Question of the Day #5

GB: Can you give us an insight to some of the major bugs that you have encountered so far?

Garrett: Typical stuff that you'd expect from this kind of game - holes in the terrain that characters can move through, dialogues that don't come up properly, magic items that don't work properly, etc. Certainly nothing that the programmers can't fix.


GB: During BETA you constantly get new versions of the game. What determines whether you approve of a new version during this phase?

Garrett: We have a contract that determines what is needed to be approved for Beta. We evaluate the version that we get and if it misses a few points, we reject it and list out the places where it fell short. It usually takes 2-3 builds before we can accept it as the Beta.


GB: Can you give us any more info on a possible demo of the game? Has a release date for this demo been determined? Do you know how big it is going to be? What will be in the demo?

Garrett: We haven't decided on a date yet. The demo will be the Norther Ruins area, which is the first area in the game. Its populated with Orcs and Undead.


GB: As you probably know, there have been rumors that the release date for PoR has been shifted to some time in June. The main reason listed for this new delay would be the takeover by Ubisoft. Can you comment on this?

Garrett: We're still shooting for the end of May, but if it needs an extra week or two for bug fixes, then I'll hold it. Ubisoft has said that they won't do anything to delay the release and right now its business as usual for Stormfront Studios.


GB: Can you at this time give us an insight on the decision about the implementation of the feats. Have you done anything with the feedback that has been given on the official message board?

Garrett: The decision about the feats was made long before I was on the project, so I'm not sure why it was decided to go that route. I've talked to Stormfront about adding changing the way its done and they're worried about introducing new bugs to the game while they're trying to hit Beta. At this point the implementation will remain as is. However, we will be rearranging the feats to make a little more sense while also trying to keep each class's feat progression different.


GB: Can you describe how the bug testing project works? What kind of reporting system is being used? How are you and Chuck involved in this process?

Garrett: The QA lead uses the Design Doc to create a test plan. The plan is a comprehensive overview of all game functionality and how to test it. The testers are divided up into teams and given pieces of the plan to complete. Chuck and I look at all the bugs that get entered and we prioritize them. Crash bugs or bugs that prevent testing of the critical path need to be fixed first. We also look at bugs that are subjective. For instance, a tester thinks an interface it too clunky or doesn't like some spell graphics. If Stormfront agrees, no problem, it gets changed. But if there's a disagreement, then Chuck and I need to step in and make a decision.


GB: How has this latest takeover affected PoR? Have you noticed anything while working on PoR?

Garrett: The Ubi Soft buyout won't affect PoR at all (according to Ubi Soft). Since they're a game company, they understand the importance of keeping everything "business as usual". Everyone here is actually very happy with this purchase. Gores treated us well, but they and TLC and Mattel weren't game companies. We finally feel like we've found a long term home :)