My name is Quentin Andrews and I work as a Q&A tester for EA Kredix. We’re officially known as the “smaller projects team” which a good 85% of the time means “we’re going to cancel this game”. You’d think that would make me find my work quite depressing, but sometimes it feels more like I’m a custodian of quality, making sure that these games never see the light of day. Still, if a game makes it this far then that means someone up top approved of it at some point and that thought alone is usually more depressing. I work with 2 other colleagues; Chris Plus and James Valent and all of us hate our job. I’m 25. I used to have ambitions. Here’s what we’ve been up to this week.
Tennis is for Everyone is awful and not by retail terrible standards. It’s terrible by I-have-to-play-broken-games-for-a-living terrible. I can forgive bugs and glitches in early stages of development but when your game doesn’t even have a visible floor I get the feeling the developers are testing us. I sent off a report informing them of the glitch. They sent back an email saying they knew. I sent them another email saying that if they knew why did they send me this game at all. They responded by asking me to test the physics. I asked them if this was a joke. They have yet to respond.
The “physics” of Tennis is for Everyone! are comparable to that of the moon. I understand that in a kids game you want to make things slower so they can keep up, but when it takes a full 10 seconds for the ball to travel from one side of the court to the other you’re not making the game “easy” you’re making it “unbearable”. This means the average game of tennis lasts around half an hour, and this is against the Easy AI. I say, easy, what I really mean is nonexistent AI. I swear it has yet to hit the ball. It just runs around the court, swinging wildly and frantically, with the one exception being when the ball is in front of them. Then it quickly dives in the opposite direction. I’ve genuinely spent hours trying to get it to hit the ball once. I felt like I was training an animal, at one stage I was kneeling in front of the screen screaming “JUST ONCE! PLEASE! JUST DO IT ONCE!” It reminded me of my first girlfriend.
Not touched Cold Sweat, I had to drink some coffee to deal with the inanity of Tennis is for Everyone so I decided to take the curiously sinister memo’s advice. Besides I can’t get to the Xbox, Chris has been shaking his booty in front of the Kinect so it’s taken. He says the game isn’t actually half bad, but whoever is in charge of “ghettoing” it should have been stopped at stage one. When I asked about how bad it was he pulled me in front of the score scheme. It seems that the bar for measuring the score is a pimp cane along the base of the screen, the more bling that gets piled onto it the better you’re doing. Not only that, but if you enter the “Gansta” multiplier mode some rather buxom black beauties flip the cane up and start pole dancing on it. I don’t think the developers of FUNK IN DA TRUNK have met another human being, let alone a black one.
James has described MOlf as probably one of the most misguided examples of development pririties he’s ever seen. The game features over 1000 licensed clubs, nearly 10,000 brand golf balls and, to quote the box, “An extensive range of caddy cars”. It only has 5 holes though. Not 5 courses, holes, individual levels. He beat the game inside of 15 minutes; all that’s left now is testing every variant of golf and club combination. I think I heard him openly weeping.