Video Game Testing Tips - 4 Things You Need to Know
Drop The Newspaper!
You aren't likely to find testing work from the classifieds section, so quit searching! In all honesty, testing job opportunities aren't going to jump out at you from a paper or a magazine AD, so quit pretending fooling yourself. You will not see them by talking to your best buddy, you will not obtain them by reading an advertisement, and you will not uncover them by reading through the "job listings" portion of the paper -- it is just not that simple. Sure, beta tester jobs are available, however they are not getting promoted as much as other job opportunities. In fact, the percentage of REAL game testing job openings found in newspapers is less than 1%. The big name game companies realize that expert testers (the ones worth hiring) are going to find them. They don't need to be spending money (which they truly hate doing in the first place) just to find new, and reliable testers. Having said that, stop sitting there like a mumbling-bumbling fool and get yourself into the action -- it's the only way you're ever going to make it as a professional video game tester.
Stop Being a Recluse!
Have you ever heard the saying: "It's not what you know, but who you know". This could not more correct with regards to the world of professional video game testing. While this isn't an encouraging tip for shy individuals, the simple fact is that the more people you know (in the video game industry), the more outlets you have for finding jobs.
Networking with other folks won't just make it less difficult to locate available game tester assignments, but it can open up more references that you can give to future employers. In addition to that, you will also receive insider information about the latest gaming developments and releases; stuff that regular gamers don't know about. You'll even find out about long-term jobs which have become available with the most well-known and respected game companies on the planet. In other words, you'll end up having a huge leg-up on the competition if you have a couple of reliable contacts.
Note: Reliable contacts are developed over months and months, not days. So don't be discouraged. As your experience grows and you complete more & more testing assignments, your list of contacts will only get bigger and bigger. That said, try not to be a douchebag to the people you meet; be friendly!
Don't Be a Money Grubbing Parasite!
What do I mean by that? Simple, don't put all your focus on the money when you first start out -- be open to the idea of testing video games for free. Offering to test games without pay -- which can be a difficult idea to wrap your head around -- is an excellent strategy for getting "through the door" in a manner of speaking. Game companies won't need to be concerned about losing cash on another "novice" tester since you're going to be testing for nothing. In other words, you're just a "volunteer". Should you do a decent job, not only will you have a possible developer ready to hire you, but you should also have an outstanding reference which you can attach to your video game testing resume.
Never Give Up, Never Surrender!
This might sound like the most obvious thing in the world for you, however, it is still the biggest reason why virtually all "newbie" beta game testers never make it. They submit an application for their very first game tester job opening and are, unfortunately, turned down, forcing them to assume they aren't good good enough or that they just do not have what it takes. This is completely and totally false. Being denied once, twice, three times, four times, or maybe more does NOT mean you won't be able to succeed as a tester -- it simply indicates the developer requires somebody more skillful for the position. So, with that being said, you just have to work your way up and become THAT person the developers want. It won't be easy or quick, but it will happen so long as you never give up and NEVER SURRENDER!
Is this everything you should know with regards to becoming a professional beta game tester? Uh, no, not even close, if I'm being honest. However, by knowing and remembering these 4 simple tips, the task of obtaining video game tester jobs will be dramatically easier!