Miniatures and Quality Assurance
Miniatures are a part of my life since I can remember. They are a scaled phantasy that makes almost every human being happy and surprised. An artisan work that replicates objects with a high level of detail from real life and fiction. My first serious influence was actually less miniature and more stop-motion. It was a series of cartoons with puppet stop-motion animations called ’38 parrots’, 1976-1991, about a monkey, elephant, parrot and a boa snake. They had funny situations in the jungle and solved very creatively problems and challenges they got on the way. (watch on youtube.com) Then I discovered another gem of the soviet stop-motion animation cartoons. It was a plasticine stop-motion animation film that is still one of my life-time favourites – ‘Last year’s snow fell’ (in Russian: Падал прошлогодний снег), 1983 (watch on youtube.com)
The idea creating something by hand and move it around didn’t leave me. So I started recreating thingswith plasticine from the cartoons I watched and playing with it. Over the years my focus moved a bit to Lego and Barbies – Lego and Barbies. I didn’t stop playing with plasticine though. The central theme of my play became creating props for them – dresses, accessories and furniture for the dolls, whole landscapes made of bricks or plasticine and different DIY projects including sewing, painting, pyrography and sculpting. I was dreaming about working for one of the big animation studios – Soyuzmultfilm, Aardman Animation or Pixar. Later at the school, the priorities changed a bit. I put the handmade projects aside and concentrated on studying. The wish to work doing something creative was getting stronger. So after finishing the school and studying for 2 years at the German-Kazakh University, I followed my dream – I came to Germany and began studying design in Munich. It was nor stop-motion neither miniatures but it was very creative. Studying in America was sadly not an option for me for different reasons. So that’s where my handmade passion had it’s blooming start. Origami, painting, plasticine – everything came back at once. And 2015 was a turning point for my handmade passion – it changed into a slow but steady growing small business. I create miniature backpack brooches and miniature landscapes under the label ‘kreaschief’. The feeling of creating a designer bag or a whole universe in a glass dome is incredible – all the tiny handcrafted details makes me feel like a magician. Putting love and passion into a peace of art or jewellery and then making someone happy and see the eyes glowing is the best experience in the world.
And of course the level of quality in an artisan work is as high as possible. Sometimes (because it is handmade) small mistakes or flaws can appear. It can happen while creating the piece or after a while through usage. To achieve the best possible quality of the product one needs to test the product. The same as in rapid prototyping – the testing phase, the product needs to be inspected if it does what it supposed to do, if it is childproof, if it needs to handled carefully. Depending on product you surely can find or develop different testing methods. Different products and technologies have their own way to be checked. While I worked in a game industry, I also used to do QA. You think QA in games – you play games all day. This is true and false at the same time. First of all you don’t just ‘play games’, you test unfinished, most of the time buggy games in development phase over and over again. This is the reality. After 2 weeks it becomes a routine. Main tasks of a QA tester is to put the game to the acid test. Finding mistakes, missing texts, bad graphics, wrong behaviour and bring it to crash and reproduce it. All this information is gold to the developers because if you find it and they fix it, the user have a better experience. QA is a dynamic, hard, long but a product-saving process. In every industry. Don’t underestimate it’s power. Better QA – better customer/user experience.
You can read this interesting article ‘Quality Assured: What It’s Really Like To Test Games For A Living’ by Jason Schreier on kotaku.com.
A selection of music that makes me happy and balanced:
Quote of the week:
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi