Let Stanley teach you something


I know I’m late to the party, and I know that this game is old news, but it’s still being tossed around. However, after finally playing it and seeing what it is and talking with some co-workers, I have to say that there’s more to this game than I think a lot of people realize.

Yes, there’s some crazy philosophical mumbo-jumbo about the meaning of life, who you are as a person and what it means to be alive. Yes, it is an “experience” game more than anything else and that’s fun and creative.

But.

This is quite possibly the best game out right now to teach you how to be an entry level quality-assurance tester for a video-game development company. What game am I talking about, you ask?

“The Stanley Parable,” of course.


Decisions, decision

Think about it for a moment. You don’t find any of the other endings in the game if you don’t explore the levels, if you do everything the narrator says, and if you don’t play to break the game.

As a QA tester, your job is to break a game. It’s to find everything out about the game, whether it’s broken geometry, issues with the levels, crashes, poor directions or unusable objects and skills.

Why do that? Because so many people play the finished product of a game, it is mathematically impossible to think that no one is going to find any of the bugs or issue with the game. That being said, QA is supposed to play the game as often as possible, as different as possible and as creatively as possible in order to break it before the consumer does.

QA testing is not for the faint of heart. It’s a hard job and it’s one that’s important to the company as a whole. Think about it, if a game is broken and crashes a lot, who do you blame? Bad QA. Or the developers as a whole if you’re that kind of person.

Playing “The Stanley Parable” is just the same way. If you just want to play a game and futz around, that’s fine. But at the same time if you have the mental faculties and willpower to play the game four thousand times and try to find all the endings, then you have the makings of a QA person.

Um, hopefully you never encounter this scenario in real life.

Of course, QA is not the best job in the world, but sometimes it’s the only job. Think of yourself like Stanley, stuck doing the same thing every day, pushing buttons and waiting for something to happen. Except, you don’t have a narrator and your office doesn’t change at will and your co-workers don’t disappear.

Unless you missed an email and they all went out to lunch.

So, moral of the story? “The Stanley Parable” is a great test to see if you can handle QA work at a game company. If you enjoy it but find yourself just wanting to find the endings with guides, that’s cool. But if you have the heart of a QA tester beating hard in your chest, then you don’t need no stinking guides. A little Mountain Dew and Redvines are all you need to sustain you on your way to QA perfection.