And not in the mood for writing, just an excuse to put some music here. Gotta love places when internet is not filtered and you can browse all you want as long as you do your work properly :)
Games industry has some good pros.
Think in was like three years ago the first time a friend sent me one of those youtube videos about "get paid to play games" thing... pretty mucha laughed at it right before feeling worried; watching the coments I saw that lot of people was actually interested and asking for more information.
So yes, we know internet is full of garbage and even more full of people naive enough to bieleve it. Today I'm a bit free of work in the office so I feel like killing some time analizing one of those videos and putting then against the 4 years that I have been working as tester and game evaluator.
First, lets check this video, quite a famous one (the one sent by my friend that I menctioned before):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu-9PgdWdxU
Only 15 second into the video and I already find the first big mistake: "I'm at home testing games".
Companies keep their projects in absolute confidenciality.For you to have a more precise idea: the moment you are hired the second thing you sign (after your contract, of course) it's the NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement), it basically says that you can't speak to anyone outside the company about the project you are working in, the software we use to track bugs or any other artwork/information/plot/anything related to it until the game has been released.
So a tester never, I insist, NEVER, tests any game from home; no serious company that valuest its assets would ever allow such a potential security breach. For such, no position exists consisting in "tests games from home".
So... the video continues as we hear the guy saying "I guarantee you is not a Scam, I'm doing it myself". I wont enter in a debate about how much trust inspires a unknown guy talking from some random basement... but the fact that the guy finishes the video with a MW2 trailer (guess to motivate whoever watches this video) and the fact that every comment you put there requires it's approval then... might as well put all our life savings in the "bank of Nikolai" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0o8XMlL8rqY)while we are at the middle of our "trusting mayhem"...
Finally, if we follow the link provided (I did at home with activated security, you do it at your own risk) we find out he is actually selling us A LOUSY BOOK!!. No job information; just a book that is suposed to inform you about what do you need to become a Game Tester... like I wanna put my credit card information in a website to buy a book from a guy that insists that you can tests game at home...
You can find a thousand videos on youtube, but they all have a thing in common: THEY. ALL. LIE!
Sure being tester is a cool job, I would not drop it for other thing that a promotion; but IT IS WORK; we have a full-time working conditions, deadlines, responsabilities... plus a lot of pressure; you need to put a lot of efford in your work since if you aren't really good at it, the company will have no problem replacing you for any of the 9.500 nerds that cry to get your position.
These responsabilities are even bigger if you have a secondary specialization, in my case; I'm a Linguistic and Functionality Tester, but also a Age Rating specialist and a Game Evaluator. That requires me to be responsible for anything related to this areas while testing any project.
The pay depends; you will never do 100.000$ a year working into this (I wish! lol). You can get a good salary, but be ready to first go through temporary jobs in companies that will pay you the minimun possible. If you want a company to give you a permanent contract and pay you a good cut, you need to have a good background and a 2 years experience on you CV to put over the table... just like in every other industry.
So, my personal recomendation for becoming a game tester in 3 simple stept:
1- Be ready to move, unless you're very lucky it's more than provable that the QA department from the company that hired you is not gonna be in your hometown (In 4 years I've been in 3 different cities across Europe)
2- Start with big companies in summer (when the games for Christmass market are being tested, it varies, but June-July is a good time to apply)
3- Trow CV's to every single company you know, just not the ones you like.
After that, if it works:
Once inside, stay close to veterans and get along with then while you learn from their experience. They will logically get promoted before you do, and it's always good to have "friends in higher places" that have worked with you and know how good you are. Never forget that teamwork capabilities and perfect English language speaking is absolutely vital.
And finally, the most important of all things: check for jobs in each of the companies official websites; they don't need to find gamers: gamers are the ones that come to find them, so no need for filthy youtube videos ;).
Have a nice day and feel free to ask if you wish to.
I'm a videogame tester and I work in Germany. Since the very moment I moved here from Madrid I knew what was awaiting me; like every German gamer I import my games from UK to prevent censorship. No big deal since everyone does it and, as it is stated in German legislation, you can import any kind of banned or censored movies/books/stuff If you want as long as it is for your own personal use
Today I came to my office And my company's boss (awesome guy) came and told me that He can't buy "Call of Duty Black Ops" from UK; that he can only get the greatly censored German version. I told him that was the usual thing with Steam and PC games, since steam looks at your IP and all that stuff. My surprise and awe came when he told me that he was talking about the PS3 version... weird.
Later on, while I was making some coffe, my Team Lead came to me and told me that Amazon had cancelled his pre-order of "Black Ops" (A X360 version in this case). Which let little room for doubt.
Later this afternoom, and after my tasks were done, I went to Amazon UK and tried to order the game, as spected, the message "This product can not be sent to the address you have choosen" (Frankfurt) poped up. After a check around the internet I read some coments about Amazon not distributing any PEGI 18 (the European equivalent to "M for Mature") game to Germany. Which happened to be bull****, as expected.
So, a final test was in order:
I surfed around Amazon UK website and made a simulted order composed of the next:
-Madworld for the Wii
-Splatterhouse for PS3 (preorder)
-Modern Warfare 2 for both PS3 and X360
-Gears of war for (obviously) X360
-Call of Duty Black Ops for both PS3 and X360
-Mortal Kombat for X360 (preorder)
-The Saboteur For PS3
So, after putting all that in my shop card and moving on to the "pay" section... guess what!. All of the Items were allowed; a nice collection of hyper-violent games not distributed or censored here WITH TWO EXCEPTIONS; the two version of Black Ops (even the Saboteur, with all his Nazi references, was allowed).
I'm not going to rant about how evil is the German ratting system, since it does not affect me... It's Germany's loss if my taxes go to UK and, any way, I can't Speak nor Read German (Yet).
My protest here comes from the fact that this guy, Mr. Kotick CEO of Activision, is imposing me his own censorship for pure monetary reasons that, ni this case, go beyond what is legal in Europe.
Boby Kotick, the guy that called himself "a lover of games" when aswering to Tim Schaeffer's insults few monthsd ago, the guy that knows that no German gamer with a little brain would EVER buy the censored version of Black Ops. THIS is what he did: he blocked the sales and imports of the European version of the game to Germany, to force us to buy his bad-joke of ripped-off Deutche localised version.
According to European Union laws: "Market is free and unrestricted between countries which are members of the Union. Both in the fields of Government, industry, large-scale marketing and particular/domestic consume". Hell! I came to Germany from Spain and politically I'm not even considered an Inmigrant since I do not require a Visa or a work permit!.
This is the CEO that claims to love games... This is the guy rising with other members of the industry against the California's Bill against Violent videogames by calling it "censorship" and "beyong Absurd". A guy that must believe himself so big and allmighty that he can talk against a trial of censorship in the States and at the same time apply a dictatorial censorship in the form of marketing practice, in violation of EU's Law of Free Market.
Let everyone know, because this time is not a CEO being an ***; but something directly Ilegal.
Mr. Kotick; I'll get a UK version of the game, and When I've done it I'll paste a pic of it in Activion's forums, with a special dedication note to you. Because you know what? Tim Schaefer was right about you; you are a ****.
Been playing today a bit more of "Brave Soul", got the game while back imported from U.S. but you know... lot to do, social life, other games to play.
Most of AO-Games are so mediocre and such a waste of money... wish they were more like this one, specially with that delicious old-schools RPG Stile.
Let's add my good old Genesis collection to the list now that i'm home for a few days after X-mas.
Short entry but... My God!, some of this jewels should be added ASAP to Xbox Live and PSNetowrk