At Keywords, we understand that our clients’ success depends upon the quality of their content and that effective defect discovery and resolution is essential to video games development.
To help ensure an optimal end-user experience, we deliver customised Functionality Quality Assurance (FQA) offerings that help ensure our clients’ games perform as designed.
Recently we spoke with two of our FQA team members from our Enzyme studio in St Jerome, Canada as they shared with us their daily routine and thoughts on how to build better relationship with client partners.
Vickie Roy has been working at Enzyme for nearly three years as FQA Tester while David Ouldcott joined in 2020 and is also team tester.
Here’s what they had to say!
What does your typical day at work look like?
Vickie: I usually test games and do my best to help others. A typical day look something like: playtests, reading instructions, looking for bugs and answering questions to help people.
David: My day-to-day job involves participating in company playtests for my specific project, which means playing the game with all other testers on the project as if it was a regular multiplayer match, while also keeping an eye out for any new issues on the build of the day.
What do you love about your work and enjoy focusing on?
Vickie: I enjoy discovering new content and being helpful to others. I discovered I could have more leadership than I thought and it built up my self-confidence a little.
David: I enjoy looking for complex issues that not many people would think to look for. I tend to have a hunt around for commands that make bug hunting easier and attempt to break parts of the game that I have more personal knowledge about, such as VFX systems and audio.
I enjoy being able to report those issues and researching how the client has dealt with them in the past; it makes my job easier in the future and makes me more knowledgeable about the inner workings of the game engine my project runs on.
How did you get into video games?
Vickie: I started my video-game journey when I was young. Played Pokemon yellow a lot, then moved to Zelda and Snes games at my grandmother’s [house].
Games always have been present in my life. I tried a lot even though I have a hard time to finish them. Overall, I think video games are a great way to tell a story.
I also had friends already working at Enzyme and, one day when I wanted to change jobs, they were hiring. Best job change in my life.
It gave me so much opportunity, not just related to work, but also in life outside of work. The people I work with are so supportive and open minded and I am very grateful for that.
David: As a young lad, I used to watch my brother playing games on his PC, the interest started there! As I got older, I started to appreciate the inner workings of video games, especially as I went to college and university to study sound design.
Since sound design is so heavily praised in most popular games these days, I wanted to get involved with it and to get my foot in the door to make that career dream come true.
My audio career has led me around radio producing, presenting and working as an A/V technician but my passion always lied in video games, which is why I’m glad that I can finally get that plan in motion!
What, in your opinion, are the key inputs for a successful client-vendor partnership?
Vickie: Good communication, respect and understanding from both parties. I think those are the basic qualities to have in any relationship really. Trust is also important but that is built with time.
David: The best way to build and maintain this relationship is by having the client be clear about their needs, without a lot of deviation.
There needs to be a solid middle-ground where the client and vendor understand what each other want and need; when both understand this, a long-lasting relationship is bound to form.
What are you most excited for in 2021?
Vickie: I am excited for a lot of things, to be honest. The new Pokemon Snap will come out and I liked this game so much on N64. I also have a lot of personal projects that are coming along this year. My main goal is to finally start publishing a manga my girlfriend and I have been working for a few years.
David: I’m just looking forward to the world hopefully getting a little bit better. It goes without saying that last year wasn’t the most fantastic one!
I moved to Canada from England about 18 months ago and, because of COVID, I’ve barely been able to enjoy the country that I’ve moved to, here’s hoping that it changes this year!
And finally, what is your favourite video game and why?
Vickie: This is the hardest question so far. It really depends on my mood. I liked different games for so many different reasons, so I’ll name a few:
Radiata Stories: I love the fact that we can recruit so much characters in our team. I loved the story and art style a lot;
Zelda Twilight Princess: The story, art and darkness of this game is amazing. I was playing so much that I moved the game cube with a small TV in my bedroom to continue playing instead of sleeping;
Journey: This game is just a magnificent piece of art;
Tales of Symphonia, Xillia: I like many ‘Tales of’ games actually. I really enjoy the universe and the style;
Katamari Damacy: Smooth and relaxing game. Great music.
I could go on and on but those are a few examples. I mostly like story-driven games with great art and music.
David: Team Fortress 2 (2007 first-person shooter). Even though development has been a bit quiet recently on it, this game has so many memories from my teenage years that it’ll always be my favourite.
If you are interested in a Functionality QA role at Keywords Studios, you can find current open positions on our Careers page.