Sunday, August 28, 2005

Why remote computing doesn't work in the games industry ...

On Friday night, I'm busy working away.  I figure, "Hey, Maybe I won't have to come in this weekend".  Lots of things are getting done and my bug count is next to zero (seriously, by next to zero, I mean one ... which is the number next to zero ... but I digress).  So I settle in for a casual weekend.

Then on Saturday the phone call comes in.

See, we're doing the localization ourselves, but QA is in Dublin.  Apparently there's a problem with the build.  And, me being the social creature that I am, people have a way of getting a hold of me.  So I come in on Suday to get fixes in place. But wouldn't it be great if I could have done this from home?

Well, the problem is, there's no way for me to actually be able to do this from home.  Sure, I can access network resources from home.  Well, I can't, but that's a network issue that will just take some time to resolve.  That's a trivial problem to resolve.

See, the problem is, I'm working on a console project.  More specifically, a PSP project.  So in order for me to test the problem, I'm going to need access to an actual, honest to god Dev Kit in order to make the changes and see if they'll work.  Sure I can re-compile everything here at home, via remote access, but I then have to burn a DVD and physically place the DVD into the dev kit.

That's not going to happen from home.

So here I sit, on a Sunday, waiting for a build to finish. So I can put the DVD into the Dev Tray and see if the build works now.

And for the record, it doesn't.


ZorbaTHut said...

You need to burn DVDs to test things? There's no LAN deployment that you can use?

That's kinda nasty. :/

Ash said...

The problem isn't that there isn't a LAN deployment system (SN has it's own fileserver as part of the debug chain). The problem is that a lot of the issues are with the creation of the DVD itself.

And no, there's no pure DVD emulator available yet. So everytime you want to test the DVD image generation process, bam, another DVD is trashed.