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23 Apr 09 Game Testing, Not As Exciting As You May Think

Anybody who plays videogames on any sort of a regular basis has had that thought at least once, how cool would it be if I could get paid to play videogames?  And as we all know, for a select few there really is a career available in which you are paid to play games, that is the job of the videogame tester.  Someone who plays the game in the beta stages to point out flaws and anything else that may be problematic throughout a game’s development cycle.  While this sounds like it could be an awful lot of fun, game testing is actually no picnic.

First off, it’s not like you’re going to be getting to play your favorite game for hours on end, having fun and making a living wage from your efforts.  In actuality you’re forced to play something that’s likely to he horrible, for long periods of time, and analyzing every second of the experience.  Game testers are around to spot the smallest things, such as graphical errors, or collision detection issues with a game’s physics engine, and these require a massive amount of time to completely figure out.  So instead of playing through a level and getting paid for it, you’re really critiquing every pixel in the level to a daunting extent, and reporting back to development teams so that they can fix and edit the game accordingly.

Not exactly a party.

Not to mention a game testers schedule becomes increasingly more grueling as deadlines begin to loom.  Meaning a tester could end up putting in 12 to 14 hour days, playing the same levels and portions of gameplay over and over again, with the same repetitive movements and requirements, in an effort to nit pick every single detail.  Not exactly a dream job, and you can see why most testers burn out in a relatively short period of time.

I’m thinking most people misjudge the opportunity as a dream job, and then find themselves shocked into reality when they see just how much work playing videogames can be.

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Tags: , , Beta Stages, Collision Detection, , Favorite Game, Fun Game, Game Testers, Game Testing, Gameplay, Graphical Errors, Having Fun, , , , Physics Engine, Picnic, Pixel, Repetitive Movements, Short Period

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