Platform Lead/Senior Tester
What does an average day at work look like for you?
I get in around 8.15am and get settled in, get a drink and a couple of biscuits ready to start the day. I then prepare all the servers that are required for that mornings work. There could be up to seven. First thing I do, in conjunction with other Leads, is I specify any tasks and targets that we need to focus on for that day to the other team members.
Most of the rest of the morning is taken up in making sure that issues coming in from external sources, including server logs, are being looked at, bugs that we find are being correctly reported, new features that are filtering down are having Test Cases written for them and, when available, ran though, liaising with production and other departments, and assisting them in identifying possible issues and getting them corrected, where possible, before they get to the public.
Just before we come back from lunch I update all the servers again to make sure we are always on the most recent builds on all our environments and we carry on as we did in the morning. Investigating, reproducing, escalating, testing, reporting and always making sure that our team is focused on the correct areas.
One of the main responsibilities of a Lead is to make sure that we are focused on the correct aspect of the builds we have going out. So after a launch/update we make sure any new issues coming in are investigated by our respective teams. Once they have been dealt with we move on to the next content updates and make sure the new features work correctly and that they do not adversely affect existing systems, reporting everything we can, and give feedback where needed.
Now depending on work load the day for me ends around 5.30 – 6 where I get in to my car and spend 20 -30mins in the Cambridge traffic.
What aspect of the game have you worked on that you are most proud of?
I am proud of the whole game in general as I have been working on it since Alpha and have touched every aspect of the game from Trading to Mining, Combat to Community goals and CQC. But the area that have spent the most time on was trading. I wrote the original test cases back before we released, and that was key for me gaining the understanding of the game and its mechanics.
What's your favourite thing about Elite Dangerous?
The accuracy and the beauty of it. Especially with Horizons coming along so nicely. One minute you are flying though a 1:1 star system passing the local primary star and then you are landing on an airless moon in that system looking back up at the star you were just flying past.
What was the biggest challenge you came up against during game development?
Its size. As a member of QA you always want to make sure that the quality of the build going out is perfect. We are the last line between the guys coding, programming, drawing and designing the game and the people going to play it. But trying to make sure every system, mechanical and actual are where they should be, looking correct and having the right AI/NPC/Function was daunting.
What have you learned from working on Elite Dangerous?
Having the people putting the game together and the QA team all on the same site is invaluable. Things progress at a faster pace. If you have an issue you are only a step away from an answer.
Federation, Empire, or Alliance? And why?
Empire! The Dark Side has cookies!
Tell the community a fun fact about yourself.
I was originally born in Australia and have travelled to over 40 countries during my travels.
If you could ask the community one question, what would it be?
What is your favourite star system and why?
Answer Gregg's question here.