It’s Friday so that means it’s time for another Ghostlight Blog. Agarest is still with the wonderful people over at Sony (maybe if I’m nice enough they’ll pass it sooner :)) This means of course that I’m not testing it at the moment (surprisingly enough I’m actually writing this blog) but of course Ghostlight never sleeps and we remain eternally vigilant, always on the lookout for the best games from Japan to bring you. Unfortunately while it is a lot of fun to pester everyone here about my favourite Japanese games it’s not something I can say too much about. But if there are any games that you want me to take a look at let me know.
All this means I need something else to talk about and so I thought I’d carry on with our little Q&A from last week. I’ve got two questions both from the comments on last week’s blog.
Firstly Pepsi_Biofusion seems to be a bit worried that I’m about to slack off as he asks:
Q. Well Ross I'm sure you're hard work will provide us with a smooth glitch-free gaming experience, its very much appreciated. I saw what game-testers do in God of War 3... they were adamant it was the most repetitive and monotonous job in gaming, so I guess my question would be what keeps you motivated?
A. Thanks for the complements (my head is starting to swell already.) As for what motivates me well while certain aspects of the testing procedure can be dull regardless of the game you’re working on (seriously ejecting the disc over and over and over again is never going to be fun) there are lots of parts of it I enjoy as well.
- I enjoy breaking things. Finding a bug is quite satisfying and some of the bugs can be very funny. My absolute favourite bug is known in the Ghostlight offices as the breakdancing horse.
- It still fascinates seeing exactly what goes into making a game.
- I still enjoy the times when I get to playthrough our games even if I have to playthrough them differently then I would if I was playing at home.
- I know it’s a little cheesy but it’s always great to hear from people who enjoy the games I have worked on. I love it when I hear from you and I still enjoy it when I overhear some friends talking about a game and I can say I worked on that. It’s also very cool when you see a game you worked on in a shop.
- My other jobs have been far more boring. Before working here I was working in the family stationery business where the most exciting thing that happened to me is discovering we sold Acme products (no they don’t work like they do in the cartoons :( )
- Another cheesy one but there a great bunch of guys here and I enjoy working with them.
The Second question from Kotaro and is about how we have been testing Agarest:
Q Surely you test it with other people. How does that work?
Agarest has been a bit more complex as we’ve been testing it alongside Aksys but usually what happens is that before we get a build we’ll get together and discuss what settings we are going to be using and which aspects we are going to be looking at because in a game the size of Agarest we need to make sure that we can cover as much as possible each build. In the case of Agarest that means making sure we play on different difficulty settings, use different party setups and try to make different choices in game etc. We also try to make sure that someone different gets to do the compliance sweep (click here for more details on what a compliance sweep involves) each time because its useful to have lots of different people look at it and because running a compliance sweep is really, really boring and we’d all much prefer to playthrough the game.
Thanks for the questions. I’m not sure when I’ll be running the next Q&A blog but if you have any questions you want me to answer feel free to post it in the comments or ask me on my twitter. Have a great bank holiday weekend and if you’re going to the MCM Expo have a great time. I’m going to be there on Sunday so if you see me feel free to say hi.
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