I recently got to “play test” a game for the first time. It was at an anime convention and they had a demo for it up and running. I found the game itself kind of slow and a little boring but when I clicked on the trees they would either disappear or, if they were dead, flicker back to life. I thought it was so cool that I immediately started looking for more bugs that the creator had missed, he was right at the table so it was easy to show it to him. I’m trying to choose a career with something I love and wanted to know more about this as an option. I’m interested in play testing but also in translation and programming. Those are all very different fields and I’m wondering what to expect from each one when it comes to jobs and requirements. If you could give me any insight it would be helpful.
When you’re looking at job postings, keep in mind that many employers will still consider candidates even if they only have around 80% of the qualifications. Watch carefully for postings that say things like “2 years experience required, or equivalent experience” because often times college or independent game development is good enough to get an interview.
According to the Gamasutra Salary Survey of 2014, the online publication for Game Developer Magazine, the average salary for testers is about $54,833 annually. The same study found that testers with over three years of experience average roughly $48,426 a year. If you work for over six years, you can expect to reach an average of $62,885 a year, and those with a master’s degree earned on average $65,000.
Using concept art as reference, 3D modeling artists create the 3D objects, buildings and characters needed for a game. They can use a variety of software tools including Maya, Modo and Z-Brush. The technical constraints of the game must be kept in mind, for example, the poly count for each object and scene and the size of the textures for each 3D object.
Work at a company that has friendly, fun, nice people working there. You may be working very long hours for days or weeks before each game release, which will be much more enjoyable if the people you’re working with aren’t jerks. Research the studio on Glassdoor.com, and ask people who may have worked there in the past. Avoid companies that seem to be full of jerks.
Jeez, some of the kids commenting here really can't type well. Either that or they're not good at English. You know it isn't all just fun and games you have to have some English skills because you have to write well detailed reports. You aren't just playing the game you have to analyze it and see where the bugs are or where are the rough patches and then report them to the company. I don't think that this kind of job is for 11 or 13 year olds. I think maybe you should explain that in your article above. This is coming from a 17 year old who has tested and now I make small games with a group of friends. (we're just learning the programs right now). Learning to program is a pain in the butt, but I think rather than small kids looking for jobs in video game testing, I think they should be encouraged to learn more about the games they love. You guys are to young. It bothers me just how many of you believe it is just getting paid to play when it isn't. Well those are just my two cents.
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2. Most of the bug software works the same as all the others. For each bug you find, you create a new “page” (database entry) and fill out the form. The form will ask for information such as which area of the game you found the bug in, how “bad” the bug is (e.g. does it just look bad, or does it actually crash the game). Then you type up the exact steps you took to find the bug, so that a member of the development team can do the same thing to see the bug in action and fix it.
Hi Carlos, in your question, you mention several different game jobs: writer, programmer, tester, design, and art. So the first thing I’d recommend is to get some clarity on which game job you want to do. If you can identify what it is you want to do, then the path will be clearer. If you’re currently going for a degree in writing or programming, then try to do some game-related projects while you’re in school, to start building your portfolio. Then you’ll be able to apply for jobs directly after college.
I am a gaming fanatic and a big gaming freak too. I am now 17 in India doing my 12th. I want to start my career in gaming industry by game testing. I have already started writing stories and idea for my games. I currently have 12 game Ideas out of which 9 don’t exist in gaming. So will I be a success in the industry. BTW I am also writing a book, I don’t know If it will help.
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Hi Dalton, some testing jobs are fine and others might require a lot of overtime. It just depends on the company you’re at, some companies are well-run and some aren’t. And some are well-run, but sometimes external factors cause problems with the game’s shipping schedule and overtime might be required. I’d recommend doing some research on any company before you take a job offer to find out whether their employees seem to be happy or not.
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