Hi everyone, my name is Demetrio Pérez. I'm a game developer at Gameloft México and I would like to talk about something that has been brought to my attention lately and I believe that if we as an industry do something about this, game development as a whole may become a better experience for everyone.
I've been a part of this industry for almost 4 months and during this time I've made friends from all the areas of the studio in which I work. I have friends in e-comerce, customer care, Q&A and of course, production.
Each one of these groups of people plays an important role in the company, yet the relationship between certaint parts of the company needs to be reinforced as soon as possible. I'm talking about the relationship between members of Q&A and developers.
I recently became friends with a tester who talked to me about how developers tend to act hostile and sometimes rude towards them, some tell them that they are just “making up bugs” in order to “fill up their quotas”, hopefully in a joking manner, yet my friend didn't seem to take it that way.
Coincidentally, I was working last sunday preparing some builds for testing with my producer. He and I were talking about how bugs were getting resolved as soon as possible in order to meet our deadlines and I told him about my conversation with my friend earlier and he told me: “It's not that we want to be rude, we are under a lot of presure.”
And it is true, we are sometimes the only ones who are working while the rest are sleeping, we have to stay up until Q&A from china finishes testing our builds , etc. It's only natural to get defensive up and aybe a little paranoic, thinking that a bug might only be a waste of time because someone just wasnt doing his/her job right.
So what do we have here? Are we devs on the wrong? Or are we just victims of the circumstances acting on instinct under presure? The way I see it there are two sides to this problem and this is how I believe we as an industry can improve it:
1- Us developers, must definetly treat Q&A members with respect, they may not all have the same level of education most of us do, but they're still people who are also been held to deadlines and have an even smaller pay than we do, their jobs MAY be easier, but they get paid less and tesing may involve playing, but it's not all fun and games. Lets remeber that it is thanks to them that we get to publish our games the best way we can.
2- Q&A members most always be ready to help developers work out their bugs, not solving them, but sometimes the bug report may be hard to understand and we may need help reproducing some of the bugs, God knows I've been there and there has been people to help me out. Also they must adhere to their jobs in a proffesional manner and work as diligently as possible, for without propper testing, games cannot get released.
Development and Q&A are symbiotic processes in the release of a game and so, it is crucial that the relationships with this departments grow as tight and close as possible in orther to make this a more enjoyable experience for all of us, how can games be fun if the people who are making them hate every minute of it? Yes, tears may be shed in the process, but you should do it because you love it.