EA using replay software to aid development


Situation: the game crashed again, and of course you forgot to save your game. This is one of the oldest (and most aggravating) problems to exist with gaming and computers in general. What would happen if people could simply press rewind and see what went wrong? Well we’re about to find out as two software engineers, Jonathan Lindo and Jeffrey Daudel, have taken this idea and run with it.

However, it’s not exactly as simple as it sounds. There are a great variety of places where events can occur in a game/program and one needs to account for all of them for this idea to work. Even assuming one is able to account for all of them, these events can often be different every time the software is run. Knowing all of this, Lindo and Daudel moved forward with their concept and founded Replay Solutions in December 2003.

Fast forward 3 years: Steven Giles, EA’s Director of Online Operations, hears about Replay Solutions from a venture capitalist he is friends with. Wary of the thought that the product could easily be vaporware, Mr. Giles proceeds with caution, but as he soon finds out to his disbelief, the software actually works as advertised. Ever since, a number of development teams within EA have been utilizing the software. Giles sings a fair few praises about the software but the highest is of its ability to capture bugs that can not be reproduced.

The software is available for $50,000 per project, which seems quite reasonable for the amount of time it could potentially save developers. However, at that price point, it does put it out of indie developers and many smaller developers hands. But, this definitely seems like a piece of software that could greatly benefit developers through cutting development times, costs and simply making the process of fixing bugs much less painful. Here’s to hoping!

(Note: While visiting Replay Solutions’ website I noticed a few other companies under their testimonials section. Namely, Eidos, ION Storm and Microsoft.)