January 29, 2006


I've loved being at Ritual. For one thing, I rate business cards.

My current business card says that I am "QA Manager/Head Oompa-Loompa." When I was in Utah last week, I was asked by one of my old co-workers from Microsoft Game Studios why it was "Head Oompa-Loompa." Here's the explanation that I gave.

QA and Oompa-Loompa's are very similar. We toil tirelessly behind the scenes, and nobody outside of the factory really knows of our existence. (The only time that QA is even mentioned by the outside world is when there wasn't enough QA done...)

We do the grunt work, the repetitive tasks. We're also called upon to deliver the morality lessons to those who affect our work. We're the ones who preach that crash bugs are bad, that spending 10,000 faces on a doorknob isn't an appropriate use of memory, that remixing celebration sounds into something that sounds perverse isn't appropriate in a rated-"E" title, that perhaps dangling an anatomically-correct fetus over a fire isn't the most appropriate item to place in a game.

Finally, we rarely if ever complain because for the most part we love doing what we do.

QA is full of the unsung heroes of the video game industry. For every item like "Hot Coffee" that slips through the cracks, we stop hundreds of thousands of similar issues from ever seeing the light of day. And in the end, our products, like Willa Wonka's, are that much sweeter.

1 comment:

Drogo said...

Oh boy - does this mean your going to start posting your Rants in verse form suitable for singing?