Half-Life deathmarch

When I go through my referral logs every now and again, I always find several searches for “dog tranquilizers” leading people to my site. My nephew Ben, famous Elkin high school graduate and salutatorian, is responsible for this. (Although now that I think about it, this post is going to draw people for the same reason. At least I didn’t mention “dog tranquilizers” and “Britney Spears” in the same post. … Doh!)

Anyway, Ben recently sent me a link to a fascinating story about the software development deathmarch behind the recently released (and much hyped) game Half-Life 2. Ben says:

One of the things I’m interested in right now is the video game
industry, which has been recently edging out the movie industry in
terms of yearly revenue. Anyway, here’s a story that isn’t
necessarily that interesting, but the similarity between it and a
typical hollywood “movie out of control” story.

Here’s the article: The Final Hours of Half-Life 2. As a software developer, this story hits close to home. Predicting when you are going to be done writing software is incredibly hard, and the pressure surrounding a high-profile game must be miserable. The article (which is looong, by the way) makes it sound brutal. It’s just one of the games chronicled by Gamespot writer Geoff Keighly as part of his Behind the Games series. Thanks for the link, Ben!