Hi, and welcome to tech talk.
So, why couldn't you have seeded the random numbers with a known value so that the testers could have stored the seed value with any bug report?
"Yeah, but they have to get a bug to happen a certain number of times before they can say that it's really a bug. That won't work if they're just replaying previous calculations."
So, let me get this strait. QA complained that since the mission generator wasn't deterministic, they couldn't repeat any seen bug; however, once the generator was deterministic, they complained that they would be seeing the exact same bug (which is the definition of repeatability). Did I miss something?
Man, if you could just shrug that off, you're a better man than I. The thing is, it's not the lost work that would have pissed me off the most.
First off, I have a serious problem with QA having that kind of pull over the design of a game. Their place is to test what is given to them in accordance to what the development team needs, not to dictate what they will and won't test. QA is not a part of the core development team, and only under extreme circumstances should they have any direct say in how a game is designed.
And second, what kind of lead programmer would allow one man-month of work to be wasted on a feature that he should have known, by his own admission, couldn't be shipped with the game (an assumption I don't agree with)? Besides, being a lead, he should have had the experience to know that you can reasonably test randomly generated content, and he sure as hell should have stood up for one of his programmers when the QA lead started pushing his weight around. And covering his head on his desk? That sounds like a sign of a good leader. I think I read that in Sun Tzu somewhere.
Yeah, right after I wrote that, I thought that I might have been a little hard on him. After all, I don't know anything about him other than what you've written here. I almost deleted that last paragraph, but I talked myself out of it for one reason.
You see, I have a real problem with leads who essentially become yes-men to anyone asking (or telling) them just about anything. That seems to be par for the course at a lot of companies in this industry, and usually it's the guys busting their butts under the leads that suffer. This situation here really struck me as an obvious example of this.
Ah yes, cynical. A personality trait I can relate to.
You know, I still stand by my opinion that there are way too many leads in this industry who are more concerned with avoiding conflict rather than doing what's best for their team; however, upon further reflection, I don't think this guy is one of them. The perfect one word rebuttal to everything I've written about him so far would be: politics.
And Brand's right, I'm not mean. Insightful? Perhaps. Opinionated? Definitely. Cuddly bear? Well, that's just disturbing. Also, I don't think I had anything to do with the formation of the Republic of Cuba, but things are a little fuzzy up until I was about five or so, so maybe.