the most stimulating part of my job is testing the game's new features

Sarah Petri

QA Specialist & Game Designer

Hi Sarah,

How did you start in the gaming industry? Tell us about the path that brought you here.

At first, I was not destined to work in the gaming industry. Games were always a great source of entertainment for me but I never thought that I would work in that field. It all began at the end of my undergraduate program in classical literature in 2010. Teaching literature was the next logical step and I started doubting my desire to teach. That’s when I learned about a new Game Design program at my university. I took the test and I was admitted!

At the end of the program I started an internship at Antek Studio, a small studio located in Montpellier in the South of France, where I worked on the conception of online games. After my internship, I went back to my undergrad program called “Digital Fiction”.

At the end of that year, with 5 of my friends, we started a small studio called Oc6Gen. We worked on an “urban gaming” project. The concept was to propose to the players to discover Montpellier with different game systems like geo localization, augmented reality and a virtual treasure hunt. It was a great project but unfortunately, financing was insufficient so the project was shelved.

A few months later, I decided to follow my boyfriend and come to Montréal to try something new. Once all the paperwork was finalized, I started to work for a testing company in Montreal. I was there for a year until I accepted a QA specialist position here at Panache Digital Games. Voilà! That’s my story in the gaming industry.

What is your actual role at Panache ?

My first role at Panache is to accompany the creative team and make sure all designed systems are properly integrated in the game and meet all expectations. In parallel, I’m also involved in game design by assisting on certain game systems. It’s really cool!

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your job? And what do you find is the most stimulating?

The biggest challenge is to stay constantly synchronized with the creative team to ensure everyone is respecting the original creative scope. Being a small team helps communicating efficiently, which helps a lot! On the other end, the most stimulating part of my job is testing new game features to see if they improve the global experience.

What would be your recommendations for someone new to the industry ?

I would tell them to never let anybody else tell them what they’re capable of. And it’s also applicable to ourselves: we are our own limitations.

What are your favorite games of all time?

Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn
Fallout 2
Planescape Torment
Mass Effect
Portal 2

What kind of games do you prefer?

Like the vast majority of gaming fans, I’m attracted by the independent movement. Over the years we saw very nice and intelligent games surface: The Stanley Parable, Ori and the Blind Forest, Hotline Miami, Undertale… The big studios and publishers are trying to get away from risky ideas. They tend to recycle concepts. As for my preferred style of game, it’s certainly RPGs.

Other than video games, what are your interests?

Of course litterature because of my background. I really like the work of these French authors: Victor Hugo, Edmond Rostand and Albert Camus. Other than that I really like TV series and movies. I think I spend too much time in front of the TV screen. Stranger Things and Mr. Robot are my latest favorites. I also do some painting at home to relax.

What about sports?

I have to say that I prefer doing sports than watching it. I used to practice different sports like climbing, karate, gymnastics, volleyball and track and field.

Thoughts on games?

For me, games are an art form that captures and creates links between creative fields. That makes games a nice tool to spread messages. And I hope it will stay like that.

And to conclude:

What is your favourite meal?

Provencal calamare.

Your favorite spots in Montreal?

The Nexus bar, Le café des chats and Sushi Crystal.

Your wallpaper?

An image from Mad Max Fury Road comic book

Your favorite moment of the week at work?

Without any hesitation the game design meetings

Your hockey team?

… (moment of silence), I’m really not a fan!

Who has had the most influence on you professionally?

I would say that it’s not a particular person but more specific moments. The different game jams I have participated in were really influential to me.

The best advice you were even given?

Be yourself (my Dad).

Merci Sarah!