Testronic Talk: Pre-production: Helping Developers get what they need, not just what they want!

How does Testronic ensure that developer and publisher requirements are understood and addressed during on-boarding? How do you, as a developer or publisher, proceed with confidence if you don’t have a QA expert on staff? Testronic’s Head of Pre-Production Julian Mower takes a look…

Of course, many people know exactly what they need. But you’d be surprised how often people need QA and, due to scale or budget, don’t have the experience required to plan testing efficiently. Proven senior QA staff can be an unattractive proposition as a permanent cost for some companies – and this is where external partners, who can help plan and manage QA, are an attractive option.

“Often people who don’t have a QA background are unaware of certain risk areas”
Julian Mower, Testronic

Early engagement is not always possible – for example, when a title achieves much higher than anticipated success in early access or initial launch. The developer or publisher may find that their title requires a sudden increase in scope and an accelerated schedule for additional content or language support. In these situations it is very important to onboard additional resources for testing quickly and to ensure that you can find a partner who is able to adapt rapidly to the established workflow.
In the industry there will always be situations where companies need to address an unexpected or underestimated QA requirement that will lead to short-notice requests being outsourced to a service provider. Managing short-notice requests with flexibility, urgency, strong communication and confidence is key to success. With our expert Pre-Production team positioned to ensure rapid evaluation of current resource and hardware availability, Testronic are able to address all client queries and guide them from first contact all the way to live operations, with a single department and point of contact.
Sometimes developers or publishers contact Testronic primarily due to a shortage of internal staff with QA experience, or a lack of expertise in a specific area of testing methodology. At other times, they could ask for something without being aware of what other QA coverage they may need; often people who don’t have a QA background are unaware of certain risk areas. At Testronic it is the Pre-Productions department’s job to use our experience and focused skill set to help guide clients/partners towards the right solutions and utilize tried and tested approaches to match their schedule, workflow, design and budget.
Earlier this year we created a dedicated pre-production team to ensure that business development transitions seamlessly into operations. It’s vital to have members of staff in the pre-production team who are experts in each and every service we provide. This ensures that time is saved, both internally and for our clients, by cutting out the middle-man. Having people available for direct calls or video conferencing who can answer detailed questions – before the client agrees to a proposal. All of the Testronic pre-production staff are former QA managers, with a combined industry experience of 32 years in QA.
Research and development is a significant part of the work carried out by the Pre-Production team. This includes attending conferences, workshops and relevant new media study. This focus ensures Testronic are always prepared, informed and able to speak about new platforms as they become a focus for games development.
Above all Testronic value quality and relationships. We always strive to provide the best solution to create a satisfactory result for our clients. Pre-production at Testronic represents the cog linking all departments to ensure that as a service provider we can support the ever evolving needs and preferences of our partners – and the industry as a whole.