Meet the Pride: Paweł Partyka

Lionbridge Games Test Manager

Travel to Warsaw to meet Paweł Partyka, a test manager for Lionbridge Games. Paweł enjoys assembling teams of people who are collaborative and curious, and he loves the magic of watching games evolve from hollow polygons to fully realized experiences that delight gamers around the world. Paweł’s hands-down favorite game is Legend of Zelda, but he also enjoys tabletop role-playing games and reading the novels of Stephen King, Frank Herbert, and Andrzej Sapkowski.

What's it like to be a test manager with Lionbridge Games?

Well, my role is to assemble and support project teams of software test engineers and testers to work on different games. I actually started as a tester and, thanks to the mentorship and advocacy of the people I worked with, I became a software test engineer, and then a test lead, working closely with the game studios to understand the games and to design tests that verify whether it performs as expected. Now, as Test Manager, I work with other test leads to build and support their teams, and I work with our business partners to assist in developing the next great titles.

What makes test teams successful?

We build teams of people who enjoy working together and learning from others. No one works in silos here. The way we structure teams, everyone has a chance to mentor others while you are learning new skills from someone else. This gives everyone a chance to develop a broad understanding of the project while developing specialized skills based on their interests.

So, testing is a job for passionate gamers to play all day and get paid.

Ha, no. For that kind of job, you should try streaming—only that path might be harder. The tester role is unique because you can immediately get into the games industry—without any coding or testing or technical experience—and explore until you find what you want to grow into. Lionbridge Games partners with studios to deliver many creative, technical, and program roles that are adjacent to our core testing and localization services. It’s not uncommon for testers to step into those roles. It might be, like with me, that you get really into testing itself! There are many areas of testing to specialize in, such as test automation, compliance, penetration testing, and so on. If you are curious and ask questions, you begin to understand the other roles to grow into, as none of us simply stops developing our skills.

Still, the whole world is sitting on the edge of their seat to play these games, and you get to play them first, right?

That's true, yes, on some fantastic day right before release, you get that experience before everyone else. But there's an even more magical period when you see the game evolve from empty shapes into something increasingly robust, complex, interesting—something that pulls you in. It's like caring for a plant and watching it go suddenly from sapling to boom! A bonsai tree.

It must be a cool feeling.

Every job comes with ups and downs and hard work. But after years of working with a partner studio to deliver an amazing experience that millions of players love, it gives me a real sense of belonging, a sense of purpose to all the work. And it’s nice to see my name scroll by in the credits.

How do people get started in games testing?

Tester backgrounds vary quite a bit. Some join as they finish schooling, and others join after stepping away from a career that doesn't feel right anymore . You don't need much experience other than passion and mindset. Testing mostly comes down to seeing patterns: like, noticing what seems different from your experience with other games and assessing whether it’s part of the design vision, or just an unintended behavior.

What's your best career advice for someone joining Lionbridge Games?

Try something completely new. Many people are cautious not to make a big mistake. But we have a lot of partners from different cultures. Everyone is super friendly and tries to work together. Don't be afraid to say, “Here's my approach.” The worst that can happen is you get feedback that helps you improve. Oh, and try to get familiar with how code works. Just a basic understanding of coding structure can help you figure out the expected function and raise concerns with the relevant creative teams in the studio.

What's something in Warsaw a tourist should not miss?

I'm a bit biased: I like learning about the history of a place. The Warsaw Uprising Museum shares a lot of context behind changes that are fresh in history. But if you want something more on the funnier side, one of my favorite locations in Poland is the Neon Museum, featuring many kinds of neon signs from the last 70 years.

Okay, what should I eat in Warsaw? What's the food I cannot miss?

Not far from our office in Warsaw is a delicious ramen place called Menya Musashi. If you want classical Polish cuisine, there's one restaurant in Old Town district, roughly translated as Under Steel Roof, from an old Polish proverb. Or there are Milk Bars—the Polish equivalent of American diners—where you can eat traditional home food very inexpensively.

What do you do for fun?

I love fantasy books, especially classic ones, but I also love horror and crime novels—like Stephen King, Jo Nesbo, Frank Herbert, of course, and a lot of Polish writers like Andrzej Sapkowski. For many years I’ve been a game master for many tabletop RPGs, so I've been creating my own worlds for players for a very long time. And I have a lovely cat named Ozzy, who is my biggest love—right after my wife.

What's on the horizon? What are you excited about?

Without getting specific about the games we’re working on, I love how it's getting easier for single developers and small studios to create something that millions of players love. With virtual reality and augmented reality, games give you an immersive experience inside one person’s vision and build upon that with other players.

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