Ask Amiqus - How do studios approach QA and localisation before release

Liz Prince our consultant managing the role
Author: Liz Prince
Posting date: 15/09/2017

When a good job has been done on QA no-one notices, but when it goes wrong it can make headline news.

Quality is part of the bedrock of a robust and reliable technical product whereas localisation quality facilitates enjoyment for your audience in any corner of the globe.

A challenge in recent years has been the increasing use of an early-access launch. New hardware and the advent of VR have also added to the scope, but if anyone can bring a robust, structured approach to a moving feast of game development then a QA can. We spoke to studios to get their take on these far-reaching, highly specialised components of game development. 

Timing is key
Ross McGhee is Marketing Manager at Pole To Win. As a leading provider of outsource services, McGhee has insight from a multi-company perspective;- "In our experience the approach very much varies from one client to another but the consensus is that whilst QA tends to be involved at a much earlier stage, Localisation QA’s involvement still comes in at too late a stage". McGhee is keen to expound the benefits of involving Localisation QA in the early stages of the design and development to ensure correct internationalisation. He told us:- "Championing Localisation QA best practises will maximise the impact of processes and eventually drive cost and time efficiencies down. Involving Localisation QA at an earlier stage will:

  • Help the team gain advance knowledge of the game structure features, release schedule to scope the requirements
  • Enable the team to rely on the Functional QA team’s expertise to identify suitable build/change list to start Localisation QA testing on (e.g. build stability)
  • Enable the team to use QA test plans to help build the Localisation QA testing schedule and plan adequately"

Richard Hylands, QA Lead agrees early approach is also needed from a software perspective;- "My approach is to integrate quality assurance into the development cycle as early as possible. QA should understand the design and features of what it is testing at concept rather than waiting until the hard work of creating the content has passed. The aim of this approach is to create software that is stable and also aligns with the design from day one. By doing this we can ensure there are no surprises later in the development cycle where defects can be very costly". 

Know your audience
Olly Hart, QA Manager told us that social and mobile developer Outplay takes quality extremely seriously; "so do our players – our games are enjoyed all around the world!". Hart believes this is due to the extensive effort and time that the team put into testing and localising games for a number of different countries; "Outplay recognises that quality and localisation play a huge part in connecting with our audience around the globe, which is why we dedicate ourselves into making sure that our games are great right from the initial release".

For Western developers, the five core languages that are used in commercial territories are known as ‘EFIGS’ which stands for English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. However these are very much considered the basics. "We aim to launch every game with localisation beyond standard EFIGS" says Hart, "and this requires co-ordination and effort. Our process begins with a large team of dedicated in-house testers, who form a part of the game teams. This close interaction with both the developers and other testers means that a high flow of information is maintained at all times – which is vital in such a fast paced environment".

Hart also believes that for Outplay, the team’s diversity plays a huge part in testing, and that this naturally helps with localisation too. "Outplays multicultural team means that in the run up to any game launch, we have native speakers who can assist us in making our game easy to understand – no matter where you are or what language you speak. Getting our games ready in this fashion involves a lot of both manual and automated testing. These custom tools are developed alongside the game, so that when it comes time to test localisation, the team can work efficiently and without being hindered".

Same process – different games
Daniel Flanagan sheds light on how AAA developer Codemasters shapes the expansive and detailed process of QA and localisation on a large-scale;- "The core portion of the in-game text is normally completed for the Alpha milestone in English, at which point we would begin the translation of our target languages. Maintaining a consistency with the translations across title updates is key, so great care is paid to previous editions of the franchise – again, this also helps to retain the style and characteristics within each of our titles". Critical paths can vary under the QA umbrella depending on the feature being tested as Flanagan explains "Localisation QA starts once we have all of the localised assets available in game – all of our localisation testing is outsourced and so the testing window is not as broad as our main QA testing; first passes of the foreign languages are done in-house in order to catch any immediate issues with overlaps or truncation".

Following a process doesn’t mean identical game experiences however as Flanagan points out:- "Each of our titles has a distinct style and feel to the presentation; we work hard with our localisation partners to ensure that these styles and the presentation as a whole is kept as close as possible and retains the highest level of quality. Maintaining a constant level of communication with all areas of development during the localisation process is a key factor to ensuring that we deliver the same level of quality across all languages".

All the studios concurred that the bridge between the dev and QA teams is key to keep the overall product on track. Outsourcing provides access to specialist expertise, though relies on strong relationships and a full understanding of the game proposition as Flanagan explains;- "We have a select few trusted vendors that we work with for translations, VO recording and localisation QA testing. Working on specific franchises keeps the quality high and consistent, providing all territories with the same extremely high standards that we set ourselves".

Indies and smaller studios
Even though the scale might be smaller, for a game to reach it’s full potential QA and localisation is just as important for smaller developers. Ian Masters, Creative Director of Quiz Tix offers an SME perspective;- "As a small indie mobile dev Google Play's release management system has quickly become an essential part of our QA process. The ability to have alpha and beta users who receive pre-release updates automatically is brilliant but the best part is staged roll-outs. This allows us to push new features and release builds to a small portion of players first, often surfacing any issues before they ever reach 95% of players. It's impossible to ever guarantee a build is bug free so these two tools have helped immensely."

Andrew Bennison, founder of Manchester based Prospect Games shared his view;- "Some indie developers consider that designing and making the game is far more fun than QA and localisation. Fast forward in time and this negligence will hurt your team in the long run as you scramble to fix old bugs and hastily implement poorly translated text". Bennison describes a learn from his early experiences with Unbox: Newbie's Adventure; "We populated the levels with characters, signposts and diaries full of fun text for players to read but we never considered at the time how much that would cost to translate - imagine our shock when we received quite a hefty quote! The best way to approach QA and localisation is to start both as early as possible" concludes Bennison;- "Ensure you have a pipeline for testing builds from day one and write text with localisation in mind".
In an increasingly crowded games market, with so much choice the importance of player experience is greater than ever. Early integration, adherence to the game’s vision, robust processes and dialogue between the dev and QA teams are all key features of success. As Richard Hylands surmises;- "Quality Assurance is a high-value service and very much part of the whole development process".


This article by Amiqus was originally published abridged in Develop Magazine September 2017 p38.

--relatedposts-postpage

Read more...

Career 1-2-1
Career 1-2-1

Teaser

Blogs

Content Type

Blog

05/05/2021

Summary

Your skills are in demand right now - is it time to consider your options? After the past year, it’s definitely time to reflect and look forward. The employment landscape has changed, and we can help you to navigate the new normal, to create the ideal role that matches your ambition and the lifestyle you want.Get in touch for a Career 1-2-1 with one of our team. Even if you’re not thinking of a move right now, we can help you to shape your next role for whenever you're ready.  You’re in control of your career, we’re here to look after every detail for you. Email hello@amiqus.com - subject line Career 1-2-1 and we'll be in touch to arrange a call. 

Teaser

Your skills are in demand right now - is it time to consider your options?

Read full article
Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

READY, PLAYER… LEARN! GAMES EDUCATION SUMMIT 2021
READY, PLAYER… LEARN! GAMES EDUCATION SUMMIT 2021

Teaser

Amiqus News

Content Type

Blog

30/03/2021

Summary

We’re delighted to be involved once again with the Games Education Summit - https://thebgi.uk/2021/01/27/ready-player-learn-the-games-education-summit-returns-for-2021, a brilliant event that brings together studios and educators to discuss key issues facing the sector during the Covid pandemic and beyond. The virtual event takes place today (Wednesday March 31st) and tomorrow (Thursday April 1st) and is organised by the BGI. Our Business Manager Liz Prince will be joining representatives from industry partners such as Epic Games, Unity, Electric Square, Playground Games, Creative Assembly, Payload Studios, Dovetail Games, Sumo Digital, Ubisoft and nDreams, along with academics from the likes of Bournemouth University, University of Portsmouth, Abertay University, Priestley College, Coventry University, Staffordshire University and Norwich University of the Arts.  A whole host of other associated bodies are also taking part – such as Next Gen Skills Academy, AIM Group, BAME in Games, Out Making Games, Autistica Play and Into Games – and we’re honoured to be joining them. Liz will be taking part in the opening session, The Great Debate, as well as moderating a panel on Hiring, Retaining and Developing Talent During the Pandemic. We’re looking forward to two days of discussion and learning. Hope to see you there!

Teaser

Read full article
Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

THIS IS WHAT I #CHOOSETOCHALLENGE

Teaser

Blogs

Content Type

Blog

07/03/2021

Summary

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge. In the words of the organisation behind this brilliant initiative, a challenged world is an alert world. In the context of gender bias and inequality, it’s important for us all to continually challenge behaviour and attitudes that are unhelpful and potentially damaging to our collective effort in creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment for women. To anyone who is experiencing any kind of harassment, the #ChooseToChallenge message couldn’t be more appropriate. But for anyone – male or female - witnessing it in their workplace, the message is just as important, if not more so. If we are to create safe, welcoming environments for female talent within the games industry, it is the responsibility of every single person working in the business to step up, support co-workers – and continue to challenge. For my part, I want to call out and highlight some behaviours that perhaps people don’t always think are a problem, things that can make women feel uncomfortable and we don’t always know what to do. How should we react? I’m talking about things like the tone of emails to women, how they’re addressed – things that may be considered ‘small’ or insignificant, but that actually have a cumulative impact on overall attitudes to women in the workplace (and elsewhere). If you’re aware of the Everyday Sexism Project that was launched by writer Laura Bates a few years back, you’ll understand what I mean. The initiative aimed to raise awareness of the things that happen to women every day including those things that have become normalised, small things – micro-behaviours, if you like – that serve to undermine women and young girls. From supermarkets having separate sections for boys’ and girls’ toys and pink razors being sold for ‘ladies’; to professional women being on the receiving end of ‘mansplaining’ in the workplace – the campaign has made huge strides in highlighting what is unacceptable in today’s modern society. But, while the supermarkets and fashion stores have mostly reconsidered their strategies, there are still many examples of ‘everyday sexism’ we see in the workplace, all the time. And I can give you recent real-life examples experienced by two women in our team. Our work as recruiters means that we spend a lot of time connecting and communicating with people via LinkedIn. A recent exchange between one of our team and a potential candidate saw him telling her she “has a beautiful name”, with the message becoming increasingly flirtatious (from his side) thereafter - and resulting in him trying to follow her on Instagram (her personal account). Another member of our team was told by a potential candidate that he’d taken all morning to draw a picture of her from her LinkedIn profile – and had loved spending the few hours looking at her..We are supposed to find it funny and flattering – if we don’t we are uptight and rude...Neither of these incidents caused direct harm but are they appropriate ways to talk to a recruitment professional? Absolutely not. Would they have happened to a male colleague, I suspect not. It shouldn’t be up to a woman in the Games industry to highlight this sort of behaviour as unacceptable, it should be understood by everyone. Within the games industry – as in the rest of the workplace, and society in general – we must #ChooseToChallenge all attitudes and behaviours that undermine women and young girls. Of course, we continue to stand firm and united in condemning and fighting injustices and wrong doings when it comes to serious incidents of bullying, sexual harassment and inequality in the workplace. But I also #ChooseToChallenge the ‘everyday sexism’ that continues to blight our industry and beyond. I urge everyone to do the same – and make it an ongoing consideration of the way that we communicate and act towards women. Because eliminating these ‘small’ things really will make a BIG difference…

Teaser

THIS IS WHAT I #CHOOSETOCHALLENGE

Read full article
Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

Amiqus heads to Interactive Futures
Amiqus heads to Interactive Futures

Teaser

Amiqus News

Content Type

News

16/02/2021

Summary

We’re delighted to be involved in this week’s Interactive Futures  event – a celebration of the talent and creativity of video game studios within the Leamington Spa region. https://interactive-futures.com  Today (February 16th) sees the conference focus on the industry itself and our Business Manager Liz Prince is taking part in a panel session which looks at the Challenges and Opportunities facing UK Development in 2021. The rest of the week, the spotlight will switch to talent and careers in video games, with dedicated sessions lined up for students, schoolchildren and their parents. On Wednesday Liz will chair a panel on Why There’s A Career in Games for Everyone – Even if you don’t like maths or science. And on Thursday she will chair a panel which will uncover What Skills and Qualifications are required for a Career in Games. The video games sector in the Leamington Spa region is the second largest in the UK outside of London and Slough & Heathrow and is home to some of the most respected studios around the world, including Codemasters, Mediatonic, NaturalMotion, Playground Games, SEGA Hardlight, Sumo Digital and more, plus a huge number of indie studios. Interactive Futures is hosted by the Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Warwickshire Country Council and Warwick District Council.

Teaser

Read full article
Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

Get Smart about PLAY

Teaser

Amiqus News

Content Type

News

25/02/2020

Summary

Ukie launches Get Smart about PLAY Get Smart about PLAY is a campaign that seeks to encourage parents and care givers to use tools on devices to help manage spend, screen time and access to content. The campaign, which is being fronted by former footballer and TV pundit Rio Ferdinand, will do so with the help of their PLAY code which stands for: P - Play with your kids.Understand what they play and why. L - Learn about family controls. Visit www.askaboutgames.com for simple guides. A - Ask what your kids think. Discuss ground rules before setting restrictions. Y - Set restrictions that work for your family. The aim of the campaign is to empower care givers to manage play in the way that works for their families, as well as demonstrating that as an industry we take our responsibility to all our players seriously. The campaign launched today and there will be activities running throughout the year. Visit www.askaboutgames.com to find out more.

Teaser

Read full article
Ask Amiqus - What should I consider when employing a writer or narrative designer?

Teaser

Amiqus Toolkit

Content Type

News

28/11/2019

Summary

.suzes-btn { width: auto; padding: 10px 7px; border: 2px solid #ec6b01; border-radius: 5px; background: #ec6b01; color: #ffff !important; font-family: 'Proxima Nova W01'; font-weight: 700; margin: 2px; display: inline-block; } .suzes-btn:hover { background: #ffff; color: #ec6b01 !important; } Whenever you’re hiring for a studio or project there are some staple considerations How long you will need someone for; what employment model is most cost-effective; what level of experience is necessary; or whether anyone in your existing team can step up to the plate to name a few. The recruitment of key hires will have an enormous impact on your game, and this is particularly true of writers and narrative designers. With this in mind, where should studios start when recruiting for the story-tellers? Decide what your game needs Phil Harris, Narrative Designer at Deep Silver FISHLABS told us “The first thing to consider is what your product really requires, as the roles of writer and narrative designer are quite different. Although often the difference in these roles is poorly defined within the industry. A writer creates text within a game world, which can range from the description a player reads when they click on an icon, to the flowing conversational dialogue between two characters, or the description of a vast fortress in the game. A narrative designer is a more specialized role, directly involved in the creation of the game world. They create the ‘machinery’ that makes the world working with the designers, artists, developers and producers to understand what is possible and how they can adapt their ideas to fit within the technical limitations of the game engine. They also maintain the canon of the product, so if the product is revisited, consistency is maintained.” Get the timing right Writers are often recruited after the start of product development, with freelance and remote working being common employment models. Narrative Designers on the other hand are typically needed from the initial inception of a product as they are integral to the creation of the game. Colin Harvey, Senior Narrative Designer at Rebellion agrees - “Ideally and most fundamentally, get the Narrative Designer in at the beginning of the project. That way he or she can help shape the project and make sure everything is suitably integrated from the get-go. If you don’t have existing processes for creating story, be prepared to let the Narrative Designer help establish those.” However, as any experienced game developer knows, unforeseen issues mean it’s often necessary to deviate from the plan. Though your game vision is a cornerstone of any project, Harvey has some advice should things go wrong. “If for whatever reason you absolutely have to bring a Narrative Designer in part way through the project, be prepared to be flexible with the overall vision. The Narrative Designer will do his or her best to stitch together what you’ve already got, but there’s got to be some give and take to make the vision the best it possibly can be.” Ensure team integration Being able to bring elements together is a key competency to look for when hiring and you’ll need to decide how you are going to assess candidates for these attributes. A good games recruitment agency can provide some guidance here. Freelance Narrative Designer, Anthony Jauneaud, believes that a person-spec as well as a skills list is key, he says "A writer on a video game project should be a people's person. They should be able to communicate with coders, artists, designers, producers... this is crucial. Narration is information, so they should be updated with changes. See narration as a binder for your games, but also for your team.". Competency-based interview questions around examples of where your Designer has deployed soft-skills, such as influence, will help you pull out the capability of your candidate. It’s also a good idea to take up references about their style and approach so that you can get beneath the surface and find out how they are likely to function in the job. What kind of project are you working on? Ultimately the kind of game you want to create will heavily inform your choice of hire. Experience in the genre or style you’re developing will mean a writer or designer has proven their ability in line with your vision. That said, many studios enjoy a totally fresh approach so it’s worth assessing personal portfolios in addition to formal work experience to find out what someone is capable of, some of which hasn’t yet been discovered. As Harvey at Rebellion points out, it’s possible to pitch for a share in an increasingly competitive leisure market by challenging the status quo and experimenting with new ideas. “If you own your own IP, be prepared to think radically about it – are there fundamental things that need to be changed to get it to work? If possible build in development time to test story ideas, do table read-throughs, etc. and see what works and what doesn’t. Contemporary gameplayers have justifiably high expectations of narrative and will expect plotting and characterisation to be on a par with what they see in the cinema and on Netflix.” This approach can allow you to open up your usual games recruitment patterns and think about hiring someone who will bring you new ideas you didn’t expect. Some final words Harris of Deep Silver FISHLABS emphasises the critical nature of making the right hire and summarises with some practical advice. “The real importance of narrative design is player engagement. If the world doesn’t work beneath the surface, the spell you hope the player is under can be broken. If you are considering a product that is a quick and simple puzzle game with some sparkling text to engage the players, you want a writer. But if you plan to produce a game with a stronger story element like a third person action adventure, an MMORPG, a multi-media launch, or a series, you should probably consider hiring a narrative designer. Or, if the product is big enough, both”. Finally, Rob Yescombe, acclaimed Writer & Narrative Director (RIME, FARPOINT, THE INVISIBLE HOURS) concludes. "Narrative is half science, half art. Don't hire a scientist without soul, and don't hire an Artiste who can't explain their methods." This article written by Amiqus was first published in Develop magazine Amiqus can help you Are you looking to make a new hire and want some more advice? We specialise in games recruitment and would love to help you find that next brilliant member to join your team - get in touch.  Or if you’re looking for an exciting new job in the games industry browse our latest jobs and apply today!  

Teaser

Read full article
Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

Ask Amiqus: Most attractive programme languages

Teaser

Amiqus News

Content Type

Blog

09/10/2019

Summary

"I work with at least two different languages in my current studio, but more and more I'm feeling I would need to learn more to make the next step in my career." If creativity is the beating heart of the games industry, then technology is its lifeblood and the ability to code continues to be a mainstay of the most desirable skills when a games studio is looking to hire. Without the contribution of the programmers there is no game, so from the array of software options what are some of the most desirable languages game developers choose and why? Even as we move through the fourth decade of games software development, the number one skill continues to be the 35+ year old language of C++. The majority of console and PC games still fundamentally rely on C++ and critically it underpins the most complex and demanding game engines available, such as Unreal. “Basically, nothing that can handle complexity runs as fast as C++” says Bjarne Stroustrup, creator of C++ back in 1979. Why has it not been usurped since then? Arguably the results that can be achieved with C++ have never been bettered.  One of the beauties of C++ is that it is flexible, enabling you to write additional features in to an existing engine, game or tool-set at the lowest level. This provides the flexibility of a high-level language with the power, efficiency and level of control more associated with low-level languages such as assembly. As a core object oriented language, C++ has the power to apply hugely complex programming demands balanced with more efficiency and speed than any other high-level OOP language out there. It’s a win-win and these features make developers with C++ skills enormously attractive to hire.  The power of C++ is not without price and mastery is highly aspirational If you’re not familiar with it, getting started in C++ can seem like an uphill climb - the power of C++ is not without price and mastery is highly aspirational. When making career choices it’s worth bearing in mind that some languages are easier than others.  Being so intricate it’s challenging, no low-level systems are handled for you and the kaleidoscope of possibilities means precision is key. One benefit of learning C++ however is that many other languages follow similar principles, so once these skills are mastered transferring skills to other languages can feel much easier. C++ is not alone however, C# has continued to rise in demand from employers. Born of the same object oriented principles, inspired by the C and C++ family tree, C# began as Microsoft’s simple, modern, general purpose language for the .Net framework. When it comes to online and cloud technology, the presence of C++ and C# are pretty evenly matched, with the likes of Microsoft Azure utilising the agility and speed of its home language C#. Over the last few years demand for C# has grown exponentially as the basis of the Unity game engine. Unity combines the power to create games and critically, to take them cross-platform, uniting game development for PC, consoles, mobile devices and websites alike. You can play, preview, edit, test and debug your game with rapid iteration, and this comprehensive list of features makes Unity very attractive to game developers. It is capable of creating physically-based visual features with rich and immersive visual content and although it is yet to match the full power of C++, C# within Unity has become extremely attractive when hiring today. Not least because it is still relatively new so experienced developers are harder to find.  Python has gained momentum because of its universality across staple tools and packages such as Max, Maya and Blender. It’s lighter and more readable syntax makes it much easier to pick up than the deeper languages and nimble scalability increases its usefulness for large and small scale development. Different developers will be attracted to different skills depending on their choices of mobile strategy Alongside the demand for cross-platform skills we also see studios opting for native mobile development specific to a given mobile platform, primarily Objective C for iOS and Java for Android. Native development requires unique expertise for that device and the benefit is that the full potential of the platform can be reached, driving greater user experience through larger and faster capabilities. On the non-native side, also attractive in mobile, are HTML5 skills for apps using standard web technologies which creates cross-platform mobile applications that work on multiple devices. These hybrid apps and games using an SDK are typically cheaper and faster to create than native. Different developers will be attracted to different skills depending on their choices of mobile strategy, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all. As you might expect from the aforementioned, C++ can also be utilised for mobile development. This is a common denominator enabling reuse of core code to port across platforms. Due to the high skills demanded within the industry getting in at entry-level can be a challenge and it’s no secret that software development requires a rigorous set of competencies. Most developers look for graduates with at least a 2:1 or a 1st Class degree and the deeper and more mathematical the computing aspect the higher the demand. However a good piece of advice is to keep focused on your capabilities and play not only to your strengths, but also what you enjoy. Experience and demonstration is always of huge value to the industry with or without a degree and cross training into new languages can make you more widely desirable, in particular within a smaller studio where the variety of tasks can be greater. The alternative to generalist skills is to consider not only your languages of choice but also a programming specialism.  If in your current role you are already working with one of the most in-demand programming languages our advice is to keep evolving techniques, share your ideas and learn from other developers in the games community. There's nothing to stop you from learning other languages in your spare time and knowing the emerging languages in the industry will help to keep you current. If you’re worried about not having the most desirable skills then it’s up to you to ask for some training, to learn what you can to produce personal projects that demonstrate you can cross into other languages with ease. The key is to always stay open-minded to learning new things and to keep in touch with what’s going on in the wider industry as well as what’s happening within your own studio. Are you interested in learning new languages in a programmer job? Amiqus are experts in games recruitment and we want to use our industry knowledge to help you find a role that you love, whether that's in programming, animation or art. If our current jobs aren't exactly what you're looking for then sign up to our job alerts. Browse jobs by skill: C# jobs C++ jobs Core Tech Programmer jobs Engine Programmer jobs Gameplay Programmer jobs Graphics Programmer jobs UI Programmer jobs

Teaser

Read full article
Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

Ask Amiqus - VR and AR

Teaser

Blogs

Content Type

News

07/10/2019

Summary

.suzes-btn { width: auto; padding: 10px 7px; border: 2px solid #ec6b01; border-radius: 5px; background: #ec6b01; color: #ffff !important; font-family: 'Proxima Nova W01'; font-weight: 700; margin: 2px; display: inline-block; } .suzes-btn:hover { background: #ffff; color: #ec6b01 !important; } What special skills do employers look for when hiring for roles on VR projects and how risky is it to skill up in those areas considering the longevity of VR is still unknown? The global VR & AR market was valued at around $3 billion in 2016 and in just one year it grew to $7 billion. The demand for VR & AR skills has followed this upward trend and will continue to as the industry grows to a projected of value of $92 billion by 2025. There is an entrepreneurial spirit in the space with many industry vets channelling their experience into setting up new VR & AR ventures. VR has been on the scene longer than AR but there is space for both to exist. A UK study found that 50% of respondents thought owning a VR device was fairly or very appealing. A virtual reality headset presents many uses – training for the military, treating PTSD, and helping sportsmen and women refine their techniques. And the needs that VR cannot meet are where AR comes in. With the ability to overlay virtual objects on the real-world environment, augmented reality has strong prospects for meeting navigation needs and propelling immersive learning in the classroom. On the surface of it, new skills do not appear necessary, core VR code- base is built on the most in-demand areas such as C+, C# and Unity. Art assets and environments created using Physics Based Rendering are also not unique to VR, but we are now seeing demand for candidates who have gained VR experience, either through employment or at University. Employers are starting to look for the context of deployment rather than skills alone – so effectively VR itself is becoming a skill. It’s early days and many specialist abilities needed to address the unique challenges of VR are still in formation. So what are employers looking for when hiring for gameplay jobs today?   PROBLEM SOLVING   A key ingredient is problem solving skills. Candidates with a leaning toward methodical, mathematical or experimental thought processes are of great interest to studios facing new challenges. The enhanced physicality of the gameplay interaction and multitude of visual configurations makes rendering images without blurring a major challenge. Achieving sufficient speed for a seamless VR experience increases demand both from an artistic and a technical perspective and optimising the efficiency of the code base is of critical importance. These features point to an evolving trend that the disciplines of creative and tech are growing closer together when it comes to VR. This new level of granularity in the interdependence of image and code has led to employers demanding stronger visual evidence in portfolios when hiring. Programming jobseekers can typically evidence their skills by showing source code excerpts, however when it comes to VR, studios want to see the impact of the code on the in-game visuals. On the art side, managers not only want to see the right quality models and artwork but how artists have technically integrated their assets into the game engine. Portfolios need to be comprehensive enough to demonstrate these fully rounded skills, showing an understanding of how they will cope with the additional demands of VR.   SENSE SHIFTING   As a game experience becomes more immersive, so the role of the senses shifts from the everyday. The VR headset reframes vision and removes real world touch so that the compensatory instincts kick in, particularly hearing. This means that audio, which has always played a key role in games, has an even deeper level of contribution to make to the VR experience. We have seen an increase in the demand for audio programmers in particular. Now that a player can turn toward or away from the source of a sound, the impact of even the smallest nuance in ambient sound will play a major role in sustaining the level of immersion. Once again a solid portfolio and showreel should demonstrate the level of detail and finesse VR requires and hirers seek standards above the ordinary. Another focus area is UI skills. The traditional thumb oriented handset is not available in VR and while this rewrites the design rulebook on menu access and selections, user interaction requires a higher level of intuitiveness to avoid confusion. Getting lost in virtual menus or physically knocking things over in reality is a no-no. Gameplay interactions have a new dimension of consequence – in fact pretty much every consideration in a ‘2D’ game is amplified exponentially in VR. To a large extent, the level of specialism a hirer is looking for depends on the size of the studio and what scope of project they’re working on. Some are looking for knowledge of a specific headset, others are happy with art or coding generalists, and some need the aforementioned tech- creative hybrid to bridge the two.   DURABILITY OF VR   One of the threats to growth that have been levelled at VR is that the level of immersion could potentially cut-out any interactions beyond the headset, making the VR experience an engaging but lonely pursuit. This has already been countered by the likes of vTime, developer of a VR social network that allows anyone, anywhere to spend quality time with family and friends in virtual reality. For vTime, VR has social connection at the core, aiming for participants to enhance people’s experiences of their relationships. In recent years the market has seen a continued rise in demand for VR skills both in and outside of games. This is reflected in the growth in VR titles being brought to market, but it’s worth noting that this has been a steady stream of releases rather than an explosion. Whatever the reason, if there is no ‘bubble’ to burst and market confidence grows gradually, the outlook from the commercial bedrock of VR looks strong. There is an entrepreneurial spirit in the space with many industry veterans channeling their experience into setting up new VR ventures. Despite the inevitable naysayers it remains an exciting, innovative space for a career in games.   FIND A GAMES PROGRAMMER ROLE WITH AMIQUS   Do you have a passion for games development? Whether you’re currently working in the industry or are curious about where a job in games development could take you, we’re here to help. Take a look at our latest job vacancies or sign up to receive personalised job alerts so that you don’t miss out on any of our great opportunities. 

Teaser

Read full article
Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

VR gamer playing archery game
Ask Amiqus - VR & AR

Teaser

Amiqus Toolkit

Content Type

Blog

07/10/2019

Summary

What special skills do employers look for when hiring for roles on VR projects and how risky is it to skill up in those areas considering the longevity of VR is still unknown? The global VR & AR market was valued at around $3 billion in 2016 and in just one year it grew to $7 billion. The demand for VR & AR skills has followed this upward trend and will continue to as the industry grows to a projected of value of $92 billion by 2025. There is an entrepreneurial spirit in the space with many industry vets channelling their experience into setting up new VR & AR ventures. VR has been on the scene longer than AR but there is space for both to exist. A UK study found that 50% of respondents thought owning a VR device was fairly or very appealing. A virtual reality headset presents many uses – training for the military, treating PTSD, and helping sportsmen and women refine their techniques. And the needs that VR cannot meet are where AR comes in. With the ability to overlay virtual objects on the real-world environment, augmented reality has strong prospects for meeting navigation needs and propelling immersive learning in the classroom. On the surface of it, new skills do not appear necessary, core VR code- base is built on the most in-demand areas such as C+, C# and Unity. Art assets and environments created using Physics Based Rendering are also not unique to VR, but we are now seeing demand for candidates who have gained VR experience, either through employment or at University. Employers are starting to look for the context of deployment rather than skills alone – so effectively VR itself is becoming a skill. It’s early days and many specialist abilities needed to address the unique challenges of VR are still in formation. So what are employers looking for when hiring for gameplay jobs today? PROBLEM SOLVING A key ingredient is problem solving skills. Candidates with a leaning toward methodical, mathematical or experimental thought processes are of great interest to studios facing new challenges. The enhanced physicality of the gameplay interaction and multitude of visual configurations makes rendering images without blurring a major challenge. Achieving sufficient speed for a seamless VR experience increases demand both from an artistic and a technical perspective and optimising the efficiency of the code base is of critical importance. These features point to an evolving trend that the disciplines of creative and tech are growing closer together when it comes to VR. This new level of granularity in the interdependence of image and code has led to employers demanding stronger visual evidence in portfolios when hiring. Programming jobseekers can typically evidence their skills by showing source code excerpts, however when it comes to VR, studios want to see the impact of the code on the in-game visuals. On the art side, managers not only want to see the right quality models and artwork but how artists have technically integrated their assets into the game engine. Portfolios need to be comprehensive enough to demonstrate these fully rounded skills, showing an understanding of how they will cope with the additional demands of VR. SENSE SHIFTING As a game experience becomes more immersive, so the role of the senses shifts from the everyday. The VR headset reframes vision and removes real world touch so that the compensatory instincts kick in, particularly hearing. This means that audio, which has always played a key role in games, has an even deeper level of contribution to make to the VR experience. We have seen an increase in the demand for audio programmers in particular. Now that a player can turn toward or away from the source of a sound, the impact of even the smallest nuance in ambient sound will play a major role in sustaining the level of immersion. Once again a solid portfolio and showreel should demonstrate the level of detail and finesse VR requires and hirers seek standards above the ordinary. Another focus area is UI skills. The traditional thumb oriented handset is not available in VR and while this rewrites the design rulebook on menu access and selections, user interaction requires a higher level of intuitiveness to avoid confusion. Getting lost in virtual menus or physically knocking things over in reality is a no-no. Gameplay interactions have a new dimension of consequence – in fact pretty much every consideration in a ‘2D’ game is amplified exponentially in VR. To a large extent, the level of specialism a hirer is looking for depends on the size of the studio and what scope of project they’re working on. Some are looking for knowledge of a specific headset, others are happy with art or coding generalists, and some need the aforementioned tech- creative hybrid to bridge the two. DURABILITY OF VR One of the threats to growth that have been levelled at VR is that the level of immersion could potentially cut-out any interactions beyond the headset, making the VR experience an engaging but lonely pursuit. This has already been countered by the likes of vTime, developer of a VR social network that allows anyone, anywhere to spend quality time with family and friends in virtual reality. For vTime, VR has social connection at the core, aiming for participants to enhance people’s experiences of their relationships. In recent years the market has seen a continued rise in demand for VR skills both in and outside of games. This is reflected in the growth in VR titles being brought to market, but it’s worth noting that this has been a steady stream of releases rather than an explosion. Whatever the reason, if there is no ‘bubble’ to burst and market confidence grows gradually, the outlook from the commercial bedrock of VR looks strong. There is an entrepreneurial spirit in the space with many industry veterans channeling their experience into setting up new VR ventures. Despite the inevitable naysayers it remains an exciting, innovative space for a career in games. FIND A GAMES PROGRAMMER ROLE WITH AMIQUS Do you have a passion for games development? Whether you’re currently working in the industry or are curious about where a job in games development could take you, we’re here to help. Take a look at our latest job vacancies or sign up to receive personalised job alerts so that you don’t miss out on any of our great opportunities. Browse job by skill: C# jobs C++ jobs Core Tech Programmer jobs Engine Programmer jobs Gameplay Programmer jobs Graphics Programmer jobs UI Programmer jobs

Teaser

Read full article
Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

Come and chat to us at the REDI to Game Mixer at Develop:Brighton

Teaser

Amiqus News

Content Type

News

05/07/2019

Summary

An exciting diversity mixer is taking place at Develop:Brighton REDI to Game Mixer is an opportunity to celebrate and promote all the Representation, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives from various diversity groups, internal studio initiatives and charities working with the video games industry. Liz Prince will be there representing Amiqus so make sure you come along and say hello. The REDI to Game Mixer will be held on Wednesday 10th July, 3pm-5pm at the Hilton Brighton Metropole.  The REDI to Game Mixer will be a chance for industry professionals to meet organisations working in this space and share their much needed insight about how games development can be more diverse and inclusive, better representing the gamers we all create content for. There is so much amazing work being done by the various diversity groups, internal studio initiatives and charities to champion the EDI principles. REDI to Game Mixer aims to celebrate, promote and champion these groups, as well as encourage knowledge and skill sharing which will not only improve the industry, but also help it pillar another beacon of inclusion and diversity across the sector. Attendees will be invited to take part in various conversations hosted by a range of groups and organisations. They will also be asked to take part in the ‘Start - Stop - Continue Wall’, where people can post what behaviours need to be started, stopped and continued regarding REDI issues.  These outcomes will provide solid, tangible evidence of good and bad practice which can be fed back to the industry to help embed REDI principles every day, because if you stay REDI, you don’t have to get REDI! Everyone who works in the industry is invited to join the conversation at the REDI to Game Mixer any time between 3pm and 5pm on Wednesday 10th July. The Mixer is being held on the floor above the expo area in the Hilton Brighton Metropole and free refreshments will be provided. Please note that anyone wishing to attend will need to register for a FREE Develop:Brighton Expo Pass.   

Teaser

Read full article
Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

Liz Prince

by

Liz Prince

--relatedjobs-nosvg

Related Jobs

Localisation Vendor Manager

Salary

up to £35k DoE

Location:

Bedfordshire

Job type

Permanent

Salary

£30 - 40,000

Location

UK

Specialisms

QA & Test

Description

Amiqus have partnered with a pre-eminent, end-to-end, game services provider for the global gaming market to find a Localisation Vendor Manager to join them. Gaming is their passion and primary focus.

Reference

8198

Expiry Date

11/06/2021

Chloe O'Brien

Author

Chloe O'Brien
Apply now
Localisation Manager

Salary

£40-50k

Location:

Bedfordshire

Job type

Permanent

Salary

£30 - 40,000

£40 - 50,000

Location

England

Specialisms

QA & Test

Description

Amiqus have partnered with a pre-eminent, end-to-end, game services provider for the global gaming market to find a Localisation Manager to join them. Gaming is their passion and primary focus. They a

Reference

8199

Expiry Date

11/06/2021

Chloe O'Brien

Author

Chloe O'Brien
Apply now
Generalist Artist

Salary

£35,000 - £50,000

Location:

Guildford or Remote

Job type

Fixed Term

Permanent

Salary

£30 - 40,000

£40 - 50,000

£50 - 60,000

Location

Remote working

South East

Specialisms

Artist

Asset Artist

Character Artist

Environment Artist

Texture Artist

Material artist

Description

This is a fantastic opportunity to work with a studio who are creating amazing new experiences

Reference

8196

Expiry Date

11/06/2021

Will  Hudson

Author

Will Hudson
Will  Hudson

Author

Will Hudson
Apply now
Unity Developer

Salary

€45,000 - €55,000

Location:

Belgium or Remote Working

Job type

Permanent

Salary

£30 - 40,000

£40 - 50,000

Location

Europe

Remote working

Specialisms

Gameplay Programmer

Programmer

Description

This is a fantastic opportunity to work with a unique studio who are developing world class, award winning games.

Reference

8185

Expiry Date

10/06/2021

Will  Hudson

Author

Will Hudson
Will  Hudson

Author

Will Hudson
Apply now
Head of Product Management

Salary

£40,000 - £45,000

Location:

Hertfordshire

Job type

Permanent

Salary

£30 - 40,000

£40 - 50,000

Location

South East

Specialisms

Brand Manager

Marketing Manager

Product Manager

Description

This is a fantastic opportunity to work with a company who have helped publish several 9/10 games

Reference

8191

Expiry Date

10/06/2021

Will  Hudson

Author

Will Hudson
Will  Hudson

Author

Will Hudson
Apply now
Game Designer

Salary

Up to £35,000 depending on experience

Location:

The Cotswolds or remote

Job type

Permanent

Salary

£20 - 30,000

£30 - 40,000

Location

Yorkshire

Specialisms

Mobile Game Designer

Description

Game Designer wanted for award winning mobile game studio!

Reference

8190

Expiry Date

10/06/2021

Louise  Wardale Apply now
PR & Communication Manager EMEA

Salary

€45,000 - €50,000 + 10% bonus

Location:

Lyon - France

Job type

Permanent

Salary

£30 - 40,000

£40 - 50,000

Location

Europe

Specialisms

PR

PR Manager

Description

Are you an experienced PR and Communications specialist from the video games industry? Would you love a varied role, managing an exciting portfolio of brands, for one of the industry’s leading publish

Reference

8189a

Expiry Date

11/07/2021

Kim Hunt

Author

Kim Hunt
Kim Hunt

Author

Kim Hunt
Apply now
Release Co-ordinator - London based publisher - 12 month FTC

Salary

up to £30k

Location:

Job type

Fixed Term

Salary

£20 - 30,000

Location

London

Specialisms

Marketing & Commercial

Other

Description

Amiqus are working with an award-winning independent publisher to track down an experienced, highly organised and detailed individual to join them as a Release Coordinator.

Reference

8188

Expiry Date

10/06/2021

Chloe O'Brien

Author

Chloe O'Brien
Apply now
Release Co-ordinator - London based publisher - 12 month FTC

Salary

up to £30k

Location:

London

Job type

Fixed Term

Salary

£20 - 30,000

Location

London

Specialisms

Marketing & Commercial

Description

Amiqus are working with an award-winning independent publisher to track down an experienced, highly organised and detailed individual to join them as a Release Coordinator.

Reference

8189

Expiry Date

10/06/2021

Chloe O'Brien

Author

Chloe O'Brien
Apply now
Engine Programmer

Salary

£DoE + Relocation assistance

Location:

Birmingham or Remote

Job type

Permanent

Salary

£30 - 40,000

£40 - 50,000

£50 - 60,000

£60 - 70,000

Location

Midlands

Specialisms

Engine Programmer

Programmer

Description

This is a fantastic opportunity to work with a studio who are creating amazing experiences and can offer you the chance to built a game engine from scratch!

Reference

8129

Expiry Date

31/05/2021

Will  Hudson

Author

Will Hudson
Will  Hudson

Author

Will Hudson
Apply now