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Author Topic: Anyone here work in the games industry?  (Read 6716 times)

Kosh

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Anyone here work in the games industry?
« on: 01 Aug 2007, 09:05 »

As you may notice, I'm new, and I'm curious to hear if anyone here works in the gaming industry as I do.

I've been in the industry for five years or so. My first stint was as a Tester for Vivendi Universal Interactive Publishing back in 2002, here in Dublin (Republic of Ireland, where I live). I was there simply for a summer and worked on the Italian versions of games such as Aliens vs Predator 2: Primal Hunt, Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom, No One Lives Forever 2, and I think a couple other minor ones. I did mainly localisation QA, which means testing the language, text and audio of a game, instead of functional stuff (like crashes).

Anyhow, in 2005 I went back to Vivendi, where I stayed until a month ago. I slowly went up to the position of Senior QA Tester and then temporary QA Lead. Eventually I left the company: I was bored with the place, bored with management (although I did have many friends among the QA staff), and with the general asshattery of the company. Moreover, the icing on the cake was the revolving door policy alongside with the low quality of most products, and an extreme obsession with cutting corners. Still, during those two years I worked in many titles, such as Crash Tag Team Racing, 50 Cent Bulletproof (guys, I'm so sorry, but the game got released on time partly because of me... yikes), Ice Age 2, and two of the portable versions of Eragon (I know...). Oh, and a LOT of work on different platforms for F.E.A.R. My last job was leading the team that was testing the first expansion on the Xbox 360.

It was no secret I was looking for another job for ages, though, and finally I got hired by Popcap Games. The treatment is much better, the atmosphere is much nicer (NOT full of alienated loons like Vivendi was), it's closer to home, and the games are better! And management aren't assholes. It's great being in a company where there's simply a good vibe and people are enthusiastic about their work. Here, my title is as a QA Engineer, which is basically a more involved QA Tester. I am in the Localisation section, and look after Spanish SKUs for the games, for the most part. Popcap focus on casual games for PCs, mobiles and iPods, and their games, while simple for some, are of a generally quite high standard. The work here is harder than in Vivendi, that's for sure. But it's really, really worth it.

Downside? Our office is right across the road from the Guinness brewery and the fumes are a bit... yeah. But Vivendi's offices were on a landfil, literally a pile of garbage, so it's still an improvement!

At any rate, I'm interested to hear if anyone has experiences to share from the games industry. I'll also try to answer any questions people may have about it, although I'm probably not the most knowledgable person out there, but there may be stuff I can tell you anyway, so fire away :)

EDIT: I should add, that as a Localisation QA Tester, the only skills you need are a) being a gamer and b) being fluent in more than one language. My fluency in Italian and Spanish comes in handy. Of course, by now I've acquired enough experience that I am good at what I do, but it certainly has nothing to do with skills from my university education...
« Last Edit: 01 Aug 2007, 09:46 by Kosh »
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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #1 on: 01 Aug 2007, 09:12 »

I work in a industry.
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Baggy

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #2 on: 01 Aug 2007, 09:26 »

I'm in school right now to end up in the games industry.  But as of yet, no exciting stories of professional ladder climbing to speak of.
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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #3 on: 01 Aug 2007, 09:48 »

I bet firefighters have tons of exciting stories about professional ladder climbing.

/rimshot
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Baggy

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #4 on: 01 Aug 2007, 09:49 »

*insert stock crowd laughter sound*
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Dimmukane

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #5 on: 01 Aug 2007, 12:36 »

I'm also in college for game design (well, simulation and digital entertainment) and I've been badgering Firaxis, Big Huge, and Bethsoft to give me a QA job.  Which hasn't worked so far.  I've been relegated to making simple mods and doing MMO tests.
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ScrambledGregs

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #6 on: 01 Aug 2007, 16:12 »

I'm not involved in the games industry, but I post on a message board where seemingly everybody except me is either a games journalist or works for a company. One of the guys on it works for Atlus, another used to work at Atlus and now works at Konami, and a fuckton of the other people work for/have freelanced for 1UP.com
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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #7 on: 01 Aug 2007, 17:06 »

You should ask the one at Konami why I haven't seen a new Suikoden game in over a year. I'm waiting...
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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #8 on: 01 Aug 2007, 18:17 »

Popcap... was that the guys that did the Bookworm Deluxe games?  The name rings a bell.  Did they make Fate?
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Melodic

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #9 on: 01 Aug 2007, 20:12 »

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Kosh

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #10 on: 02 Aug 2007, 01:40 »

Popcap... was that the guys that did the Bookworm Deluxe games?  The name rings a bell.  Did they make Fate?

Yeah, that's us. We also did Bookworm Adventures, which I love (although I probably won't love it as much once we have to start work on the localised versions).
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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #11 on: 02 Aug 2007, 06:05 »

I'll never understand peoples' irresistable urge to point out one-off, minor grammatical errors on the internet.
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ScrambledGregs

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #12 on: 02 Aug 2007, 06:55 »

I'll never understand peoples' irresistable urge to point out one-off, minor grammatical errors on the internet.

Technically, Internet should be capitalized.

 :wink:
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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #13 on: 02 Aug 2007, 07:10 »

DIAF IRL
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McTaggart

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #14 on: 02 Aug 2007, 07:37 »

Like hell internet should be capitalised.
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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #15 on: 02 Aug 2007, 11:38 »

Any plans to make Bookworm Adventures a downloadable game or a DS game? PopCap has done both before, if I recall correctly.
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mberan42

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #16 on: 02 Aug 2007, 11:47 »

Like hell internet should be capitalised.
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Kosh

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #17 on: 02 Aug 2007, 15:23 »

Any plans to make Bookworm Adventures a downloadable game or a DS game? PopCap has done both before, if I recall correctly.

Bookworm Adventures is available for download already, at least through Steam last time I checked...

Also, I don't think Popcap do DS games yet, but I'm sure they will at some point, it's too good a market for a casual games company not to be in. We've already done games for Xbox Live Arcade, so it's just a matter of time I believe...
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Storm Rider

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #18 on: 02 Aug 2007, 22:05 »

I meant on Live Arcade or the Playstation Network.
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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #19 on: 02 Aug 2007, 23:30 »

So it's a Noun? Since when did People capitalize every goddamn Noun?
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ScrambledGregs

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #20 on: 03 Aug 2007, 06:56 »

Maybe because it's a proper noun. Look, I was just making a joke about picking on grammar/spelling when most people don't use it perfectly anyway. I rarely capitalize Internet, but you're technically supposed to.
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Inlander

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #21 on: 03 Aug 2007, 08:13 »

Maybe because it's a proper noun.

This has already been established a long time ago. It's no longer "the internet", it's "Internet". Internet is your new god. Google is the son of Internet. All bow down before Internet!
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Narr

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #22 on: 06 Aug 2007, 16:19 »

I think he meant if Bookworm Adventures was going to be downloadable for free, which I highly doubt because then people like Kosh here wouldn't ever make any monies.

The trial has been downloadable for quite some time.  I recall when Penny-Arcade had an article about it.  Apparently, games like that cause nothing but fits of glee in Tycho.
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Storm Rider

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #23 on: 06 Aug 2007, 16:27 »

I meant on Live Arcade or the Playstation Network.
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jeph

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #24 on: 06 Aug 2007, 16:37 »

I'd love to see some Popcap games on Live.

I've actually spent about twice as much money on Live games than I have on "real" 360 releases. I'm pretty sure I've logged more hours in Catan and Carcassonne than in all my "real" 360 games combined.
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Storm Rider

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #25 on: 06 Aug 2007, 16:48 »

I plan on downloading the full version of Carcassonne as soon as I get my network shit worked out. I downloaded the trial version to my hard drive at a friend's house, and every time I'm about to stomp the computer it says 'HEY YOU SHOULD PAY FOR THE FULL VERSION NOW' and I'm all 'fuuuuuck".
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[22:06] Shane: We only had sex once
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ackblom12

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #26 on: 06 Aug 2007, 23:07 »

The first games I plan to buy for my 360 are Catan and Carcassonne. Love the shit out of the board games.
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Kosh

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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #27 on: 07 Aug 2007, 04:07 »

I'm not sure about other games, but Zuma is available on Xbox Live, and I'm sure others will follow. As for the PS Network, honestly no clue...

And I did mean you can download many games for free. You can also play the smaller flash versions online...
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Re: Anyone here work in the games industry?
« Reply #28 on: 08 Aug 2007, 10:59 »

Kosh, back in the day, Insane Aquarium was endless fun for my fifth grade self.
WILLZ THAR BE A SEQUELZ?!
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