To test or not to test part 1 – few words about professional pessimism.

When somebody asks me what do I do for living I simply answer that I am a software tester. The next question/statement I hear is that I must have a lot of fun. That depends what somebody defines as fun. Maybe it’s a matter that apparently testing does not require any legit knowledge or is effortless? Wrong again. In a very general definition, a tester is a person that monitors and reports the state of software. He can use various tools for it starting with some open source solutions and ending with creating own tools (yes, here is where coding is usually involved hence legit knowledge). Is it effortless… well if you can day by day look at the same piece of software for the next few months checking for itsy bitsy bugs call effortless, then I am afraid what the real effort is.

What I described before is just a common image of tester. This is how my family and friends see my work (well my family already had an idea how important this job is, but they still see me as an overgrown kid). And there is nothing to blame on cause not all have to be IT professionals to understand the role of tests. Yet what bothers me is how certain companies treat testers and define their work.

Usually in many companies testers are treated as less qualified IT specialists that do not share the passion of the development. We get paid less even though we are mostly certified (unless we are coding testers). Barely anyone takes our opinion under consideration since we are professional pessimists. Well this comes with the territory, cause when all the management is obsessed with their product’s awesomeness, we sit in a corner saying “I have a bad feeling about this”. After years of taking corporate bull crap in terms of how my opinion is important to them, I’ve decided to simply do my work: monitor and report. If somebody asks for my opinion I just present the facts as they are and move along. And there comes this lovely moment when months of ignoring my reported defects takes its toll. The only thing I can do is just take a bag of popcorn, kick back and observe the mayhem. “I warned you, but you still don’t listen to me”. I know this is a bit rude of me, but at least this is a way to learn the management how tests are important and that it’s good to have a pessimist in the team ;-)

Enjoy your Monday!

Justyna

Damn tired – about veggie state of mind

We’ve recently finished our endless runner “The Sweatshop”. Believe us or not, but at certain point it was an endless run. Now it’s summertime and most of people go on vacations or something (some of us do not even remember the definition of vacations). We are facing another project which will be a 3D FPP in Unity 3D. The deadline is scheduled for October, so… what vacations? Who needs vacations? Yes we do, but we cannot. Once we presented “The Sweatshop” on Game Dev School forum, we cannot fail. It turned out to be innovative and creative. We still have few things to polish, but it’s been one of the best projects. This means that now we cannot go lower than this. The expectations are “too damn high”. It’s almost night (or already), and we’re sitting on design doc and sharing tasks. Our coder does some tutorials for Unity and our graphics designer chisels low poly characters for the game. It seems that we can again go beyond expectations and who knows maybe it’ll get your approval on Steam Greenlight. After that, for sure, we’re all gonna have some long vacations and maybe later we could work on more than 2 demo levels (this should fit for 3 moths…I hope so).

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3rd project kickoff

One task has been done, now it’s time for a new challenge. Currently Game Dev School gave us assignment to create FPP. Must contain permadeath and some character development features. Task is not very simple. When we were dealing with simple games like retro remake or endless runner we could do more in less time. Now we need to figure out how to do even more in even less time. First of all it has to be FPP. Second thing it’s all based on Unity 3d. Third thing are the requirements. Another thing is that our team has expanded from 3 members to 7!

We’ve already got plenty ideas. Today we managed to come to conclusion about the direction of our latest project and it could possibly work just fine. We shall see if it’s gonna be at least half good as Superhot.

Besides, I am curious: what is your opinion on non shooter FPPs? Do you actually enjoy them? What would be your perfect design?

Sweatshop launch

So it happened. Our project “the Sweatshop” is done. Reception at Game Dev School was very positive. We got lots of hints how to improve the gameplay and graphics. There is still a lot of work to do before the next release. Till that day we would like to invite you to try our game (free; for now only for Android ) :

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.idegames.Sweatshop

Now, let’s get to work, but first thank you guys for these past 2 months in project. We did it :D

Tab3

Not dead yet

Hi guys! Sorry for the lack of updates but we’re hard (hardly?) at work on our latest game – Sweatshop due to be released soon on Google Play. Here’s a screenshot for your viewing pleasure:

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We will keep you updated once the game is done.

P.S. Ready to break a sweat?

Hello Game Dev

So, this is it. The very first post and as always it is not easy to start. Generally the idea is to present and share certain ideas about game development and design, since we’re a bunch of kids (actually adults with pubic hair, that pay taxes and get hyped with stuff that many peers consider as something geeky and boring) that enrolled to Game Dev School and seriously think to make a living out of games. At certain point I agree, it’s a cliché. Suddenly everybody wants to make games. But why? Is it because of the money? That is one good argument, but before making it a main source of income, it takes a lot of effort. So again, why? Maybe because we’ve spent so many years immersed into the digital world that we also want to make a contribution, or maybe it’s because we’re looking for new challenges and adventures?

For me it is a matter of great passion to games and finding certain fulfillment in making them. A huge opportunity to learn something new and a possibility to meet interesting people who share the same passion. This was the inspiration to enroll to GDS.

Since day 1 we’ve been challenged with the very first assignment which was to remake a retro game. From the whole list of titles we’ve selected “Pipe Mania”. One could say that it’s piece of cake, until we heard that we have to perform entire project on Godot engine. First issue that we have encountered was that at that time Godot barely had any documentation to figure what we can or can’t do. After 2 months we finished our first project. We would not call it a beta version, it seriously is an early alpha, so playable, but it has some bugs. Maybe when we’ll find some time (we’re right in the middle of our second project), we’ll polish it, yet if you’re interested with it as it is, we can provide the build with source code and more commentary?

So now we are making an endless runner game in Corona for Android. Now the jokes are over. First day we’ve spent on themes. We thought about endless runner where you are a hamster in its exercise wheel and stuff when the “least creative” person of us 3 (that’s how he called himself) figured “Hey, why won’t we make an assembly line? It could fit the genera.” Hyped with the idea, we got straight to design. Currently we have most of the assets. Game mechanics and gameplay have been designed and now it’s implemented. Hopefully soon we’ll be able to provide you with some more details or playable version. We are really curious of your feedback.

It’s all for now. It’s time to get back to work :)