Saturday, March 12, 2011

Thing 323 Game Testing

Obviously that's not the back of my majestic head. That's Spoon, doing his thing which he does so well. Programming. His job? He's a computer games developer. They gave him fancy parchment what says so. Personally I think that's a class job, if computer games are something you love, and Spoon does love 'em. Surely getting to work with something you love has to have you heading for work everyday with a spring in your step. What you don't see are the endless, repetitive and non stop lines of code required to make even the most basic programming adjustments.

When Spoon started his most recent Project "Arc" he looked like a healthy, hale and hearty young man. Sure he smokes his cigarettes and drinks maybe a tad too much coffee (hey, it's not like I can talk), but overall he seems in fine fettle.

When I came over to officially "game test" the "Arc" game he looked haggard. He won't enjoy reading this, and I'm sorry big lad, but holy god did he ever look drained. Weeks and weeks of non stop programming, getting a crisp and even "screen tan" from being sat in front of a monitor. Poor lad.
So what's in the life of a game tester? Well, after the hard work has been done, and thousands of hours from dozens of programmers are have been completed, the tester turns up, plays the game and then bitches about what's wrong with it. I imagine that must drive the programmers absolutely batty.

Good life for a gamer eh? Play computer games and chill for the day? Well, not quite that either. The game at the testing phase isn't actually ready to be played. So you're talking about sitting down to not play a game, tell someone who knows better what's wrong with it, wait a little, and repeat.

It's funny how you can have a view of a job and a lifestyle, and be completely and utterly wrong.
Arc itself is thoroughly excellent. It's a futuristic racing game in which you can use weapons and bonuses for yourself and against your opponent. I like a good racing game, but I've always been partial to racing games that aren't realistic. Mario Kart, and Arc are good examples. I don't want to drive modern fancy cars on actual roads. I want fake, fancy and fun.

Can't wait for Arc to be ready though. You'll be able to play it on x-Box live, and then you'll know what I'm talking about.

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