Marianne Tine, our QA analyst, tells us about the importance of quality assurance work and how an adequate structure is essential to build successful games.
How does someone with a Law degree end up joining the Quality Assurance team of a gaming company? The answer to that resides in my personal history. My name is Marianne Tine – you may call me “Mare” – and for as long as I can remember, I love consoles, board games, and everything related to the video games universe.
Like I said, I graduated from Law School but chose not to follow that career path. I went through the entire course and even did some “lawyering”, but I’ve always loved art and, because of that, at the first chance I got, I jumped out. On this search for something more appealing to me, I also worked as an IT auditor at a banking company and even hustled as a tour guide.
My first contact with quality assurance work was in the telecommunications industry, and everything began to change. I saw the job at a QA department of a gaming company as a professional opportunity to actually do something that I love.
A friend of mine had worked at Wildlife a few years ago, and she used to say to me: “you’re going to love it. Life there is actually a game. You don’t have to LOVE games, but a lot of people there do. You’re going to find yourself there!” She was not wrong: I did find myself here, and now I’ll tell you about my first 100 days working at Wildlife – from the recruitment process, amidst the pandemic, no less, to the current days.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF GOOSEBUMP
I already played Wildlife games – I’m a big fan of Bike Race, and that was the game I testes out during my interview. It is simple and very fun! You basically have this bike and several tracks to ride. You need to learn how to use specific bikes for every kind of track, accelerate or brake on obstacles, and I felt right at home during this test. This is the kind of thing I love to do.
I like to joke that this was the interview I’ve had more fun, ever. I had this really good impression of the people and the company. I felt this awesome mood that was confirmed on my first day even though I began my journey working remotely.
Everybody got on the voice chat to welcome me and keep me company, making it feel like we’ve all known each other for ages.
In here, the way people help each other sticks with you. And I, a woman who got scared from the first three months in every job I had, saw the time fly by smoothly. It is unreal the amount of support I got and keep getting from everyone.
There are many people on the QA Team, and it’s hard to get to know and connect with everyone, but we’re always on the voice chat, which is organized by teams. On the day-to-day routine, you’re talking like you’re right beside all these people. This is awesome, and it created a great team resonance that I never even imagined possible outside of a remote work environment. Speaking of work, I completely changed my way of seeing it.
THE QA JOB – A LITTLE BIT ABOUT OUR MISSION
I was caught by surprise when I was assigned to a QA role here because I felt like I wasted five years of my life studying something I did not enjoy, but in here, I rediscovered a path that, until then, I had completely abandoned.
Here’s why: I joined a compliance-oriented project, the kind of work that is closely connected to the Legal Department, and I fell in love with its proposal. I was out of the judicial world for so long, but in gaming, I threw myself in entirely, and it’s been an amazing challenge.
Initially, I was hired to test out a game called War Machines — the QA team is pretty big, with around 50 people divided among projects related to published games –, except my first day at the job, they saw my previous experiences with law and auditing and took me to this new project, which was on its initial stages.
Some things are just expected, these games are already made with it mind, but there was no person focused on validating the processes. Therefore, I started with the project already in motion. I arrived (at the company) but did not test the games, although I did all the necessary legal testing.
My job put me close to the Legal team, writing test cases — the kind I’d normally do for a game — and testing out updates that could break something that was working fine before or new features, only, in this case, it’s all related to store guidelines and legal protocols from every country we publish our games in, such as GDPR (European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation), CVAA (the United States’ 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act) and the LGPD (Brazil’s General Law of Personal Data Protection).
I spent my first month in the Compliance department, and then I got back to the games, where I learned the testing process for War Machines and Sniper 3D (another game I love). It was essential to understand how compliance fits in this reality and turn what was a project into something applicable for Wildlife and ensure yet another layer of quality to our games. Today, I work 100% in compliance, and we’re expanding these tests to our top 5 games and studying their viability to the rest of our portfolio.
OK, MARE. BUT WHAT`S IT LIKE TO BE A QA AT WILDLIFE?
Basically, a QA analyst’s work is to always be in touch with the product and its team. From the moment the product owner defines the product’s project, all the way until people in Engineering begin to create it.
QA professionals ideally are involved in every step of the way to understand what will be used to make this product and what we’ll have to include on the testing list. We have to think about everything that could go wrong.
In Brazil, the role of a QA analyst is relatively common, although many companies do not know how to implement it or do not have a quality-oriented culture. It won’t do you any good to hire people to put your product to the test if it’s not created with the capability of being tested and improve upon it. I spent a good part of my career working with quality assurance, but I had no QA-assigned role or a QA leader that focused on the team. After I joined Wildlife, I got structure and management. The level of organization I saw here was higher than what I expected.
Those were questions I was very concerned about due to the remote environment. Working from home is pleasant enough: I got four cats, I love hanging out with them, but I also want to interact with people. I miss it, of course, but it feels almost like I was there, just without taking my work colleagues to lunch. When the pandemic goes away, I already warned the team: Whoever’s not comfortable with a hug will have to let me know beforehand because I’ll grab everybody, even if I have to bathe myself in sanitizer to do it.
I feel like this was a total culture fit for me: the way I talk, the way I get excited to chat about games, is very much similar to the people here. I have real passion, ever since I was a child, for gaming. I even have an NES controller tattooed – that was my first video game console, given to me by my uncle. My family has an Atari 2600, and we take care of it like it was some kind of treasure.
In the mobile gaming market, things are no different. My smartphone is topped on its application capacity, and I keep testing and commenting about everything with it. I love doing that.
A PERFECT FIT WITH THE GAMING CULTURE
Right now, I’m back in college, taking on a Game Design course, which was a longtime desire I had. I’m learning to animate characters and putting games together, and it’s all amazing because I understand how everything works. I feel like I’m just getting in on a world I already wanted to live in and, whoever joins me, I think he or she will find itself the same way I did.
Everywhere I worked, I wanted to make a difference. And to me, games help people evolve. You can choose what you want to develop. You can learn history, math, chemistry, strategy, and a bunch of other things. Just being able to work on something with this kind of potential alone feels great.
If I can make room to make games more accessible, I will be a part of it. I have 100% regular sight and hearing. Still, I’ve worked in the past with friends who were daltonic, vision-impaired, deaf, and by exchanging experiences with them, I entered a world where many people want to have their own space, but traditional companies won’t give it to them. So that’s my plan: if I can help people, then I’m happy. I want to do something big, which I truly believe in.
CHEATS FOR THOSE COMING IN
If you’re joining the team right now, what I can tell you is this: take a deep breath. You’ll face a tsunami, but there will be a lot of people surfing the waves with you.
The first months around here give you a ton of information, and if you feel somewhat lost, that’s normal, but there’s always someone to help you. Working with QA is still something a little bit unknown. But here, we created our very own ecosystem that works very well and lets you engage your work the best way possible. I am proud of being a Wildlife QA!