People of Kuato: Bug squashing with Eric
Eric Gebus is Kuato’s Senior Quality Assurance (QA) tester. He’s originally from Strasbourg, famous for its Christmas markets, and he grew up on a ranch. Aside from horse-riding, he’s passionate about face-painting and bodybuilding! Eric’s all-time favourite game is Kirby’s Dream Land.
What do you do at Kuato Studios?
I’m a Senior QA tester, my job is to lead the testing team and make sure that our players can have the best experience possible when playing our games.
QA is all about finding defects in a product. We play games thoroughly to find ALL bugs whilst working closely with developers to find a way to fix and avoid issues like Iron-Man flying out of the screen!
I particularly enjoy the satisfaction that comes from transforming a buggy first version of a product to a shiny, polished, high-quality final product.
One of my other missions is to take charge of the submission and release process alongside the production department.
How did you get into QA?
It was a long and strange road. I started to learn about QA during my Biologic Engineering degree in France before realising that the structure of the laboratory environment was a bit too rigid for me.
I moved to Paris and studied Scientific Journalism and Museology at the National History Museum, surrounded by (very much alive) wallabies and red pandas. During this time, I was able to work on the incredible video game collection of the Musée des Arts et Métiers where I wrote my thesis on the cultural heritage of video games.
After a few years of being an exhibition designer, I moved to the UK to see what life had in store for me. I became a theatre bar manager before finally getting lucky enough to find a Localisation QA position, a few years later here I am… living my best life at Kuato!
What’s your proudest achievement to date, and why?
Without any hesitation, I would say the release of the updated Marvel Hero Tales. It was my first month as a QA senior, the deadline was short, we were running out of time and we had to work extremely closely as a team. It was a close call but we made it. The game has never looked better!
What advice would you give to a young person starting a role in your field?
It is not always sunny in QA-Land!
Starting a career in video game QA can be very exciting, however this can lead to some companies capitalising on that excitement in return for questionable working conditions (precarious contracts, forced overtime, crunch). Always remember your self-worth and do not hesitate to defend yourself if you are unhappy in a situation. It can be challenging to find a comfortable and stable role at a company, but do not give up.
Things never go as planned and that’s alright!
QA is all about dealing with problems as they come. Anything can happen at any time, you could think you are very close to a perfect version of the game you are working on and suddenly game-breaking bugs appear, your phone explodes, and the building falls apart. Just keep calm, put on your detective hat and snipe those bugs!
Transparency and communication!
You are human, and humans make mistakes. Errors in QA can happen, but as long as they are addressed as soon as they occur you can avoid bigger problems down the line. You should always maintain crystal clear communication with your team and the rest of the studio you are working with.
Which video games/ projects inspire you and why?
There are so many games that inspire me, but the one which managed to drive me insane is The Stanley Parable. That is a game every QA tester should play and try to break! It is a gem of game design, storytelling, and exploration of choice.
If I had to pick a second one, I would say The Witness. I’ve rarely seen a game so excellent at non-verbal didactic, and so efficient in forcing you to think outside the box. I couldn’t count how many nights I’ve spent trying to finish this game, filling notebooks like a madman!