Today on Inside Choices, we're taking you behind-the-scenes with the QA team! What's QA, you ask? Good question, hypothetical Choices reader! QA stands for Quality Assurance. The QA team makes sure that our game doesn't break, catches the writing team's many typos (sorry QA!!), tests new game features, and so much more. They're honestly the MVPs at Pixelberry, and we can't live without them. They're also a ton of fun to talk to! Keep reading to learn more about our intrepid QA team:
First up, we need an introduction. What is being on the QA team all about?
Glenda: Being on the QA team is about caring about the quality of our work and products. Writers and artists work hard on creating interesting, cool stories for players to experience. And QA is just as vital a part of this team effort. We try to ensure that the final product is as polished and awesome as possible!
Josephine: We’re bug catchers! We make sure chapters are in tip-top condition.
What's an average day on the job for the QA team look like?
Alice: A LOT of testing, with plenty of snack breaks.
Josephine: We get to play your favorite stories over, and over, and over. But it’s not bad, because the writers do such a good job that it’s still super enjoyable every time, like re-reading your favorite book! We become very familiar with the stories, and sometimes we even speculate and theorize with each other.
Izy: At a glance, QA seems like it's just playing your favorite game all day, every day, but there's a lot more to it. We do a ton of investigation into the deeper workings of the game, making sure everything's airtight. We're basically the Endless -- one moment that a player sees once or twice is a scene that we've played through again and again. (And yes, we're always emotional during every sad scene!)
Jon: Every day, we'll play through Choices chapters, reporting any bugs we find. Unfortunately, some bugs do get through QA. When bugs get reported, we recreate them based on the information we're given, then try to get a fix out as soon as possible!
What's the funniest thing you caught in Choices before it went into the world? (And thank you for saving our butts. I feel like that needs to be said.)
Alice: There was one in HSS Book 1 where your character ended up bald...
Rose: A character that was in his underwear for an entire chapter. Inappropriate facial expressions (for instance, the character is smiling while they say a super serious line).
Glenda: Once I found an error where the main character was supposed to reject a potential love interest, but the text contained a double negative, so the line ended up reading like, “I don't not love you"... which was the opposite of the intended meaning! Moral of the story, grammar can either save your life or crush your dreams. Use wisely!
It seems like QA's always up to something fun, whether it's boba runs or quality testing the office water. What's your favorite QA memory?
Kristina: The cookie contest for our Christmas party. I brought in shortbread cookies (my great grandma’s recipe) and had made several dozen, by the end of the day all the cookies were eaten or boxed up to take home and several people were asking for the recipe!
Glenda: Favorite QA moment has got to be hanging out as team. Whether we’re doing yummy team lunches at all-you-can-eat Korean bbq joints or fulfilling our Bob Ross dreams by painting awful landscapes together, I love that we do it as a team.
Let's talk hobbies! What do you enjoy doing in your free time? I know at least one of you bakes delicious bread pudding... *cough*
Josephine: I enjoy drawing! We’re as much of a fan of Choices as you guys are, and I have definitely drawn fanart a few times...
Rose: I've been taking an introductory cognitive science course recently, super interesting!
If you could live in any Choices book, which would it be?
Kristina: The Crown and the Flame. I LOVE fantasy settings and any world that has dragons, yes please. Specifically, I’d want to live in the Technocrat city and engineer some awesome magitech.
Izy: Wishful Thinking. I'd give the world to be able to talk to my cats!
Jon: I would love to live in The Elementalists world! I'd be able to take a door or mirror to work instantly, enlarge food for more portions, conjure fire to keep warm -- there's so many possibilities... I'd also like to try screaming Yorba eggs. Yum!
Glenda: That’s easy -- The Royal Romance! Who wouldn’t want to be plucked from a routine, mundane existence and thrust into a world of royal balls, fancy castles, centuries-old traditions, fun sidekicks, a dream wedding, and corgis? Cordonia is my alternate universe and I will gladly live there all my days. Please pass the hors d'oeuvres.
A big thank you to QA for taking the time to chat, and for working hard to keep Choices up and running! Corny as it may sound, teamwork truly makes the dream work.