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#1 Posted by nazokxx (256 posts) -

k first of all i didnt know where to post this so i deicded to just post in the general forum and see what happens.i want to be a video game tester (PC). and ive been doing some beta testing signups for some experiance. and TBH i have no idea where to go and where i can get INFO. so think someone can point me in the direction of a game testing forum so i can talk to other testers and get some info on how this works ect.....

PS: i googled for a long time and couldint find much info :(

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#2 Posted by dchan01 (2768 posts) -

I can give you some tips:

1) It's easiest to get hired in the SF Bay Area, LA, or Seattle (I'd guess Montreal is quite good now too)areas simply because of the number of game companies in those locations. Summer is the best time to get hired as companies are ramping up to finish the holiday releases.

2) Hone your communication and writing skills so that you can actually convey the circumstancesunder whichbugs occurto producers and engineers. A tester that writes up clear, concise bug reports will get most of their bugs fixed, while those who do not will find most of their reports ignored or in constant need of clarification, even if the two testers were reporting identical issues.

3) Don't get too set on working on a specific project or platform. You might have to start by testing some craptastic Barbie Horse Adventure game on cell phones.

4) You want to test FPSs or RTSs. From my past experience as a tester, testing story driven games is a total drag. (and I loveagoodstory driven game) Competative or cooperative multiplayer games like FPSs and RTSs have a lot more retestability. Open ended single player games can also be rewarding to test.

5) Get used to bugs being left unfixed. (like these darn missing spaces in these forums) It hurts, but the further into a project you get, the less likely it is that bugs will get fixed. Certain bugs will be deemed shippable. Certain companies will deem LOTS of bugs as shippable.

6) Understand game development - The more you know about programming, 3D modelling and animation, graphics, and computers in general, the easier it will be to find, understand, and reportbugs.

7) Don't expect to be hired on permanently. There are tons of testing jobs, but I'd bet there is one permanent position per 50 testers in the workplace. It's tough to get noticed in the hordes of hires some of the major companies take on per year. If you start to expect things from your employer, you are bound to be disappointed. If you don't, and work hard, maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised.

8) Get used to doing more than your share of the work. In all the time I tested, I never saw a project where people evenly pulled their weight. 20% of the testersalmost always end up doing 80% of the work. If you are going to be part of the 20%, do it because you love games and want to help make them better. I've seen a lot of that 20% get very bitter over time when few, if any,of their accomplishments are rewarded.

9) Get used to long hours. Testers are typically on the last 3-5 months of every project which just so happens to coincide with crunch time for every project. This often leads to testersending up in permanent crunch mode. Many testers work grueling 80 hour weeks over and over again.

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#3 Posted by Arath_1 (4688 posts) -

Great post there by dchan01. One thing to understand (make that two) is that QA (Quality Assurance) on software is a job. Unlike Beta Testing for games which is unpaid and often just the community wanting to help in the development process (as well as it not being feasible to get enough employees to test the game thouroughly, this goes mainly for MMOs and games with online play) testing a game is a job. You dont play games as a tester you sit down and play a small segment of the game until you break it.

If your serious about testing games you want to look for a QA position with a gaming company really. Again its a job and its hard work. You wont be playing the game as you would when you get a demo or a retail version so prepare yourself for that. Its a great way of getting your foot in the door though and while its true many companies due just take QA testers part time its a great way to get your foot in the door and to allow you to move up the ladder in terms of being involved in games development (opens the position for other QA positions and opportunities, such as QA lead, etc).

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#4 Posted by nazokxx (256 posts) -
thnx a lot for info guys. 1 question thu, can u test games from ur own computer at home?
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#5 Posted by Arath_1 (4688 posts) -

thnx a lot for info guys. 1 question thu, can u test games from ur own computer at home?nazokxx

Well yes, but not as a job I dont think (at least not unless your already somehow involved with the company). That is to say if you want to HAVE a job as a QA tester, much like any other job, you will have to come into the office to test the game. So let me rephrase that I dont believe a company will employ you for the sole reason of testing a game at home, because if they did employ you to test the game you would be doing it as a job and hence have to work within the premises of the company (as the games are usually in a state that cannot be risked being leaked to the public).

Now Beta testing on the other hand is when your granted access to pre-release content in order to test it (again usually under a NDA, Non-Disclosure Agreement). In most cases you sign up to this voluntarilly as a member of the community who would like to help development and in most (all?) cases you wont be paid for this. Any MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game will have beta testing which of course you can do from home whenever you want to really. Againnopay, but meh.

So really if you want to beta test upcomming games, just find out where to sign up and hope you get lucky. Most FPS's and RTS's havecommunity beta tests (most recent comming to mind is Halo 3), again though your only really testing the multiplayer segment since themore gruelling (aka focus)testing has already been done.

Im sure the upcomming Battlefield and Starcarft II will both have beta tests, but touse Starcraft II as an example, the game isALREADY being tested,bypeople employed by blizzard (not neccessarilly specifcally employed fortesting, I.e. somebody who does art may also be testing the game)and I doubt anybody is being specifically paid ONLY to test the game. Also Id expect a Beta phase whereby the gameis opened up to the community to test over the internet, etc.

Sorry for the long post I tendto ramble ^^

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#6 Posted by VinnoT (4649 posts) -
Very good replies there. I found that very interesting.
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#7 Posted by nazokxx (256 posts) -
damn :(. i was hopeing i can test some games at home and get $$.
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#8 Posted by thisissean (37 posts) -
very good info
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#9 Posted by King9999 (11837 posts) -
damn :(. i was hopeing i can test some games at home and get $$.nazokxx
Well, there's this, but I don't know the legitimacy of it.