It is possible for gamers who have a passion for digital play to earn money as a Quality Assurance Game Tester. Companies employ people not to test already released games but to test games which are in production. Testing begins as soon as the first code is written. The testing then increases in hours as the game draws closer to production. Testers look for bugs, art glitches, logic errors and level errors which need to be fixed before release.
Quality Assurance Game Tester
A Quality Assurance Game Tester is responsible for the game working correctly and managing a bug list. The lead tester works closely with designers and programmers reporting analytics. This may include writing different types of reports.
Companies Need Game Testers
There are various departments which link together to produce gaming software. Programming, Art, Audio, Design, and Production departments all have to work individually and eventually together to make the software saleable. Because so many people have a hand in the completion of the software, it is inevitable that mistakes will be made. Game Testers work to make certain the product has a quality assurance guarantee. Companies hire individuals to test their product before the software ever reaches retail stores.
Outsourced Quality Assurance
Individuals can make money testing games in the privacy of their own home. Game publishing companies are outsourcing testing. QA testers accept jobs from the companies and work from home or in an outsourced lab. People who agree to work from home do it because they have a passion for the work and not for aspirations of moving up in the industry. The pro of working from home is that testers become familiar with the process of quality testing. The con of working from home is that testers do not get to interact with developers and producers and without exposure to the daily tasks of a gaming publisher, the tester’s possibilities of career advancement are minimal.
Game Tester Duties
General duties of game testers usually include more than just playing games. Game testers must perform tasks on a checklist. A worksheet task list may include questions, such as: What did you think of the main game menu? How did you like Single-Player Campaign Mode? What are your least favorite parts? How did you like the Multi-Player Mode? What outstanding bugs/glitches did you notice? How did the game perform? Name ways to improve the game?
Game Tester Qualifications
Most companies want their game testers to have at least three-years of previous experience. Game testers should have excellent written and verbal communications skills, experience with PC and console gaming hardware and software, and knowledge of quality assurance cycles. Strong knowledge of networking and multi-player functionality with skills in troubleshooting is all also desired.
For supervisory or management positions, individuals need higher education. Companies want a degree in computer science or course work in computer programming.
Game Tester Earnings
Game testers can expect companies to offer highly competitive salaries and benefit packages for the professional game testers who possess a degree. This area of the software industry is one place for individuals who do not necessarily possess much education can work and make money without the worry of obtaining a degree.
On the Flipside
People who love to play games may think this type of job is somewhere near Heaven. However, there are aspects of this position that may not be so appealing. Some duties require a game tester to play the same game all day long for weeks on end. Playing different games may break the monotony, but the company only wants their tester playing one game and to keep playing it until all the kinks are worked out. Testers must have the ability to write well. This means the game tester must know how to construct a sentence, write with grammatical correctness, and be able to perform analytics.
Companies Hiring Game Testers
Researching online for jobs is the modern practice. Unfortunately, searching the term, “game tester” will give results of all kinds of sale ads wanting the searcher to buy a guide. To browse legitimate jobs who are offering employment, it is best to search the term, “Quality Assurance game tester.” This will return search results of companies, such as Gameshastra.com and Gamecloud Technologies who actually posts in their career sections job opportunities.
Here are a few other Game Industry websites:
School Listings – Many of these schools offer Programming, Graphic Design, and Art & Animation degrees.
- Champlain College – Burlington, VT
- Cogswell Polytechnic – Sunnyvale, CA
- Cornell University – Ithaca, NY
- Daniel Webster College – Nashua, NH
- DePaul University – Chicago, Illinois
- DeVry University
- East Tennessee State University
- Georgia Institute of Technology – Atlanta, GA
- ITT Technical Institute
- Michigan Tech
- Rochester Institute of Technology
- University of Baltimore
- University of Delaware
- University of Denver
- University of Louisiana at Lafayette
- University of Michigan
- University of North Texas
- University of Southern California
- University of Texas at Dallas
- University of Washington Educational Outreach
- Game Testing All In One, by Charles P. Schultz
- Game Development Essentials: Game QA & Testing, by Luis Levy, Jeannie Novak
- Managing the Testing Process, 2nd Ed, by Rex Black
- Testing Computer Software, 2nd Ed, by Cem Kaner
- Masters of Doom, by David Kushner
- The Book of Games Volume 1: The Ultimate Guide to PC and Video Games, by Bendik Stang
- Monster Gaming, by Ben Sawyer
Hope this helps,