2002-04-12: Comments from QA's Russell O'Henly

Comments from QA's Russell O'Henly

Apr 12 2002 12:21PM

This was originally posted to Quality Assurance at[1]

Hello from the QA Department here at Origin. My name is Russell O’Henly.

I’ve been playing computer games since I was about 10 years old. Back then, the Commodore 64 was the gaming system of choice, and I played every game I could find. I found myself getting a job at a video rental place when I turned 16, which was right about the time that console games started their rental market. During college, I had a fulltime job at a company that sold new and used computer games for the PC. At one time or another, I had tried every game we had available for sale. After that, it was a job building computers for a large hardware distributor which helped me to keep my frequent PC upgrades on the cheap side (nothing like that employee wholesale discount!).

Obviously, the next step was to find a way to play games for a living, right? So here I am! Actually, there’s a lot more to testing for OSI than just playing UO all day long.

I’ve been doing Quality Assurance at OSI now for almost a year, mostly assigned to test the "ongoing content" or "scenarios". My job consists of studying design documentation created by the development team, creating test suites based on those designs (which are basically step-by-step instructions for other testers to follow to make sure that all the functionality of whatever is in the design documentation works correctly), and keeping track of what has been tested (and how many times).

Working with the Ongoing Content Development team is extremely rewarding. This is mainly because I get to see all the new creatures, all the new map changes, and all the new systems and puzzles AS they are being created.

As a tester, testing new content is particularly challenging because no one has ever seen it before. I must try to think of everything that could possibly go wrong with new systems to make sure that nothing goes wrong once it reaches the shards.

As a gamer, it is a total rush to have the privilege to be one of the first people to experience new changes to Ultima Online. There’s nothing like seeing a new aspect of a game being created and come to life right before your eyes, and then seeing all of the players’ reactions when they finally get to see it all.

Time for me to get back to work! =)

Russell O’Henly

OSI Quality Assurance