Larian Studios Status Update, Continued

02 May 2011

Larian Studios' Swen Vincke has continued his previous status update on the company, during which he reveals that they lost the code changes they did for the Good Old Games re-release of Divine Divinity and how it has prompted him to temporarily return to the programming side of development.
So the other big thing that kept me busy was Divine Divinity – we re-released it some time ago on good old games, taking the opportunity to fix some bugs in it and had the plan to do even more updates on it, but unfortunately the programmer who was working on it left the company, shortly after the re-release and ever since there literally wasn’t any time for getting somebody else back into the code. This sucked, but it was one of those priority decision things and we had other issues to deal with that affected many more people. But now that there actually is some time to look at it, we decided to revisit it.

Imagine then the unpleasant surprise when we discovered that we somehow managed to lose all the changes he made to the code !!! What looks like a fairly ok backup policy turned into an epic fail when we saw that one of the discs that had a big label on it (sort of) “Divine Divinity GOG masters” contained not the 2009 release but the 2002 release. You couldn’t see it from the contents of the disc because the dates were all ok, but that was only because the 2002 files had been recompiled. The actual changes weren’t in the code that was on the disc ☹

Ironically, the list of all the changes that were done was on the disc, as were indeed the binary masters, but it was the wrong source code. It was an accident for sure, and given the circumstances in which we were working then (i.e. continuous crunch and no cash) perfectly understandable, but still, quite unsettling.

Given that putting all the changes back in was more work than anticipated (we intended to just fix whatever problems were still reported), and all our programmers were busy on projects A,D, E & M, I figured I’d take the code myself and have a look at what I could do. I very much miss the programming part in my current role at Larian, so I actually even looked forward to it and thought it was a pretty good excuse to put the excel files on the side.
 
 

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