In Summary - Games Tester
Runs repeated tests on pre-release video games to ensure there are no glitches or problems with the software or game design.
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The Work - Games Tester
Testing is a vital part of producing a computer game. As well as finding and recording programming faults (bugs), you would also play the role of the game’s first public user. You would report on its playability and recommend improvements. As part of a team of quality assurance (QA) testers, you would:
- play games in detail and in as many ways as possible
- test different levels and versions of a game
- check its performance against what the designer intended
- compare the game against others on the market
- note problems and suggest improvements
- try to work out what is causing a problem
- try to recreate the problem, recording the steps you took
- check accessibility options
- check for spelling mistakes and copyright issues such as logos
- check the text on packaging and in instruction manuals
- enter each 'bug report' into a quality management system
- work to strict deadlines.
You would work closely with programmers, artists and designers before a game is released, and with customer support teams after it is on the market. Some jobs may involve checking and translating in-game instructions and manuals for overseas markets.
Interests - Games Tester
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
To become a computer games tester you will need:
- excellent analytical and problem-solving skills
- a passion for playing computer games and an ability to play at high levels
- good written and spoken communication skills
- an understanding of quality assurance processes
- the ability to work well as part of a team
- a tactful manner
- good negotiation skills
- the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
- patience and persistence, for repetitive work
- a methodical and disciplined approach
- excellent attention to detail
- a good knowledge of the games market
- a willingness to work flexibly
- good office computer skills.
Foreign language skills are also useful for testing games aimed at overseas markets.