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Pirates of the Burning Sea : Dev Log

Posted Dec 01, 2005 by Jon Wood

One of the developers over at Pirates of the Burning Sea has taken some time away from their busy schedule for the highly-anticipated MMORPG to write out a dev log. Misha lets us know what's been going on over there:

I decided to take a break and write a dev log. There's lots of exciting progress on all fronts but it's like juggling and I've never had any dexterity whatsoever. If I were able to stand back and watch, I'd be amazed at all the new stuff coming on line every day. As it is, I can't actually pay attention to any one thing long enough to do anything more than to toss what's in my hands up in the air and catch whatever is landing next.

We've got a normal schedule of tasks just like any other milestone – add feature, test feature, fix feature. That, we're used to and it's going as smoothly as it ever does. However, in addition to the types of things we usually do, we've got a list of tasks we have to get done in order for non-employees to use the game. This list includes trivial tasks like "set up the default toolbar to contain the most useful skills a level 1 player will have when they start the game." Historically, the toolbar has been unpopulated on startup and this taks is just to make it easier to understand what to do once you're in the game. This task takes Augustus 5 minutes to decide and Joe 10 minutes to implement and QA 5 seconds to confirm. Easy. The list also includes more complicated tasks involving the coordination of outside parties like "enable Steam distribution." That took conversations between Valve and our Devs, work by our Devs, work by Valve, testing by Valve, testing by me, more conversations, more work by Devs on both sides, more testing and so on. They're in the same time zone and a very helpful lot so delays between asking questions, getting answers, and trying answers isn't huge, but it's way bigger than when all the folks are in cubicles next to each other.

Another task on the list is "Set up our new Customer Service stuff." We've decided to use tools by a company called RightNow to implement our knowledge base and incident management. I'm in charge of making this happen so I went to a conference in Montana the first week in October to learn all about it. I didn't want to go, didn't feel I could afford to be out of the office, but it was very helpful and informative. I have it mostly working - rouing incidents to the right places, and the knowledge base populated with, like, knowledge. Much of that was copying and pasting from existing FAQs, but some was new content to write. Adding content is an ongoing process that will never end.

To read the rest of the dev log, click here.

 
 
 
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