I’d like to ask how do you become a game tester. I’ve been playing for over 20 years now and I am interested in pursuing a career as a game tester. Is it a myth that you need a college education to become one and while I’m here is it possible to write a story for a game without any programming experience e.g. a scriptwriter?
To be honest, testing (in Ireland) requires alot of luck and perseverance. If you have a second language your chances rapidly increase as Ireland is the localisation hub for games in Europe. If you are just fluent in English, my best advice would be to see about moving to the UK. Almost every week I’m hearing of contracts for QA testers in the UK somewhere. You don’t NEED a college degree but it wouldn’t hurt to have some level of 3rd level qualification.
Also, just in case you have the romanticised version of testing, most of it is paperwork, rather than playing games. You do get to play games but usually not in the "this is fun" way. That and you’ve no control over the titles you test, I went from Call of Duty to Barbie’s Paradise Island when I was working for Activision.
As for scriptwriting, the only company I’ve heard of recently looking for these was Bullfrog, but I have the feeling they are looking for experienced writers. No hard in looking though?
That’s most of it covered. The only thing I’ll say is that you need to undestand the medium well, whether that knowledge is gained from a college course or not. You should have an understanding of how computer games function, what their constituent elements are etc… if you want to be a good tester. Plus, a lot of people get into testing as a stepping stone into some other profession, such as game design; it can serve as a "foot in the door" kind of opportunity. In any case, knowledge is always a prerequisite, so learn whatever you can about the subject and the profession. This will improve your chances of success.
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