Meet the Team: James & Ricardo, QA
Good friends both inside and outside the Travian Games office, meet James & Ricardo, two members of our QA Team!
Tell us something about yourselves and how did you end up being in the QA team for Travian: Legends?
Ricardo: My name is Ricardo, I’m 33 years old and I come from Quarteira, Portugal. I’ve been working as a QA Tester for Travian: Legends for a year and a half now. Before, I used to be a Localisation QA Tester for Nintendo of Europe, in Frankfurt. I worked there for 7 years. I decided that I needed a new challenge in my life and leave my comfort zone. And here I am. I’m also a gamer and I want to stay connected to the gaming industry.
James: My name is James, I’m 30 from London England, and have been working for Travian for a year and a half. I ended up working at Travian by luck I would say. I have a huge passion for gaming and had always wanted to work in the industry and luckily had the opportunity to start working here as an intern shortly after moving to Munich.
Tell us a bit about what you do as QA. How does your “standard day” look like?
Ricardo: Well, my “standard” day is quite fun, I have to say. I start by checking all the bugs/stories that we have there to test. We normally wait for the developers to finish a bug or a story and then we start testing them. While testing we also use Automated Tests to help us. That is something that I didn’t know before coming here and I couldn’t be more thankful to learn that. We also get to answer tickets sent from players to our support and investigate them.
James: My day usually starts early, we run tests on every new build of the game every evening, and in the morning, we check and fix them where needed. The main part of the day is spent checking the changes made to the game by the developers.
What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
Ricardo: I would say… Automated Tests. It’s just something that I started enjoying here. So different from what I was doing and the challenge is quite enjoyable. I can give you an example. Game Design decided to have a new feature in the game. Developers create it and we need to test it. We start creating a new test to cover that feature the best we can. We can spend a few days creating these tests in order to cover everything efficiently. I just love doing that.
James: Mine has to be the people I work with, I have made many good friends since starting here and we arrange to meet up out of work or having gaming nights after work. There is a big emphasis on being part of the team here which I think is really important and has really helped to make it a great place to work (until we get competitive on the kicker table).
Has anyone ever told you “Your job must be a dream, you sit down and play videogames all day”? If yes, what’s your reaction?
Ricardo: Aha, that’s a good one! I’ve been listening to that question for a long time. It’s funny that most people think that being a “Game Tester” is basically go to work and play video games. That’s not entirely true 😛 We actually need to work and check things over and over. If we get to play it? Of course! Every single day. But it’s not like playing a game just for fun. We have to play it to see if everything is working as intended. But the question still makes me laugh!
James: Yea that is something I hear all the time, and usually I have to explain that it’s not sitting around all day playing. I try not to go into too much detail as I run the risk of sending them to sleep if I start talking about testing combat strength and the math involved or how I set up the test for culture points.
Could you tell us one funny anecdote that happened to you in the office?
Ricardo: Maybe James can tell you a good one? 😝
James: So we have a developer who likes Nicolas Cage, and one day I made the mistake of not locking my computer when I went for a coffee. I came back to my desk to find that all some of the images in the game, such as the hero icon, resource numbers, and building images, had been replaced with Nicolas Cage.
How’s your relationship with video games? What’s your top 3 all-time favorite games?
Ricardo: I love video games. I play almost every day. But that’s also one of the reasons I got the job. I can separate the two things, which is good. I can still enjoy the games at home and work with video games. Top 3… that’s a tough one… First one, “Medal of Honor: Allied Assault”, second “World of Warcraft” and third “Grand Theft Auto” (I can’t decide on which one so I pick the entire series).
James: My relationship with games could probably be classed as unhealthy. Usually, the first thing I do when I get home is turn on the PlayStation and jump into a game for a few hours, but when it’s been your routine for 20 years, it’s hard to change. My top 3 games? That’s a tough question, but I would probably have to go with Uncharted 2, Red dead redemption and The Witcher 3.
Now time for a random question to uncover your deepest secrets. What’s your pet peeve?
Ricardo: Hmm… let me see… I’m a bit sensitive to noise. Like, annoying sounds like mosquitoes, people eating or biting their nails.
James: I would have to say being interrupted. We spend a lot of time writing automated tests, and it requires concentration and being interrupted really slows everything down, and it takes time to get back into the flow again.
Thank you for reading our interview, we hope you enjoyed getting to know James & Ricardo a bit more! If you have any questions for them, don’t hesitate to leave a comment, otherwise, stay tuned for the next edition of Meet the Team!