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Command & Conquer SAGA

Comment est fait un patch...

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Apoc répond à la question sur comment sont fait les patchs pour CnC. Je traduirai peut être plus tard le texte.

Step 1 - Get the ideas on paper via feedback from the community, dev team, QA, etc

Step 2 - Assess the changes desired in the patch, if its just balance XML changes, these can be coded in quickly. If the patch requires more than changing XML values and involves code changes, bug fixes, this is where time builds up.

Step 3 - acquire the internal resources to make the patch. Typicall we need at least an engineer and a producer. We are working on creating a live team in the future, but for now, and as its always been, we need to "borrow" time from people working on other projects. Its a sharing method.

Step 4 - Make a first patch build with the desired change-list. Again, this depends on what is involved in the patch.

Step 5 - Send the patch build to QA, they start banging away on it. They must test every balance change and also test it against the single player campaign. Any time a change is made to the patch, they must test every single change all over again to ensure nothing broke. Its a long iterative process. This is why we are now trying to keep our patches small so less testing is involved.

Step 6 - Create and finalize the read-me. Once this is finalized, the patch is locked. Why? Well, because the read-me defines exactly what is in the patch. When you change it, you then need to back and change the patch, make a new build, and test from the beginning again. We also localize the read-me in at least 10 different languages. That takes multiple days. Its called localization. Even a spelling change to the read-me can delay a patch by 2-3 days because it needs to be localized again. This is why its key to finalize the read- me early and keep it locked.

Step 7 - QA confirms all patch changes are good to go, they approve the patch.

Step 8 - the approved QA patch is sent to our CQC and ECG departments, they are the North American and European/Asian final approval departments. They approve any product or patch which goes out of EA to you after QA approves. Its a secondary testing process, and no, they are not always perfect. This process generally takes 4-5 business days on average.

Step 9 - prepare the patch for deployment on our servers. This takes a day since it needs to deploy and upload to a lot of places.

Step 10 - push the live button, you go get it.

It takes at minimum at least 1-month to create a balance patch, whether it has 5 changes, or 20. There are a lot of approval processes involved, lots of approval gates, and a lot more work involved than you can imagine.

When the community creates their own patch, there is no quality clean testing involved, there is no 100% sure bet it won't break your game, there is no assurance it won't mess up your single player campaign, and most of all, there is no official assurance it won't break your game.

We have all of our approval processes to ensure to the best of our ability none of that happens for you. Of course, things slip through the cracks and nobody is perfect.

At the end of the day, unless its an emergency patch, we need at least a month to make a patch, even if its small.

It's a very long process, and its definitely not cheap by any means :o) We're not made of unlimited budgets, that certainly plays a factor month to month, but if an emergency issue is there, we will patch it. If not, we'll do the best to our ability to patch when we can, when its needed.

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