Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why Testing Games is Boring

Speaking of dream jobs, I often hear guys talk about wanting to be a professional game tester as their career because then they can just get paid to play video games all day. Yeah, it's not as attractive as it sounds. Imagine being told that you need to play a certain stage of the latest Dora the Explorer game at least 100 times until you find all the bugs in the software.

In most small to medium studios, the developers themselves have to do the testing. They organize a chunk of time where everyone installs the latest revision to play through for 2 hours or more. Your goal is not to have fun, but to try out every crazy move imaginable that a user might do. That way the player's character won't get stuck in the side of a cliff when trying to climb over the "insurmountable" mountain that's merely part of the background scenery. And to think that Sony wants to make a reality TV show about this...


Ilse said...

A friend of mine has a 16 year old boy who doesn't do sh*t at school. He now needs to make some career choices and told his mother that the only thing he wanted to do was... yeah, right: video game tester.

I sent her your blogpost, thanks!

A Gamer's Wife said...

Haha, I hear a lot of high school boys say that. It's not so fun when a) you don't have a choice in what you play and b) you're playing the same levels over and over to try to break the game.

Another similar job is being a moderator for a game like World at Warcraft. Sure, you're infinitely powerful, but you spend all your time taking care of bad-mouthing kids.