Video games tester

Janine8023

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I get a lot of spam email following a period of entering competitions. I've had one through that states that there are distance learning courses to become a games tester resulting in a qualification called an accredited TIGA diploma. I'm reluctant to click on the link in the email in case it's a virus. However I have googled the course and there are other websites offering this qualification.

I'm not interested in the role myself, but my husband has been telling me for 10 years that he doesn't want to go out to work, and wants to sit at home playing games all day.......(I know)

So do any of you know if this is legitimate? If it is what's the best route to train? Do any of you have experience working in this industry? Any advice would be most welcome.

Thanks
 

Jon

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Train2Game is the only one I have ever heard of.

What is the actual link it is asking you to click on?
 

Flitterbug

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I know quite a lot about this but need to cook dinner - will be on to reply properly later. Can probably answer most questions too, not about TIGA specifically but about the industry. Just wanted to let you know someone can help but it'll have to wait an hour or so ;)
 

Chammy

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Firstly, a games tester doesn't spend all day playing games. If he wants to do this then trying to get into Youtube/Twitch would be his best option, get him to look at the stuff done by TotalBiscuit/CynicalBrit, Jesse Cox (OMFGCata), PewDeePie, Yogscast and the other guys at Polaris. That is probably the best way to make money from playing games all day but you either need to be REALLY good at the games you play or at least have a fantastic personality that makes people want to watch you. Even then this is so hard to get into, 100's of people do this everyday in the hope to get as big as the big guns in this area who are now paid to do this besides what they make from monetisation. Polaris (under Maker Studio) is now owned by Disney so these guys have a big money backer.

Secondly, games developers will not touch someone with one of those qualifications. They will be looking for people who have done more to be a tester such as a physics degree or first hand coding experience, someone who knows how a game works and can basically break it eg. You'll be given a jumping puzzle in a platform game, it is then your job to do everything in your power to break that system therefore exposing holes in the code. The puzzle might only take 3 minutes to complete but you would spend all day jumping into walls, jumping off the platforms, trying to get under the floor. Even less fun, given the menu and have to move between screens, going back and forth from each option all day. If you then find a bug/break you have to write up a length report detailing exactly what you were doing/did when you broke it and what exactly happened.

Companies will not pay people to play games when they get 1000's of people who will happily do it for free, I'm one of them currently hoping to get in the Warlords of Draenor beta before it is released in November.

I recently looked at being a gaming mod for a new game that is located here in Sheffield and they stipulate that you DO NOT PLAY the game while at work, you are there purely to help the players even though you will be logged into the game.

I love gaming but being a tester is probably the last job I'd want to do in the industry, even my husband who is slowly working on his own game would never look into testing.

Hope this helps ;D
 

Flitterbug

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I was pretty much going to echo what Chammy has said - Testing is nothing about playing games its having a keen eye, meticulous scrutiny and the ability to report bugs effectively and accurately. I know this because my partner is doing this exact job already, we both did a Computer Games Technology BSc at university.

You also could be working on ANYTHING so he's done some cool stuff like Fable III but he also had to spend all day every day for months jumping around in front of a Kinect for Sesame Street. Now he's not on games at all he's been moved to apps for consoles which he doesn't have a choice about.

I'm not sure I agree with Chammy on the qualification as far as I know TIGA is an accepted qualification (not the best by far but okay) but what I do agree with is that you really need a degree that has something to do with coding/physics and lots of experience doing BETA testing or similar. What companies will reject people on is if they mention the 'enjoying' of playing games or wanting to do that as part of a job - they'll pretty much kick you out the door.. harsh but true!

Again Chammy's got the best option - Youtube is the only way people really make money playing games and even then you have to be a dab hand at editing and have decent equipment to record quality pictures and audio - otherwise people won't bother staying to watch. Then again saying that I've started a blog all about Minecraft and in order to write content for it I'm going to need to play it a fair amount so blogging could work if he was doing reviews of games.

Hopefully I've not repeated too much of Chammy's post but unfortunately its not a good outlook - sorry.
 

Chammy

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Kelzky said:
I'm not sure I agree with Chammy on the qualification as far as I know TIGA is an accepted qualification (not the best by far but okay) but what I do agree with is that you really need a degree that has something to do with coding/physics and lots of experience doing BETA testing or similar. What companies will reject people on is if they mention the 'enjoying' of playing games or wanting to do that as part of a job - they'll pretty much kick you out the door.. harsh but true!

Aaron and I read an article not too long ago by a big developer who was talking about this and they said they far prefer pure qualifications such as Computer science, physics etc. over the vocational kind.

Same as they look for people who studied Maths, English, Physics and Art to become a Games Designer.

There is also the fact that many games testers are given the boot once the game is released because they are no longer needed. Today IGN reported that SuckerPunch had let go of 40% of their staff for Infamous because they just didn't need them (obviously only a handful are needed to fix bugs, do updates) and like Kelly said, her partner is now in a different area which I am guessing is a lot less fun ;)
 

Jon

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so my take on this is..

in the olden days, when even a AAA title would only take 20 people to make as the game would fit on a floppy disc having a qualification in 'computer games design' would have been a good thing

now a LOT of people that work on computer games are contracted, specialists who come on board for 24 months and work on environments and physics, QA testing etc..

THAT sort of qualification is going to be a 'jack of all trades, master of none' type one

I wanted to get into this side of computing when I finished Uni, I just don't have the maths brain for it..I can program (Basic, C, Visual Basic etc.) but the maths knowledge for games design is something else

If i wanted to get into it now.. I would just go and learn Swift and get into mobile/tablet app development I think
 

Flitterbug

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Chammy said:
Kelzky said:
I'm not sure I agree with Chammy on the qualification as far as I know TIGA is an accepted qualification (not the best by far but okay) but what I do agree with is that you really need a degree that has something to do with coding/physics and lots of experience doing BETA testing or similar. What companies will reject people on is if they mention the 'enjoying' of playing games or wanting to do that as part of a job - they'll pretty much kick you out the door.. harsh but true!

Aaron and I read an article not too long ago by a big developer who was talking about this and they said they far prefer pure qualifications such as Computer science, physics etc. over the vocational kind.

Same as they look for people who studied Maths, English, Physics and Art to become a Games Designer.

There is also the fact that many games testers are given the boot once the game is released because they are no longer needed. Today IGN reported that SuckerPunch had let go of 40% of their staff for Infamous because they just didn't need them (obviously only a handful are needed to fix bugs, do updates) and like Kelly said, her partner is now in a different area which I am guessing is a lot less fun ;)

I know, I just remember being told about TIGA at uni - also our course was alright but we would probably have been better off doing software engineering, maths or physics but my partner managed to get in on doing a lot of extra curricular work.

I however did nothing with my degree ;D

EDIT: Also yes it's very easy to get let go most of the people at my partners work are hired on a rolling temporary contract - even as a senior test engineer his job is not safe, his bosses boss is on a temporary contract too o_O
 

Janine8023

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Thanks everyone for your replies, it's as I expected, a no goer. But it sounds like some if you have great ( or sometimes not so great), stay at home jobs!!
 

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