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How to Become a Video Game Tester – Latest Hacking News

If you grew up in the early 2000s like me, you might have seen a particular ad devoted to video game testing. It’s kind of a running joke in the gaming industry, because the way this ad describes video game testing is comical at best and misleading at worst.

The commercial begins, the scene opens with two early adult men playing a video game on their television. Their boss comes in and says “Hey guys, are you done testing this game yet?” to which one of them replies “We just finished level 3 and we still need to firm up the graphics a bit”. At the end of a short chat with their boss, one of the men says “I can’t believe we have jobs doing this”

For experienced game developers, this is really fun advertising, because video game testing hardly ever works that way. “Tighten graphics” is a phrase that means absolutely nothing in a technical sense, as well as something you wouldn’t say as a tester anyway because game visuals aren’t something you should be concerned about, except unless they are borderline unusable for some reason.

In this article, I’ll dispel some misconceptions and explain what a video game tester is, what it actually does, how to become one, and more.

For the purposes of this article, I will call them testers or video game testers, but there are a variety of names for the profession, including Beta testersor their more professional title, Quality Assurance (QA) testers.

What does a video game tester do?

First, it’s important that we define exactly what your average video game tester actually does.

We’re so sorry to tell you this, but you need to do a little more than just lay on your couch and play your favorite video game all day. That’s not to say you won’t play games, you will, but it’s important to understand that playing games for fun and playing them for results are two very different things.

As for the games you’ll test, chances are you’ll only test games from the company that hired you. If it’s a game developer, that would mean the main game(s) they want to publish. If it’s a game publisher, that might mean testing a wider variety of games under their wider array of upcoming titles. Or if it’s a video game testing company, you’ll be assigned to many different projects depending on who hires your company.

When testing games, you are often expected to take notes about the results you achieved during your testing process, and possibly what creative ways you might have to improve those situations. In short: video game testers ensure that your games actually work as they should.

Why do we need video game testers?

The process of creating a video game is always extremely complex and difficult. Even if it is programmed perfectly and in the most ideal way possible, there is still a very good chance that the game has an unintended glitch or bug, or something similar, that needs to be fixed before release.

For example, you might have a situation where a developer was casually testing the game, and they noticed that the game froze when the player walked through a door, and they weren’t able to reproduce that situation. This is when the developer can come to the QA tester and ask them to reproduce this problem.

If the tester can find a repeatable issue causing the problem, for example, say the player is hanging onto a particular item at the same time as they walk through the door, they can report this to the developer, and then the developer can get to work on a solution.

Some games come with issues, and often it’s just an unavoidable result of lags. If you run into a glitch in a game that changes something minor in a way that has little impact on the overall experience, you might be fine.

Game testers will be assigned very large, significant issues first, or any issue that seriously hinders further development of the game. Things like, causing a player’s save data to disappear for no reason, crashing a game hard in doing something important to progress, or the game’s graphics turning into a jumbled mess when played on certain hardware settings. Things like this are essential to fix before a company can safely release their game.

It’s not just about visual bugs either, as a video game tester you will need to take notes on visual, audio and control bugs of all shapes and sizes.

If a company did nothing to address these issues, their game would be reviewed very harshly upon release and the game would sell poorly as a result. This is why it is absolutely essential that any serious video game development studio considers professionally testing their games and ensuring that there are no serious issues when the game is released.

Are there video game testing companies?

It is common for companies that produce games to outsource their testing to entire companies designed for the purpose of testing video games. Some of the biggest video game testing companies currently include iXie Gaming, Kevuru Games, and Pingle Studio. However, many companies still hire in-house to test their specific games. For example, if you want to do testing for Blizzard games specifically, it would make sense to look at Blizzard Entertainment and see if they are hiring new positions for QA testing, or possibly Activision since they are Blizzard’s parent company.

Video game testing as a service is still a relatively new idea, and it can be a good or bad idea for a company to outsource this process.

Benefits a company could reap if it decided to outsource testing could include better organization, easy access to qualified testers, and more efficient results. Negatives could include things like needing to pay more to hire a separate company for these services, possible communication issues (many of these companies are international but English is used by most of them), and maybe other issues that might arise, like if the company you work with suddenly goes out of business.

Getting Started with Video Game Quality Assurance (QA) Testing

Video game testing can be rewarding work, especially if you’re good at problem-solving and taking notes while thinking of creative solutions. It can be helpful to have some programming experience so you can understand why the game engine behaves a certain way, but that’s not a requirement for many testing positions.

Many companies expect you to be certified for video game testing as well. It is important that you have an ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualifications Board) certification before continuing. Testing the beta versions of the video games you are interested in for fun can be good training, as well as working on your communication skills, since the job is highly dependent on good collaboration between both parties.

Video game testing will continue to be a very necessary part of video game production, and the risk of this work being automated is extremely low. Consider checking out LinkedIn for job leads and getting the necessary certifications if you’re serious about becoming a video game tester.

Organic :

Yuriy Denisyuk is Head of Game Production at Pingle Studio. He is responsible for successfully managing the game production pipeline. Yuriy is that lucky person who plays the best games for work to keep up with trends and set new ones. He enjoys writing, reading manga, fantasy and professional literature in his free time.

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