At PTW, we believe that talent should be nurtured and rewarded. Eva Gocalek and Amina Ortega both switched from LQA to Localization roles and both work on the same team in Montreal, though in different languages. We wanted to highlight their journeys and discover what made them transition from one department to another.
Eva is fourth-generation Polish-Canadian but she grew up in Poland, visiting Canada only during summer vacations. She moved to Montreal five years ago and was hired by PTW. “I always loved to read, especially history and fantasy books (The Witcher books are so much better than the Netflix show),” she relates, “which led to greater exposure of different writing styles and developing a more critical eye for language. This resulted in my friends getting quite the bombardment of grammatical corrections whenever they would text or talk to me.”
Eva has a bachelor’s degree in communication design, which she describes as a combination of marketing, branding, and PR. “I really loved this field, but when I moved to Montreal and saw a chance to work in the gaming industry, I didn’t hesitate; I applied immediately!” This was a natural move because some of her passions are board games and video games. “I was introduced to gaming through Duck Hunt on the NES, and my top pick of all time is The Witcher 3 (but Heroes of Might and Magic 3 is a close second). In fact, during my initial interview with our PTW Montreal studio head, I expressed my admiration for HoMM3 and we couldn’t focus anymore on the actual interview—we were both fangirling over how awesome of a game it was.”
Amina hails from Andalusia, Spain, where her multicultural background stems from her Moroccan mother and Spanish father. “I have family both in Morocco and here in Quebec and have been traveling to visit them since I was a young child, hence my interest and passion for other languages and cultures as I was growing up,” she says. “I enjoyed the time I spent visiting my relatives in Montreal so much that I finally decided to move here 10 years ago.”
Already fluent in Arabic, Spanish, and French, Amina studied English translation and interpreting at university to widen her horizons and gain a better understanding of British and North American culture. “Once I arrived here, I started as a freelance translator and interpreter and worked for various companies in Montreal providing technical and marketing translations from French and English into Spanish. I also collaborated with a public notary and worked as a legal interpreter doing simultaneous interpreting in French and Spanish.” This naturally led Amina to a career in localization.
“I discovered localization with PTW, which finally brought me a sense of belonging, something I cherished after several years of freelancing. I was reacquainted with the video game industry I had been so fond of during my youth. I simply understood that it was the right place to be once I realized that I could express my creativity, something I was unable to do in my previous roles.”
Eva’s previous position at PTW was Senior LQA Tester (Polish), and she currently operates as a Language Specialist (Polish). “After three years with PTW, I really wanted to grow and learn more, and at that time the LQA team didn’t have any options to grow within it. Therefore, when I was asked if I would like to have the Language Specialist position, I decided to take it,” she reveals. “It gave me an opportunity to see how the workflow looks from the Loc team’s perspective and made it easier to understand some questions we were getting from their team on the LQA side.”
Eva relates the differences and similarities between her previous and current positions. “LQA testers and Language Specialists frequently collaborate by utilizing shared Confluence pages and project tracking on Jira; we also share LocDirect, and we still work in teams, which facilitates communication and problem solving, particularly when dealing with unclear English text that requires input from multiple individuals.”
However, Eva acknowledges that the workflow is different. “While our working hours remain the same, we often enjoy flexibility in choosing which tasks to prioritize, except for very urgent high-priority ones of course. In contrast to an LQA team, we manage multiple projects simultaneously, each with distinct glossaries and lore. This requires frequent transitions between four to five projects throughout the day, which demands high level of focus and adaptability. However, the gratification of contributing my own words, writing, and humor to the final game makes this job incredibly fulfilling.”
As for Amina’s transition into her new role, she notes, “As a Castilian Spanish LQA Tester, I got to experience many amazing games and had a great time ensuring that the translations were done correctly and cohesively. Now as a Language Specialist, I work on translations of the in-game content. I elaborate style guides and glossaries to share with the testers and marketing teams, and I translate other content that does not go into the game, such as websites, social media, and trailers. When the translations of a given project are complete, I work with the testers to help ensure that everything is in order and assist when needed to solve any implementation or contextual issues they might encounter.”
Amina also notes the similarities and differences. “I work with the same teams, on the same projects, and receive the same game content,” she shares. “The biggest difference has to do with the type of tasks I work on which are now are mostly language related, though I still get to playtest the games during downtime. As for other differences, I would say primarily the timeline. I am the first person to see the content of the game while it’s still under development. However, as a tester, I was the second pair of eyes and had all the context surrounding the translation and audio of the game, but I also had to deal with other technical tasks, such as certification testing.”
Eva stresses the importance of teamwork, not only between LQA Testers, but also between Testers and Language Specialists. “Projects tend to progress more smoothly when communication channels are established between the two teams,” she affirms, “even in the absence of the Team Lead. Direct chats are crucial for effective cooperation.”
Eva relates some advice learned on the job. “It’s important to understand the scope of the role you are signing up for. If you enjoy the technical aspects of Loc, transitioning to a Senior or Team Lead may not be as fulfilling, as a significant portion of the work entails managing people. Conversely, if you excel at project and team management, the Language Specialist may not align with your professional goals, as it focuses primarily on linguistic expertise.”
Amina also shares wisdom gained from experience. “I would say that playing games and seeing the typical issues that recur throughout projects helped me avoid them. In my free time, I like playing the games I work on because I can see the mechanics used by the different developers. This really gives me an edge and helps me choose the most accurate words when new features are introduced into the game."