To give an idea of what a Game tester’s day looks like, we are talking about a guy who goes by the gamer tag ‘Dalda’
Is game testing a job or a career?
While the game testing career starts as a lower paying job, there is a high potential for anyone to grow in the industry very quickly. Those who have an urge, commitment and wish to make a name for themselves in the gaming industry, game testing provides a big platform to grow. If one is focused long enough and keep learning and stay current, he/she can make a managerial role within a short span of 10 years.
How did you get started?
I always found myself playing a lot of video games going back as far as I can remember. From my college days, I was interested in computers plus my long-standing interest in video games lead me to conclude that I wanted to be a part of the gaming industry.
The first job I got was in company, one of whose Executive was a friend’s Uncle. Knowing the bunch of us and our addiction to gaming we got offered a job.
Playing games was something I knew how to do, However, learning how to be a tester, I had to unlearn what I knew, which was killing bad guys, smashing stuff and level up faster. That does not help a tester, test a game effectively. On a regular day, my schedule was pretty tight. I had done to all sort of background stuff like anyone does at their job, like keeping track of what they do.
What skills do you think are most useful for a QA tester?
Attention to detail, and understanding the game. Learning the game properly and in detail will help us to understand patterns within the game, which will help to break the game and find more bugs.
What’s the pay like?
Unlike software engineers, game testing is not a highly paid job at entry. A game tester with 2 years of exposure would have more knowledge than a software tester who holds 5 years of experience. The learning curve is much steeper. All that will help one to grow quickly and get to bigger roles with better pay.
Are there any games which involve dread testing?
Definitely. Testing a game in a foreign language, without any support documentation or without anyone to explain the game, makes your job a lot harder.
Do you have a say in what games you test?
No. You go where you are asked to go and are expected to work on anything that is sent your way.
What’s the best and worst part of being a QA tester?
The best part is that you get to learn so much. You see a game when it is just in the developmental stages. You get to track the whole game through its various phases. You get to lend a hand in shaping the game and making it better for everyone to enjoy. You get to see the game through to the end. And at the end of it all, you are happy because you know you helped make the game better and everyone is enjoying the game!
Worst part would be, after working for a whole day on a game, I ended up dreaming myself as a character stuck in the game and being unable to clear the level to get out!
Do you play the games you test in your downtime?
Yes, occasionally. One of the games I tested – Section 8, my colleagues and I ended up staying late for a few hours past the end of the day just to enjoy the game. Some more games in that list are CS: Condition Zero, Unreal Tournament.
Has the job affected your enjoyment of gaming?
After a small initial stage of not wanting to look at a video-game after working for a whole day on video-games, I have gone back to finding and playing new games in my free time and it is still a lot of fun.
What’s your favorite game and why?
Last of Us! No game has had me being so mentally involved with the protagonist.
Favorite movie based off a video game?
Halo Legends and Resident Evil series. These movies stayed close to the video game storyline, while most of the other movie versions of the games did not portray the story line nor convey the experience when you play the game.