Meet Aram; he puts his creatively analytical mind to work as part of our games team
Our team here at justDice is a blend of fun and professional. And that’s what these posts aim to unlock. We want the Humans of justDice features to focus on getting to know the people and minds behind the scenes. We’ll get to know a different team member every month, giving you an exclusive look into how we work together here at justDice 🙂
Aram, originally from the Netherlands, moved to Hamburg in 2021 after successfully completing his bachelor’s in Game Design & Development. After a short trip over the border, he was confronted not only with the challenges of living in a new country and making new friends but bound by covid restrictions. Below, he describes his experience starting at justDice and how things have professionally and personally evolved over time.
Q1: Let’s start with the obvious: What exactly do you do at justDice?
I have been a QA tester at justDice for the games teams for a little over a year now. Being a tester means that on a daily basis, I get to test all the games we make and try to break them. It is important that our users get a good working product; this is my most important job.
Aside from this, I also make sure that the experience we provide our players is what they expect. This means that I test our games not only for bugs but also for user experience. I do this by giving feedback to all departments during the early stages of development all the way through till the end. But I also get players involved in this process. I am responsible for setting up internal focus group tests and, with the help of the game designers, setting up external testing with actual players. This is the most valuable feedback we can get to improve the players’ experience.
Q2: What has been your biggest accomplishment here so far?
My biggest accomplishment is something I’ve already mentioned, the introduction of internal playtests. When I started, the team didn’t do any regular or structured testing with anyone outside the team. Additionally, testing with members outside of the games team has done wonders for the quality of our products. Not only does it help us create a better product, but it also allows the members of the other teams to experience the games and get a better understanding of what we create. This, in turn, helps create better advertisements and a more cohesive company
Q3: Detail a challenge you’ve had to overcome
Moving to a different country. It’s quite a step to move away from where you’ve lived almost your whole life. The only thing similar to moving to Hamburg I had done before was an internship in Malta for 5 months, which always had a clear end date. When I moved from The Netherlands to Hamburg during the pandemic, it did not, and still doesn’t, have a clear end date.
This fastly changed the experience as I left behind a lot of friends and family I would normally have seen on a weekly basis. Overcoming this during the pandemic was weird as I moved to this place without knowing anyone and not actually meeting any of my coworkers for a few months. Keeping in touch with home using video calls and playing games helped a lot, and once I got to know people from the office, this also made me feel more at home.
Overall, I think the experience has taught me a lot that will surely be useful in the future.
Q4: What makes justDice unique to you?
I started working at justDice quickly after I finished my bachelor’s degree, so I don’t really have the working experience of some of my other team members. The only comparison I can give is to my internship, where I worked as a game designer. The experience is very different from this because of the way we work.
In justDice we try to create products quickly, instead of working on one product for a year, and learn a lot from what we do because we have such a quick development cycle. This helps us fail faster. As a relatively young team, there are some kinks to iron out, and by having such a quick development cycle, we are able to improve at a rapid pace.
Q5: How do you feel people collaborate and work together at JD?
Honestly and direct are the two words I would use to describe the collaboration at JD. Communicating directly is one of the most important things, in my opinion as you can’t know what to improve if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong!
Even when you’re not the expert on something, your opinion can have a major positive impact on a topic, so being able to voice your opinion honestly is key. Besides this, collaborating means you have to be able to adapt to each other. Working together with someone from a completely different culture to your own is important, and this is a skill that everyone in justDice needs to work together.
Q6: And now, the real fun part: What is one thing you cannot live without?
There’s a lot of the obvious, but for me, it’s two major things: The ability to travel and the Internet. As someone whose family is very important to me, I need the ability to communicate with them from wherever I am. This is especially important when you’re in a long-distance relationship 😅. This means the internet is a key part of my life.
For these same reasons, the ability to travel is important to me. Travelling to see my family and my partner is something that I could not go without. If I was in a place where I would not be able to travel, I would be very unhappy and would try everything I could to get to a place where I could travel again.
Q8: What’s a fun fact about you that many people may not know?
A fun fact about me, huh?… My head is full of fun facts, but they’re all about random things in the world.
I guess this isn’t really something people don’t know as I am a very open person, but if I would have to give a fun fact about me, it would be that I do quite a bit of sim racing, specifically Iracing. Me and a few friends online and have formed an endurance racing team. We’re slow, but who cares? We try to participate in as many Iracings endurance races as possible. We started with Petit Le Mans and have now done multiple races together. It’s a good way to spend a weekend with friends and work towards a communal goal.