sobota 10. srpna 2013

Ubisoft - living like (external) tester 6

Why do we need 2 screens at our workstation?

As I mentioned in the pre-post this year I joined Ubisoft as an external force. Hired by third party company from Czech republic and invited to Bucharest to test the newest Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag.

Although it has many pros it also has some cons...

Today we caught ourselves laughing out loud about our situation.

U see, tester is working on a workstation  - understand there is a PC for logging bugs into the database + at least one console on which the game is tested(PS, Xbox, Wii,...). Obviously you need two screens to work effectively.

"Lucky us", due to the budget cuts, Czech external testers were granted with just 3 monitors for 2 people. Imagine that in the whole Ubisoft Bucharest 1 free LCD, monitor, tv, LED, whatever display device for us could not be found. So since the day 7 I am working only on 1 LG LED 24EA53 monitor and switching the sources manually from HDMI (connected to my Xbox360) to VGA (connected to my PC). Organizing MP(Multi player) session with people from France is in such case strongly inconvenient.

Lucky us though, because before Vaclav came at the beginning of this week, there were no monitors for us at all and mine were borrowed from fellow coworkers. But since their project started also - Watchdogs - I had to give them back.

Even testers need fully equipped facilities and workstations to work effectively. Wish me luck to get one more screen till the end of this week.

pátek 9. srpna 2013

Ubisoft - living like (external) tester 5

Flying with Qatar in Business class

As I mentioned in the pre-post, this year I joined Ubisoft as an external force. Hired by third party company from Czech republic and invited to Bucharest to test the newest Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag.

First change is the preparation. Unlike a regular tester I have to prepare several weeks before coming to the test site and get ready all necessary documents. Since I live in China, the most important issue was how to get me back to Bucharest Romania. I was searching among available options and the best choice with acceptable cost/performance ration was to buy ticket from Qatar airways.

Qatar has relatively new fleet, excellent reputation and is flying directly to Chongqing as well. The ticket was obtained in the local Qatar airways office in IFC building on No. 28 Min Quan Road Chongqing. Very inconvenient though was that the ticket had to be payed cash! Seriously more than 10 000 RMB cash who carries around such an amount of money ffs.

In the day of departure I was really nervous and still in the middle of packing. Flight was scheduled on 23:50. At 22:50 I arrived to the correct international departure hall of Chonging Jiangbei airport. Since it is an international flight, the departure hall is further away from the metro entrance. Before I reached it I was swearing the heavy luggage and extremely hot Chongqing weather.

Check-in for my flight was not on the board and the designated check-in desk was closed and I thought thats the end. Fortunately the Qatar airways staff members were present in another desk and helped me out. First they scold me for being late and announced0 that my seat is gone.

BUT eventually I was awarded a seat in business class as remuneration for being late :-)

So what can Qatar airways business class offer you:

  1. First difference comes just before embarking the plane. You are put into a business class line and have the right to enter the plane prior to the economy class customers. Makes you feel you have more prestige but you face crowds passing you by in the narrow alleyway the same. 
  2. Small snack and champagne/water. Before You can even discover all features of your seat the flight attendant offers you something small to bite and sip.
  3. Daily press is handed over by another flight attendant. Basically all big newspapers from destination and departure country, plus international titles.
  4. When you are comfortably seated after take off your personal flight attendant approaches to ask you for your menu choice. Really nice service when flight attendant gives you fine menu to pick from.
  5. Super comfortable seat that can be unfolded into a full bed. This is the best part of all the benefits. Seat space is well designed and provides you with absolute comfort you could have in plane. With just one button push you will choose to sleep, work or relax. If you get confused, your flight attendant will promptly help you out.
  6. You get your own Qatar airways pyjamasGray cotton pants and top to keep you warm.
  7. Appetizers, snacks and alcoholic/nonalcoholic drinks anytime during the flight. Appreciated especially when the air is really dry and you need to keep yourself hydrated. From bottled evian water to beer cans and wines you can pretty much choose according to your taste.
  8. Comfortable headphones, blindfold and earplugs (God bless those).
  9. Spacier toilet at your disposal. Unrecognizable, honestly, it seems the same.
  10. On air mobile service, laptop power and a USB plug. Except the USB plug there was everything as described.
  11. 5-star cuisine with infinite choices. Food is probably the cherry on top of all the delights. True masterpiece of
  12. In-fight entertainment. Considerably higher level of entertainment provided by onyx system. Newest movies in several language mutations on relatively big screen. You can choose from hundreds of movies in different genres. I have chosen 2 during my 7 hour flight and went to sleep while listening to Australian radio songs.

Flight facts:

37000 feet above the ground
7 hour
5-star service
50 longitude degrees crossed
4 time zones
3350 km
600 km/h speed
And this song: Foals - Late night song

středa 7. srpna 2013

Black Sea in Constanta

During the weekend me and my very good friend Lukasz along with his family visited beautiful beaches of the Black Sea. His daughter Maya is adorable little lady. We hang out in Eforie and enjoyed sunshine, swimming and sand.

The trip was scheduled for Saturday. But no one told me the train leaves at 3 AM! I was really surprised but determined to do it. We took the night train from Bucharest north train staition directly to Eforie (return ticket 56 RON).  

Arrived to Eforie at 8 AM. I have not seen that many people in a night train before. Seemed like everyone wants to go to the seaside. When we get off the train we simply followed the crowd to the nearest beach. 

All the day we enjoyed swimming in the sea, playing with Maya and most importantly RELAX.
Sun was sharp and warm and water pleasingly refreshing. I swam for couple of hundred meters and get a sunburned:-) At 3PM we left the beach and head for a local restaurant to have late lunch to catch our train back at 6 PM.
Whatever you choose the pizza will be eastern European variation and local food is always a better choice. Couple of beers and back to the train station we embarked our train pretty tired. Apart from my catching up of a running train in Constanta the ride back was calm and full of very bad sleep. We arrived at 11PM at Gara de Nord.

úterý 6. srpna 2013

Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag Collaboration

AC 4 Black Flag is made by 8 studios WW

Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag is created by multinational team in different countries and countless nationalities. Just in the Localization testing team we have more than 20 nationalities.

These people came together from all around the world to bring you the best experience from playing Assassins Creed Black Flag (ACBF) in your own language. Portuguese, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Hungarian, Arabic and many more and of course Czech:-) localization testers gathered in Romanian Bucharest during this summer,  to work together in span of several weeks on an ultimate achievement: Bring you the best localized game in year 2013.

Studios colaborationg on Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag:

Ubisoft Montreal
Ubisoft Annecy
Ubisoft Bucharest
Ubisoft Sofia
Ubisoft Shanghai
Ubisoft Singapore
Ubisoft Kiev
Ubisoft Quebec

neděle 16. června 2013

Assassin's Creed 4 - Game testing for Ubisoft once again

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag

It is more than 8 months since The last entry and 101 tips for living in Bucharest were posted. In that time I thought it is really definiteve END of this blog. Another page written, another adventure experienced and a dream fulfilled.

I moved  to China-Chongqing to further develop skills in teaching and presentation. Pursue the carrier of an ESL Teacher and get to know the culture, the language and the people in Far East even better than during my stay in Taiwan.

  More about my stay in Chongqing on Chinese blog!

Yet, here I am writing another entry to the Bucharest city blog. From July to August I will move back to Bucharest Romania to cooperate on the latest adventures of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. Although it is going to be only for few weeks, I decided to revive this blog and bring you news from the backstage and testing at Ubisoft. Straight from the source. 

What can you look forward to:
  1. Living like a tester series - This time from a different point of view. Last year I was employed as a regular peon in the army of Ubisoft testers allocated in Bucharest. This year the structure and organization changed and I was hired as a freelancer. One project, One game, One language, One man.
  2. English - Since the audience consists mainly from foreigners and there is a possibility to translate the whole blog into any language by using the google translate feature (top-right corner of the page) I decided to publish in English.
  3. Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag - News about upcoming episode of Assassin's Creed saga. Locations, Characters, Story, Graphics, Collision system anything I will be allowed to share is going to be in this section.
  4. Photos -  Since I bought new equipment: Cannon 600D + EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM lens. I will definitely take it and shoot places, people and life in Bucharest. You may check my Picasa albums to get an idea about how is life in contemporary Romania-Bucharest.