Just a couple of years back, when the knowledge of the position of a computer game tester was not so common, many people quietly dreamed that they could earn money by indulging in their passion: playing games. Today it’s possible! How to become a computer game tester and what do they do?
Great fun combined with work – can it get any better?
Fans of computer games certainly dream about being able to play for money. While participation in gaming tournaments is not for everyone, the position of a game tester seems to be much more accessible. However, keep in mind, that the love of gaming alone doesn’t make a person suitable for this position. In addition, you have to meet certain requirements that are imposed by the game developers and can vary at times. What’s more, working as a game tester most often consists in finding errors in the initial phase of its development, and thus – it’s difficult to talk about the actual pleasure of playing when everything doesn’t look as it should. It is rather a tedious search for either tiny or grand bugs that could adversely affect the game’s performance in the later stages.
Of course, doing this is very rewarding and makes the tester feel that he has done a really good job. Keep in mind, however, that testing a game doesn’t have much to do with actually playing it, more – with jotting down what isn’t right. In the next stages of creating a game, the testing of its individual elements is divided between specific teams. Then, when the mentioned teams seem to have everything ready – they can move to the so-called betatests. It’s all about checking the final product and the actual possibility of playing the game, while being vigilant about minor and major errors. This opportunity is usually offered to players.
Types of games under test
After the pre-testing phase is over, it goes on to a thorough test of various aspects of the game. This means – for example – language testers will check the linguistic correctness of dialogues or longer text blocks, and testers who are more familiar with graphics – are given the task of checking the quality and correctness of textures, as well as the overall appearance of individual graphics in the game.
As a result, after completing the initial phase of validation – the computer game tester will take care of what he feels confident in. Recruiters make every effort to ensure that individual people are properly selected for a given position: so that the effect of their work is the best, and the tasks themselves – pleasant for the employee. This is crucial, as the beta tester has to stay alert at all time and thus – he has to be interested in what he is doing.
Requirements for the position of a computer game tester
Working as a game tester requires certain skills, without which the proper performance of the assigned tasks is not only difficult, but often – even impossible. One of the most important requirements is the knowledge of English at least on a communicative level (known as B2). Currently, most computer games are created in English, and thus – people without knowledge of this language have literally no chance of finding employment. Other foreign language might be an additional advantage, and sometimes even a requirement in some situations.
Of course (although we probably don’t even have to mention it) – people who love to play will be the best testers. During the interview, the question might be asked about what games we played – it is worth preparing in advance and remembering which titles are known to us.
Computer game testers should also have at least basic IT knowledge. Being familiar with some basic topics when it comes to programming will certainly facilitate the performance of the game testers’. The focus on details and great perceptiveness are also important. The point is to spot even the smallest inaccuracies and pass them on to developers who will be able to fix them before the game will be released to a wider group. The testers who stood on the other side of the barricade certainly know that players can be ruthless, so when creating the game – developers try to remove as many bugs as possible.
Recruitement process step by step
We already know more or less what is required on the game beta tester position, and now it’s time to determine how to become one. First of all, it is worth getting some experience on the task. How to do it? With te simplest way possible: by applying for beta tests, which are now often run by game developers. Also, it happens that the game developers notice the effectiveness of the best beta testers and offer them a job – which is the easiest way to start a career as a computer game tester.
However, if such a scenario has not been implemented – another way to start working as game beta tester is to submit a CV for a job offer. These types of recruitments are advertised on the most popular job sites – so just stay vigilant and check it out frequently. After verifying the CV, the recruiter will contact the selected candidates, so it’s a good idea to place all the information that may interest them in our candidacy.
The recruitment process usually consists of two stages – an interview and a short test. The former involves checking the candidate’s knowledge of English, as well as other competences (you might expect some questions about games you played or the knowledge of programming). The test will check your skills live.
Both parts are extremely important, so you shouldn’t ignore the interview with the recruiter or the test itself, and prepare properly for both parts of the recruitment process. Good luck!