Sims 3: University Life
Sims 3: University Life was the last of three expansion packs I was part of while at EA. For this project I had the role of Quality Assurance Lead for the Sims 3 franchise at EA Salt Lake. I didn’t get the privilege of seeing this final pack ship however, as I had moved on to another company before the product had been approved by EA Certification.
At EA Salt Lake quality assurance made a point to be in the design brainstorms so that we could discuss those ideas, and evaluate what issues might be found with those designs within an already complex engine. The other great part of these projects, was being the voice of the end user! The Sims 3 has a gigantic user base and extensive forums. A lot of our job was to be part of these forums and understand the wants, desires, and needs of this player base. This was the test team’s third expansion, so we all new what things to look for.
With Supernatural specifically my role was mostly working on improving the transparency of our test team, and increasing the skill sets of our testers. I worked to get all of our testers paired up with a designer for shadowing, so they could gain a better insight into the process of game development. Because the Sims 3 is such a complex game, we aimed to hire Sims 3 players first, and trained them to be testers and game developers (as opposed to hiring for game development experience, and trying to train them to be Sims 3 players). As was the case for the other expansions, my other responsibilities included managing the black box test team in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and getting tthe game through the certification process.
Quality Assurance Lead