När man inte har mycket att göra på jobbet...
I detta fallet kände jag iofs att jag ville göra det, men jag hade också tid till det. Detta mailet är ett så kallat Post-Mortem. Detta är det värsta projeketet jag någonsin har jobbat med och jag mår dåligt varje gång jag tänker på det.
Eftersom jag inte har publicerat något på länge, så publicerar jag det här, så får ni dels en inblick i hur jag skriver på engelska och hur ett jobb-mail kan se ut en dag som denna. Tror inte jag har med någonstans vad projektet heter, men om jag har det så måste jag ta bort det, för det får jag inte publicera!
Post Mortem, ** ******
· Overall point of view about the running of the loc project
About the project:
It was quite tough project to work on, since the demands of what and how things should be done did not match the time we were given to do this things. Text-wise the game was huge and our instructions was to only log bugs we found in-game. We only got a few days for each testpass and since there were almost an unlimited amount of different text-combinations that could be generated in the game, it was an impossibility to summon them all.
I think many of the ideas, questions and values used in game was in an "long-gone" way of thinking, in the manners of sexes and genders(Girl vs Boy, Girly vs Boy-ish, Appearance vs inside etc). It included a lot of gender prejudices and other thoughts that in my opinion shouldn't be in a game for young kids. It was said at some point that the game was about to teach (raise) as well as entertain; and in a game with this kind of statements doesn't teach young girls about how the world is today, (yet less how it's supposed to be). The game was coldly counted on that kids in that age thought that for example reading and mathematics was two very boring and geeky things. I think it should be the different; Children games of this type should encourage this kind of things.
Like one example where there was a question something like "do you tell anyone how much you ate to dinner today". I don't know about the rest of Europe, but in Scandinavia a question like that could generate a lot of trouble, since anorexia is a huge problems in some parts of the world, and schools are struggling to make children think in another way, or not even think about this things at all. This game was giving the opposite in several occasions.
There were a lot of situations where the player had to choose between outside-, or inside qualities. To choose both was not an option, which - in my opinion - should be the case.
The game itself was also a bit awkward to test, since the timeline of the game was over a year long. The player/tester could not play/test the game in one go, since the game only had a few things to do per day. This limited the opportunities and alternatives for the game, and made it very difficult to test, since the tester couldn't play the game in the order it was supposed to be played, since cheats was needed.
· Detail if you can/wish : Schedule/Translation/Integration/Linguistic testing/Communication
•- Schedule: The schedule of the game was not at all as good as it could've been. Due to the testing instructions given, the test passes was far to short, and if there was a delay with the builds or technical problems etc, the deadline was still not postponed, which made each test pass even harder to complete.
•- Translation: The translation of the game was, of sometimes obvious reasons just not good at all. The string tables' layout were done in a way so not the translator, nor the tester could understand what string was the answer to which question etc. This made the translation much harder than what it could've been. The format of the game itself also contributed to this, since very often occurred in-game that one part of a statement was one string, and the other/others were another string. This generated a lot of mismatches and out-of-context mistranslations, since the translator didn't know which strings to combine. On top of that, there was a lot of simple and strange mistranslations, that had nothing to do with ‘out-of-context-, format-, or lay out-issues)
•- Integration: Since the language used was English, there were a lot of strange mismatches and inconsistencies due to that the difference in language and expressions are quite big and that they, on top of that, divided sentences into two - or more - strings. There were many problems that could've been avoided with a different layout of the game, and/or a "cleaner" spreadsheet.
•- Linguistic testing: As I mentioned the game was a bit strange to test. Since there were so many "functional" linguistic issues in the game, we didn't really have that much time to do the "real" linguistic testing. Most of the time and bugs were about just getting the text together, make it fit, and re-translate pure mistranslations, so the grammar and quality testing had to stand aside. Due to the huge amount of text and the fact that we weren't allowed to check/change anything we discovered in the string tables (at least in the beginning), we didn't have time to double check most of the text either.
•- Communication: The communication, well ... it could've been much better. It often took several days, and sometimes weeks before feedback or answers were given to questions asked. This slowed the process down a lot. Also, bugs that were logged in an early stage was said to be fixed and verified, but turned out that they weren't. Then later came bug reports (that weren't logged by us, the linguistic testers) for exactly the same issues that was said to have been fixed in a previous stage.
· Positive points / Points to improve
At starters, I think the general idea of the game is quite good. A diary for a kid to write in, with some questions helping them what they should write about, and encourage them to think. But the way it was done was not satisfying. What could've been done was to decrease these "questions" and make them more un-precise. Sometimes there were "questions" or "statements" that at didn't match with the player at all. So instead of "Why are you afraid of spiders" (which could be a question asked) there could be more (or only, since they existed as well) general things, like "What are you afraid of". Also implement a more realistic and equal way of thinking regarding boys/girls, woman/men. Not the old "girls-wear-pink-clothes-boys-wear-blue"-thinking. A game like this could be made even with those thoughts in mind, but it needs a bit more effort on manuscript and layout.
One thing that could, and have to, improve if another project like this is going to be made in the future is the string tables-, and game layout:
•- The layout of the tests in-game was most of the time that one part of the question was permanent. E.g: "Do you like ... "; the second part was a bunch of alternatives, which could be: "... Cold Ice-cream","... hot chocolate","... juicy candy" etc. This created a lot of in-consistencies both in game and in the string tables and are very difficult to translate since the translator not always had the first part of the string, just the alternatives. If the whole question was written in one string, like "What do you like?" (which was also used sometimes, and was good! ) and all the alternatives on the other side, this would have made it much easier to translate and test, and doesn't even need a good organization in the spreadsheet. To use whole strings instead of divide them would've been a good alternative over all, since this was not a big complex project, but a simple DS-diary-game. If it would've been kept simple, it could have been a good game.
•- The fact that the profiles generated in the game was built on different strings, combined depending on what answers you where giving in the test, created a lot of truncations. Some times there were two, three or even four strings combined. At least 4 different profiles for each test, calculated of the answers to 8 questions with 4 alternatives each; in 50 tests. As you can understand it would take a long time to generate all of the different profiles (over a year if the tester didn't have any instructions of what answer was giving which profile etc.). What could be done in this situation could've been to set a character limitation for all the strings used in the profile generation, and let the tester proof read all these strings in spreadsheet. This would almost make sure that there would not occur any truncations and overlaps. It would've saved a lot of precious time as well.
•- The communication between the development and the testers would've contributed to a much more effective testing if it would've been smoother and faster.
•- At some points the same string was used in different places in the game. This can be good to try to minimize the amount of strings. In this case though, the format of the locations was different. At one place was the allocated box for a string a half-screen wide and on two rows. At the other place the allocated text box was one whole-screen long and on only one row. The character amount was the same, but the different format caused a lot of problems. Long words couldn't be used due to the "half-screen"-box (it overlapped), but in the same time, forced linebreaks to avoid the overlap couldn't be used due to the "whole-screen"-box. So, if the same string is supposed to be used twice, the format of the two different locations should be the same.
This is my honest opinion of the project and what was going on around it.
Joe - Swedish tester, "** *******".
Det blir inte mycket nu för tiden
Den främsta anledningen till detta är naturligtvis att jag inte har något internet hemma. Jag har också köpt ett spel som jag spelar om dagarna och vi har många tv-kanaler.
Då blir det såhär. En annan viktig anledning att jag inte bloggar är också att jag har mycket att göra på jobbet. Just nu är det ganska lugnt, då det är lugnet före stormen, men gårdagen var häktisk och full av kaos.
Jag är ju CHEF nu... Jojo. Så är det. Jag Chefar runt här och bestämmer saker.
Jag är inte lika mycket chef som dom andra cheferna, men jag är mer CHEF än dom andra som inte är Chef.
Så lite Chef är jag.
Jag har också skrivkram då jag ska försöka bidra till andreas romans bloggturné, men eftersom jag inte skriver någonting bra längre, så vill jag skriva nåt ännu bättre. Jag vet inte hur det kommer bli med det.
Julia har fått jobb.
Det är jättekul för henne (trots att stackarn inte har kunnat jobba för hon har fått matförgiftning), men roligast är det för mig, för då har jag fått tillbaka min goda vän pär, och kanske umgås med honom någon gång då och då!
Jag sitter också och lyssnar på kvällspasset från i måndags om lögner. Det är ganska roligt, bara så ni vet. Min Idol är med där också.
Jag har kommit på att jag är ganska dålig på att ljuga i vanliga fall, och gör det heller inte särskillt ofta. När jag är kung på att ljuga dock är när det är så uppenbart att jag ljuger att det är löjligt. Till exempel om någon slår ut ett glas, och bara en ser att det är jag. Då kan jag utan att tveka komma på de bästa lögner som finns och förklara att det var just den personen som såg mig som slog ut glaset. Detta är egentligen också den enda gången då min fantasi flödar friare än den någonsin gör annars!
Äh, jag vet inte. Shine on!