By Mike Chen
Picture this: you and some buddies kicking back and spending the day playing the latest video games – before they are even released to the public! Sound good? Now imagine you’re getting paid too; you’re one of the lucky people doing video game testing jobs from home!
On the surface of course, working from home testing the latest video games probably seems like the ultimate career opportunity for young gamers. Having access to the hottest upcoming titles, the programmers and artists and being a part of the team bringing game to market is exciting and rewarding. But this type of opportunity requires far more than good hand/eye coordination!
Testing is part of an overall quality assurance process that requires an eye for detail, excellent communication skills and an enormous amount of patience. Playing a video game over and over or repeating a series of actions to reach a specific point in a game 30 or 40 times is tedious and can cause burnout very quickly. It’s literally not all fun and games!
When you’re actually sitting there playing a video game, testing specific features and functions, you also have to follow a process for communicating bugs or other errors. For example, when you identify a problem with the game, you first check a log to determine whether or not it’s already been reported. If not, you need to carefully document the error, often writing several pages of a description of what occurred and of course instructions for replicating it.
Once the bug has been corrected, regression testing kicks in – you go back and test again and again to ensure that the problem is indeed fixed. You also have to re-test the video game to ensure that the changes made to the original bug did not in turn create any new problems. This is where the process gets especially boring and repetitive. Remember, you’re not doing this to win the game!
You should also be aware that video game testing begins around the time the game is approximately 75% complete. Most often this means that there will be gaps in game sequences, codes that don’t work, audio tracks may not be available and so on. So as part of your work to test the game, you’ve got to keep a clear division between what is incomplete and what is really a bug. On the upside though, if you are one of those people who tends to easily notice the bugs in games, you’ll be happy to know that some employers even offer bonuses for the number of bugs a tester finds.
Really the truth is that every job has its downside and, despite all of the not-so-fun parts of testing video games, the testers do have very cool jobs. After all, they do get to work from the comfort of their home, which often means setting their own hours. Playing video games for different platforms or game consoles exposes them to the latest gaming technology well ahead of their friends. If you’re an enthusiastic gamer, finding good video game testing jobs from home could become a fantasy career for you!
About the Author: Mike Chen is a video gaming junkie who loves the good and bad of
video game testing jobs from home
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