Hi Kyler, your parents will want you (and rightly so) to pick a career that has more long-term growth potential, like Game Programmer or Game Artist. Think of Game Tester as a job that could help you start out in a video game career, but not something to do for your whole life. For example I started as a game tester, but then I took programming classes and eventually moved into a job at the same company as a game designer and programmer.
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.
The Quest for Your Career series can help. Each week, we’ll focus on one of nearly 30 jobs in the video game industry across several job families including art, design, programming, testing, production, and more. Each interview features an experienced industry veteran who tells all about what the job is, what it takes, and how you can start preparing right now.
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.
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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.
The reality is, there are thousands of people who do have those cool jobs working in the video game industry. In fact, for those of you who were told by your parents to get off the couch and do something with your life, the reality is, playing video games can be a key to success in the gaming industry, says Marc Mencher, president of Game Recruiter, the premier search firm in the game industry.
Companies often pay contractors a higher base pay in lieu of benefits, but Danny only made $10 an hour. Extrapolating this data, means the average salary for a full-time position is roughly a meager $20,800. The federal minimum wage is $7.25, but game-testers are information workers, not burger flippers. It takes skill and knowledge to test and judge a game.
HI, I noticed that most of you guys, if not all of you are adults. Well I am in 8th grade. I play video games whenever I can. Some days not at all, other up to 6 hrs. My dad doesn’t support my love for games at all. My mom isn’t as bad but still she wont be pleased, because I haven’t told them that I want to be a video game tester. I would like you guys to give me some about were I should go or what I should do to accomplish this. By the way I live in California by UC Irvine collage.
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.
1. Usually there’s a team of testers assigned to a game. They work together, but each one might be assigned a certain part of the game such as combat or AI, or it might be divided up by area such as level or character. Each tester submits their own bug reports, and then re-tests the bug once the development team has marked the bug as “fixed” in the next build.
Hi Chris, being a game tester sounds fun, but it’s a hard job and doesn’t pay as well as the other jobs in the game industry. If you’re 13 and want to work in games, then I’d recommend working toward being a game designer, programmer, or artist. Depending on which one attracts you the most. Check out my article on the different jobs in the game industry, and see whether one of those sounds interesting, then work in that direction.
Getting a job as a game developer is like the Hail Mary of the industry. This is probably the first to pop up in Google when searching for video gaming jobs, but your opportunities might be limited. Jobs site Indeed indicated that the amount of game developer openings have dropped 65% since 2014 while searches for “game developer” have increased by 50%. That’s why getting your foot in the door with one of the jobs above is a great way to grow your network and learn the trade from the inside.
I’ve been playing games since I was two, and have participated in beta-tests as long as I can remember. More specifically; I’ve participated in beta-tests nearly every new game release there’s been in the past 12 years. I’m 18, so it’s legal for me to work in most places, It’s just a matter of finding the company with an open or will be open position as a qa tester, that is lenient on distance to the physical work place.
Hi Ruben, it sounds like you’ve already started developing some of the skills you need to get a job testing – namely, learning about games, and learning how to find and report bugs. You do NOT have to pay anybody to get a job testing games – game testing is like any other job, you just need to find the jobs (start your search here), apply, and interview. If anybody tries to make you pay to find testing jobs, it’s probably a scam and should be avoided.
I’ve been playing games for the majority of my life. Even so much that it interfered with my classes to the point of me just getting a G.E.D. Needless to say I dont have much schooling but I tend to look for bugs in games almost everyday. Recently I began editing and modding games using C+ programming and have a bit of experience with it. Would it still be possible for me to be a tester or would I need to go back to school.
While being laid off can be a part of any career, he adds that the process is cold. "The way [my employer] used to handle these things was to send out meeting notices. You would go to a meeting, and someone would walk into the QA area where everyone who didn't have the meeting request were still sitting and simply say, 'If you're here, you've been let go, pack up your stuff, we're escorting you out'...you always hoped that you would be one of the few that would be kept on."
Game testing jobs generally don’t require advanced degrees. Since you’re going for post-secondary degrees, then it might be more applicable for you to work toward a job as a video game programmer, rather than a tester. In either case, start by looking up job postings for game studios near your home to see what requirements they list, and then start working toward those requirements. There are a number of large game studios with a presence in India such as Ubisoft, EA, Microsoft and more.
Do you find that extra hour, no matter your day, to squeeze in one more game? Do you lose yourself in interactive worlds? When you’re not playing games, are you strategizing ways to increase your win rate or solve that final puzzle? If yes, you’re a gamer. Whatever you play, if you make time to play, you’re a gamer. We believe that when you bring a passion for gaming, you’ll be able to empathize with player joy and player pain to help us make better, player-focused decisions.
Game testing does not typically require specialized education, so you could start applying for jobs now. Search online for game studios or testing companies that have open positions for “game tester” or “QA tester”, and apply online. There are numerous articles on this site on how to write your resume and apply for jobs, look under the “Blog” menu for more information. I wish you luck!
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.
A video game tester is expected to take a wide range of actions in the game to identify any bugs or glitches. Essentially, a bug is something wrong with the programming, and there can be a huge variety of them. A bug comes when a player gets trapped in a certain spot, or when a movement graphic doesn’t work properly on a specific character. There are literally millions of possible bugs that could be in the game, but thanks to game testers, most games are released nearly flawless.
If you are working in or looking for gaming jobs and are ready for your next career move, Games-Career.com is the platform for you. The same applies to students and new talents with an interest in computer and video games who want to break into the games industry or gain professional experience in game development, production and marketing. On Games-Career.com there are game job offers for nearly every degree of experience: If what you are looking for a full- or part-time position, a junior or senior position, for an internship, traineeship or placement as a working student in the games industry, you’ve got a good chance to find the right match on Games-Career.com.
Don’t wait. It’s important to start on your ISTQB software testing certification now to get your job testing games. Begin by reviewing the free software testing glossary, exam syllabus (what you need to know to pass the exam) and sample exams below, as well as the steps to certification / FAQ. Then register to take the ISTQB exam from ASTQB. We hope to see you soon on ASTQB’s official American list of ISTQB certified testers!
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