By Caitlyn Kenney (GART ’17)
The Montreal game studio Hibernum extended a fantastic opportunity to Champlain students. Currently in development at Hibernum is their survival strategy game Zombie Cruise, and they asked if we would like to give it a whirl as QA (quality assurance) testers. Throughout the week we set up times to go to their studio to play Zombie Cruise, and on Friday Hibernum’s team came to Champlain’s Montreal campus for a larger QA focus group. I participated in Friday’s focus group. We met the creators of Zombie Cruise before sitting down to play.
Zombie Cruise is a great game! You choose a survivor to scavenge and scour a cruise ship, all while fighting off a zombie outbreak and recruiting other surviving passengers to help you until the cruise ship makes it to port. The game was full of strategy, exploration, and character interaction to create quite the playtest. Hibernum’s game was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to see an industry level game in development.
After playtesting was complete and we gathered for feedback, it was clear that everyone experienced the different paths Zombie Cruise had to offer. Two of Hibernum’s QA moderators where there to ask us questions and take notes on the feedback we gave. We were asked various questions about topics ranging from our favorite character to the user interface. Specific mechanics were discussed, how intuitive the design was, and areas we thought needed some tweaking. Also asked for were our thoughts on narration, multiplayer options, and any other ideas we had that could potentially make the game even more enjoyable.
After the feedback session, the Hibernum team stuck around to chat with us. The overall involvement this QA test gave us all was a marvelous peek inside the game industry. Meeting game industry professionals and playtesting for an established studio is an experience I would advise anyone considering a career in video games to seize, should the opportunity arise.