lists discussion; bug fixes and prioritization

@Japanic2012  I'm sure that the "Laundry List" is the sweet spot of "We know what causes it and how to fix it, and it seems to affect a reasonable amount of people in an impactful way." That's not the same thing as "the only things they're working on."  I'm pretty sure it's more "We're reasonably certain we can knock this out this month." 

 

I'm reasonably certain that they're working on anything marked "needs saves," at least at a "Yes, we're confirming that we can consistently reproduce this bug" level.  That's the first step to figuring out why it happens.

 

The next step is figuring out how to fix it.  Is it adding a couple of lines of code, or is it completely tearing down how this thing functions and rebuilding it (ouch!)?  The former is more likely to be prioritized, unless it's, like, preventing the game from launching or whatever. 

 

(Again:  Don't work for EA.  Work for non-game software company.  Speculating based on that.)

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