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Old Mar 26, 2004, 04:56 PM   #1
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Default Bad Bad Splinter Cell QA team... no biscuit for you

http://www.gamespot.com/xbox/action/...s_6092153.html

Pandora Tomorrow Xbox Live bug discovered


UPDATE: The Xbox version of Ubisoft's stealth-action sequel contains a crash bug in its online multiplayer mode. Ubisoft responds.

Some gamers who acquired the Xbox version of Ubisoft's newly-released Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow came across an alarming surprise when they attempted to use the game's online multiplayer features. Specifically, after logging onto Xbox Live and selecting the "optimatch" function, players discovered that waiting for more than about 10 seconds on the optimatch results screen causes the game to freeze indefinitely.

...

Though the bug hinders players attempting to use the optimatch option, they can still readily play the game online using the quick match mode. GameSpot will have more on this story as it becomes available.
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 06:30 PM   #2
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I can't believe the publisher and developer missed that, and even MS missed that one, must have been in far too much of a rush to get it out.

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Old Mar 26, 2004, 06:37 PM   #3
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Gotta love them hard drives, just patch it!
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 06:39 PM   #4
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Best. Multiplayer. Ever.
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 07:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by _leech_
Gotta love them hard drives, just patch it!
Yup, I don't think they missed it (unless they have the worst QA on the planet), but they knew they could kick it out and patch it. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

If HDDs become standard, we'll see more and more of the same ship-n-patch crap that I hate in PC gaming. Then I'll be stuck playing handhelds until those get tiny HDDs, too.

If we get complacent in the console arena as we all were in the PC scene about this issue, kiss the much higher QC of console games goodbye. We'll be downloading patches when we should have been playing.
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 09:10 PM   #6
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They will get a huge fine for this from Microsoft, games should not need patches on live - it's gonna cost them.
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Old Mar 26, 2004, 09:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by andrewfee
They will get a huge fine for this from Microsoft, games should not need patches on live - it's gonna cost them.
Does MS not do it's own QA on all licensed games? As in, they missed/ignored it too. Not to say fines won't occur, but it's partially their fault as well. How hard is it to leave the online browser on for more than 10 seconds and find this bug?

Maybe I'm wrong and only Sony and Nintendo do their own separate QA on 3rd party games on top of the 3rd party QA.
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Old Mar 27, 2004, 01:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by _leech_
Gotta love them hard drives, just patch it!
Bugs have existed in console games for years, before now they just had to live with it. The existance of a HD doesn't mean QC has to go down, but it does provide the opportunity to fix things. The absence of patches is not equal to the absence of a need for them, there just simply wasn't any means of doing them previously. If I can get an up to date roster for my sports games there is nothing better. I'm so sick of having some schlup as my kick returner in madden who was gone at the first cut of training camp.
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Old Mar 27, 2004, 08:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by andrewfee
They will get a huge fine for this from Microsoft, games should not need patches on live - it's gonna cost them.
No they won't, this is Microsoft's fault, they should have found this during submission testing, failed it and sent it back to the developer. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft are ultimately responsible for any bugs that appear in the released game, as they test each game to ensure it passes their TRC/TCT/LOT checks, the developer/publisher QA teams job is to make sure that there are no bugs in the game that will make it fail submission testing.

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Old Mar 27, 2004, 09:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steppy
Bugs have existed in console games for years, before now they just had to live with it. The existance of a HD doesn't mean QC has to go down, but it does provide the opportunity to fix things. The absence of patches is not equal to the absence of a need for them, there just simply wasn't any means of doing them previously. If I can get an up to date roster for my sports games there is nothing better. I'm so sick of having some schlup as my kick returner in madden who was gone at the first cut of training camp.
I'm sorry, but a bug as obvious as this got past testing? Give me a break. If there was no hard drive and no method of patching, a bug like this would have never gotten through.
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Old Mar 27, 2004, 12:04 PM   #11
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They tested internally using their own server not on the X-Box live service.
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Old Mar 27, 2004, 03:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by _leech_
I'm sorry, but a bug as obvious as this got past testing? Give me a break. If there was no hard drive and no method of patching, a bug like this would have never gotten through.
I agree, this bug is unacceptable, but in the past games were recalled(if the bug was serious enough and it had actually gotten to stores), or it was just lived with. Don't blame the HD for a companies laziness is all I'm saying...that would kinda be like blaming optical media for developer sloppy coding practices and saying we should stick with cartridges. Staying away from innovations to prevent developers from getting lazy is the wrong route to go IMO.
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Old Mar 27, 2004, 05:28 PM   #13
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I have to say, as much as I enjoy the multiplayer, it does seem like quite a poorly put together/rushed game with some aspects. (the framerate in single player, or the horrible tearing for example)

Hard drive or not, I'm sure this would've been in it.

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Old Mar 27, 2004, 05:43 PM   #14
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I was quite tempted to get the game today, only 20 quid with a crystal Xbox, but I don't think I've got the patience for that type of game right now!

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Old Mar 27, 2004, 06:55 PM   #15
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If you have live, you might like the multiplayer, especially playing as a merc.

So far I'm loving the game in multi, single player seems average, although I'm only one level in (been spending 95% of my time with it online)

Here. is a video I made of a great multiplayer game I had earlier today. (right-click and save target as)
  • There's no sound. (I couldn't find my extension cable for it)
  • It's crap quality. (I used my camera as a webcam to record it, which adds a lot more, much more severe, shearing)
  • It's badly compressed. (20 meg for a low res vid with no sound)
But it's one of my best games as a spy, was really intense for the most part. (I had one other game that was even better, but I didn't have a cam set up etc)

Note: at around 3 mins in, I told the guy not to hack a door (but he did anyway) which sent a merc running in my direction, then I missed the jump into the vent because of it.
Some of the stuff you see me do later might not make sense, but it's because I've heard something. (playing in DD5.1 )

I didn't think they would manage to keep the tension going in multi, but they pulled it off really well, and the balance between the spies and mercs seems spot-on.
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Old Mar 27, 2004, 07:07 PM   #16
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I do have Live, sounds very promising, might nip into town and pick a copy up tomorrow.

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Old Mar 27, 2004, 07:17 PM   #17
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I'm nearly finished with the single player. It's awesome IMO. Definately more exciting than the first one.

andrewfee, it gets a lot better. The first level is kind of just a primer for people who may have not played the first game.
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Old Mar 27, 2004, 07:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Neveroutgunned
They tested internally using their own server not on the X-Box live service.
That was a big mistake, obviously. Every good QA tester/supervisor knows they have to use the app or game under "live" (and in this case, Live!) circumstances or else they're just simulating use. Simming isn't the same as a real life test and will let exactly this kind of bug go through unnoticed.

Console games have always had an easier time with bugs due to static hardware and two levels of testing. This was backed by the knowledge that if a serious bug slips by it will mean an expensive and embarrassing recall, reprint, and reissue.

If we add an HDD and broadband to that situation, it makes it MUCH cheaper and less penalizing for companies to ship broken games and patch later. This means we will see more and more games that were rushed to hit a sales window and then have problems that need patching. If you don't believe this, then you weren't paying attention when the internet hit the computer gaming industry.
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 12:45 AM   #19
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Yes, let's keep crying about it.
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 03:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hyperion72
If we add an HDD and broadband to that situation, it makes it MUCH cheaper and less penalizing for companies to ship broken games and patch later. This means we will see more and more games that were rushed to hit a sales window and then have problems that need patching. If you don't believe this, then you weren't paying attention when the internet hit the computer gaming industry.
It costs £30,000 to submit a game to Microsoft for release, if there are any bugs in the game that get noticed the game is sent back to them to get fixed and it will be another £30,000 to resubmit it.

Microsoft also have an ammount close to this for games that have a major bug in them that managed to slip through. It is not cheap for them to ship a "broken" game and to patch later.

The other thing is that almost everyone I know that has had live for a month or two now only plays games with friends anyway, hell I would have never come across the bug unless someone had told me about it.
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 05:25 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by andrewfee
It costs £30,000 to submit a game to Microsoft for release, if there are any bugs in the game that get noticed the game is sent back to them to get fixed and it will be another £30,000 to resubmit it.

Microsoft also have an ammount close to this for games that have a major bug in them that managed to slip through. It is not cheap for them to ship a "broken" game and to patch later.

The other thing is that almost everyone I know that has had live for a month or two now only plays games with friends anyway, hell I would have never come across the bug unless someone had told me about it.
What if MS passes a bug and then it's caught once on the market? They've signed off on the game, so do they still try and stick the devs with a penalty then? If not, then the online method is by far the cheaper method of fixing the problem. If the devs still get punitive fees, if I was a dev or publisher, I'd find a better contract lawyer for the next game.

£30,000 + patch costs + bandwidth or
£30,000 + patch costs + remastering/pressing + shipping costs both ways. Which is more costly? That's not even mentioning whatever can be saved by laying off the testers or reallocating them to a new project.

If you think all publishers are angels who don't try and slip bugs by, think again. They take a calculated risk at having to pay another test fee, but they also get to save substantial money in shorting the QA period. 50+ testers (for a medium-sized publisher, more for giants like EA) @ $10/hr working huge overtime adds up very quickly.

I think it also comes off better to slip a patch in, especially a silent patch, than it is to have to make an embarrassing press statement for a recall.

DeathKnightMaF, check the thread title. This isn't a "gee-whiz, Splinter Cell rocks thread," it's a jab at the two QA depts. that let something like this through. Unless you feel like patching your Xbox games as much as your PC games, I think the all gaming consumers should be "crying about it."

If you love patches and wasting time and bandwidth on something that can be avoided for the most part, then go ahead and buy more broken games. It's your money. I'm tired of paying for broken games and waiting days or weeks for a patch to be able to play (PC games) and I'll be damned if I sit quietly by while the same thing happens to consoles. I bought a console to escape this crap.
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 11:19 AM   #22
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You're still overreacting and whining. I don't have Xbox Live yet and I don't know when I'm going to get it. If I did, however, I wouldn't be crying over not being able to use the optimatch feature because the game locks after 10 seconds of searching. The rest of the Xbox Live features aren't broken and the single player sure as hell isn't broken.

Stop your *****ing. You're acting as if it actually impedes you from playing the game online which is simply not true. Is the optimatch feature so near and dear to your heart that you must have it? I doubt you even have the game.

Bugs happen, even in the console world. I highly doubt they conveniently skipped over this "bug" in order to rush the game out the door. They developed it for a year and a half and had a previous game (as well as assets) to build upon. It's certainly not a rush job.

If you feel so strongly about it please whine to the companies instead of moaning on a message board.
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 11:49 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by DeathKnightMaF
I highly doubt they conveniently skipped over this "bug" in order to rush the game out the door. They developed it for a year and a half and had a previous game (as well as assets) to build upon. It's certainly not a rush job.
Still, this is quite an obvious bug. Wether it effects you personally or not, it simply should have been caught and under the circumstances of the bug (10 seconds) i don't see how it could have been missed.
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 03:38 PM   #24
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 06:53 PM   #25
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Buggy OS's, buggy games. No surprise comming from Microsoft.
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 07:02 PM   #26
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Just as long as the PC version isn't buggy. I'll be happy.
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Old Mar 28, 2004, 07:10 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by ASCI Blue
Buggy OS's, buggy games. No surprise comming from Microsoft.
What a load of nonsense, don't bother to post if that's the best you can do, they're hardly the first to release a retail game witha fatal bug in it, and they won't be the last.

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Old Mar 29, 2004, 02:14 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by DeathKnightMaF
You're still overreacting and whining. I don't have Xbox Live yet and I don't know when I'm going to get it. If I did, however, I wouldn't be crying over not being able to use the optimatch feature because the game locks after 10 seconds of searching. The rest of the Xbox Live features aren't broken and the single player sure as hell isn't broken.

Stop your *****ing. You're acting as if it actually impedes you from playing the game online which is simply not true. Is the optimatch feature so near and dear to your heart that you must have it? I doubt you even have the game.

Bugs happen, even in the console world. I highly doubt they conveniently skipped over this "bug" in order to rush the game out the door. They developed it for a year and a half and had a previous game (as well as assets) to build upon. It's certainly not a rush job.

If you feel so strongly about it please whine to the companies instead of moaning on a message board.
If you don't want to discuss bad things about this QA screwup, why read the thread?

I don't complain to companies who put out broken games, because frankly, they don't care. I vote with my wallet on things like this. They care when their accountants start screaming about profit loss.

Sorry for whining, I now return you to your regularly scheduled apathy and praise for SC:PT.

/goes to get lobotimized so he can be cheerfully oblivious to the thin edge of the wedge for regular console game patches being deftly applied
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Old Mar 29, 2004, 11:46 AM   #29
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I'm in no way denying the fact that this bug exists. The problem I have is your overreaction to this issue that 1) can be easily avoided, and 2) in no way inhibits you from playing the game online and doesn't detract from single player. It'd be one thing if online play was broken where it would lock up no matter what you do. That's not the case here.

You ran into this thread arms up and you haven't stopped since. Enough already. Do you have the game? If not, STFU. If you do, find some way to get over it. It's like you're going out of your way to ruin the game for yourself. We've heard what you have to say many times in here.
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 07:19 PM   #30
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Just to let you all know the problem has been fixed, and it would seem that the v-sync issue has been toned down a lot, although not eliminated.
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