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The Life and Times of a Dev Yes, we're really that weird

Recently, I’ve been playing a game called Evony, and I finally decided to quit the game and thought I should warn others who might be tempted.  I also find a lot of insight with this game as an example.  A few of the companies that I’ve worked with or worked for have been like this and they are NOT good places to be.

Evony is a joke designed to milk as much money out of people as possible.  As a professional software developer who mentors teams on how to build better software, here's what I see:

  1. They obviously offshore all development and have little oversight over that offshore development, and they probably have a small team at that.  Evidenced by the poor grammar throughout the game.
  2. They're seeking to maximize revenue and pushing to do as little development as possible, which would mean a small team.
  3. They're horribly understaffed in the customer support department as evidenced by never replying to this forum and never responding to bug reports or help requests (I've had one open with no response AT ALL for over a month . . .)
  4. They have way inadequate testing, no CI, and probably no automated unit tests.  You can see this by the poor grammar throughout the game and the type of bugs that show up.
  5. They aren't following a formal development process (no Agile, Waterfall, or anything else) as evidenced by their lack of predictable release cycle and lack of visibility.
  6. I'm guessing that the internal code base is terrible, otherwise, there wouldn't be an "Age II" that had nothing more than a new visual interface and a few rule tweaks.  This is also evidenced by the itty bitty scope of bug fixes and their inability to really fix bugs.
  7. Their Architect sucks.  Really, 42k user is all you can handle on a single server?  Could you REALLY not come up with a better way to scale to handle users?  They've built isolated worlds, instead of a single continuous world.
  8. Back to milking people for money--to really progress, you have to spend money.

All of this adds up to knowing, deliberate actions on the part of management.  They CHOOSE to do this (like AOL choosing to send more discs instead of improve quality).

So, what can we learn?

  1. This game will never really improve, since the bosses don't care, they're only in it for the money.
  2. The game will never have good support.  Again, the owners don't care.
  3. Giving them money only perpetuates this scam (and yes, I've given them money, way too much money. :()
  4. They don't care if you quit.  There's a new sucker born every day.
  5. Don't EVER go to work for them.  I've worked both with and for people like this and the culture is NEVER good.

Ah well.

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Posted on Saturday, May 8, 2010 7:36 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Business Choices and Evony

# re: Business Choices and Evony
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I have played Evony for about 6 months and I haven't spent a dime. It is possible to do well at this game without having to spend money. I haven't had any bugs or issues and I find it highly addictive. Addictive and fun. I suggest NOT spending money on a game that is free. If you have the money to spend and you want to part with your coin that easy then by all means go right ahead. After all it's your money. Sur ethe game may not improve, and the graphics are crap, and it is rip off of other older games... but it's free. If it's free you really can't complain. You spent moolah on it so go ahead and complain all you want though. lol
Left by Jon on Jun 16, 2010 9:15 AM

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