Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Watch your Knees

Imagine working QA with some of your best friends for a company that’s been your nostalgic wet dream since the late ‘80s.  Imagine that you get to work on amazing AAA titles that have franchise characters that
are world renown. Pretty good so far?

Well now, imagine watching others do that. While you are stuck inside of a windowless “cage”. Listening to people enjoy themselves while they test. Looking around you see the dismay of your fellow “cage folk” faces every time someone outside the cage says, “Oh man I can’t wait till this title gets released! It’s going to blow the minds of so many people! Who knew the franchise would come this far!”  How disheartening.

I was stuck inside of a “cage”, a wireless black hole that could not be penetrated by outside interference, testing a new piece of software for this franchise company. The software was to show demo games or video, or ads, or what ever the company wanted. Myself and a crack team of 10 others were stuck inside of this cage for weeks. The first 3 weeks were stuck waiting for the developers to get more content than a single 17 second clip. Imagine watching the same 17 second clip for 3 weeks. On an 8 hour shift. In the summer. With others playing AAA titles all around you. HATE YOURSELF YET?!

The only way to relieve ourselves of this mind-numbing boredom, depression, and anguish was to do what any good tester does. Stay awake.

How do we stay awake? By sneak-attack hitting each other in the kneecaps with the companies innovative controller.

That’s what testing does to you. You die inside. You die inside that cage. You lose your kneecaps. YOU END UP HATING SEA LIFE THANKS TO A 17 SECOND CLIP FOR THREE WEEKS.

It’s worth it though, once you get back on those AAA franchise titles. If you can stay sane through it all, it’s worth it.