Sims 3: Supernatural
Sims 3: Supernatural was the second 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. The great thing about quality assurance on a project like the Sims, is that you are part of the project from early brainstorms through the final gold master.
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. The team we had for this project had all come from wrapping up Sims 3: Showtime, and we now knew the eccentricities that came with a project of this size. Because of this familiarity with an engine and systems within, combined with my love of the subject material (werewolves, vampires, zombies, magic, etc...) made this one of the projects I have been most proud of!
With Supernatural specifically my role was mostly working with designers to test system tuning. We had a lot of chance systems with this expansion, and each one needed to feel just right. Making successful potions, casting perfect spells, and even eating beans from the Jelly Bean Bush all required a lot of finesse in this tuning to make it feel rewarding for the average player, yet still hold the occasional surprises for the most experienced players. As was the case for Showtime, my other responsibilities included managing the black box test team in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and get the game through the certification process.
Quality Assurance Lead