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This Is How We're Going To Manage Bugs Better

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Hi all,

So our first order of business this week has been to re-evaluate how we go about handling bugs, both from an internal point of view and the side that you guys see.

We’ve come up with a completely new process internally that will help us get to the bottom of them quicker and improve our overall communication of what we’re working on.

Just like everything with DiRT Rally this has come off the back of your feedback, the last thing we want you guys to feel like is that you’re throwing Frisbees out into the dark when you put a bug in. I can assure you that hasn’t been the case and if you happen to be one of the people putting in bug reports we just wanted to let you know it hasn’t been in vain.

To give you an idea of our new flow you can take a look at our process here



  • The boxes in blue are us talking to you.
  • The grey boxes are our internal investigation steps
  • The orange box is us fixing the problem
If you feel it looks like it might be a little light and sparse that’s because it is. We’ve done it intentionally that way so it is more efficient with a focus on getting a bug fixed rather than middle managing it. Our old way was a bit of a mess at times and sometimes the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing.

Our new man on the front line with this is cm_carlleatherbarrow from the DiRT Team so expect to see him on the forums a lot from now on. He’ll be the main point of contact with regards to bugs but obviously I’ll still be around, as will Hatward and a few other members of the team. You’ll know who’s legit because they’ll have [Developer] written in yellow next to their steam name just like I do. 

We’ll be working on tidying up the forum too, merging threads which report the same issue. Moving resolved issues out of the main area, moving bugs to the bug reporting section etc. Hopefully this will make it easier for you to see where we are with any given problem.

Taking into account what we’ve learnt so far we’re confident this new way of managing the bugs is less of the “old Codemasters” and more of the kind of thing you’ve come to expect from us with DiRT Rally.

Thanks for all your help so far with our Early Access. 

If you need to report a bug swing by this thread before posting (the more info you can give us the quicker we can get to the bottom of the issue) 
And you can keep up with what we're working on here in the bug tracker which we'll start updating more often

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These links doesn't work justbiglee. You typed http:// twice ;)

I know a lot of game companies uses zendesk as their bug tracker. The user basically fill a request form and select between different predetermined issue type as wether it's occuring under menu, leaderboard, in-game or in multiplayer, etc. and the same window is used for replying and you can subscribe your mailbox to keep track incase status have been updated by the devs. Problem is it's a more private way of working, so users are not aware if a particular issue have already been raised as they would using forum posts.

Anway, just a suggestion in case you guys want to find new ways of improving. You're doing a great job on the communication side 'til now. Thanks for your continued support, greatly appreciated!

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jayp666 said:

These links doesn't work justbiglee. You typed http:// twice ;)

I know a lot of game companies uses zendesk as their bug tracker. The user basically fill a request form and select between different predetermined issue type as wether it's occuring under menu, leaderboard, in-game or in multiplayer, etc. and the same window is used for replying and you can subscribe your mailbox to keep track incase status have been updated by the devs. Problem is it's a more private way of working, so users are not aware if a particular issue have already been raised as they would using forum posts.

Anway, just a suggestion in case you guys want to find new ways of improving. You're doing a great job on the communication side 'til now. Thanks for your continued support, greatly appreciated!

Actually justbiglee has written the links as "http//" instead of "http://" ;)

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well tbh for such early access the game plays pretty good.only thing i feel tearing my hair out at the moment is two things. one i think you may of fixed just not applied which is Firefox and the security.links above in your post biglee for eg in check here cant. next link check here cant cause of firefox.

the biggest issue for me and i do mention it often times world positions showing after racing.for people playing the game this is very important. it may seem a low priority bug but it isnt ! it makes all racing relevant. not seeing your time position renders racing almost pointless.

my position doesnt show in anything unless its a official event.

i do pb world record attemps every day and i have to ask friends to race that same track with same class car then look at my time. that is so annoying and stupid.

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Seems straight forward, thanks for working to improve communication and streamline fixes for us.

As an aside, "Racing Studio" has to be the most generic moniker for a team I have ever seen hah!

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Odd that it's taken so many years to adopt such a common & elementary process.

Step 1: issues are reported.
Step 2: developers examine, log, & prioritize issues.
Step 3: developers fix issues.
Step 4: developers announce that issues are fixed.


...Taking into account what we’ve learnt so far we’re confident this new way of managing the bugs is less of the “old Codemasters”...

...Seems the "old CodeMasters" was prone to skip steps 2 through 4 above.

I look forward to seeing this "new" plan in action.

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@justbiglee 

Interesting to see the protocols you use. In my business the coders won't fix anything unless I can replicate the bug in front of them. It saves them wasting their time chasing ghosts. 
I think the problem is that although you have a massive userbase testing the system, the reality is when someone reports an issue it's probably very difficult for you to rectify it. That's because most end users report quality is along the lines of "the sound stopped", as opposed to describing the exact conditions under which the sound stopped, and whether they mananged to repeat the process and what the machine specs they are playing on (to be fair they are just interested in playing the game, not bug reporting). I don't know whether you have it in Dirt Rally, but I guess some sort of state reporting,where once someone gets a bug they can go into the pause menu and create a report file which details the exact state of the system when the bug occurred would go a long way towards helping you replicate the bugs and help you spend your time fixing them rather than chasing them down. You could also do statistical analysis, so for example the bug reporter could include check boxes for say sound, graphics AI behaviour. Simple stat analysis could alert you to the common bugs, so for example if many report files contained "Sound" and were done with a particular car type then you know that that car type has a sound issue. Also the report frequency would automatically tell you which stuff to focus on, as people are far more likely to report something that annoys them.

Do you have something like this ?

Edit : I see someone has already suggested this above ..

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@JustBiglee  -  please update the list with the plans to fix VR.  You had mentioned it is being done this month however is not mentioned on the list - might save some angst / anxiety ;)

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