LB: I'm Liz Bergeron, and I'm the Lead Combatants Tester. I manage a mighty team of two AI Testers. We’re the ones that make sure the bad guys work how they should (i.e. do proper damage, path properly, react to the player how they should).
LB: Well, it wouldn't be that fun of a game if all the AI was borked. I help make sure it gets UNborked before the player sees it.
LB: I play Warmachine and Warhammer 40k/Fantasy. I'm really into painting and doing conversions to make my models look unique. Outside of that, I enjoy playing Rift, and spending time with my boyfriend (who also landed at Bungie after we moved out here) and our English Bulldog. I also just built myself a new gaming rig from the ground up and I've been told I'm a ridiculously good cook, though the parties involved MAY be biased.
LB: When I was younger, I wanted to be a paleontologist.
LB: I got my degree from the New England Institute of Technology in Game Development and Simulation Programming. College really just gave me a more in-depth understanding of how game engines work, and what goes into the production of a game. I really don't think there is anything that 100% prepares you for life in a studio.
LB: My first job in the industry was at 38 Studios as a tester. After 38 closed (RIP) I had a temp stint at Irrational Games working on Bioshock: Infinite. Having already worked on two triple-A games before coming to Bungie, I was ready for the long hours and the work involved in shipping a project, as well as what was expected of me in terms of work ethic and overall skill level. Bungie sets a super high bar, and I'm really happy they found me awesome enough to meet it.
LB: After 38 Studios closed, I had to take a step back and really took a look at where I wanted my career to go. I knew I wanted to work on something huge – something innovative and new. I also knew I would have to leave New England, and that chances were good that I was going to have to head to Seattle or California, as those are really the biggest game dev hubs in the US right now. So I applied. Multiple times. I asked people I knew who were already at Bungie (Hi Andy!) to poke people to see what kinds of positions were open. Then, I applied some more. Then finally, one day, I got the email asking if I was still interested in coming to Seattle to work for Bungie, and after I was done dancing around my apartment like a loon, I responded with a "HELL YEAH."
LB: The interview took a whole day. They flew me out from Rhode Island, and got me started at about 9:30 AM. The questions were crazy in-depth, and I was a total nervous wreck, but everyone was really friendly and super professional. I'd say the hardest part was the lunch portion. Trying to eat a plate of panang curry while answering questions that were pretty much going to help decide the fate of your career was near impossible to do – especially when you only have an hour!
LB: The people! I quite literally have not met a single person that wasn't dedicated, talented, and extremely nice. It's amazing to work in a place where there's so much genius crammed under one roof. I come to work every day knowing that I'm a part of something great, and that's a feeling a lot of people only ever dream about.
LB: Well, I check my email before I even get to work in the morning. My testers are in a bit earlier, so if there are any problems I will have an email in my Inbox before I even arrive at the studio. Each day, we run through basic tests of each combatant before we do anything else to make sure everything imported and its basic functionality is there. I also organize playtests and have been doing a lot of work on some specific baddies that have been getting a little extra love lately to make sure they're jaw-dropping when our players finally get to engage them. Seeing them actually doing their thing in the world we have created is so awesome.
LB: The barista we have come in sometimes. She's a sweetheart and makes an amazing vanilla latte.
LB: Sometimes when a combatant isn't working quite right, it takes quite a bit of in-depth digging through error log lines to determine what exactly is causing the issue so I know whose plate to drop it on. You have to know where to look and what to look for. There's also a monumentally huge amount of tools and debug knowledge needed to track down problems and attempt to reproduce them reliably, which isn't always possible.
LB: I actually had an idea for some specific animations for one of the combatants, and they wound up implementing my idea in game. Now every time I see that guy, I feel like that's my little fingerprint on Destiny.
LB: I try to take a little time out of my day to run tools tutorials. I want to know how to use what we use inside and out, and practice makes perfect.
LB: I think the best advice I could give would be, whether you have a degree in game development or not, testing is a great foot in the door. It's the best way to see what it’s like to work in a studio. You get to see so many different facets of things that you wouldn't get to see otherwise, and it gives you a unique perspective on the project you're working on as a whole. I consider it sort of like grad school for game development. You learn a ton in college, but nothing matches the actual studio experience in terms of the sheer amount of stuff you have to cram into your brain.
Be the sponge.
LB: Hive guys. ALL Hive guys. Watching them die is just so satisfying. You'll see for yourselves. Soon™.
Your role as a moderator enables you immediately ban this user from messaging (bypassing the report queue) if you select a punishment.