Could you make it as a video game tester?
For many video game fans, a career in game testing would be a dream come true. But, how exactly do you land this dream role? And what exactly does it take to become a game tester? Here we’ll take a look at the main qualities that are sought out by companies when looking for the next big video game whizz to try out their latest inventions. So, whether it’s playing slot machines at www.houseoffun.com or cracking the codes in a complex strategy game — do you have what it takes?
About the role
Okay, so the role ‘video game tester’ isn’t exactly how you’ll see the job described if you’re browsing the latest openings online. It’s more likely the role will be labelled Quality Assurance or QA tester as the purpose of the position is to ensure the game is up to the best possible standard. The tester’s role is to find any bugs, which sounds simple enough, but in reality, it’s a pretty sizeable task. The bigger and more complicated the game, the more combinations of gameplay and actions there are. That means a whole lot of work for testers who are tasked with finding any sections of code that aren’t functioning as they should be. A QA tester is asked to think outside the box and test the game in ways that developers may not have predicted. These actions allow testers to source any unknown bugs or glitches. That said, it’s so difficult to try out every possible game path that elusive glitches remain present in some of the most widely-renowned games around the world.
Desirable personality traits
Thanks to the countless pathways that need to be tried out, one of the most useful traits you can have as a QA tester is patience. The tester needs to play the same sections and game routes over and over again so it’s vital they can retain their concentration and enthusiasm to do so. QA testers also need to be relatively easy-going and flexible. While the idea of playing your favorite game for hours on end through every conceivable angle may sound like a dream job, bear in mind that testers don’t necessarily get to choose which games they work on. There’s always a chance you could get stuck searching for bugs in a game that you’d never even think to pick up off the shelf. Dedication is also key as you could end up putting in a considerable amount of overtime for little pay if deadlines are looming around the corner.
What skills you need
So, you’re still interested in the role but are you the right fit for the position? Just as the job of QA tester can be difficult to stomach in many ways, it also requires the right person with the right skill sets. It goes without saying that a QA tester has to be a stickler for detail. If you’re not totally focused and detail-orientated then a position hunting down glitches and bugs may not be for you. Testers also need to have an adventurous, creative side. Developers are looking for you to take the game to places they didn’t anticipate so there’s no point applying if you’re prone to playing it safe. Finally, while QA testing may appear on the surface to be a one-man role, communication skills are also vital for relaying any issues, glitches or problems back to developers.