Welcome to our blog post on the common questions on game testing.
Game testing is a complex field that plays a critical role in releasing polished video game experiences. As gaming technology rapidly evolves, so do the requirements and skills needed to become a professional QA tester.
Enthusiasts passionate about gaming often wonder about pursuing a career in testing but have many questions. These are often around breaking into a video game testing niche role.
In this blog post, we will provide answers to the most common questions on game testing.
We will address important game tester questions like; what exactly does a tester do daily? What skills lead to success in landing those coveted positions? How feasible is moving up the ranks to senior tester status?
In answering these questions, we will uncover key perspectives on the gaming industry’s extensive testing methodologies.
While testing games requires an abundance of passion, it also involves meticulous attention to detail, technical inclinations and willingness to take on repetitive tasks.
Let’s explore essential advice for aspiring and junior game testers to excel in this innovative field brimming with constant innovation. We cover the knowledge and pitfalls to note as you embark on your journey to become a video game tester.
Common Questions on Game Testing – What is Game Testing?
No doubt, what is game testing is one of the most common questions on game testing.
Game testing is the systematic process of evaluating an in-development or completed video game to identify software bugs and usability issues. It is an essential part of quality assurance across the game development lifecycle.
Game testers methodically test builds to ensure functionality, playability and adherence to specifications.
The importance of thorough game testing cannot be overstated. Game testers serve as gatekeepers who verify games function as intended before release.
Their feedback and bug reports directly influence the quality of the final product reaching players. No game can successfully launch without undergoing rigorous testing protocols.
Common Questions on Game Testing – What Does a Game Tester Do?
This is another important common question in game testing. People want to know what game testers do and the importance of their job.
The core role and responsibility of a game tester is to identify problems and defects in-game builds. Testers are involved throughout development, playing builds repeatedly to surface technical bugs, performance issues, crashes and other glitches.
Specific testing tasks include exploring game areas, testing software builds across different hardware, evaluating gameplay and mechanics, assessing achievement systems, documenting issues in tracking systems and verifying fixes.
More advanced testers may also develop test plans, write automation scripts, lead testing teams, and interface with development leads.
What are the Common Types of Game Testers?
This is yet another one of the top-ranking significant common questions on game testing.
Game testing encompasses evaluating many interconnected aspects of video game software and hardware performance.
As games become more complex with online connectivity, expansive worlds and cross-device functionality, specialized sub-disciplines of game testing have emerged.
While all testers broadly work to identify software defects and gameplay issues, some concentrate on specific types of testing.
These niche focuses allow testers to gain deeper technical skills and serve indispensable roles in enhancing targeted facets of games.
Some of the major types of game testers include:
Functionality testers conduct core assessments of critical components like mechanics, controls, progression systems and UI. They methodically playtest the central functioning elements of gameplay systems and features.
Their testing verifies game completeness against specifications and intended functionality.
For example, a fighting game tester would rigorously test out hitboxes and frame data of every attack combination for characters.
An RPG tester would evaluate dialogue trees, skill upgrades, loot drops, and experience point systems. Identifying flaws early on saves extensive rework later.
Compliance game testers specialize in ensuring video games meet legal and regulatory standards before going to market. This includes verifying rating systems like ESRB are adhered to, and flagging any objectionable content.
Compliance experts also validate games that satisfy international laws around data privacy, intellectual property, advertising standards and accessibility requirements.
Staying current on policies, rating criteria, and platform holder rules is crucial for compliance testers. They serve as gatekeepers upholding ethical values and keeping studios out of legal trouble.
Games are increasingly released across multiple international regions and translated into different languages.
This is where specialized localization testers come in to validate that translated text, audio dialogue and in-game terminology appear correctly in each supported language.
In addition to surface-level testing of adaptations, localization experts also identify more subtle issues. For instance, certain symbols, gestures or colour schemes hold different meanings across global audiences. Ensuring playability for international gamers is key.
As mobile devices become a dominant gaming platform, dedicated mobile game testers focus on the unique testing considerations of smartphones and tablets.
This includes validating touchscreen controls and interactions, battery usage, device compatibility, and optimizing performance across low-powered handheld chips.
Mastering the many versions of Android and iOS, plus testing games on popular mobile chipsets like Snapdragon and A13 Bionic has become essential for mobile testers. Their specialized device knowledge amplifies mobile gaming experiences.
The types of game testers described above demonstrate the diverse sub-disciplines that have emerged in game QA to enhance overall software reliability and user enjoyment. Specialization allows testers to gain expertise across the exponentially growing complexity of games.
What are the Game Tester Skill Requirements?
Recently, there have been some common questions on game testing around game tester skill requirements.
Succeeding as a game tester requires a diverse set of specialized technical abilities combined with critical soft skills in communication, analysis and persistence.
Mastering this well-rounded skill set helps testers excel in identifying issues quickly, documenting bugs clearly, and working collaboratively with game developers.
Let’s break down the must-have competencies:
Technical Game Testing Skills
The most fundamental skill for testers is comprehensive knowledge of gaming equipment and platforms. You should have extensive hands-on experience with consoles, gaming PCs, mobile devices, virtual reality setups, graphics cards and processing hardware.
Familiarity with optimal game configuration, settings, controllers and accessories is essential.
A strong grasp of game engines (Unity, Unreal etc.) and programming languages is also key. While you won’t be coding games as a tester, understanding how games are created allows you to better recognize under-the-hood issues.
Knowledge of 3D modelling tools, animation principles, game AI and visual effects also helps you better recognize inconsistencies.
Once bugs are identified, properly logging them in tracking tools is critical. Structuring reports with reproducible steps, screenshots, system specs, severity classification and other details is expected. You’ll need proficiency in popular tools like Jira, TestRail and proprietary systems.
On top of technical training, soft skills allow testers to apply testing expertise in a collaborative environment. Strong written and verbal communication means constructively discussing issues with programmers, designers, and producers.
You’ll describe complex problems requiring both technical precision and easy digestibility across various stakeholders.
Persistence is key when combing through huge open worlds hunting for bugs and attempting to trigger crashes. Creatively testing edge case scenarios over and over demands tenacity. Being highly organized while methodically re-testing areas after new builds also helps.
Bringing user empathy to evaluate overall gameplay enjoyment and friction requires imagination too. Combining creativity with analytical assessment and attention to detail makes for a well-rounded testing approach.
Mastering this basket of specialized talents opens up exciting game-testing careers!
The technical and soft skills described above demonstrate the multifaceted combination needed to thrive in game QA roles. While requiring dedication to learn, these future-proof competencies equip testers to handle the dynamic complexity of modern video games.
What are some Common Interview Questions on Game Testing?
Some common questions on game testing that aspiring testers are asked during interviews include:
- How would you test saving and loading of game progress?
- How do you prioritize bugs that must be fixed vs. nice-to-have improvements?
- What steps would you take when crashes occur at a specific game location?
- How would you test in-app purchases and currency systems?
- What would you test specifically on mobile game builds?
Being able to answer these questions and demonstrate testing principles is key to landing a game tester role.
Common Questions on Game Testing – What are the Challenges Faced by Game Testers?
Our blog will not be complete if we fail to offer the answers to some of the common questions on game testing as regards challenges of testing.
Game testing can be an extremely rewarding career for gaming enthusiasts. However, it also comes with intense demands involving long hours, tedious tasks, and high expectations around issue detection and reporting quality.
Let’s explore 5 key challenges testers routinely face:
Extremely Long Hours
As game projects near critical launch milestones, testers often face months of prolonged crunch time. 12+ hour workdays including nights and weekends are common.
As new builds are completed, testers scramble to regression test prior fixes while assessing new content and features. This leads to high pressure in trying to balance thoroughness with fast turnaround. Being judged on bug counts found daily can be gruelling.
Repetitive Testing Tasks
The nature of systematically testing software lends itself to performing repetitive test scripts. While developers optimize games during the polish phase, testers retest the same levels, mechanics and UI flows over and over after each improvement.
Combining through massive open worlds hunting down texture glitches demands meticulousness but can be mind-numbing without passion.
Recreating Elusive Issues
While some bugs easily and consistently manifest when reproducing explicit steps, others only occur under very specific conditions that are difficult to recreate. Tracking down these elusive but serious defects requires deep persistence.
For example, certain race conditions may only happen once in 100 gameplay attempts or only on particular graphics drivers. Identifying workarounds demands flexibility.
When tasked with repeatedly playtesting the same areas of a game for months as builds evolve during development, testers risk becoming overly acclimatized.
Being so familiar with gameplay scenarios can cause you to miss obvious issues from a fresh player’s perspective. Remaining consciously analytical despite massive playtime exposure poses challenges.
Brilliant game testers thrive on these demands by upholding structured processes while staying relentlessly curious. Combining meticulous methodology with creativity reveals overlooked issues.
Quality testing platforms are unforgettable gaming art. Persevering through the struggles builds satisfying careers.
What are the Opportunities Available for Game Testers?
The common questions on game testing extend to the areas of opportunities for video game testers.
Beyond the thrill of being the first players on hot new titles, game testing also offers tremendous career growth and salaries on par with software development roles. Let’s explore advancement timelines.
Entry Level Testing
Getting your foot in the door starts with landing a quality assurance tester or associate position. Expected entry-level salaries typically fall between $38,000 to $45,000 annually. Those with computer science degrees and specialized gaming knowledge may start closer to $50,000.
Landing an associate role means quickly proving technical diligence and testing coverage abilities on a development team. It also provides opportunities to demonstrate communication skills conveying issues to programmers and producers.
Advancing to Senior Tester
After 2-3 years of accumulated title experience identifying tricky bugs and optimizing test planning, advancement to a senior tester role opens up. Senior testers qualify for more input into quality standards and test focus areas based on expertise. They also help mentor more junior testers. The role jump is accompanied by average salary increases to around $58,000 for seniors.
Management and Team Lead
5 years of progression opens promotion pathways into managerial positions like Test Lead, QA Lead or Test Manager. This level oversees all functional testing for game titles or handles platform-level testing across studios. Salaries also see a boost up to approximately $78,000 on average.
These leadership roles coordinate testing schedules, set bug-fixing priorities, run regression testing, and influence overall game quality targets. They build out and manage testing teams while interfacing tightly with producers.
Some seasoned video game testers also transition into specialized disciplines like User Researcher or Game Designer leveraging their extensive gameplay expertise. Others move into Production to help with planning and coordination.
Salaries rise to over $90,000+ for these vital creative influential positions.
Game testing careers start with technical diligence before unlocking access to decision-making and creative influence. The exciting field rewards passionate innovation with impact and income.
How Can One Become a Game Tester?
This is one of the most common questions on game testing on the lips of aspiring video game testers.
Aspiring to play hot new games first and influence top titles may seem like a dream job, but strategic preparation can land you an exciting career in game testing. Let’s break down the key steps to transition from gaming enthusiast to professional QA tester.
Gain Relevant Education
While some studios hire testers based on passion alone, taking university courses related to game design, computer science or software engineering provides vital foundations for excelling in QA roles long-term.
Coursework dives deep into programming languages, 3D graphics rendering, game engines, interactive architecture, and principles around asset creation workflows. This background knowledge aids tremendously in understanding bugs and communicating clearly with development teams.
Build an Impressive Portfolio
Whether or not formal education is pursued, creating a portfolio of written gameplay evaluations and documentation of identified issues is pivotal when applying for junior tester jobs. This showcase of deliverables proves to studios your capability to provide quality feedback aligned with industry standards.
Portfolios can include written game reviews, test cases, sample bug reports, comparisons of titles across genres, UI/UX analysis and other structured gaming assessments. Use online forum posts to practice professional writing.
Creating connections with studio test managers, developers and recruiters is invaluable when hundreds of applications flood in per job opening. Attend industry events, join gaming societies, volunteer for moderation/admin roles in communities, and connect with team members on LinkedIn.
Share your experience and testing principles while expressing interest in openings.
When possible, pursue internships under seasoned QA mentors for a hands-on look at testing tools, asset handling and reporting workflows. Use networking to unlock future references and direct mentorship opportunities.
With passion, technical knowledge and relationship building, securing an entry-level tester job becomes possible. Deliver meticulous results, then progress quickly into leadership roles with player-perspective influence!
From everything that we have so far discussed on the common questions on game testing, there are some important things to take note of.
Game testing is a unique career path that allows you to combine technical diligence with creative gaming passion. Testers get the exciting opportunity to directly impact and improve acclaimed titles at leading studios.
By mastering both the software and artistic aspects of video games, savvy testers provide insights that lead to smoother gameplay. Also, their services offer tighter controls and truly immersive worlds that capture players’ imaginations. For those willing to learn the disciplines around structured testing, game testing offers a challenging yet rewarding life at the digital frontier crafting interactive experiences.