Hello everyone! Here's our latest Developer Interview! Today, it features Drew, our QA Manager from Six Foot.
Drew, QA Manager at Six Foot
1: What’s your job at Sixfoot?
To train and manage people who point out issues like the one in this question. My title is QA Manager, which means I take care of all operations within the QA department, including things like budget, hardware, personnel, organization, etc.
2: Where are you from?
H-town (Houston, TX) all the way!
3: Please describe your way into the games industry.
I started out as a contract QA Tester at a company called TimeGate, and just kind of worked my way up from there. I spent a short time in app development, but the allure of the industry was just too strong, so I ended up right back in it.
4: What do you like about working in the games industry?
I love that I come to work at a place where everyone is driven by passion. We have a super diverse company made up of people from all origins and walks of life, but we're all brought together by the same thing, which is our love for making games.
5: What don’t you like about working in the games industry?
The volatility of it. Most studios go from project to project, and just one under-performance can mean layoffs or even the studio shutting down.
6: What was the first game you ever played?
Probably banging on arcade games as a kid. The first ones I remember owning were Tetris on the original Game Boy and Jurassic Park on Sega Genesis.
7: What’s your most favorites game of all time?
Any of the Souls-Borne games are at the top of my list for recent games. In terms of older games, Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy 7/8/9, and Ocarina of Time are a few of my favorites. Recently, I've been playing a lot of Overwatch and MLB the Show.
8: What was the most amazing project that you have been working on until Dreadnought?
Rime was a fantastic experience from start to finish that was just a joy to work on. The most fun I've had working on a game was Minimum, which we were developing when TimeGate got shut down.
9: What are you working on right now?
Most of what I'm doing these days is mentoring my leads while looking for opportunities to make our department run more smoothly, whether through process change, documentation, training opportunities, or anything else. We're constantly looking to move forward, and a huge part of my job is both identifying areas where we can improve and brainstorming ways to get there.
10: Do you have any advice for anyone that is willing to launch a career in the games industry?
Get your hands on a tool like Unreal Engine or Unity and start playing with it. My personal recommendation is Unreal since it's so widely used. Regardless of which one you use, just knowing the ins and outs of maps, art assets, animations, and the like will give you a leg up in any position.
Build a portfolio. Don't just show finished pieces, but show that you can take something from start to finish. Show not just that you can improve and edit, but that you can take feedback and direction when creating something.
Finally, look into the industry and figure out where you want to go. I interview a lot of people, and I always want to see where they see themselves going. Designer is the most common, but from experience, maybe one out of every ten people who say that know what it entails. More often, it means, "I'm not really sure, but that sounds cool." Do your research, see what each role does, and figure out what it takes to reach that role.
Thanks again for your time Drew! We appreciate it!