Lead Game Tester

  • Lead Game Tester

Game testing is an exact science, a process engineered to analyze a game objectively and pick out the harmful glitches that ruin the entertainment experience. To accomplish this mission requires a staff of meticulous and obsessive sleuths armed with keen eyes and an affinity for problem-solving.


Duties

The senior tester for quality assurance must be the resident expert on each product the studio develops; he or she should fully understand every system, tool, and feature of the games. It is the senior QA tester’s responsibility to design and implement a strategy for putting the game to every test and supervising a staff of QA testers in the effective execution of the plan. For every component of the product, this person must define a methodology for testing and a process of isolating and identifying bugs. These processes shift based on the needs of the programmers and format of the game; therefore, the senior tester must constantly re-evaluate methods for efficiency. He or she establishes a data management system for cataloging test results and bugs, and ensures that all testers accurately and clearly communicate their findings. The lead game tester is then tasked with communicating the information to programmers and re-creating the glitch circumstances in demonstrations. As a team leader, this person is responsible for training and mentoring his or her staff, performing regular audits of the department to identify areas of improvement in effectiveness and efficiency, and incorporating new tools as they become available.

Skills & Education

A bachelor’s degree in computer science or game design or equivalent professional experience is required. Necessary technical proficiencies include testing on multiple game consoles and platforms like mobile and online games; this position does not demand that you be an expert programmer, but some knowledge of scripting languages is beneficial. The senior quality assurance tester must be detail-oriented and highly analytical; you should be an effective leader capable of supervising your team through the execution of test processes, while keeping the department on schedule. Experience working with SCRUM development is helpful, as is a solid understanding of the methodologies of QA testing and tracking systems.

What to Expect

The willingness to mentor and train others is an important characteristic of a good QA lead. The total effectiveness of the department to break down a game and sniff out the bugs will be determined by the weakest member of the team. You must constantly stay on top of new practices in quality assurance testing and keep up with products released by the competition to better equip your team. Knowledge-sharing is a major component of the job; subordinates will look to you for guidance and tutoring, and studio development staffs rely on you to report on the glitches that could kill the game if not identified and fixed before the package ships. Work as a game tester or quality assurance technician for a software developer is the standard path toward advancement to the senior level, and internships with a game studio or beta testing online are a good start for future employment in this field. 

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