There are many basic skills and abilities that you will need for a career as a video game tester, but probably the most important attribute is a foundational experience with video games. You need to understand the top genres of games, know what makes for a good video game, and grasp the essentials of game play. Knowing video games, however, is just a start.
Hi Nafis, if you already know how to program, then you should practice programming video games and start building a portfolio of small game demos. You can apply for game jobs just the same way you apply for any job: Search the Internet or game studio websites to find the job openings, read the requirements to see if you fit 80% of the requirements listed, and then follow the instructions to apply.
Technical artists set up and maintain the art production workflow, as well as deciding which packages and tools a studio should use and investigating new technologies and techniques. They are the bridge between artists and programmers. They are employed by development studios, and as a specialised position, have pay rates higher than normal artists.
Hey Jason, I really hope you reply to this because I can use the advice. I’ve been playing games since I was about 8 and ever since I love pointing out glitches and bugs. Because of this I would love to become a game/QA tester. Unfortunately I’ve been looking for advice online to find colleges for a while now, and I’m running around in circles. If you email me I would be able to get into more detail and information about my situation. I greatly appreciate any advice you give me, thank you.
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Besides a typical “game tester” job, there’s also a job that you may not have heard of yet called an “SDET” (pronounced “ESS-det”). That stands for “software design/development engineer in test.” It’s a cool job that’s basically a tester that writes computer code – code that tests the game in an automated way. So it’s like a testing job, but the salary is much higher since it requires programming skills. A programming degree or some programming classes would be really helpful for landing a job as an SDET.
Hi Jason, I seem to find myself in a predicament. Currently I am moving on to my senior year at Penn State and I need a new major. I was pursuing Computer Engineering, but programming and I do not get along very well (Once you go past “if” statements I’m Lost). So my first question is, what majors are good for entering the game industry, that don’t involve programming. My next question is about finding an entry-level position that I can learn on the job. I used your job search tool that you provided and most jobs seemed to require previous experience, any suggestions there?
Game testers may also have to run through matrix testings. Matrix testing is often used in fighting games like Mortal Combat, Tekken, or Soul Calibur. Say a fighting game has 20 different characters and 20 different levels. When doing matrix testing, the video game tester would need to play as each character vs each character (including Character 1 vs Character 1) on all 20 levels. That’s 8,000 different matchups! That’s just one example of the highly-detailed, often monotonous work that video game testers have to do.
Hi Sam, getting a job as a game tester may not be as far away as you think. Most testing jobs don’t require a college degree, you just need to know some of the basics of testing and you can apply for testing jobs. If you haven’t checked out my book on becoming a game tester, then I think that’s a great place to start because I wrote that book specifically for people like you. 🙂
Nearly any game studio needs testers, and some of the big companies like Nintendo, EA, and Microsoft employ hundreds of game testers either directly or through temp agencies. Like any job, you can start by searching for job postings near your city using the video game job search tool. You can also search on popular tech-industry job sites like Monster.com, or on job aggregator sites like Indeed.com.
There don’t seem to be very many entry level Quality Assurance Tester job available. The few i’ve seen want at least 6 months experience and previous knowledge. Both of which I lack. I’m disabled and have no choice but to work from home. All the job postings i’ve seen are on site only. Oh well, that’s how every entry level job i’ve tried to look into ends up: a dead end of on site jobs. I guess i’ll just try applying for SSI again.
Initially, the lead designer works with a small core team, defining the artistic approach for the game. The lead artist will supervise, if not undertake, the production of concept art which indicates the visual atmosphere and graphic design. They also research and test out different modeling, texturing, animation, rendering and lighting techniques and tools. The lead designer then manages the art and animation team (including outsourced staff), specifying what needs to be produced, ensuring deadlines and budgets and are met, and planning for any contingencies. Lead designers are employed by development studios, both independent and publisher-owned.
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QA testers sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with their employers and can be fired or even sued for divulging information. All the testers we contacted spoke to us on condition of anonymity. We have given them pseudonyms to protect their identities. We have checked each of their credentials. We asked for comments from a variety of games publishers, but have received zero responses.
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Hi Samin, your comment made me chuckle! If you could get paid to play games, then everybody would do that for sure. The fact is that game testing is a lot of work, and sometimes it’s not even very fun. You don’t get to just play the game, you have to search for bugs and write a report for each bug you find. Sometimes you could write 20 or more reports each day. Then when the dev team fixes the bug, you have to go into the game to make sure it’s really fixed, which can take a while.