I know this is a bit late considering the Delphi 1.0 anniversary was Feb 14 but I
was thinking the other day about those days and remember something that made me
laugh. I was working in QA at the time and we were putting in lots (and I mean
lots) of long days, nights and weekends. Toward the latter part of the project
the FPS game
Descent came out. I think at first it was just the shareware version but I don’t
really remember. I do however remember the battles that ensued long after every
other Borland employee had
left the building and the only people remaining were members of the Delphi team.
It was perfect.
There was a hint of tension in the air when the company network traffic all
but dried up for the day and we were left with ample bandwidth to chew up
killing each other hundreds of times. Then it would happen. Someone would start
a game and people would scramble back to their offices/cubes to join in before
hitting the 8 player limit. At that time, QA was located in cubes on the second
floor of the B mod and R&D was on the third here in SV. The games were wild,
people were yelling and it could last for hours. I remember nights when we left
the building after midnight. It was crazy but a much needed stress reliever . In
the beginning everyone started at about at the same skill level but as the weeks
wore on some rose to the top while others were relagated to status of “shield
factory” (in Descent, when you finally destroyed another players ship their
remaining shield was released for anyone to grab). I’ll never forget Ramin
Halviatti (our QA manager at the time) clearing off a huge section of his desk
to use as a mouse runway to navigate his ship on. I really don’t think mice were
intended to be used the way he played the game but then again he’d previously
done hardware QA so this was really no surprise.
The Delphi 1.0 QA team was a closely knit group of people who worked hard and
played equally as hard and the interesting thing was we did both together. That
was a special time and one I won’t soon forget.