Game Testing Job

So I’ve got an interview at Epic tomorrow as a game tester for gears of war 3 and bulletstorm. I figured I’d post up here since some of you guys might have experience in the field and get a little advice. I’m pretty pumped about this, I’ve always wanted to be a game tester since I was pretty young (yes I know it’s not all sunshine and puppy farts) so I’m trying to go into the interview as prepared as possible.

Anyone done it before? What should I expect for the interview? What’s doing QA like? Also… I have never played a Gears of War game. Chalk it up to me not having a 360 but yeah. I need to cram as much knowledge about that game as possible in my head before tomorrow :lol:

lol say goodbye to your social life…

Doing QA is a lot of trying to break features of the game(i had a couple roomates that did it for a spell and i interacted with them during my work at EA as a programmer). It’s imperative that you be as descriptive as possible when you describe the process for reproducing a bug otherwise you are pretty much “useless”. “doing QA” involves lots of inventive ways of breaking menus, physics, sound, online stuff, ect ect. Basically you take a section of a game and try to break it in every conceivable way possible. Once you do break it you try to do it again. and then describe the steps you did to break the feature. After you write your steps down you go through and try to reproduce your steps again( i think ea had our testers have attempt reproducing it 10 times and then they put how many times it broke).

Other than that an interview is an interview be yourself and try and get across that you get along with others and can work on a team, ect ect blahblahblah.

GL and god speed.

Wouldn’t be easier to record everything on video? Then you would have minimal things to actually write about.

sorta, but then you’d have days worth of footage.

also, be glad you’re not one of the guys who just sat there pushing eject on a prototype console for days to make sure it won’t break.

That’s not so bad cos you can have a timer and note down when bugs occur, even visual glitches will be easier to point out aswell.

So many useful lessons can be learned from Homer. AUTOMATE, SIMPLIFY = FREE TIME
LOL - ??? “The Simpsons - 707 King-Size Homer”, ???: mike810 Smotri.Com

Just be normal, sociable, informed but not too nerdy. Act capable.

Fun fact: when I first moved to LA seven years ago I interviewed and was offered a position as a tester for THQ, but I ended up declining the offer

they do record video, but only after a bug occurs, do you know how much tape/harddrive space 8-12 hours a day of video footage recorded direct from a console for a team of 30+ individuals takes up? not really practical to record every waking moment.

One of the producers on Bulletstorm is a hottie. So there’s that.

I did QA for two summers, on the FEAR games (then the 360 Port). Just be as descriptive as possible, know your way around computers/consoles, and don’t think you’re going to be playing video games all day. I spent 8 hours a day 5 days a week playing the same 3 levels of the game all day long. The only break we had was for Multiplayer. During the interview, stuff they asked me to do was basically Describe how to make a peanut butter sandwich as if somebody had no idea what one was, what bread is, anything. That’s the level of detail they want.

As far as video, I’m a programmer now, and if I got a bug submitted to me with just a video I’d bitch your lazy ass out. What am I looking at in the video? Whats the bug? What is the expected result versus the observed result? What level of the game are you in? What generic hallway #115 are you seeing the clipping at? Which one of the 30 enemies on screen is causing the framerate lag everytime they appear? You are making we watch a 5 minute video just to tell me that the radio at coordinates 100, 225, 3000 in level 5-2 is clipping into itself when looping?

Videos help complement your already descriptive bug reports, not as a substitute. When you have 10000 bugs on a project, watching a 1 minute video for each bug is way too much of a hassle when you can get a concise gist of the bug in 15 seconds from a well structured report.

You basically have to be cool with working long hours (during release time, you’ll be expected to work 16 hour days 6-7 days a week. You get overtime but you have no life or sleep during that time), boring days (stare at that wall for 4 hours and make sure the game doesn’t crash), crappy games (yeah you are testing for AAA titles but you never know), third rate treatment (Testers are the day labor of the game industry) and it will change your view on games forever.

But it’s really not a bad gig, it’s just an experience

Yeah from my interactions with testers i was glad i went straight to programming haha. But they are both essential to the development of a quality title.


Fun Fact Pimp Willy. The company i’m currently working for is using the JupiterEX(used in the original FEAR) engine for the development of our sim haha.

I wasn’t actually thinking about 12hours of footage, more like just placing footnotes when ever an incident occurs making it easy to edit, then use those snippets of video that as part of the submission.

@ Pimp Willy I don’t quite understand your point, I was talking about using it to supplement. How is watching a minute of footage worse then reading just pages of text :confused:

Because pages of text wouldn’t make a good bug report, it has to be descriptive not wordy, theres a HUGE difference, the way you posted made it sound like you’d write one sentence (aka minimal words like you said) and a video attached, believe me taking the time out to download/watch tons of videos for stuff that doesn’t need them is annoying. But doing it when it’s otherwise confusing is a godsend, its a hard balance

iShotto: Haha nice, yeah the FEAR engine was pretty interesting especially with the way the AI worked. I wish I was in game programming but alas I couldn’t get through any of the interviews, so now I just do generic app programming

Okay I see how it could read like that. I actually did some testing for Matrix Online way back, that was actually a lot of fun but I hear people having nightmare having to bug test really shitty games.

Hmm sounds interesting, and thanks for the tips guys. Luckily I’m not getting stuck on some shitty project like CARS WII or some other crap if I get this. From the looks of it though, the worst part is gonna be dealing with the programmers :lol:

Where I worked it was considered punishment to have to test anything Barbie related

One guy got fired because they were doing a soak test (where you let it sit for a long time and see if it breaks/freezes/crashes) on some screen where you dress up one of the girls, and it was left there with it just in the base underwear. He was offended by it and decided to put clothes on her so it would be less distracting, and when they found out they were none too happy about them ruining their soak test

nah that isn’t the worst part. The worst part will be testing menus and desyncs.

Testing anything related to getting the ‘right’ timing will be a pain in the ass.

It may work almost all of the time, but with the way software can be so complicated these days, there are so many ways the ‘right’ timing can break something that otherwise works fine.

Good luck, have fun, and don’t get to worked up over tedious stuff.

Please keep the frequencies accurate. When a tester puts 100% occurrence rate and timing-specific or one time, it makes me sad.

I don’t know a single person who enjoys their job as a tester.

yeah, i had to beta test a handful of games (wrestling games for Acclaim, if I recall) years ago, and decided never again.

also, try to let Gears III bugs slip by. Shit like “lancer bullet to the foot is one hit kill” could be ignored, then passed on to us :slight_smile: