If you ever try to ship a game for February you should know that will definitely impact your Christmas holidays. Since the game is scheduled to be out in late February, we need it to be essentially done the first week of January. This is to allow enough time for first-party certification (at both Microsoft and Sony), manufacturing, and distribution.
Today we received notice about what our holidays will look like. We’ll be expected to be at work until the early afternoon of 24th at which time there might be some boozing and taking off early. The team will then be on holiday break until the 4th of January. There are exceptions to this however. First, our QA team only has Christmas Day off and will be right back to work starting the 26th. I expect they will be compensated for this so at least they’re not working for free. Second, the rest of the team will be on-call for the holiday break. If QA team finds a bug that needs to fixed, certain individuals will be called in to fix it. Obviously, some areas of the game are in better shape than others. My guess is that some people will be invariably called in. The good news is that we’ve been told we will be compensated for our time. I’m not sure what that means as that might just amount to a hearty pat on the back.
I am anticipating that I will be called in at least once. My area is still a bit fragile so it just feels like QA will find something that needs fixing. Hopefully that won’t be the case but time will tell.