Practicing the Art of Game Testing
"Alright, I own a next-gen gaming console (or high-end gaming PC) and I have plenty of games, so what now?"
Well, it's actually fairly simple; you merely play the video game(s) like a professional beta tester would. What this means is you cannot simply sit back enjoy yourself with the game; you need to analyze it, critique it, and be alert to every little thing that is happening on-screen. To put it another way, you will not be "playing" the video game, you are going to be "evaulating" it. While that might not mean a whole lot to everyday gamers, it means everything to a professional video game tester.
To start training, simply launch the game and start playing it. When you are playing, attempt to relax your eyes and allow yourself to "absorb" the full screen. This should allow you to find more glitches, since your eye "reflexes" shall be more sensitive to irregular movements. This might seem somewhat peculiar, but it really works so long as you keep doing it.
You need to understand that when you play a game for a long period of time, you become familiar with seeing specific things. Eventually, seeing these "specific things" becomes second-nature for you and it's almost as though they aren't even there. As a result, if you relax and simply let the eyes do all the work, you'll be a lot more likely to notice elements which do not quite fit in with the picture.
Being intensely "focused" on the screen leads to accusing everything in the game as being some sort of glitch or random bug. Having the, what I like to call, "glitch fever" is something which you absolutely do not want. Before too long, you'll be interpreting all you see as a bug/glitch and you will be unable to undertake any sort of video game testing assignments. This is the key reason why being relaxed is so vital; considering that you can not force the a video games problems & glitches to emerge when you want them to. You need to just chill out & wait for THEM to come to you!
Because you're playing a completed video game, you clearly are not going to encounter as many glitchs & bugs. Nevertheless, that generally is not a concern. How come? Mainly because you are trying to find bugs/glitches and that is what truly matters. Whether or not you uncover anything makes very little difference. It is the simple fact that you're getting into the practice of actually evaluating games instead of just playing them for enjoyment.
A Simple Practice Exercise to Improve Your Game Testing Skills
The next time you come across a glitch when playing a game, jot down all you know about it. Once you have done that, begin attempting to recreate this glitch and make certain that you understand precisely how it's accomplished. After you have figured it out, make a short, yet detailed tutorial that lists and explains each of the steps in recreating the glitch and then start passing it around to as many of your buddies as you possibly can (easily done via XBOX Live or Playstation Network). Get them to do everything on your "glitch list" to find out if they obtain the same outcome. If they can recreate the glitch using your instructions, then you'll have successfully finished this exercise, thereby enhancing your “game testing skills”.