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SDOAT #4: “The Accidentally Free DLC” [Anecdote]

SDOAT #4: “The Accidentally Free DLC” [Anecdote]

May 8, 2013

There was this game, once, for which we released a lot of DLC that could be downloaded via Steam. The game had been out for some time but was far from bug-free, so we were making an overhaul of the whole interface.

Free

Free stuff, yay!

It wasn’t a very complex game, and neither were the menus. We had already tested it for some time and, one afternoon, we reached a point where we were mostly just clicking everything aimlessly. We were fresh out of ideas of how we could break it.

I told my boss: “Hey, I don’t think we’re gonna find anything else here.”
He nodded, but did not give us a new task. I sighed and continued.

Another hour of clicking everything passed. I told my boss: “Really, I don’t think we’re gonna find anything else here.”
“OK”, he replied, “but continue for just a while longer.” I sighed and continued.

It was hard to stay focused. I had to remind myself to stay professional, and not let my senses or wit become clouded by boredom. I sighed… and continued…

And that’s when I found the bug that made it possible to play DLC you didn’t own.

I think that’s one of the important lessons you have to learn in QA. You can never assume that you’re done. Never slack off, make every hour and every button press count. And that’s, I think, what a lot of people don’t understand about QA. We are ┬ánot normally the classic stereotype of unprofessional college kids, because they would get bored and give up after a week.

Free bird

Free bird. Get it?

That day was hard, but it paid off – for me and for the company. They didn’t have to lose a heap of money, and I got that thrilling sensation of actually doing something important; the buzz which makes this profession so engaging. It was one of those bugs that make all the long hours of clicking worth it.

So that’s another of my stories. Feel free to comment with your own, below!

Until next time.

– The Secret Tester

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