Friday, May 18, 2007

Quality Assurance 2084

QA was the path to stardom.

That's what they told him.

Well... at least it was the door in if you had airy dreams to be a game designer.

Airy dreams, indeed. Now he was doing his work.

They were in an alpha test. Had some gamers in on the local area net, playtesting. His job was to test the latest suite of assets.

They looked good. There was a multiplayer game on and he checked the play stats. Nice n-scores all around.

But not here... This player was crashed on his n-score.

Which one was that? He looked over at the bank of gaming stations? Station M7. Let's text him.

QA3031: M7 - what's up?

M7: i can't do this

QA3031: you don't find the game fun?

M7: it's not that

QA3031: is this level not up to par?

M7: i can't do this! I WANT OUT!!!!!!!!!

QA3031: want out? where you gonna go to?

M7: i don't know - it's lost its meaning

Oh Christ. He had heard about this, but never actually seen it.

M7: GET ME OUT!!!!!!!!!

He called the lead QA.

QA3031: Lead QA, gotta situation at playtest.

LQA92: What's up?

QA3031: Player "wants out"?

LQA92: Be right there.


"Well, this is your problem right here," Lead QA 92 said. He brought up the alpha, beta and gamma n-scores on the timescale. "They flatlined just moments prior to him 'wanting out'."

"So it's a good test still?"

"Absolutely. The n-scores on those latest assets are all good. In fact, this map rocks. The n-score on that latest boss encounter alone are well into green. We have a best-seller here. Corporate is going to love that. Well, but it's too bad about the poor guy at M7. He must've just suffered a crash on his n-module. We've had problems with that station."

Well, that was good to hear.

He looked over at the gaming stations. Body disposal was washing out the M7 pod. The other pods were good. He could see the gamers floating in the polyfluid vats, the sens-wires hooked into their brain stems. In a couple hours they'd be back on the worknet and none would be needed here for close observation so they'd rotate them out.

He checked out, his shift over. He walked over to his own pod. For a moment he wondered if he would ever become one of the vaunted game designers he heard of. He wondered about the guy in M7, why he talked about meaning just before the pain levels screamed into red - bringing him to such a final end. It was a bad feeling. He didn't like bad feelings. He hurried into the warm fluid, hooking the sens-wire up to his brain stem. The rush came as he felt his n-score go into high green through all the way to white - and the bad thoughts faded into nothing.

Ahhh... what a good feeling...