All the RAGE: Erica Stead

We’re back with another All the RAGE profile. This week we meet QA tester Erica Stead…

What do you do at id Software and how long have you worked at the company?

I’m a QA tester. I’ve been at Id for over a year.

When did you decide you wanted to get into game development?

When I was in high school, I spent most of my weekends alone with the Playstation, thinking about how cool it would be to work on games. But it didn’t really seem like a realistic goal, so I don’t think I ever mentioned it to anyone. It was a long time later, after I had gotten a degree in something else, moved to Texas and went to QuakeCon for the first time that I realized I really did still want to work with games.

Why do you think working at id is the best job in the world?

On a typical day, I get in almost a full eight hours of video games – and that doesn’t count playing when I’m not working. Aside from the obvious appeal of being around not yet released games, QA is an enjoyable job to me because I enjoy coordinating with different people to get a task done, and I also enjoy trying to eliminate different factors to figure out what is causing a bug or a crash. It’s sort of like detective work. I also do get a kick out of having impacted the final game, even in a small way.

Working at id in general is awesome, because the people, the perks, and the benefits are great, and its good to work for a company that’s known for producing a quality product.

What’s your favorite story from the office?

I can’t say for certain, but it likely involves nerf weapons.

What’s your proudest accomplishment at id?

Bug regressions are sort of my specialty – when someone fixes a problem, they send it back to QA for regression, and we test it to make sure the issue is truly gone. I’ve been helping coordinate the regression efforts for awhile now, and I always feel a bit of accomplishment in making sure they are done thoroughly and efficiently. Its a little cheesy, but its one of my favorite parts of the job because I feel like I’m the last line of defense, protecting the consumer from bugs. I’m considering getting a super hero outfit with a cape just to add to that effect. (I usually don’t admit to the cape ambitions.)

Do you remember the first game you ever played?

I am not entirely sure, but I suspect it may have been Ms. Pac Man. I have a very vague memory of my dad holding me up to play at an arcade. I also remember not being any good at the game.

You’ve got a dinner reservation for two and you can invite one gamer developer to join you. Who do you pick??

Roberta Williams from Sierra Entertainment.

What games have you been playing lately? Anything in particular that stood out?

I always have a bunch of games in progress at once, but right now Total War: Shogun 2, Fallout New Vegas, Resonance of Fate, and Doom 3 are getting the most hours logged.

What are your non-gaming hobbies?

Sewing, writing, and rock n roll.

Reader Comments

  1. Doom 3. so awesome. very few video games ever truly gave me the creeps, but the use of lighting alone in that game was excellently spooky. it was like playing Event Horizon: The Game.

    these bigger and more complex games are requiring more and more QA testing, but at some companies (lookin’ your way, Redwood Shores) that seems to be the last thing they invest in. tsk. iD’s always been different, though, probably because they have actual computer scientists running the show.

  2. Pretty cool hearing from a QA tester, they never get much attention even though they are an integral part of producing a solid game.

    I say you should totally wear the cape and outfit, that would be so lol XD

  3. Looking at Erica now, it’s difficult to believe she, “…spent most of my weekends alone with the Playstation.”

    Thanks for sharing Erica. I am a die hard id Software fan and already pre-purchased Rage. I’m not worried about whether it is great or just good, or whether I have time to play it, because after all the hours and hours and memories that id Software has given me over the years (since Doom), I am happy to give them my money for this game. The contributions that Carmack and id Software have made to the industry as a whole are significant, in particular the encouragement to mod games freely and the release of the source code. Many companies may talk about wanting to improve the gaming community and help others grow, but few companies put their money where their mouth is. I hope you enjoy working at id – it seems like it is as fun as us fans think it would be.

    By the way, it would be rude of me not to mention that you really look great in that picture, and it’s brave of you to allow such a high resolution! If I ever have the opportunity to visit the id Software offices for a tour (which I would love to do some day, but don’t know how to go about it), I hope you are still there to say hello to, and continue making the id games as good as they can be before release.

    Long live John Carmack and id Software! :-)

  4. “On a typical day, I get in almost a full eight hours of video games – and that doesn’t count playing when I’m not working.”

    Oh my God. I would kill myself. But each to his or her own I guess.

  5. its good to know some of the people that made the games we play, its like having something extra to follow their projects.
    Good interview, a little short but well made and answered.

  6. sorry to rain on the parade of all the salivating males in the comments but if she did QA on RAGE she should be fired along with everyone else. A joke of a release to which she(and the rest of her team) should hang her head in total shame.