I had the pleasure of talking to Train2Game student, Mark Silvester recently who is currently doing some QA work for Icey Monty. Mark talked to me about his gaming history, how he got involved with Icey Monty and where he hopes to go.
You can listen to the interview here: https://audioboo.fm/boos/1609660-train2game-student-mark-silvester-talks-to-t2g-radio
OR read the transcript below:
I’m Mark Silvester, a Train2Game Student doing the QA and Level Design course which I started in October of last year.
How you doing Mark?
I’m fine thank you, yes.
Excellent. So tell me a bit about what you’ve been up too?
Recently I’ve been doing some QA testing for Icey Monty for a little game they’ve been developing at the moment. I passed the first section of the course at the beginning of August, noticed a post from John Esslemont of Icey Monty that they were looking for QA testers, contacted him and it went on from there.
How have you been finding working with the guys?
It’s been very enjoyable. I’ve been enjoying doing the testing work, I try to put in a couple of hours each day, send off a report, we’ve got a control spread sheet going and we sort of bounce bugs and solutions back and forth with each other on that.
Very nice. How did you come to be a tester then or want to be a tester?
I’ve been playing computer games for many many years. I recall playing things like Star Trek and a Flight Path simulator back on the old green screen IBM machines, back at school. Moved on to consoles, Spectrums and even had a NASCOM II computer at one stage and programmed a space invaders game on that in old Z80 hex code. I’ve been playing games and role playing games for a long, long time and unfortunately I was made redundant from my place of work last year, saw the Train2Game advert, had a chat with the representative and opted for the QA and level design course as part of my previous job had been application development, testing system support for an application. So my experience from my previous job gave me some good skills to go in to the QA course.
Very nice. So are you happy about the course you chose and the way you’ve taken?
Yes it’s going along quite nicely. The bug hunting assignment at the end of section one was quite interesting to do so yeah I’m very happy with the course at the moment.
Perfect. So with Icey Monty, is it a paid position you’ve got?
It’s voluntary, part time work. Hopefully in the future there may be some free lance work, put out my way which they will give me some payment for. I’ll then have to investigate setting up my own company or finding out how to declare it properly or the Tax Man will get upset with me, so I’ve got to investigate that when that bridge comes along but John seems quite happy with what I’m doing so I’m hoping something firm will come along from that.
Yeah you never want to upset the Tax Man!
No, definitely not a good thing to do.
So what are your plans for the future?
Plans for the future is to carry on progressing through the course and get myself involved in other bits of QA testing.
So, it sounds like you’re having a good time then?
Yes moving along quite nicely. Trying to get the next TMA in but there’s some exercises to be done and the online link isn’t there today so I’ve mailed the tutor team and hoping to get a reply soon.
So with you being made redundant, what’s your main source of income at the minute?
I’m on job seekers at the moment. Occasionally I’ll get some odd part time work doing some IT support work. Yesterday I was actually putting some servers in and out for a retail company but it’s been very hap hazard, the IT support work, that was the first days work since the start of April. So basically I’ve got plenty of time to do the studying and move on with things.
Perfect. It looks like the Train2Game course came at just about the right time for you then?
Well I noticed it whilst I was looking around for jobs and I’ve always said my ideal job would be testing games, playing games, and it’s almost a bit of a dream come true!
Perfect! Well I think that’s all we’ve got time for today Mark so thank you very much!
Thank you very much for that Mark, cheerio for now!