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Dragon Hired as QA Tester for NRS's Next Game

Immortal

Blind justice....
I don't think so. If someone with a big enough voice in the community can complain incessantly about a character and receive a comprehensive package of unnecessary buffs (Kenshi in MKX), who's to say a tester can't do the same thing and maybe even have a stronger influence on the designers since they are under the same roof?
You're reaching here. This can happen to an extent and maybe NRS is "special" as a working place where things like this can happen.

I can only speak for the company i work in and while - sure we meet some QA testers over lunch or coffee breaks here but there is no way i even know 1/10th of them and i work here for over 20 years now. QA testers (temps) change like every few to several months, people rotation on this position is crazy. Only a pretty small amount of people work as full time QA testers here and granted i know most of them but i wouldn't say i take feedback from them.

We have over 400 employees here, we work on different floors (QA is at the bottom) and what is most important here - EVERY change in game that is made in ANY source code branch (QA for example has their own source code branch, even several) MUST be fully explained - documented and is seen by EVERY person with access to that branch which is a LOT of people.

Even IF one of the game designers (influnced by one of his QA friend) wanted to push (lets say for the sake of conversation) a change in game: reduce Cetrion ground boulder startup frames to 10 and even if head of the department would sign off on that you still need to get an OK from lead game designer - for it to go into "live" branch. I'm also 99.9% sure that other game designers would question that change even before it would go to the head of the department or later to me (or other lead game developer).

You also forget that most if not all game designers, lead game developers play their own games. Like seriously play them, on top of watching people play them on streams etc... Most people also tend to think changes in character balance are made for hardcore "competitive" players in mind only and that's true to some extent but not to all cases. Some changes make sense from the design standpoint, visual standpoint, gameplay standpoint but they don't make sense from competitive standpoint and that's OK, they still go live. Games are made for all people and casuals make roughly 70 to 98% sales so if we make them happy by changing X to Y we're ok with the 2% - XX% who won't be happy with our decision. That's just how it goes.

If you want to think about how things work in game industry in general always look at the broader picture and from where the money comes - first and foremost. Money comes from casuals.
 
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but they are buddies working in the same studio. if im a tester walking up to you, a designer, during brunch break and be like "yo my favorite character Raiden is one of the OGs yo, he should really shine more with these changes i've been thinking about during testing" you ain't really gonna turn me down. cuz at the end of the day, if it's not game breaking, then who gives a fuck?
We're corworkers, which is different. Even if we are friends outside of work, I absolutely may turn you down if I disagree with your decision, and then I may not even have final say myself depending on what's being asked.

I work in television production, and I do get suggestions tossed at me from everyone and anyone. I'm also very friendly and sociable. I do not move forward with everyone's suggestions on things.
 
if im a tester walking up to you, a designer, during brunch break and be like "yo my favorite character Raiden is one of the OGs yo, he should really shine more with these changes i've been thinking about during testing" you ain't really gonna turn me down.
Yes they will. QA testers are 2nd class citizens.
They shouldn't be, but they are.

It's honestly weird this is even a thread. All I can say is I hope Dragon and Big D are treated like human beings.
 
Yes they will. QA testers are 2nd class citizens.
They shouldn't be, but they are.

It's honestly weird this is even a thread. All I can say is I hope Dragon and Big D are treated like human beings.
I find a lot of people don't understand the business aspect of video games (or business in general). It's not a bunch of buddies making games because it's awesome, these are companies developing and selling products (video games) for profit. There are structures, systems, legalities all in play here, and all to maximize profit.
 

Darth-Nero

Come Thunder! Come Lightning!
Yes they will. QA testers are 2nd class citizens.
They shouldn't be, but they are.

It's honestly weird this is even a thread. All I can say is I hope Dragon and Big D are treated like human beings.
Do you honestly believe they're hand picking top players who consistently make top 8 just to be second class employees who's only job is testing for bugs and glitches? Do you not make any room for the possibility that they're brought in under the guise of QA while all the same giving them the privilege of weighing in on the game's balance based on their years of tournament experience?
 

RoboCop

The future of law enforcement.
Administrator
Premium Supporter
Do you honestly believe they're hand picking top players who consistently make top 8 just to be second class employees who's only job is testing for bugs and glitches? Do you not make any room for the possibility that they're brought in under the guise of QA while all the same giving them the privilege of weighing in on the game's balance based on their years of tournament experience?
Their job is also to find unbalanced and broken mechanics, which they have proven they're very good at. NRS is owned by WB who probably doesn't even know who any of these players are. NRS's job is to make money for WB by designing a game that the majority of their players will enjoy. Their job isn't to cater to the preferences of their testers.
 
Do you honestly believe they're hand picking top players who consistently make top 8 just to be second class employees who's only job is testing for bugs and glitches? Do you not make any room for the possibility that they're brought in under the guise of QA while all the same giving them the privilege of weighing in on the game's balance based on their years of tournament experience?
It's just the reality of life in QA.
It's a crucial position that has been historically undervalued by the design side of the industry, and still is. It's the only entry position for getting into games, after all.
 

Second Saint

A man with too many names.
I also think they'll both probably be valuable in the context of selling the strengths and weaknesses of a character during Kombat Kasts when the real promotional material starts up. Big D especially is a great public speaker, and as much as I do like Tyler and Derek, it would be a lot more interesting to watch some of the best to ever do it show off what these characters are capable of in a match on stream than seeing two at best average players struggle.
 

Immortal

Blind justice....
Do you honestly believe they're hand picking top players who consistently make top 8 just to be second class employees who's only job is testing for bugs and glitches? Do you not make any room for the possibility that they're brought in under the guise of QA while all the same giving them the privilege of weighing in on the game's balance based on their years of tournament experience?
Reason for hand picking top players for QA is simply math and money based.

Top players who understand basics and advanced stuff within the genre they gonna work are much more valuable since they don't need training in it. They just gonna learn how to / who to report things and how to do it, the rest - they already know. It's a HUGE time and money saving on the company part. They're also more likely to quickly notice broken stuff than an avarage dude after college who applies for his first job. Time is everything in game development, its quite literally money in this case. Futher more im pretty sure they're already in "crunch time" so like 3-6 months away from the game release, so time is even more of a factor. It only makes sense to bring people who can just jump in straight away and do the work thats needed to be done and done quickly. It's a win - win for the company, there is no downside here.

Always think of it from the bussines perspective and less so from game perspective coz in the end it's ALL about the bussines and nowhere near the borderline conspiracy theory you're going with.
 

Second Saint

A man with too many names.
Reason for hand picking top players for QA is simply math and money based.

Top players who understand basics and advanced stuff within the genre they gonna work are much more valuable since they don't need training in it. They just gonna learn how to / who to report things and how to do it, the rest - they already know. It's a HUGE time and money saving on the company part. They're also more likely to quickly notice broken stuff than an avarage dude after college who applies for his first job. Time is everything in game development, its quite literally money in this case. Futher more im pretty sure they're already in "crunch time" so like 3-6 months away from the game release, so time is even more of a factor. It only makes sense to bring people who can just jump in straight away and do the work thats needed to be done and done quickly. It's a win - win for the company, there is no downside here.

Always think of it from the bussines perspective and less so from game perspective coz in the end it's ALL about the bussines and nowhere near the borderline conspiracy theory you're going with.
Could you explain why a company would be in crunch time for a game that hasn't even been officially announced yet? Is that normal?

I guess if that's true, then from a marketing perspective it's better to have a big, short marketing campaign where they can keep hype at a high level as opposed to allowing it to fade over time.
 

Immortal

Blind justice....
Could you explain why a company would be in crunch time for a game that hasn't even been officially announced yet? Is that normal?

I guess if that's true, then from a marketing perspective it's better to have a big, short marketing campaign where they can keep hype at a high level as opposed to allowing it to fade over time.
Sure, thou keep in mind i don't work for NRS, i work for CP RED so its based on my experience in the industry but i could be wrong about NRS.

Firstly as we learned over the years it's usually way better to have a short and more "explosive" marketing campaign where the customer don't have to wait a year or more for your product, coz no matter what you do customers interest in a product will get lower as the time passes. Sure hardcore fans will be excited all the time but the casuals have a pretty "short memory". There will be several other big titles released in that time on which casual players gonna focus their attention. That's not something you want - it hurts sales.

Another reason is internal development cycle - every company has one, usually 4 - 6 stages when you reach the last one or are close to it you hire more QA testers, usually temps, there is just no way that you will have enough of QA emplyees in house for big projects (games) to test for bugs in a reasonable time frame (not to mention time needed for other people to fix them). For us it's 6 - 7 months before the game is released.

Also going by NRS history - MK 11 was announced at The Game Awards 12/06/18 and released 04/22/19 so roughly after 5 months.
 

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
Does that mean that the new game is in QA testing phase because come on NRS I need something here. As much fun as MultiVersus is, it's not what I'm looking for long term. FEED US.
It’s probably in some stage other than just the brainstorming, super beginning stage. I wonder what the next NRS game is gonna be? MK12? Injustice 3? MKvsInjustice? A completely different type of MK, Injustice, or other game other than the traditional 2D fighter it has been since MK9? Who knows! I wouldn’t mind really any of the above. IF they do make an Injustice 3, I do kinda hope they rebuild the core gameplay from the ground up though. But anyway, I’m in the same boat, super curious about the next NRS title! That said, Elden Ring has been consuming all my gaming free time since it came out. And I don’t really see that changing anytime soon.
 

Gooberking

FGC Cannon Fodder
Does that mean that the new game is in QA testing phase because come on NRS I need something here. As much fun as MultiVersus is, it's not what I'm looking for long term. FEED US.
I can't help but think given the absolutely nothing they have been able to say and how much that has been a problem from some, that hiring two very well knowns in NRS for a job that generally weights at the end of a project could construed as a way of saying something when you aren't allowed to say anything at all.

The commenting on the time savings they get with people that know what they are doing is super valid, but at the very least this suggests things are well on their way regardless if they wanted people to know or not.

I'm sure there is interest in doing what they did with MK11 which is get the game on the sales floor while people are still keyed up about just having found out about it, which is why we've heard nothing.
 

Law Hero

Reach Heaven through violence
I wonder if this "confirms" that their next game is indeed a fighting game since they are hiring fighting game players for QA. I was originally concerned that it would be a completely different type of game since the 2 year cycle is broken and because Ed Boon has stated his interest in making a new genre of game.

Hopefully it's a sign that we're getting a new fighting game and hopefully, HOPEFULLY it's not Injustice 3 or MKvDC2. Please, just give me a new Mortal Kombat game and actually finish it this time.
 

Vslayer

Kurses in moose
Lead Moderator
I can't help but think given the absolutely nothing they have been able to say and how much that has been a problem from some, that hiring two very well knowns in NRS for a job that generally weights at the end of a project could construed as a way of saying something when you aren't allowed to say anything at all.

The commenting on the time savings they get with people that know what they are doing is super valid, but at the very least this suggests things are well on their way regardless if they wanted people to know or not.

I'm sure there is interest in doing what they did with MK11 which is get the game on the sales floor while people are still keyed up about just having found out about it, which is why we've heard nothing.
yeah it's basically like a nod to us without saying anything and getting in trouble with the big heads. I feel like Boon would have no issue talking about the new project, not sure what's the hold up now that they're not under WB anymore.
 

CrimsonShadow

Administrator and Community Engineer
Administrator
I can't help but think given the absolutely nothing they have been able to say and how much that has been a problem from some, that hiring two very well knowns in NRS for a job that generally weights at the end of a project could construed as a way of saying something when you aren't allowed to say anything at all.
QA testing generally does not wait for the end of a project. QA testers are and can be used to test all kinds of things at different stages, including tools, assets that are in fairly early stages of design, game systems that are still being trialed and aren't final yet, etc.

They don't just get rid of the entire department just because a game isn't close to being finished. Yes, the numbers will go up and down, you need more of them later on, and some people are on shorter contracts that aren't reupped until later (or at all).. But there are definitely longer-term QA testers that are testing on an ongoing basis, and will do important work long before a game is done.

If people are assuming that it's closer the end of the process, it's logical only because it's been 3 years since the last game, and so we'd assume that it should be farther along, based on the history of this company's dev cycles. But simply hiring QA doesn't automatically tell you what the status of game development is. Hopefully that explanation makes sense.
 

Gooberking

FGC Cannon Fodder
QA testing generally does not wait for the end of a project. QA testers are and can be used to test all kinds of things at different stages, including tools, assets that are in fairly early stages of design, game systems that are still being trialed and aren't final yet, etc.

They don't just get rid of the entire department just because a game isn't close to being finished. Yes, the numbers will go up and down, you need more of them later on, and some people are on shorter contracts that aren't reupped until later (or at all).. But there are definitely longer-term QA testers that are testing on an ongoing basis, and will do important work long before a game is done.

If people are assuming that it's closer the end of the process, it's logical only because it's been 3 years since the last game, and so we'd assume that it should be farther along, based on the history of this company's dev cycles. But simply hiring QA doesn't tell you what the status of game development is. Hopefully that explanation makes sense.
I'm largely echoing my interpretation of Immortal's take on the wave of temp hires for crunch. Hiring two people with their highly specific skill set seems more like they are getting close to something. If it was just one then maybe they just wanted and in and would be doing whatever, but hiring two high level players at the same time to just do utility testing seems unlikely. There is no real knowing, it's just fairly suggestive.

I don't know a whole lot about how QA fits into Game dev specifically, but I do know how they fit into general development and how much wasted effort can happen on their end if they try to go too fast, too hard, or especially too early. I'm generally highly regarded among our QA because I'm very good about knowing what they are going to need to know and when things should be done. I'm not just tossing it out there that QA activity weights heavy at the end while being a total outsider. Again that doesn't mean I know how that industry specifically works, but some things kind of have to be near universal truths.
 

Vslayer

Kurses in moose
Lead Moderator
They're not? I thought NetherRealm Studios was still owned by WB Games?
didn't they break up, idk I haven't been following much news tbh.

QA testing generally does not wait for the end of a project. QA testers are and can be used to test all kinds of things at different stages, including tools, assets that are in fairly early stages of design, game systems that are still being trialed and aren't final yet, etc.

They don't just get rid of the entire department just because a game isn't close to being finished. Yes, the numbers will go up and down, you need more of them later on, and some people are on shorter contracts that aren't reupped until later (or at all).. But there are definitely longer-term QA testers that are testing on an ongoing basis, and will do important work long before a game is done.

If people are assuming that it's closer the end of the process, it's logical only because it's been 3 years since the last game, and so we'd assume that it should be farther along, based on the history of this company's dev cycles. But simply hiring QA doesn't automatically tell you what the status of game development is. Hopefully that explanation makes sense.
ahhh that makes sense, thanks for the clarification!