Ask many teenagers what their dream job would be and the answer is invariably the same every time: a video game tester. They say this with all the naivety of youth, blissfully unaware and untroubled by the sheer level of hard work and commitment this challenging career can require.
A common and idealistic misconception about game testing is that the tester will do little else other than playing games 24/7. Whilst there can be no denying that this is a part of the process, it is by no means the only part of the puzzle.
Testing a game is exactly that: the tester will be required to repeatedly play through the same few segments of the game time and time again, usually without a break until they unearth any and all bugs they can find. The tester must keep their eyes open for these bugs and then record their findings.
The tester will also need to ensure that they record and note their findings carefully in order to then pass on the relevant details to the game development department who will then seek to remove the bugs and fix the errors. The tester will need to be very explicit and thorough as to the level of detail they submit, in order to help expedite the process.
Now that we have for all intents and purposes stripped the process bare, the next question we must consider is: just how much money does the average game tester earn for their labor?
It is not really possible to simply provide a round figure or a precise prediction and this is because there are a number of variables that will affect the final salary. Not surprisingly, the level of experience the tester has will count heavily in their favour and so a tester who has a clearly established work portfolio with a number of provable successful projects will command a higher fee than a rank novice. The salary offered can and will differ between different companies although irrespective of how much they happen to pay for your work you can be rest assured of one thing – the work you do will be a major feather in your cap, and the experience you’ll gain gives you a big advantage when going for other games related jobs.