Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Big The Midway test (1st)

So Friday afternoon we got to do our big test. Though for some time in the morning i thought it just wasn't gonna happen.

The test is to put up our PS3Home space called 'The Midway' onto the Sony Sandbox. Once it is all up there we have lots of people in and out of the office goto this space. Then we all bash on the multiplayer games that litter this scene.

Getting things up into the Sandbox is a semi time consuming task though. It takes about 3 minutes for the small item to be uploaded, that would be things like priozes and minigames really. Large items are only really the Scene itself which can take about 40 minutes or so.

We have been uploading the prizes now for 2 days, and it was the boss that took this job from me, thankfully. As my time was taken just making sure that the right thumbnails and right placards and rigth prizes were being given out and working. This ended up being a big job, lots of small things wrong that just ate up waaay more time than anyone expected, that includes me. In fact i thought it would be a 3 day job and it turned out to be about 8. Not good time management really.

So we managed to get everything uploaded sort of by friday lunch time. Then i got to go in with my main programmer. We had a look around and found several things wrong, as well as we were running out of memory. OUCH. Not a good time. So we battled through the issues during lunch time. I put back the big test till 4pm, hoping this would give us enough time to get the major issues resolved.

Went for a quick lunch and then it was back to a major problem or two. Ya gotta eat, when development gets tense, make sure it's on a full stomach. We managed to solve our issues with some good thinking and even managed to upload mostly what we needed to by 4pm. We made some good decisions on what could be not uploaded (non fatal issues). Fatal issues being ones that would crash people out etc.

By the time 4pm came around we had the space ready to go and already had about 10 people in it, though at this time not really testing it, just doing what people in Home tend to do which is dance. I managed to get a lot of people into the space, including one person in Utah and one in Illinois and finally one more remote from Georgia. What a great way to test some online gaming :D

Initally the test was going exptremely well. Till i noticed that if 3 people played a game called Rebound, the performance went through the floor. This was bad and from that moment on we started having issues.  Something went wrong and this caused a chain reaction to break most peolpe in the different games they were playing. We have no idea what actually broke it all. As it went down like a house of cards. But it sure was interesting up to that point. We lasted about 20 minutes of peolpe bashing on stuff till it broke.

So we reset and went in for a quick second test. This was going well as i had told people not to play Rebound. Then people started runnning  out of memory. We recorded their TTY output and stopped the test.

It went well, better than i epected by quite a bit. We ended up with a small list of about 10 things to fix. The only bad one being the catalyst to crahsing everyone. That is in my mind not a bad test at all.

final thoughts..
I am very excited about this product, and seeing people, so many people playing these games and the vision realised was a very powerful sight. I look forward to my next test.


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