Hey, Josefína. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in 1995 in the cold and cruel north of Bohemia, in Ústí nad Labem, and moved to Brno in 2017 to get my Master’s in English translation. I unexpectedly boarded the gamedev train as soon as I graduated and here I am, working at BI for over a year now.
The main things that keep me going in life are music, my friends (sorry for calling you “things”), games (ofc), unnecessarily bad jokes, and browsing through painfully relatable memes - just standard millennial/zoomer stuff. I am a good cook and I consider myself an artsy person. I like drawing, photography, and I enjoy a bunch of DIY stuff. Oh, and I recently got into urbex.
Can you tell us a random fact about yourself?
I eat pizza starting from the crust. You can judge me, but you can’t shame me, for I know no shame.
What’s the first positive interaction with video games you can remember?
My father has been working with computers since they spanned entire rooms, so I grew up with a mouse in my hand. One of my earliest memories is of The Neverhood. I love this game so much that my heart might be made of clay by now.
And your most memorable video game moment?
My amazement with the realistic graphics in Mafia 1. And I don’t mean the remake; I am an old person.
I can’t pick the most memorable moment since there are so many, so I’m going to choose the most current one. Not gonna mention one specific moment because of spoilers though! I am on the verge of finishing The Last of Us 2 and I can’t believe how amazing it is. This game makes me feel such a wide range of emotions – emotions I’ve never felt playing a game. Although it’s wildly discussed among players, in my opinion, the decisions regarding the storytelling were really brave. The plot is not black and white. On the contrary, it has shades of grey I’ve never seen before. I love it.
What's your all-time favorite video game? And what sort of game do you generally like to play?
Apart from the games I’ve already mentioned, I almost feel obliged (since I'm such a fanboy) to say that my all-time favorite game is Half-Life. It’s one of the first games I played. I remember how I felt when the second one came out and I still can't let go of HL3 (almost unironically).
Generally speaking, I’m not an achievement and challenge driven gamer, so I appreciate strong stories, the visual side of a game, the soundtrack, etc. And if I can scorch someone with a fireball, I'm in!
Who's your all-time favorite video game character and why?
What's your favorite movie, TV show, and/or book?
And your go-to music playlist is?
It changes all the time, but I can’t get enough of the Stoned Meadow of Doom channel on YT. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who likes stoner rock, doom metal, post-rock, etc. Apart from that, I like alternative rock and electronic music. If you have and use last.fm, HMU @Headcrabina.
Cats or dogs?
I love both but I like cats’ personalities more.
What do you do as a Junior QA Tester?
I play games for money! At least that’s what I’d say to make my job sound fun. If I wanted to make it sound like a real job for mere mortals, then I’d say that I mainly go through every aspect of a game and search for flaws regarding basic functionality, visuals, audio, texts, etc. by playing the game as it was intended and/or by creating unusual in-game situations. I also need to document these flaws so they get into the right hands and can be fixed. Later on, I check whether these flaws and bugs were indeed fixed or not.
What do you think are the most important skills / traits for someone in your position to have?
Creativity, thinking outside of the box, being able to work on a team, attention to detail, and computer literacy.
What do you enjoy about your job and game development in general?
I’m gonna repeat myself once more… I play games for money! Working in game dev is just a dream come true for anyone who loves games and is interested in the gaming industry in general. Working in the field of something you love is simply one of the better things that can ever happen to you.
But to be completely honest, as someone who isn’t driven by the idea of achievement in one’s career and focuses more on the journey, I mostly appreciate the people here. It might sound corny and sappy, but it’s absolutely true. I’ve met a wide variety of people here and all of them have been incredibly warmhearted towards me. That makes me very grateful.
What’s the worst or most memorable bug you’ve come across in a video game?
I still get nightmares from a pet in Sims 3 which stretched into the shape of a person. :( Also, in DayZ, there used to be a bug that turned the player into a ball-shaped abomination if they tried to throw something.
What does a normal day at work look like for you?
I'm currently testing DayZ on PS4, so I come to work, make myself a cup of coffee, download the newest builds (or I build them), go through retests of fixed bugs, and check whether newly reported bugs have been retested on my platform. I also go through bugs reported by the community and, if needed, I conduct any testing that’s required, like testing new features and doing playtests.
What do you enjoy the most at work? @Anežka S.
Currently, I enjoy every playtest on live servers with real players. Us testers might forget – or perhaps don't even know – what it’s like to play the game we’re testing in a completely normal way due to all the tools we have at our disposal. I also like to voice-chat with real players during these playtests and stealthily find out if they’ve encountered any issues with the game.
From a fellow QA, how did the introduction to the team go? What was the biggest challenge you faced as a Junior QA? And finally, how many times did you try to figure out why your test code is not working, only to realize the only thing wrong was a typo? @Ondřej V.
My introduction was the best! Someone from my soon-to-be office found out I like Half-Life, so on my first day at BI, I found a name tag with a hand-drawn headcrab on my desk. There were a lot of new QA people starting at that time and me and three other colleagues had the most amazing, helpful, and patient guidance from Philip H. and Štěpánka Š. We had an almost unnecessary amount of fun!
Although I was fairly experienced in the ways of IT, I still lack any formal IT education and I had no previous experience in testing. So I had to learn how to work with some tools in the beginning. But since I enjoy working with computers, I was happy to learn a bunch of new stuff.
To be honest, when something isn’t working, it’s usually because of some small and ridiculous mistake.
Which game has had the biggest influence on your life?
I think it might be Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. It’s certainly the epitome of what I love in games: a strong story line which is really down-to-earth as opposed to black and white epic hero stories; complex dialogue that allows you to assume different personalities; and a sense of humor. It also influenced my taste in music because the soundtrack is amazing.
What has been your most memorable moment at Bohemia Interactive so far?
I knew Chernarus from DayZ is based on the Ústí nad Labem region. But it wasn’t until I’d spoken with Ivan Buchta that I learned it’s not just based on it, but an actual location between Ústí and Děčín, with some parts of Ústí there. So, with that in mind and with the help of map comparisons, I revisited the Vysotovo part of Chernarus and found the apartment building where my mother lives! She wasn’t home though. So I basically moved from the real Ústí to work in a virtual Ústí.
What advice would you give people looking to work in the video game industry?
Just go for it.
Is there anything else you're currently working on in your spare time?
I am trying to figure out whether I’ll be able to achieve being an absurdist or if I will be forever stuck with nihilism.
I am also an artist for the comic Kachna a Prase. This comic has been part of a monthly cultural magazine in Ústí nad Labem for the last seven years and it’s still going! I recommend it to every Czech speaker who likes terribly silly humor.
Additionally, I was given the opportunity to permanently display some of my art in the streets of the north Bohemian city Chomutov, which depicts the beauty of brutalist architecture.
Let’s finish with one of your top tips.
Our next featured Bohemian is right around the corner, so keep an eye on our social media pages for the latest updates. Until then, feel free to learn more about working at Bohemia Interactive by checking out our Careers Page. We may just have the perfect job for you. Until next time...