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Paris GDC - Part 6 - Who wants to be a Game Tester? Print E-mail
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Written by Christophor "SuperGuido" Rick   
Saturday, 28 June 2008

[OpEd]

While at the conference I had the opportunity to talk to a few company reps for various games related services. I thought I would put them all together in one post but I found that some had loads of information and so that would be an extremely long post. So I will break them into several posts to keep from putting you to sleep. The first company I talked to was Enzyme Labs.

 

An enzyme is a biological molecule, usually a protein, that catalyzes a reaction helping the reaction to complete faster or more efficiently. Enzyme Labs does games testing. Why do you care? Well if you want to get into the games industry a game testing job would be a good place to start and get some experience. The Montreal, Canada based company currently employs around 275-350 testers at any given time. They have worked on 250 titles this year (a title being a SKU basically in that the same game on 3 platforms would be three titles) including games from companies like Ubisoft and Atari. They have about 80 linguists on staff covering 12 languages for localization testing purposes.

OK now on to the why it’s important to you part of the article. As Enyzme is always looking to grow their business that means they are on occasion looking to grow their tester pool. So I thought I would ask them some questions about getting into game testing. The skill set they want includes being a gamer. If you’re reading this you’ve probably got that one covered. But you also have to have excellent communication skills and a lot of patience. A major part of game testing is playing the same level over and over again looking for possible bugs and flaws. When you find one you have to have the documentation skills so that you can explain the bug in detail and give accurate directions on how to reproduce it. This means you need to have a good memory and excellent organizational skills.

Being a game tester is not all fun and games. It’s a serious job that is necessary so that companies can put out the best games available. They also said it would be very helpful if you were linguistically inclined. That means knowing things like the difference between the past participle and a relative clause. After all you’ll be checking the text for spelling and grammar mistakes (sorry CigDangle and snorkel...that rules you two out). If you’re fluent in multiple languages then you would be of immense value to them especially if one of the languages was a less common one like Czech. Finally, you’ve got to be willing to relocate or to travel to them whenever they have work for you. Due to security all testing is done in their secure locations so that versions of unfinished, upcoming games don’t go walkabout or are compromised in some other fashion.

If you’re interested in becoming a game tester for Enzyme Labs they’ll first require you to pass a test and then if that goes well and you meet their needs you’ll enter into their training program that will teach you how to find and document bugs as well as which are most important and why. So take a look at their website for more information. Who knows, it could be the first step into a lifelong gaming career.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 01 July 2008 )

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