Behind the Card: Amara, Warden of Hope
Players have asked the Hearthstone team for a long time to give us a peek behind the scenes of how cards are created, and they've delivered! In this video we can see how a card like Amara, Warden of Hope, the reward for completing the Priest Quest, Awaken the Makers comes to life. From it's initial concept, to the art and sound design, to implementation into the game and localization into all the different languages in which Hearthstone is available!
Check it out below!
Ben Brode responds
Quote from Ben Brode
Ahh, this video is very informative.
Of course, Team 5 has a team for everything (art, sound, localization, development, etc.) except for a Testing team.
Most game studios have a team for testing their game and QA.
I think this is an opportunity to go even behinder the card!
We definitely have a Quality Assurance team.
Jeff Kaplan did a great write up of the many teams that collaborate here to make a game. Worth a read: https://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20748786270#post-6
I should mention that QA is hard to judge from an external perspective. The vast majority of bugs are found and fixed before a patch is shipped, and still more are found, logged, and 'punted' to a future patch, which can happen for a variety of reasons - for example if we are planning a massive refactor of a system in the next patch, and the bug will be fixed as a side effect of that refactor, without additional work. They also patrol our bug report forums, and read this subreddit, hunting for live issues that may be the result of many thousands of people doing something at the same time, which is harder for us to test internally.
We also have an Automation Testing group, who do try and catch things that only crop up when many players attempt things simultaneously, as well as automating many tests, like playing through our introductory missions each patch to make sure we haven't accidentally blocked new players from trying the game when we made our last round of AI improvements. (we often do, since those missions don't and shouldn't perform at peak AI efficiency, and these bugs are found and fixed before shipping.)
The folks in QA are very passionate and talented, but it's interesting to note that it is difficult to tell how good a QA team is from the outside. You don't get to see the bugs they caught that would have otherwise shipped. You only get to see the very few bugs that sneak by, or are very hard to reproduce (i.e. only happens 1 in 1,000 attempts), or that we've decided to fix in a future patch. When you only see what seems like misses, it's easy to assume the worst, but internally we have the benefit of seeing the 10's of thousands of bugs filed that players never have to experience.
Nobody wants bugs to make it through, and we definitely have let some slip that we'd have preferred never went live, but those are also opportunities to improve over time.