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Work as a video game tester: Dream or nightmare?

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Kia ora friends! Today I am going to talk a little about the most consulted topic on the YouTube channel: Work as a Game Tester.

Trabajar jugando videojuegos? Que te paguen por estar 8 horas pegado a la play/xbox/pc? Si! Es posible y acá te cuento todo sobre mi experiencia como Game Tester de Electronic Arts y varias de sus desarrolladoras.

What is and what is NOT a game tester.

The first image you will picture in your head will be a super cool hipster, with his bushy beard, his cup of coffee of single origin, playing while tweeting bullshit on his macbook pro with a touch bar. You are not too far from the actual thing.

The game tester will be a person with an analytical capacity above average, with a good attention to detail and quite well versed in the subject of video games. You will need to speak perfect English (as for any other work on IT) and you will not necessarily know how to program or make 3D, 2D or pixel art.
What he won't do exactly is going to be "playing all day." I want to emphasize this and make it very clear because, after all, it is a job.

Video game overdose: The bad thing about being Game Tester.



The work of the tester will consist of doing quite monothematic and boring actions for long periods of time. It was my job, for example, to test that each weapon made a consistent sound. Or that each surface made a particular sound and generated a mark when shot. Such tasks, in large productions, take a long time. You will be shooting at each type of wall for hours. And you know what? Sometimes you will have to do everything again because the development team sent a new build of the game and the changes introduced casually impact the area you had tried.

In the long run, this is what you don't want to play in your free time. At least that's how it happened to me. I was working on the Expansion Pack 1 of Dragon Age Origins when I completely abandoned the Xbox 360 standalone game. After being 8 hours with a joystick, I DIDN'T feel like doing the same thing again in my free time. That is a somewhat negative aspect: It will impact your gamer life sure.

Not everything is so bad: The good thing about working as a Game Tester.

There are other more fun test areas to work with. One assignment I had, for the game The Saboteur, was to prove that the game was difficult but not impossible in its highest difficulty. Or play a particular mission and try to break it in every possible way. Again ... that mission will be done a thousand times. As soon as I finished it, I restarted it, I ended it, restarted ... and so on.
The same when you have to try local coop or competitive with a tester friend ... in completely broken games. We have unraveled our laughter by testing the FIFA World Cup 2012 for example. Or the lan party testing a Command & Conquer screaming to each other.

Forget the romantic idea of how games are made.

Sometimes you are going to be disappointed with how the industry is managed, realizing that the vile metal rules and, after all, they just want to generate sales. So, you will see how functionalities that seemed super interesting are removed from the game because you, doing your job, found a defect that is too expensive to fix and does not seem worthwhile. Or that development at the expense of quality happens because there is no time. There are also errors that are cataloged as "They are there but we won't fix them". That is ... you are going to smoke them when you buy the game but those who prioritized the defects to be fixed did not consider it important to solve them.

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As you will see, there is a bit of everything. Good and bad things, tedious work hours and entertaining hours. What is something very distinctive about this job and I always rescued, is that you are going to make friends almost certainly. The characters that I found you in this work are amazing!

Maybe at another time I will talk more about the testing of games, entering the technical and processes that are handled today. For today, this is it!

Do not forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel, follow me on instagram, twitter and leave your comments below on what they think of this work! Would you like to do it? You do? Do you want me to talk about something more specific about it? Anything goes!

See you in the next post!


El Geek Gourmet.
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