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Games Testing


dlegend

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games testing is not a fun job, I would think hard before pursuing it. You play the same half hour to 1 hour segment over and over again, under strict conditions, writing your exact experiences on a notepad. Over and Over again. You'll at best have no enjoyment left of any game that comes out you've worked on, and at worst you'll hate it's very existance. If you love playing games, this is totally not the game for you.

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I always wanted to do games testing as I thought, "fucking yes, get to play games before they come out and play them all day everyday!". Looked more into it, and decided against it, it's like slavery.

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games testing is not a fun job, I would think hard before pursuing it. You play the same half hour to 1 hour segment over and over again, under strict conditions, writing your exact experiences on a notepad. Over and Over again. You'll at best have no enjoyment left of any game that comes out you've worked on, and at worst you'll hate it's very existance. If you love playing games, this is totally not the game for you.

 

The positives about video game testing, yes, it can be a very rewarding and satisfying experience, watching a game go from a buggy mess to a completed product was always good, you can really enjoy it and being a fairly young industry it's usually fairly relaxed in the office, well for some companies anyway. The more forward we go the more regimented it becomes.

 

That said, even though it's relaxed it can also be the most pressure driven job you will ever be anywhere near. There will be late nights, lots of stress in most places and you will be expected to put the time in. Also as said by bristep it's a very monotonous job sometimes. It's not easy to describe what it's like.

 

Game testing is NOT about playing through a game and saying what you like/don't like about it. Your opinion on a game often doesn't matter at all, what DOES matter is that the game is as bug free and 'releasable' as it can be, not that it has no bugs, there is no game on the planet that doesn't have bugs in and you'll often get frustrated at what coders will ignore in favour of other things, also often something small will be tweaked that will cause an avalanche of other issues and those things getting fixed cause other things to go wrong and it feels you're going around and around in a circle while other issues are mounting up, the deadline is approaching and the managers are going crazy that other things can't be tested while those issues remain and why aren't you being more active etc etc.

 

Also you'll have a database that you MUST KEEP MAINTAINED, any bugs you find you are responsible chasing down until they are either fixed or discarded, you don't just go over things once, you must test them multiple times even if the sequence takes two or three hours, once is NOT enough, also if something you really think must be fixed is getting ignored you have to chase it with the managers and explain why it's so important so communication is REALLY important because what you have in a games studio is this:

 

MANAGERS/PRODUCTION/MONEY PEOPLE GETTING ANGRY

---qa team in the middle keeping the peace----

CODERS/LEADS GETTING ANGRY

 

Your job may also involve customer support after the game has gone, which involves taking tonnes of flack for things you've probably found but have been told aren't important....

 

But most of the day is spent as a lab rat, pushing a button and seeing what happens.

 

Oh also universally entry level testers are paid awfully, at the company I worked at for 14 years I only ever once saw a tester get minimum wage, yes I know that's illegal but you can sign a waiver, also that whole 40 hours per week thing? out the window. The last company I worked at treated it's testers amazingly well, I know of no other company that paid

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I really enjoyed my QA Tester's job at Squaresoft Europe back when I was a student. But I suppose it depends on how lucky you are to get good games to test. I got Vagrant Story, FFIX and Parasite Eve II, and the only shit one I got was Type-S Driving Emotion for PS2.

 

Don't know anyone else, but I think you should PM Loki - he's pretty involved with the industry.

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