What projects have you worked on here at IllFonic?
Friday the 13th, Dead Alliance and Predator: Hunting Grounds
How did you get started in QA?
I was originally working towards a career in Game Design, but I applied for a QA job while I was working on that, and I just ended up hanging around.
Are you really paid to play video games all day?
There is a misconception that QA is “playing” the game. What we are really doing is analyzing the different ways that the game behaves. For example: How animations work both in first person and third person. The Fireteam side in Predator: Hunting Grounds is played as a first person shooter, but as QA, we check and validate what the animations (full auto reload, partial reload, etc.) look like while being observed in third person. So we do play the game, but we spend our time breaking down and analyzing everything we can in the game.
What is the average day like as QA
The first thing that we usually need to get done is download the newest version of the game that is being worked on. Then we check if there are any fires in that build. Once we establish that the build is all good, we start going through things such as future content, current content, and regressions (bugs that have been fixed by engineers and need to be confirmed).
We also spend a decent amount of time going through the various communities, such as the forums or social media, and working with the community team to look for issues that have been reported. Every bug needs to be documented into our database with the proper reproduction steps. Documentation is a very important part of the job!
What is the most challenging part of being in QA
Avoiding tunnel vision. You can definitely get into a pattern during testing where you just want to get the boxes checked, but not everything fits into a check box, so you have to think more creatively.
What would you like to tell the public about regarding QA work
Another misconception people have is that QA is basically a one man job. Here at IllFonic, it is definitely a team effort. We regularly have company wide playtest that brings all departments together and gives us fresh eyes and different perspectives on bugs and feedback.
What is your favorite thing about working in QA
I like being a detective! The best part is figuring out what the problem is and solving puzzles.
What is the funniest bug you have encountered in a past game
Big Head Mode. We had just started a new match and were about to check the missions. As soon as the intro cinematic started, we all realized something was wrong. When we landed on the ground, it was obvious what the problem was. This bug was never released to the public, but it was hilarious
What is one of the worst bugs you have encountered in a past game
When the small maps were introduced in a past title there was a collision box introduced to prevent the character from escaping out of the exit. But there was a kill volume in those collision boxes, so when players escaped (the win condition) they would instead instantly die. Not only was this bug difficult to figure out the exact problem, but there was also a time crunch due to players encountering it in game.
What’s the most fun, or challenging, thing you had to work out and document?
The A Ph.D. in Murder achievement on Friday the 13th: The Game. Writing the test cases for A Ph.D. in Murder was definitely one of the most fun and challenging experiences I have had. Not only did I have to look at every single animation, but I also had to figure out which kills counted towards the achievement.
How did you get interested in gaming?
I’ve been gaming all my life. Coming from a poor family, working on video games seemed like a career that was out of reach. I wanted to prove my family wrong and also work on something that I am passionate about.
When you play in your spare time, what other games do you like to play?
Huge fan of the Resident Evil series. When I’m not playing a horror game, I’m playing Final Fantasy XIV with my wife. I also love retro games such as Double Dragon, Streets of Rage, and Guardian Heroes. It’s nice to take a break from modern gaming sometimes. I miss the arcade feel where you’re playing with other people
What are your hobbies?
Besides video games, I play board games. I’ve won championships in several different board game tournaments like Heroclix. I also really enjoy cosplaying when I have the chance to. I cosplay Captain America and Chris Redfield.
Do you have any pets?
Yes, a Pomeranian/Schipperke named Negri. She is the best coworker. She definitely lets me know when it is time for a break.
How has working from home affected your work and do you prefer working from home?
I definitely like working from home. I feel like I am able to get more work done, but there is something to be said about working in the studio with all your team members, luckily we are in constant communication throughout the day.