My Journey as a Video Game Tester

Hi, my name is Hari Panicker. A passionate video game tester, Also, I am a die-hard fan of playing (Role-Playing, Adventure, MMORPG & arcade games.  My unmeasurable love towards game is the main reason why my career as a video game tester flourished.
It all started with the game called Contra and Dangerous Dev in my 4th standard.
The game was so interesting that after school I used to dash towards home to complete my homework then sit and play till bedtime without even flinching. Ah! How can I forget?
As I grew up I discovered more and more intense games like CS, Dota I, Red Alert, AOE (Age of Empires), GunZ the Reloaded Duel and many more. Among the huge list, hands down my favorite, the one, and only Ragnarok Online.
About the game, Ragnarok is an MMORPG created by Gravity. I was so into this game that I used to sometimes skip my study hours for playing the game with my friends (lol..).  I and my friends used to party up and level up our characters, hunt equips /attribute card from morning till noon.
Then in the evening, we party up again for some PVP (Player vs. Player) and GVG (Guild vs. Guild) fights. It was not just playing the game for me and my friends we started to make money by selling some rare items in-game which was very hard to obtain.
After a few years, the game server closed so I had to move to another Ragnarok server. This was a Malaysian Server called Happy Ragnarok Online. I was the No.1 Player of the server which gave me the opportunity to work as a Game Master for this game.
From there my Game Testing life started I had to report Bugs, find out who is using Cheat (Botting) result to permanent BAN and Ragnarok Support (Help players if they have any questions regarding the game).
Moving on I realized that my career is into Game Testing and further started to work in a game testing company where I got to learn many new things about games and how it works (many new terms used in-game, writing bugs, uploading them on Jira, Mantis, etc.) in testing.
Within 6 to 7 months I got promoted to a Senior Test Engineer where I had to handle a team of 8 to 15 people, explains them the task to do, solve their queries about the game, review the bugs properly and send daily status reports.
Games I have tested:

My team had good times and bad times in projects we tested. we were gifted with immense pleasure when the tested game gets positive feedback from the clients with some Goodies (Gifts) 😊, and of course, there is a lot of pressure when the delivery date approaches. But yes, after all, its fun testing more and more games 😊

My craving for games and testing them will never end. It’s like my hobby turned in to my career.

5 Things You Need to Focus On To Get a Game Tester Job

Game testing has been an essential part of the gamer’s world. It will make two things pop into the mind of a tester, a lazing around a job or dream job. As a matter of fact, the truth is different from what we believe.

There is a difference between playing a game and testing it. The whole process has two different mindsets on which an individual will work. While playing a game, one is completely focused on the entertainment prospect of life whereas a tester will focus on every single detail.

So, let us get your all buckle up before we take you to the bumpy ride of game testing.

The job of Game Tester

Software tester and quality tester are the designations that have a number of responsibilities of their own.

The main aim of both the job is to give out error-free work with the assured quality of software and game respectively.

In this manner, one have to work on the game that allows them to check out the errors or the expectations that might be falling out in the whole process. If we say it in a simple language then the tester will start by finding bugs.

The work is not to play and have a gala time but to go to the depth of the code and extract any part that has no added value to the game or a part that is creating trouble to it.

Hence, it is essential to stop the conventional way of playing the game and work on every single detail from the movement of the hand of a player to the environment that they are playing it.

We have witnessed the craze of Pubg in recent months. It has different environment change as per our movement. In addition to this, the players keep on popping in from different sides that make it difficult to have a hang on.

In such a case, one must have the proper game mind to work on the environment and extraction of the gun from a box. The character, objects, environment, real-time sequence, etc. compiled it all together.

It is essential to combine it all in order to get to the depth of the whole process. The functions and character and compiled in such a way that makes us want to think out of the box.

In such a case, one has to work on the requirement and every single module effectively. Also, one has to keep the mind in the game to ensure that the process is going in the right direction.

5 things to work on

Now, since we know that being a game tester is no cake walk, we need to work on the right path to ensure that we come up with the most perfect part of the process.

It can only be achieved if we focus on 5 important part of the Software testing game that can allow us to have astable testing future. So, let us focus on the famous five:

  • Passion –

If one is not passionate enough to complete the whole game testing process then it won’t be possible for them to survive. It is essential that one is passionate enough to give their time to do this job precisely and work in the right direction to make the game error-free.

Just because one is passionate about playing games, doesn’t mean that they will be focused on the whole setup process as well. However, everyone is not going to be focused on the manner whether you like to do it or not so if you are interested in finding the bugs then it might do well with you.

All the employers will need is a person who is able to sit in front of the system while working on a game to come up with a possible outcome. In addition to this, it is also important that people are focused on the gameplay while working on it.

Hence, a tester must start with working on the small modules then moving towards the bigger part to get in a habit of testing. There are many tools that allow one to work on such a prospect.

  • Education or Technical Skills

When it comes to testing, there is no major degree that is mentioned in the whole job scenarios.

However, they do prefer candidates that know the coding and ways around it. This is the main reason that companies usually go for engineering students in order to fill in the job profile instead of any other person.

The coding is the main point that must be covered by the candidates in order to secure a job.

It can be with a certification or with the help of the proper graduate degree in any of the coding line. The main task that will require technical skills are troubleshooting in the hardware issues and to build in a PC as per the game requirement.

Also, one must know the software language if they are into the localized testing form to keep matters in the hands only.

Also, it is expected from the compliance testers that they know about the whole constructor’s process in the certification work. Hence you need to cover up the topic before the company gets it out of you.

  • Core Skills

Without core skills, you simply can’t do much in the game testing field. One must have the main skills so that they can cover up the main part of the whole process.

The major skills that must be covered up by the software tester are:

  • Troubleshooting and investigation skills –When we work on a system – software and hardware – then it is common to come through a few errors that one simply can’t avoid. It becomes the tedious task for them to manage the whole process easier if a tester doesn’t know how to get it over with. Hence, it is essential to get information on how to resolve certain issues with the troubleshooting mode.
  • Observation and orientation – In this part, one must have amazing observation power that makes them catch any detail easily without worrying about the tedious part of testing. If they have observation and orientation skill then work can be done easily and on time.
  • Analytic thinking – This type of skills is required to secure a good job in the company while having ‘out of the box’ thinking. It is essential to have the proper setup and process to ensure that work is done easily with no error.

These are the major skills that one must work on when you still have time.

  • Experience

This actually counts when one knows how to test. This adds value to the whole resume and makes companies jump towards the candidate. The main reason behind this is that companies don’t have to train a candidate and invest any money in them to polish them up. They can simply get the work started with no delaying of time. This makes the companies work on the experienced candidates in place of a fresher with a higher degree. However, it simply doesn’t mean that fresher can’t apply for it. They are only required to put extra efforts in their skillset and prove their worth during the time of the interview.

  • Additional Skills

The main skills that are added when one want to be a game tester are:

  • Written and oral communication –It is a major part of the whole setup when it comes to communication skills. The person must be able to have the flawless report about bugs so that developers can work on the errors easily. Also, it is essential for them to explain every single point in details that are easily understood by the other person.
  • Team player – When you are hired as the game tester, you are not going to work alone. There will be a group of tester and developers with whom you have to get in touch with every now and then. Hence, it is essential to have this ability to work in the team. It is not about sitting alone and working on the testing. The testers are required for other departments as well that might mean that you need to relocate for a certain project.
  • Work ethics –This part is also essential when it comes to the testing environment. Yes, it might be easy to simply ignore a bug and assume that no one else is going to know about you. But the workers are relying on you for the project so you need to make sure that their trust is intact.
  • Good working relationship – It is part of good communication only. If an individual can work in the collaborative team with flowing communication then it will be easy for them to have a great bond.

These are the major points on which an individual must work on to ensure that they have a safe and secure future.

Do not Miss These While Testing a Game!

Gaming, be it mobile games, PC games or console games, is a multi-million dollar industry. Interesting as it sounds; testing video games is one of the most fascinating jobs every professional dream about. Hence, high-end level game testing is crucial to any game out there.
A well tested and executed game not only meets and exceeds the expectations of the player but also throws a lot of challenges towards the tester to make the game more interesting. It must also be tested for compatibility with the cross-platform without compromising on the player’s privacy and security.
Let us discuss some important things that you shouldn’t miss while testing a game.
1. Random Number Generator Evaluation (RNG)
Arguably the most important component for the gaming platform is the Random Number Generator, which determines the outcomes for a game. The component adds unpredictability to the game an maps its outcomes based on the user’s data.
The tester is expected to first identify the game algorithm to validate and verify the predefined rules of the game. The RNG must be adequately tested to avoid predictability which exists towards the outcome of a game.
2. Break the Game
Yes, you read that right. As a video game tester, you will have to find loopholes in your program by breaking it into parts. You want to root out any possibilities that might hinder the working of your game. For achieving this, you will have to be a little unconventional in playing and testing.
Games like VainGlory, which involves millions of combinations of player actions, will require you to interact with various objects and characters, with an endless sequence of the environment. Game testers must be keen in understanding these combinations and think outside the box.
3. Measure its Social Presence.
It wasn’t too back when Facebook introduced the first social media games. In 2013, with the launch of Wii U (and Miiverse that came with it), it was obvious that social media was going to play a crucial role in the Video Games industry. Today, video games are almost connected to every social media on the internet.

Must Read : 9 Different Types of Game Testing Techniques

Social media can act as a double-edged sword for the video game testers. If used intelligently, it can serve as a platform for bringing like-minded people together and in a close-knit community. So make sure that as a game tester you have to measure the proper social media presence which may bring some interesting demographics that your game is targetting.
4. Keep the Secrets.
Being a game tester, it is required that you honor the non-disclosure agreement and demonstrate the ability to keep secrets. Many times, a game tester posts an alpha version of the game which is in violation of the NDA. This might lead to cancelling the project and cutting the company’s losses.
If by any chance you happen to appear for an interview that asks you to describe a question regarding the security of its game, you may straight away refuse as it’s under the NDA.
5. Evaluating the Game Rules
Testing any video games requires you to verify the game environment and behaviour. It also includes the game texture, elements, stability and games messages. As a tester, you need to evaluate how every aspect of the game including how each one interacts with the other. This is often neglected by majority thinking these are issues beyond the development phase.
app testing
The game needs to be thoroughly evaluated to deliver maximum gaming experience for end user. Hence, the testing phase focuses on some crucial part and breakdown to achieve realistic game behavior.
No product is perfect without testing for the product to the launched in the market and it applies to video games testing as well. With the enormous network of games emerging in the market every day, your game has to be tested to see how it withstand real-time concurrent load before released. Game testing is done to achieve consistent performance across all hardware/software/platform/device combinations that your target audience might use.
Technology never stops evolving and the gaming industry is always at the forefront. Hence, when recruiting for a gaming tester, the employer usually specifies what he is looking for in the desired position.  So if you have the passion for games and a good understanding of various testing methods, it isn’t difficult for you.

The What, Why and How of Mobile Game Testing [Overview]

When hearing about mobile game testing, one of the immediate questions that come to your mind is, why is there such a distinction And how is mobile game testing different from a regular mobile application testing? This article will help answer some of these questions that you may have.
What is Game Testing?
Game testing is similar to a software testing process and is done for quality control of video games. The primary objective behind game testing is the detection and documentation of bugs in the game codes. A game tester needs key skills such as programming expertise, advanced problem-solving ability, a keen eye for detail and patience.
Why is it so Important?
Right from the point your prototype video game is out after production, the testing phase begins. The game developer’s role becomes reliant upon the requirements and suggestions supplied by the game tester. The job responsibilities for a game tester are mainly divided into two sections: Firstly, detection and reporting of the game defects, and then helping with its analysis and verification.
A gamer downloads your game on the first impression that it gives- either the description was so catchy or maybe there was a new irresistible element or a new way of approach being offered in your game. Once the gamer has decided to give it a try, an observant critic is also shaped within. If your game doesn’t keep the gamers spirits high as promised, it is definitely going to get thrown out. Besides uninstalling, maybe the user could give you negative ratings and reviews. So it is important that your game is tested rigorously.
With increasing number of mobile games being developed all over the world, the standards are going up continuously. There is no limit to the choices that a gamer can make. In order to compete and thrive in the market, you should take up the struggle of delivering the best possible quality products.
A good mobile game tester should also be a good mobile game player. They can use their experience in gaming to envision the perspective of other players, thus being able to rate the game better, and decide what’s best for its success.

Read Also: Is Testing Important for the Mobile Gaming Industry?

What is the Difference between Game Testing and a Regular Application Testing?
You can play a game and find out bugs, even if you are not an expert, unlike app testing but to reign over the industry, professional knowledge is inevitable. Untrained testers are just part of testing the alpha and beta releases and open user testing, which supplements the end phase testing. A game tester should master the discipline of testing in general, but at the same time should also have expertise in game testing as a separate stream.
Though there are similarities in the methods and procedures of mobile game and mobile app testing, the motives and goals behind testing both are entirely different. Mobile game testing must include both manual and automation processes. General categorization will involve the black and white box testing.
Black box testing: Black box testing is done to ensure the quality of functional aspects of the game. In this type of testing, there is no attempt to look into the internal structural elements of the game. For black box testing in games, major areas of focus under testing includes GUI, audio functionality, animations, realistic effects etc.
White box testing: White box testing is strictly the opposite of black box testing in terms of its role. The method here is used to test the appropriateness and efficiency of the internal structural elements of the game. The importance lies on testing the architectural and integration features.
Mobile Game Testing- Various Methods
The different spheres of game testing are very similar to that of application testing. Those notable in the field of game testing are the following.
Functional testing: This is undoubtedly the most common form of game testing performed. Mostly done manually, it requires you to play the game during the test process. A game tester should have a sound knowledge of game programming and game environments in order to discover the discrepancies associated with the performance. Automation is also a viable possibility in several areas of functional testing.
Performance testing: Testing tools are used in performance testing. As the name suggests, this test is carried out to ensure quality game performance. During performance testing, the key attributes tested are – speed, scalability, stability and reliability. Performance testing is usually divided into four- load testing, stress testing, soak testing and spike testing of which, load testing is more prominent for testing mobile games.
Game performance varies with the device interfaces in use. An extensive testing including all the popular mobile devices is important in confirming the success of your game among a wider audience. Poorly performing games doesn’t guarantee fluid experience for its users. Performance testing encompasses multiplayer testing, memory consumption testing, maximum load support testing etc. These tests can be automated with the help of test script simulations or real-world content.
Compatibility testing: Compatibility testing is done to test whether the game is compatible with the various device platforms and configurations. It is commonly done in two sections during the early and late beta time period of the game to reduce cost. Nevertheless, it is advised that you carry out the testing during the whole phases of development since this provides better insights into the compatibility issues that have crept within, if any.
Localization testing: This kind of testing is only applicable if your games are developed targeting the global market or other language users. Text in games such as titles, instructions etc. should be translated, reviewed and corrected by employing localized testers who have mastery over the local language where it is to be released. These tests are also done automatically but testers should be employed to proofread to ensure the accuracy and quality of the text.
Regression testing: Every time you make a change in your mobile game, another type of testing needs to be done, namely regression testing. Regression testing is really important where a client-server interaction is present and continuous changes are put into effect. Developers must confirm that these changes don’t interfere with the normal working of the game. Regression tests are only done as an automated testing.

You May Also Like: 5 Types of Testing to Make Your Mobile Apps User Friendly

Some key areas to focus in game testing
During game testing you must make sure that the following areas are covered under your testing methods.
User Interface and Functionality: User interface testing ensures user –friendliness of your mobile game and the functionality testing tests whether your game fulfills the functionality specifications.
An appealing user interface is the first thing any mobile game should focus on since it is from this that the user gets the first impression about the game. It directly determines the success of your game. Even when your game upholds a great idea with effective responses, if it fails to deliver a clean and sturdy UI, the game will have a hard time hitting the mark.

  • Testing user interface includes checking
  • colors and backgrounds
  • menu structure and functions
  • screen orientation and screen resolution adjustments
  • proper instruction execution
  • usability
  • system navigation such as loading time and display sequences
  • animations and audio elements apt for your game
  • textual matter such as instructions and dialogue messages
  • font and alignment errors etc.

The functionality testing checks from elements such as the ones you find in the pop-down menus, confirmation messages and other functions such as time-out and sorting.
Graphics Performance: Graphics testing should bound testing game performance over a large number of real devices and noting the respective abnormalities. Battery consumption needs to be optimum over long hours and game responses should be satisfactory under heavy loads across all the different devices. This test helps to determine your potential game responses when working on a real device platform.
Usability, User Experience and Fun-factor: Usability and user experience testing are common to all kinds of application testing. What makes game testing different is the fun-factor testing. The motive behind playing game is purely for entertainment reasons. Therefore your games are expected to provide entertainment along with great user experience.
Assessing fun-factor needs some aesthetic sense and critical thinking. Entertainment is delivered only if all other aspects of the game work together correctly and it takes good effort to accomplish. A loading lag or frequent interruptions can badly affect the user’s experience.
Multi-Player Games: Nowadays, numerous games are multi-player oriented and includes features that promote team play. These teams may include real or virtual characters. Testing multi-player features are more challenging than testing single-player elements. In multi-player games, connectivity to the server and synchronization of game status are two new important areas that need to be addressed. There are a number of issues that demands attention with respect to multi-player gaming.
Social Integrations: This encompasses the various types of testing specifically done to games that offer social integration. Social integration is included to provide users with rich gaming experiences. It allows new features such as game status updates, friend invitations, premium gift sharing etc. Testing involves ensuring problem-free working of these features.
Security Risks: Third party codes are often used to support the general functions in a game during mobile game development to reduce the work load. But these codes can compromise security and allow data breach. Identification and rectification of open source component vulnerabilities are necessary for a risk-free gaming experience.
Maintaining Balance: Creating a balance throughout the entire game is unavoidable for its logical integrity. There should be balance in the different levels of the game. For example, levels should be arranged in increasing order of difficulty or there should be opportunities to unlock more powers in the upper levels. Ensuring balance requires knowledge of the entire game design.
Levels in the Game: In game level testing, each of the levels in your game is tested for any working problem. This is a complex and time-consuming process especially if the world is vast and 3 dimensional. Complexity increases proportionately with increase in the levels. There are automation tools available where tester bots are allowed to roam randomly throughout the world and thereby any world level defects are detected.
AI for Game Opponents: Artificial intelligence refers to the computer-controlled counterparts in your games. This is a complicated task and it requires the tester to understand what activates the system for a particular response. Chess is a typical example where an artificially intelligent counterpart is employed.
Physics Engines: Real-time physics engines are widely used in games, especially in 3-dimensional video games to simulate the physical phenomenon, interactions and dynamics of physical entities. The simulation needs to be only approximate which gives a perceptually real representation of an object or a movement rather than being physically accurate. A bullet shot or a combat should show the likeness of a real world happening.

Nowadays, soft body dynamics and fluid dynamics are used in games to give effect to clothes, leaves, fluid motion and the like apart from using rigid body dynamics for objects like rocks and building. Testers working with physics engines must have a basic idea of the physical attributes of different objects and the various dynamics in the physical world.

Realistic Games: With the progress in various mobile device performance delivered by high power processors and better quality graphics hardware, video games now tends towards being more of real-world representations. Racing games features models of original cars and there are other games where characters are more life-like with minute details given to even the movement of hair.

Apart from graphics quality, realism is achieved by providing the right perceptional approximations, cause and effect relationship, right emotional expressions to characters etc.

Testing virtual reality requires hard work and subject knowledge. An understanding of the respective field is important for the game tester, for e.g. weapon techniques, component specific operations, vehicle controls, animal behaviors and instincts etc.

Mobile gaming testing is a vast area, and as mobile gaming becomes more mainstream, proper testing can make or break your fortune. So, try to find the right game testers for your mobile gaming app.

Is Testing Important for the Mobile Gaming Industry?

Gaming is a highly popular field which is always booming. It is a billion dollar industry that hardly sees a recession. Constant new efforts are always being taken to capitalize in this industry. There is much scope for profit and fame here.
But Game Testing seems to be an area that doesn’t experience the same growth. Does that mean it’s not that important for the industry? In order to understand, let’s take a look at the factors that are influenced by game testing.
Consumer Experience
The main part about gaming is consumer experience. With good user experience, a game will thrive. There are millions of games on the App store and Play Store. To be a winner among this tight competition requires a whole lot of patience and dedication. With so many games hitting the market on a daily basis, you need to be different to stand out and make your mark.
Addictive puzzles and complex levels are no more enough to keep the users addicted to your game and recommend it to friends. If the game does not work as the users expect, they will be quick enough to uninstall the game and move over to another one. Moreover, they may even give you a poor review or ratings, which could mar your image. This is where mobile testing comes in to the picture.

    Recommended Read: 5 Things You Shouldn’t Miss While Testing a Game

A good Game Tester is required to test your games for efficiency apart from user experience. It requires several rounds of thorough testing to declare a game fit for release out to the public. Though it may sound simple and easy, that is not the case.
A survey by Forbes has stated that 80% of smartphone users have admitted to having played a game on their device, whereas 46% play games on a daily basis. According to this report, 65% of the time a user spends online is on a tablet or a smartphone. 32% of this time goes in playing games. So, you can see that games have an important part in every smartphone user’s life.
Mobile games are different from console based games. Mobile game developers do not usually get extended periods of testing. If a user finds too many bugs in it or is unhappy with the features, he is likely to delete it. Once deleted, there are very few chances for the user to download a newer version the next time it releases. The first impression is the one and only hope you have in this case. Effective Mobile Application Testing is required to make this impression a good and lasting one.
Bug Weeding
No matter how great your game is, without a good amount of QA or Mobile Testing you may not get the deserved reviews. Bugs are the most prominent issues. Great games with lots of bugs reduce all the greatness of the concept. The users are unable to play it smoothly making your game a failure.
A game developer may not always realise the issues with his own games. Game Testers have the job of picking out the bugs and glitches in the game that have been missed out by the developers.

       Read Also: Top 5 Automation Testing Tools for Android

When you look at the influence of mobile game testing, it is clear that mobile app testing is not just important but vital for the industry. Mobile Testing Services are available for effective testing of your games. High level testing by the most prominent testing companies has produced amazing results to benefit game developers.
A good quality game that is seamless and free of bugs is sure to be loved by the users. So, look out for the best Mobile Testing Services to test your games before releasing out in to the App Store. This will help you get good reviews and make it big!