How Do You Become a Quality Assurance Specialist in Video Games?

In order to become a quality assurance specialist in video games, job candidates will need technical prowess, business acumen and gaming skills. Video game quality assurance specialists, sometimes referred to as quality control inspectors, verify that gaming products meet certain standards. Quality assurance specialists write reports about the problems they experience so that game developers can fix the issues before the game is released to the market.

Internal Preparation

Anyone who works within the video game production industry must familiarize themselves with computer systems and popular console technologies. Because quality assurance specialists play games on a variety of platforms, they must know how to install and uninstall hardware or software. General knowledge of computer science is an absolute must for game testers. Quality assurance specialists should play as many games and read as many gaming magazines and possible. This will help them to learn the lingo and game genres.

Employers want job applicants who love video games, so they can prepare now by gaining experience with different platforms and game genres. This includes puzzle, strategy, multiplayer, role-playing and first-person shooter games. Every video game genre comes with a different feel, gaming sub-culture and customer preferences. For example, massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) are very different from violent sci-fi first-person shooter games.

External Preparation

Individuals looking to break into the gaming industry should create their own game-oriented blogs. When added to a resume, a blog shows a high level of commitment and expertise to the gaming industry. Guest blogging on popular gaming blogs will build credibility and authority. Be sure to join a game-focused social network because the majority of job openings are filled by candidates who already know employees in the companies. Participating in game art or design competitions is an excellent way to get the attention of game development companies.

Always volunteer in public beta tests of video games. This a great way to demonstrate analytical aptitudes and communication skills. There are many emerging websites, such as ErliBird, that allow the public to sign up to review mobile, online and desktop games and software programs. Learning how to write bug reports and provide well-written feedback is extremely important. Know the three elements of a bug report: end-user expectations, what actually happened and the specific steps that cause the bug.

Formal Preparation

A Bachelor of Science in Game Design will strongly enhance the candidate’s ability to review programs and successfully work in a game production environment. These programs cover key concepts such as design aesthetics, end-user immersion, game economics, advanced storytelling and character development. A class on the psychology of video games will explore how users learn to apply game concepts and strategies to the real world.

Students learn how playing video games impacts the brain, develops critical-thinking skills and enhances the ability to collaborate with others. Game design classes break down game concepts into logical functions of user goals and choices as well as game rules and environments. Students learn to analyze game designs in order to understand how game concepts interact. Students also learn technical-writing skills by developing game prototypes, flowcharts and reports.

Related Resource: Game Engine Design

Those who want to become a quality assurance specialist in video games should consider voluntary certification through professional organizations such as the American Society for Quality (ASQ).