Day in the life of
Game Tester – Harvey Webb-Jones
My name is Harvey Webb-Jones. I’m 24 years old, and I’m currently working as a QA tester for Cloud Imperium Games.
It’s a job I absolutely love, and every day I get up doing something I enjoy. I live in the UK, but the beauty about working for a company invested in tech is that we can work anywhere in the world.
It’s every schoolboy’s dream job, but there is more to it than just playing the game, I need to really look at the performance and analyze what’s happening, so the designer and programmers can tweak it. It can be stressful when there’s a time deadline, but I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
A typical day starts around 8 am. I log onto the computer and contact my team leader and find out what I’m required to do. It’s hugely varied, sometimes I’m looking at a tiny part of the game like the functionality of a weapon… Or I could be with a few team members testing out an area that has a new bit added to it like new terrain or environment, it needs checking that it works properly, that’s my job. So I will then download the section of the game I’m testing and I have to start to try it out, by literally playing it or walking through each part. I have to make notes about how it performs and provide feedback.
I’m usually in constant contact with other members of the QA team, who are with me on the test.
It can take just a couple of hours, or a couple of days to test out the new section, depending on how big or complex the part of the game is, so it’s hugely varied.
I can be testing just the functionality of just one weapon, or a whole area… It’s so varied.
The team usually breaks for lunch around 12 or 1 pm, I’ll grab a snack or go outside to do something different for a while. Then I’ll log back on and pick up where I left off and spend the rest of the day testing another area or section of the game.
Sometimes the designers make something new and they just need to know how it plays, it’s a very important role, QA teams are integral to the games industry. Without a QA team, they wouldn’t know how each new section or function performs, it would be like creating a new recipe for a new product and never testing it out before selling to the public….!
It can be tedious, but also hilarious, it’s good fun testing new things especially when you are tasked with testing a new part of the game with lots of colleagues together.
It makes me feel like I’m contributing to something important, making a real difference, I’m invested in making sure it works well, so the players have a great experience, I’ve always loved the gaming industry, and I’m so happy to be part of it.
So we are expected to be testing for 8 hours a day, so I’ll clock off around 5 pm depending on my start time.
It’s flexible so if your an early riser you can finish earlier.
There are opportunities for overtime too.
So I do my feedback reports and clock off.
It starts all over again the next day!
In the future, I hope to stay with Cloud Imperium but maybe one day move into the design side.
I would recommend anyone who loves gaming to follow their dreams, it’s a huge industry, and there are lots of opportunities.
Pros: You are involved in the gaming industry. If you’re a gamer it’s a dream job no matter what sector you’re in. One of the best parts is working with a team of like-minded people who all share the same passion for gaming. I went to college and did a basic course in game design and then studied concept gaming art and gaming programming at university.
Cons: You are looking at a computer screen all day every day, so little chance to see daylight… But if you’re already a gamer you get that already!!
Cloud Imperium Games
Game Testers, or Quality Assurance Testers, are responsible for testing video games to uncover defects and glitches, such as missing visuals or game-breaking physics. Game Testers report bugs to the Developers and test the fixes to determine if the bugs are resolved.