Συνέντευξη George Legoman: Team Leader του God of War: AscensionOn October 9, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
Greetings Users. Today we are at George Legoman’s house. He is the co-founder of Gricks.gr who worked abroad in the backtracking and localization company Keywords. Keywords is a partner of well-known publishers, like Sony, Konami, and many others. Let’s see his experience for working in the gaming industry. George, Keywords has worked with games like God of War: Ascension, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014, Gran Turismo 6, and many others. How did you manage to work in this company? First of all Keywords is a partner of the most major game publishers, as well as software developers, like Microsoft, Dell etc. Basically the most well-known companies. Also Keywords has contracts for many game sequels, like the seventh Gran Turismo or Pro Evolution Soccer. I just had the luck to start with God of War: Ascension, the 5th as far as I know, and the final one till now. I was in Dublin for a totally different phase in my career, and in a period when I had free time, having just sent a CV in a head hunting company which works in the linguistics industry (they rely in your native language to offer you a job). One of these positions had to do with the localization back tester which has to do with the greek language adjusted in the game. For instance, this is the translation of the initial text, grammar/spelling mistakes, subtitles adjustment, even the dialogue order during each game. This just to get an idea of how I got into working as a Team leader of the greek team. The company is located in Dublin, Ireland. As far as I know it’s one of the biggest of that kind. During the season pick, the company had up to 650-700 employees working in that particular area. Tell us your typical day at the office, when working with God of War: Ascension. A typical day…that’s cool because anyone would think “What kind of job is this when you just sit and play with a PlayStation?” By leading the greek team, which had eight people, we had to work in three monitors. The first monitor had the game, the second had a software with which we tracked the process in all languages (that game had like 14-16 languages, it was very big). In the third monitor we had to keep track of the gameplay bugs or translation mistakes that we encountered spelling/syntax mistakes or subtitle synchronization issues. We were sending those mistakes directly to the publisher in Los Angeles, and by the next day the issues were fixed and we were getting a new game build so we had to run the game again and reach it to that particular phase where we encountered the bug so that we can validate that each issue is fixed so that we can mark it as fixed. In the group of 8 people which handled the greek language, team leader was doing the same job as anyone else. The difference was that at the end of the day I was getting feedback from everyone. Thus we had to decide each time which parts of the game we had to load and test again and in which we were ahead of other language QA testers so that we had no rush. Tell us about the difficulties of this job. The difficulties…well it’s not as easy as you hear it. By the way I had many friends who in the beginning they were almost swearing at me for fun, because they felt I was very lucky to get that job. – Because they were video game fans.
– Were they jealous of you? Yes, and even a little more than you can imagine, because I wasn’t a game freak (like them)! But there wasn’t only the fun part of the job. You had to play the game again and again. Eventually you were getting tired with this as a gameplay. By the way we must also mention that God of War: Ascension had 30 single-player stages and an online multiplayer mode which was very hard for us to test, as we had to coordinate ourselves within the same room. The mistakes that we encountered had to be tracked in one screen, but had to do with many language fixes that had to be done at once. Another feature is that at the beginning of the single-player mode, when we were playing the 30 stages one by one we had all weapons and powers unlocked and we could save wherever we wanted. While the final release date of the game was approaching, those assists were steadily starting to reduce so during the final period before the game release, we had to play the game like being users who actually bought it. At the beginning, I needed 5 to 5,5 hours to complete the first stage, maybe more. When the game was finished and the patches were released (after getting feedback from users), I could finish all 30 stages within 3,5 hours. This is just insane, it’s irregular, you don’t communicate often with the rest of the environment. But this has to do with the thousands of times you had to play a game again and again. We had some recreation areas where you could do anything to relax, from playing pool table to ping-pong. – We also had a gym with dressing rooms and showers, so that in your breaks…
– It was like a hotel actually. Kinda. You had a whole hour for a break. Some people were doing something to relax, others were eating, some other were literally sleeping. Tell us about the working hours. A typical day was starting at 10:00 and each shift was ending at 18:00 (including the break). In some days, mostly when there was a deadline to deliver the game, you could also work overtime for up to 3 hours. – Do you still play video games?
– The classic game you can play with friends, which is Pro Evolution Soccer. Gran Turismo 6 which was also the second project in which I was leading the greek team. And finally some other games we could play together, like Tekken. George thank you for this interview. We wish you the best in your next career steps. Thank you too and I wish the best so that the greek gaming audience in Greece will keep increasing. – Hello George. Thank you for accepting this interview.
– Hello. It’s my pleasure. Be careful. He must finish his sentence first. Don’t take the microphone back so fast (laughs). – Hello George. Thank you for accepting this interview.
– Sorry guys…this scene you mentioned is stuck in my mind! “Hello George! (takes microphone back!)” “Thank you very much George! I will take your Lego and leave!” “Goodbye George! And I will take your Irish girls too!”