Are you interested in becoming a game tester? It’s a great way to get paid to play video games! But where do you start?
This blog will provide you with everything you need to know about becoming a game tester, from the basics of what it entails to the different types of jobs available. So if you’re ready to learn more about this exciting career opportunity, read on!
Why is game testing important?
User experience is key for any successful game, and that means making sure the game is fun and free of any frustrating bugs or glitches. That’s where game testing comes in.
Game testing is the process of playing through a game to identify any issues with the gameplay, graphics, audio, or other aspects of the game. Testers work to identify these problems so they can be fixed before the game is released to the public.
Not only does this ensure that players have a positive experience when they play the game, but it can also save the development team a lot of time and money in the long run. It’s much cheaper to fix a problem during development than it is to try to patch it after the fact.
The different types of game testing
There are various types of game testing, each with its own set of objectives.
The most common types of game testing are alpha and beta testing.
- Alpha testing is usually conducted by the developers themselves or by a small group of testers within the company. The purpose of alpha testing is to find bugs and glitches that need to be fixed before the game is released to the public.
- Beta testing, on the other hand, is conducted by a larger group of people who are not part of the development team. Beta testers are usually recruited from among the game’s target market or from online gaming communities. The purpose of beta testing is to get feedback on the game from players who are not familiar with its development history. Beta testing usually takes place after alpha testing and before the game’s official release.
Other types of game testing include usability testing, compatibility testing, load testing, and stress testing.
- Usability testing is conducted to assess how easy it is for players to use the game’s interface and controls.
- Compatibility testing is done to ensure that the game can be played on various hardware and software platforms.
- Load testing is performed to check if the game can handle a large number of players simultaneously without crashing or experiencing any other technical issues.
- Stress testing assesses how well the game performs under situations where players are putting it through extended periods of heavy usage.
Game testing can be a time-consuming and tedious process, but it is essential in order to create a high-quality video game product.
How to get started in game testing?
Many people think that you need to be a great gamer to be a game tester. The truth is, that being a great gamer can help you become a better tester, but it is not a requirement. In fact, many of the best testers out there are not even particularly good at playing video games!
The key to being a successful game tester is having the ability to pick out problems and pinpoint bugs quickly and efficiently.
If you’re interested in becoming a game tester, the first step is to research the companies that are hiring. You can find a list of companies that hire game testers and offer game testing services.
Next, you will want to create a resume or CV specifically for game testing positions. Be sure to list any relevant experience you have, such as customer service or quality assurance experience. You should also list any gaming experience you have, even if it’s just casual gaming with friends.
Once you have applied to several companies and submitted your resume, the next step is to prepare for your interviews. Interviews for game testing jobs may vary depending on the company, but they will typically involve questions about your gaming experience, your problem-solving skills, and your ability to work well under pressure.
Be sure to dress professionally for your interviews, and come prepared with questions of your own for the interviewer. Game testing jobs can be competitive, so it’s important to make a good impression!
If you’re selected for a position, congratulations! The next step is to complete any necessary training before you begin your new job. Once you start working, remember to take advantage of all the resources available to you so that you can learn as much as possible about video game testing.
The benefits of game testing
There are many benefits to game testing, both for the developer and for the player. Testing can help to ensure that a game is balanced and fun and that it runs smoothly on all devices.
It can also give developers insights into how players interact with their game, and what they enjoy most about it. Players also stand to benefit from game testing. By playing through a game prior to its release, testers can provide valuable feedback that can help make the final product even better. They can also help to spot any potential bugs or glitches, ensuring that the game is as polished as possible before it hits store shelves.
The drawbacks of game testing
From the game developer’s perspective, game testing has a number of drawbacks:
- It can be expensive – both in terms of the money spent on hiring testers, and the opportunity cost of taking someone away from other work in order to test a game.
- It can slow down development – if a game is halted every time a bug is found, this can lead to significant delays. Some developers, therefore, prefer to ‘crunch’ at the end of development in order to get a game finished and out on time.
- Testers may not find all bugs – despite their best efforts, it is impossible for testers to find every single bug in a game. Some bugs may only occur under specific circumstances which are difficult to replicate, or may only be found by players after the game has been released.
- Players may not encounter all bugs – even if a tester finds a bug, there is no guarantee that players will encounter it during normal gameplay. This is especially true of less serious bugs which do not have a major impact on gameplay.
How to make the most of game testing?
As a game tester, it is important to remember that you are being paid to play video games and to find issues with them. You are not being paid to enjoy the game or play it how the developers intended.
There are a number of ways you can make the most out of your game testing job and be an asset to the development team.
- Test all aspects of the game: When you are playing the game, keep in mind that you are looking for any and all issues with it. This means testing every aspect of the game, from the graphics to the gameplay mechanics. Make sure to document any and all issues you find so that they can be fixed.
- Be patient: Finding bugs can be frustrating, but it is important to be patient when playing a game during testing. Remember that you are not playing the game for fun, but for work. If you get too frustrated, take a break and come back later.
- Communicate with the development team: It is important to communicate well with the development team so that they are aware of any issues you are having with the game. Be sure to keep them updated on your progress and let them know if you need any help.
How to avoid the pitfalls of game testing?
Whenever you’re testing a game, you will inevitably run into problems. It’s important to be aware of the most common pitfalls so that you can avoid them.
1. Not knowing the scope of the project
One of the most common problems testers face is not knowing the scope of the project they are working on. This can lead to confusion and frustration later on. Be sure to ask your manager or lead tester for a clear understanding of what you should be testing.
2. Not documenting your findings
Documenting your findings is essential for any tester. Without documentation, it’s difficult to track progress and identify trends. If you don’t document your findings, you may miss out on important details that could make or break the game.
3. Not reporting bugs in a timely manner
Bugs need to be reported in a timely manner so that they can be fixed before the game is released. If you wait too long to report a bug, it may not be able to be fixed in time. In some cases, bugs may not be able to be fixed at all. Make sure to report bugs as soon as you find them.
4. Not being able to reproduce bugs
If you can’t reproduce a bug, it may not be able to be fixed. When reporting a bug, include as much information as possible so that it can be reproduced by the developers. The more information they have, the easier it will be to fix the bug.
5. Not being trained properly
Testers need to be properly trained before they can start testing a game. Otherwise, they won’t know what they should be doing or how to do it properly. Make sure you receive proper training from your manager or lead tester before starting work on a project.
Game testing tips and tricks
There are a number of game testing tips and tricks you can use to help improve your game testing process. By understanding and utilizing these tips, you can become a more effective game tester, and provide better feedback to your team.
- One of the most important things you can do as a game tester is to play the game as much as possible. The more you play, the more familiar you will become with the mechanics, and the more likely you are to find bugs.
- When playing the game, take note of anything that seems unusual or out of place. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t, and you should report it to your team.
- Pay attention to detail. One of the most important aspects of game testing is finding small details that are wrong or could be improved upon. By paying close attention to your surroundings while playing the game, you are more likely to catch these small details.
- Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a video game. Game development is a long and complicated process, and it can take months or even years to complete a game. As a tester, it is important to be patient and understand that not every bug can be fixed immediately.
- Be flexible. Things change all the time during game development, and as a tester, you need to be able to adapt to these changes quickly. If a new feature is added or an old one is removed, it’s important that you are able to adjust your testing accordingly without missing a beat.
- Communicate effectively with your teammates and developers. One of the most important parts of being a good tester is being able to communicate effectively with those around you. If you don’t understand something or think something could be better, make sure to speak up so that those in charge can make changes accordingly
The future of game testing
Like most areas of the games industry, game testing is in a state of constant change. Technological advances mean that more and more games are being made using procedurally generated content, which in turn means that the old way of doing things – having a team of testers play through the game manually checking for bugs – is no longer practical.
With this in mind, here are five ways that game testing is likely to change in the next few years.
- Automated testing will become more prevalent
- The role of the human tester will change
- The line between development and testing will blur
- The collaboration will be key
- The focus will shift to player experience
Testing games can be a rewarding experience for you and your favorite game studio!