A Career in Testing Video Games
Playing video games for a living makes one think that this is the ideal job. People who witnessed the advent of computer gaming in the late eighties to early nineties have probably dreamed of having a game testing job. Who wouldn’t desire a job that compensates for personal enjoyment?
Almost everyone loves video games. The days of video games confined to clunky consoles that cannot be taken on a plane trip or any trip for that matter are long gone. When people choose to play games, they use portable gaming devices such as PSP Vita or Android smartphones or tablets.
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Now that video games compete with so many other personal entertainment types, a freemium model is widely utilized in PC games and mobile gaming, which has given video games a boost. This is excellent news for those seeking to be video game professionals, and they are willing to do what it takes to secure their place in the industry. One of the fastest ways to gain a foothold in the video game industry is to apply for a quality assurance testing (game testing) position.
It is important to note that those testing a game are always separate from the team that codes or programs the game itself. Therefore, the bug-tracking phase is accomplished by quality assurance testers (game testers). Further, game testers are asked by companies and game studios to present bug reports on a regular schedule. For example, if one is testing a game and has submitted only a few bug reports for all the months in the company, one should not anticipate superiors giving glowing reviews.
Since communication with the programming department is in writing, excellent written communication skills are needed. Without good writing skills, one will not thrive or survive in this field at all. It is paramount to remember that game testers are not very special in the video game production world. The reason is that there is an abundance of potential testers, and if one leaves, another will quickly fill the void. So, if advancement is desired, one must demonstrate an above-average or better game tester ability for superiors.
Here are the hard facts:
Survival Skills. To survive in the professional quality assurance testing (game testing) field, one will require skills of the trade that can be obtained through formal training (on-the-job training) and continuous experience. Paramount to playing video games is an experience. However, it is not the be-all and end-all of game testing. It is just a tiny aspect that will assist in the performance of a game tester job.
Most Important Asset. The most important asset of a game tester is the ability to perform on the job. How good is one in bug-tracking newly developed games? One cannot astonish lead game testers and quality assurance managers by simply telling them that as a 15-year-old, one was a programming whiz. No matter how true this may be. Game tester effectiveness lies in discovering the bugs that may arise from many combinations within specific game segments.
A tester is not assigned the whole game but only a specific segment in which to discover bugs. This is when tester effectiveness will be scrutinized. Be Prepared. Being prepared will significantly improve the chances of getting hired. To gain proof of time spent and monetary investment, one should enroll in courses before applying for a game testing position. One cannot tell employers that they are well versed in in-game testing through reading.
Interviewers will not accept this as experience and will end in one going home with a broken heart. It is essential to be aware of this now to prepare for what lies ahead. It is not easy to get in, but it is not impossible either. Professional and Passionate. One will need to demonstrate to superiors professional performance and an extreme passion for video games. This will enable one to advance above the average game testers.
Stephen R. Summitt
Do you want to find sustainable employment by getting a job as a game tester? If you are here because you are serious about getting a career as a game tester, you have to deal with facts, not myths and the personal fantasies of hopefuls. Discover the truth about this field and how you can enter it.