Video games are a major part of the UK’s screen entertainment industry. Games are everywhere, from phones, tablets, PCs, consoles and virtual reality headsets (VR). This exciting industry blends creative talents, from artists to technicians. Game development can be a highly complex process often lasting up to two years and requiring teams of programmers, designers, artists, writers, musicians, and even actors. Whether supported by multi-million-pound investment for a flagship console game, or a micro team working from home on a mobile game, developers can achieve great success. The computer games market is highly competitive and subject to seasonal peaks, and launch dates that need to be met.
For example, a large multiplayer online game might have 10,000 different areas that players can explore over several years of play. It would be impossible to test all of those areas manually, every time a new build of the game is created. So instead of doing it manually, an SDET might write a test program that quickly moves the player character to each one of the 10,000 areas for a few seconds each. That’s way faster than a human tester could ever do it manually.
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The job outlook for testers is directly tied to the video game industry. As long as people are lining up to buy the latest versions of Fallout, Madden, Call of Duty, or the hottest labels, there will be a need for testers to “break” these games. While it is unknown just how many video game testers there are in the US, the number is certainly in the thousands.
I live in the UK and am currently trying to decide what career I want to do in the future. I’ve been playing vdeo games for as long as I can remeber so I feel like a job in this sector would be great. Unfortunately to get a degree that would mean I could become a game developer I would need to study IT at A-Level and to study it at A-Level I would have to study it at GCSE and unfortunately that was not possible. I feel that becoming a games tester would be satisfying but I would really like to move up in that line of work to become a developer so I was wondering if there was anything that I could do?
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The external producer advises the developer and ensures the publisher has the information to make the game commercially successful. This involves coordinating the release of screenshots and demo disks with marketing, handling outsourcing with the internal producer and running focus tests. They are also the developer’s go-between with the publisher in terms of milestone payments or any major changes.