Top 5 Skills You Need to Possess to Make a Career in Video Game Testing

Each one of us has at some point of the time wished to be playing video games all day long.  From car racing to VR based games, from strategy games to simple puzzles, every game has an attraction and a fascination towards it.

While there are dedicated video game developers and game artists behind creating these interesting games, there is a different tribe called Video Game Testers or Test Engineers as we call them at GlobalStep who dedicate themselves to ensure that the game that will eventually be released in the market should be error free and give the avid gamer a superlative gaming experience.

So what does it take to be a video game tester?

Being acquainted with games and gameplay
Yes, no doubt that you need to be game savvy and familiar with various formats of the game. Since you’ll be spending a ton of time with whatever game you’re testing, companies will expect that you already have some gaming skills and a gaming vocabulary. This requirement should be a slam dunk for any person who wants to become a successful video game tester.

Be an excellent communicator
The Test Engineers spend a lot of time communicating with their teams either through email, chat and/or face-to-face. This means you must listen carefully when others are speaking, you need to be asking questions to clarify what others are saying when you’re in a conversation and you should be able to express your thoughts and ideas in a concise manner that others can understand.

Furthermore, if you think your spelling and grammar isn’t so good, well maybe spend a little time working on that. It will be worth the effort to help build yourself a career with leading video game testing companies across the world.

Being Meticulous
Yes, paying attention to detail pays off if you want to grow as a video game test engineer. Game Testers spend a lot of their time doing things like looking for bugs, writing bug reports, verifying fixes and regressing bugs that they had written previously. So, to excel at these tasks demand that you be observant, thorough in your work, organized and patient.

Of course, this is something that you can learn and develop with practice.

Being Self-Motivated and taking ownership!
Being a game tester doesn’t mean to just sit around and get paid to play games all day. The reality is testers play games all day that are unfinished, unbalanced, often incredibly broken. They’ll play the same broken game over and over every day, sometimes overnight and on weekends for months – and possibly even years, depending on the game.

It can be incredibly tedious work that requires a lot of commitment and attention to detail. People who land their first testing job are often surprised by how challenging the position can be. Most of the testers time is spent repeatedly testing certain features, systems, and small-to-moderate chunks of actual gameplay. Sometimes, the testers don’t get to play the entire game until near end of the development cycle.

Should be able to think outside the box
It would be highly desirable that the testers should bring their creativity out of them and must be tinkerers and have the natural curiosity embedded in them to try and identify some difficult defects in the game. The “outside the box” thinking people who like finding out how things work and solving problems would become a successful tester. Patience and a good sense of humor go a long way in this job.

GlobalStep is hiring at various levels of testing and localization tester positions. Do visit our career section to know more about the latest job openings.

[Rahul Patil, leads the HR function at GlobalStep. He ensures that the right kind of talent with right skills and appropriate attitude is hired.]

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What its like to be a woman game tester

A long-standing gender stereotype has been that women don’t like video games. With a 40:60 women:men ratio at GlobalStep’s QA Lab, we beg to differ! Not only women love video games, they are brilliant at it.

Since a long time female gamers have commonly been regarded as a minority, but industry surveys in the past few years have shown that in time the gender ratio has become closer to equal. As per a recent study*, 52% of gamers worldwide are in fact, women!

Women in the games industry are both designing and testing games. And we caught up with a few women game testers from our QA Lab in a candid interview. Read on to know how they deal with gender stereotype, what’s their all-time favorite game and more…


Why did you get into game testing?

You get to play games all day long, why else? Breaking the stereotype, our women game testers share, “We grew up playing video games. It has always been our passion.” One of the youngest girls from the group told us, “I was the only girl from my college in the Counter Strike team. Not only did I play the game but I won various Counter Strike inter-college tournaments with my team which btw was all boys!” Bravo!

What are the most important skills required to become a game tester?

“Many people think that because they like to play video games; they can be game testers… Well, that’s not entirely true. Yes, you do need to have the passion for playing but you also need some core skills like analytical thinking, you should be detail oriented and must have the eye to actually catch bugs while playing the game. Once you catch a bug, you need to be able to find the steps that will replicate the glitch. You also need a lot of patience! As a game tester, your tolerance to do repetitive and tedious tasks is tested every single day and you just need to learn to be persistent. Being able to work well in a team is important too.”

How do people react when you tell them you are a game tester?

The response to this question was in unison!

“Men think of us as Gods!”

“Women are always keen to know more. ‘What do you do exactly?’, ‘So you play video games all the time?’ or sometimes ‘Is that even a job!’ are the most common questions.”

What do you do when you take a break from testing games? Once a game tester, can you still be a gamer?

So when non game-testers take a break, we may interest ourselves in some sort of mobile or PC games, right? Our game testers can’t do this anymore and here’s why, “Since I became a game tester, it’s not so much fun anymore. Every time I play any game for recreation, I start spotting bugs. It’s difficult to switch off being a professional game tester! Having said that, I still love to play games for recreation.”

Wow, that seems like a professional hazard! One of the ladies shared what happened to her favorite mobile game after she became a game tester, “I used to play this very famous and addictive puzzle game and reached a really high level when I had to stop playing it.  Every time I would view the result screen on the game and clicked continue, it went into non-progression mode and had to be forced closed and restarted. My inner game tester couldn’t take it anymore. I reported that bug to the publisher and uninstalled the game. Now I play other more interesting games and try not to look for bugs!”

Is it true that women and men are better are at certain kind of games?

*Stats show men prefer action games while women prefer puzzle games. We asked the ladies if they agree, “That’s quite true actually. Women are mostly better at puzzle games as we are much better at problem-solving skills including logic, pattern recognition, sequence solving, and word completion. And men are mostly better at Combat, Role Playing, Adventure and Strategy games.”

“That doesn’t mean women game testers don’t test Combat games. As a matter of fact, women can focus better in testing bugs related to navigation or sound compared to men in such games as men get influenced by storytelling in, women don’t.” How very interesting!

Which is your current favorite game?

This question had the most varied answers of all! From puzzle to role playing to strategic games, these ladies love them all. Their favorites include – Shin Megami Tensei which is a post-apocalyptic role-playing game, Clash of Clans which is a famous strategy game and 4 Pics 1 Word, a fascinating puzzle game.

Do you play the games you test in your free time?

“Sometimes!”

“The developers / publishers, GlobalStep works with, make some really interesting games and it’s obvious that we would like to continue to play them instead of just testing. Once we are done with our daily tasks, we hang around in the gaming-zone where we can play any of the released titles on any platform be it mobile, console, VR, PC etc.” Perks of being a game tester, eh?

 

For a long time, video games have been designed keeping men in mind. Even with women making up the majority among games users, as characters / protagonists they are still mostly non-existent. From what we see with these intelligent women gamers around us, it’s time for the game designers and publishers to broaden the appeal of their games to both genders equally.

 

Source:

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/18/52-percent-people-playing-games-women-industry-doesnt-know
  2. https://deltadna.com/blog/gender-split-in-f2p-games/
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