QA is a very important part of a game team, and that’s often undervalued. So much so, that companies will still sometimes just hire anyone off the street.
3-year Sega veteran Mac Senour (1990-1993) has a number of interesting anecdotes on his blog about getting into the industry. One of the more interesting ones is about valuing your QA staff. In the article, he mentions that Sega had a particularly cavalier attitude toward quality assurance. Here’s an excerpt:
While I was helping them connect multiplayer, I had the following exchange with one of them:
Me: “Like boxing games?”
Me: “Every play any boxing games before?”
Me: “What were you doing yesterday?”
He turned to another tester and said a few words in Spanish and then did a pantomime that resembled digging, and said: “Ditch.”
Yes, they had hired ditch diggers to test games.
If anyone has the credits handy, please send me the valiant diggers’ names! And if so many ditch diggers were working on Sega games, it could explain why the roads have gotten so bad around here…