How to become a Professional Video Game Tester

I found out those tips at http://work.chron.com/ and, so far for what I have seen, some of them are pretty good.

Let me know what do you think about those tips and if you have another good one that was not mentioned below.

Spare some time to read it if you are looking for an opportunity to get into this biz.

Video game testing, also called quality assurance testing, isn’t a fantasy job; it’s an actual, necessary part of the game development process. A game testing job can be a good way to get your foot in the door of the gaming industry, but it might not be as much fun as you imagine; most quality assurance testers spend their days playing and replaying the same levels to check for errors. Though it’s hard work, game testers are compensated for their efforts. As of 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor reports the average salary of a game tester at $49,000 a year.

Step 1

Familiarize yourself with computer systems and popular console technology. Testers play games on a variety of platforms, and may be asked to install or uninstall hardware or software in the course of their work. According to 25-year veteran game designer Tom Sloper, computer literacy is an absolute must for game testers.

Step 2

Play as many games as possible. Read gaming magazines; get to know the lingo and genres. Many game players stick to one or two genres — but you won’t be able to pick the types of games you test, so you should be familiar with many different genres.

Step 3

Volunteer to participate in public beta tests of games. Quality assurance testers must be detail-oriented and thorough; demonstrate your aptitude for game testing by doing an exceptional job testing beta releases. Take comprehensive notes if you encounter any bugs; play and replay all of the events leading up to buggy responses and supply detailed feedback on every game error you come across.

Step 4

Learn how to write a bug report. Find bug reports online, and practice creating reports of your own that include the three essential elements of a bug report: what happened, what you expected to happen, and the exact steps required to repeat the bug. Knowing how to write a bug report will be a huge advantage when it comes time to apply for game testing positions.

Step 5

Practice effective written communication. Game testers’ bug reports should communicate game issues clearly enough that no follow-up questions are required.

Step 6

Start your own gaming blog. Greg Off, President of game marketing company Off Base Productions, advises people looking to breaking into the gaming industry to create their own game-oriented blogs. A great addition to a would-be game tester resume, a blog shows that you are committed to games — and can also serve as a platform to network with others in the industry.

Step 7

Join a game-focused social network and make friends. According to a recent article published by CNN, only about 20 percent of job openings are actually advertised — the rest are filled by people who know employees already working at the companies.

Step 8

Participate in game art contests or game review competitions. Winning an award in either type of contest is an excellent way to get the attention of game development studios.

Step 9

Get a college degree. Tom Sloper strongly recommends obtaining a degree before applying for a job as a game tester. Game design, computer science and communications are all subjects that would lend themselves to a career in game development.

Step 10

Apply for an internship at a game company. Lauren Svenson, a publicist for EA, encourages anyone who wants to get into the game industry to seek out internships. The opportunity to meet people and make connections, she maintains, is even more valuable than the experience of working on the games themselves.

Step 11

Create a resume that highlights your education, beta testing experience and communication skills. Attach a cover letter detailing your specific interest in a game testing position and point out any activities that demonstrate your dedication to game development and testing.

Step 12

Email your resume to every game company within commuting distance. According to Tom Sloper, you will not be able to test games from home — so if there is no game company within driving distance, you may need to move. Alex Jones, a producer at Capcom, broke into the industry by sending out resumes left and right: “I looked in the back of every video game magazine and sent my resume out to all of them within a 50 mile radius.”

And what about you? Have you started your on blog or game bug report?

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How to become a Professional Video Game Tester

I found out those tips at http://work.chron.com/ and, so far for what I have seen, some of them are pretty good.

Let me know what do you think about those tips and if you have another good one that was not mentioned below.

Spare some time to read it if you are looking for an opportunity to get into this biz.

Video game testing, also called quality assurance testing, isn’t a fantasy job; it’s an actual, necessary part of the game development process. A game testing job can be a good way to get your foot in the door of the gaming industry, but it might not be as much fun as you imagine; most quality assurance testers spend their days playing and replaying the same levels to check for errors. Though it’s hard work, game testers are compensated for their efforts. As of 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor reports the average salary of a game tester at $49,000 a year.

Step 1

Familiarize yourself with computer systems and popular console technology. Testers play games on a variety of platforms, and may be asked to install or uninstall hardware or software in the course of their work. According to 25-year veteran game designer Tom Sloper, computer literacy is an absolute must for game testers.

Step 2

Play as many games as possible. Read gaming magazines; get to know the lingo and genres. Many game players stick to one or two genres — but you won’t be able to pick the types of games you test, so you should be familiar with many different genres.

Step 3

Volunteer to participate in public beta tests of games. Quality assurance testers must be detail-oriented and thorough; demonstrate your aptitude for game testing by doing an exceptional job testing beta releases. Take comprehensive notes if you encounter any bugs; play and replay all of the events leading up to buggy responses and supply detailed feedback on every game error you come across.

Step 4

Learn how to write a bug report. Find bug reports online, and practice creating reports of your own that include the three essential elements of a bug report: what happened, what you expected to happen, and the exact steps required to repeat the bug. Knowing how to write a bug report will be a huge advantage when it comes time to apply for game testing positions.

Step 5

Practice effective written communication. Game testers’ bug reports should communicate game issues clearly enough that no follow-up questions are required.

Step 6

Start your own gaming blog. Greg Off, President of game marketing company Off Base Productions, advises people looking to breaking into the gaming industry to create their own game-oriented blogs. A great addition to a would-be game tester resume, a blog shows that you are committed to games — and can also serve as a platform to network with others in the industry.

Step 7

Join a game-focused social network and make friends. According to a recent article published by CNN, only about 20 percent of job openings are actually advertised — the rest are filled by people who know employees already working at the companies.

Step 8

Participate in game art contests or game review competitions. Winning an award in either type of contest is an excellent way to get the attention of game development studios.

Step 9

Get a college degree. Tom Sloper strongly recommends obtaining a degree before applying for a job as a game tester. Game design, computer science and communications are all subjects that would lend themselves to a career in game development.

Step 10

Apply for an internship at a game company. Lauren Svenson, a publicist for EA, encourages anyone who wants to get into the game industry to seek out internships. The opportunity to meet people and make connections, she maintains, is even more valuable than the experience of working on the games themselves.

Step 11

Create a resume that highlights your education, beta testing experience and communication skills. Attach a cover letter detailing your specific interest in a game testing position and point out any activities that demonstrate your dedication to game development and testing.

Step 12

Email your resume to every game company within commuting distance. According to Tom Sloper, you will not be able to test games from home — so if there is no game company within driving distance, you may need to move. Alex Jones, a producer at Capcom, broke into the industry by sending out resumes left and right: “I looked in the back of every video game magazine and sent my resume out to all of them within a 50 mile radius.”

And what about you? Have you started your on blog or game bug report?

How To Write A Game Bug Report

Hello!

Once more, Tom Sloper gives us an opportunity to enjoy one more of his texts and experience as below.

“How To Write a Game Bug Report” is one of the many information that you can find at www.sloperama.com

Enjoy the reading!

How to Write a Bug Report

[…] In this article, my goal is to teach you how to write a good bug report. I teach video game quality assurance at the University of Southern California, one of the top game schools in the world. I’ve read a lot of bug reports in my time, and written a lot of them too. If you ever want to get a QA job at a game company, you may need to write a bug report (also called a “bug”) as a test of your communication skills.

The Bug Database

QA departments use an online database for bug reporting. There are several different tools used for this: DevTrack, Mantis, JIRA, FogBugz, to name just a few. When a tester encounters a problem in the game he (or she) is testing, s/he then writes a report of the problem in the database. More about that in a bit (that being the main focus of this article).

 

The Bug Process

Once some new bugs have been written, the lead tester (the senior tester who leads the test effort on the game) filters the bugs. That means that the lead tester reads the bugs to make sure they’re “good” bugs. A “good” bug is not a duplicate of a bug already written by someone else, it describes a real problem worth looking into, and it contains enough information so that the developer (more on what this means below) can see the problem and fix it.

The game’s producer or project manager also filters the bugs. It wouldn’t do for bad bugs to be reported to the development team. Bad bugs waste time.

Once the bugs have been filtered, they are released to the development team. Development leads (the lead artist, the lead programmer, the lead designer) read the bugs appropriate to their own areas of responsibility and assign them to individual developers to fix. So if it’s an art bug, the lead artist knows which artist is responsible for that art asset, so the lead artist assigns the bug to that artist. If it’s a programming bug, the lead programmer can probably tell which programmer wrote the code that needs to be fixed.

The developer (the person to whom the bug was assigned, be s/he an artist, designer, programmer) is notified that a bug has been assigned. Then the developer opens the database and reads the bug. Assuming the bug is well-written enough that the developer understands and accepts the validity of the problem, the developer then fixes the bug, and clicks the “Fixed” selection in the database.

If the developer reads the bug and has a question that needs to be answered in order to fully understand the problem, the developer can post the question directly in the bug and send it back to the tester. Once the tester answers the question, the bug bounces back into the developer’s court. This little game of badminton continues until the developer has enough information and can fix the bug. Hopefully, the tester provides enough information in the initial report so that no back-and-forth is even necessary.

Once a bug has been fixed, the bug goes back to the tester who wrote it for retesting. If the tester determines that the bug is indeed fixed, he or she clicks the “Verified Fixed” selection, and the bug is on its way to being “Closed.” If the tester determines that there is still a problem, he or she “Reopens” the bug, and it goes back to the developer to try again to fix.

There’s more to it than that, but hopefully you get the idea. The database is a communication tool that the testers and developers use to track and resolve issues with the game.

How To Write A Good Bug

I can hear voices in the distance, crying “Finally!!” Well, I figured it was helpful to set the stage first. Good to have the context, right?

A bug contains the following five main parts:

  1. Summary line (short, sweet, summation of the problem)
  2. The Actual Result (a description of what happened; the problem)
  3. The Expected Result (what you thought should happen instead of the problem)
  4. Steps to Replicate (how someone else can make the problem happen too)
  5. Severity (how bad is the problem)

Let’s examine those in detail.

2. The Actual Result

Writing in first person point of view, describe the problem. Provide enough information pertinent to the problem so that anyone reading the bug report will understand what happened. Write in complete sentences. Use proper punctuation, grammar, syntax, and spelling.

Example:

I was playing the Dodgers versus the Zombies, at Pebbled on Downs. I was at bat, and I hit a high fly ball. The ball flew high and long, but it never came down. Instead, the ball got stuck in my onscreen score. The ball flew right into the O and stayed there.

3. The Expected Result

Now that you’ve described the problem, explain why it’s a problem. What did you expect to happen, instead of the thing that actually happened? And what is the basis of that expectation? It may seem to you that it’s a waste of time to have to explain why it’s a problem — maybe you think it’s self-evident that it’s a problem (that any idiot can plainly see why it’s a problem, and what any idiot would expect to happen instead). Well, it’s your job as a QA tester to communicate. So communicate! What seems self-evident to you may not be so self-evident to your reader. And that even extends to the basis for the expectation.

Example:

The onscreen score is an artificial construct; it’s not really a part of the physical world being represented in the game. The score remains stationary on the screen while the camera pans around the sports arena. The score doesn’t smack any sports fans in the head (the sports fans are not affected by the relative motion of the onscreen score), and the score doesn’t collide with structures in the sports arena. So it’s unexpected for the ball to interact with the onscreen score in any way.

Now it’s dead easy for anyone reading your bug to understand what you expected to happen (and why you expected that to happen).

4. Steps To Replicate

Great, so you found a bug and you’re proud of yourself for spotting it. But if the developer can’t make the problem happen, how can he or she fix it? You have to tell the developer how to recreate (replicate) the problem. Writing in second person point of view, give the developer complete instructions about how to make the problem happen, so he can see it for himself. And to really communicate thoroughly, conclude with an observation step. Tell the developer what to look for, and what he will see, when he has performed your steps.

Example:

The problem has only been observed when playing in Pebbledon Downs, with the Dodgers and the Zombies. Your onscreen score has to be zero, and you have to aim for the zero. It can be tricky to make this problem happen, because it requires a good strong hit, a fly ball, and a trajectory that intersects perfectly with the middle of the O in the score. But I was able to make it happen a second time by simply being persistent. I recommend using the practice mode (that way the test is not prolonged by inning changes, vampire attacks, and timeouts). Using the left stick, position the batter’s feet so that a line drawn across both shoetips points directly towards the O. Press the right trigger just as the ball crosses the 5-point line, and hit the ball, then watch as it flies. When the ball flies into the O, observe that it gets stuck in the O.

See how that’s written in second person (I told the developer what he has to do). And notice that in the observation step I told him what to look for.

5. Severity

Now that you’ve described the problem, why it’s a problem, and how to recreate the problem, you need to say how severe the problem is, and why you say it’s that severe. You can’t just say “it’s a bad bug and needs to be fixed.” You have to communicate the reason why it’s bad. And you should use the A-B-C-D scale […]. (Remember: A is worst, B is bad, C is normal, D is minor.)

Example:

When the problem happens, it’s quite severe, because the ball is stuck and the game can not continue. The only way out of it (other than rebooting) is to hit Start, then Quit the game. But the problem happens only on those extremely rare occasions when the ball perfectly enters the O. So I’m assigning this a severity of C.

1. Summary

I’ll bet you thought I made a mistake when I didn’t list this above! The reason I put this last is that the best time to write the summary is after you’ve written the rest of the report. A summary needs to be short, and it needs to summarize the problem you’re reporting.

Example:

Ball gets stuck in the O

A bug report summary is a lot like the subject line of an email. It has to be short, and it has to give an idea of what the email is about (in this case, what the bug is). You’ll find that it’s easier to write the most concise summation of the problem after you’ve already written the full bug description.

Some Common Mistakes

* Non-summing summary line. “Found a bug.” No kidding! Like all these other bugs in the database aren’t bugs that somebody found? That’s like sending an email with the subject line, “Hey” – or “I wrote an email” – or “From me.” Sum up the problem! Say what the problem is. Just like when you write an email, you give the recipient an idea what the email is about before he or she opens it.

* Too-long summary line. “The slithy toves gyred and gimbled in the wabe when the borogoves were all mimsy and the mome raths outgrabe.” Dude, just say “The slithy toves gyred and gimbled.” That condenses the essence of the problem. You can give us the details about all the excessively mimsy borogoves in the body of the report.

* Tester as designer. “The slithy toves need to have a 5-second cooldown after gyring so they don’t gimble too soon.” No, don’t tell the developer how to fix it. Just say what the problem is. It’s the designer’s job to figure out what’s the best way to balance the slithy toves.

* Not giving step by step instructions. Tell the developer what to do, so he can see the problem himself. Don’t just say “I did this, then I did that.” Tell him, “do this, then do that.” Give step-by-step instructions, in detail, in the second person.

* Unclear basis for an expectation. “Usually, pressing X causes the door to open.” What do you mean, “usually”? Do you mean that’s how one opens doors in other games? Do you mean that’s how one opens other doors in this game? Do you mean doors in your home open when you press an X button? What does “usually” mean?? Be specific, dude!

* Confusing “player” with “player character.” The player is the human who’s holding the game controller. That digital being on the screen is a character. Don’t use the terms interchangeably.

* Wishy-washy observation step. “Then watch to see if the problem happens or not.” Wrong. Tell the developer he will see the problem. Tell him to observe that it does happen.

* Inappropriate use of the word “should,” as in: “After you follow these steps, you should see the bug happen.” Um, what? The bug should not happen — that’s why it’s a bug! If it was supposed to happen, then it wouldn’t be a bug. So you shouldn’t say “should” in this way. Just say “after following these steps, observe that the bug happens.”

So that’s how to write a bug report. It’s all about communication. A little extra attention to detail in writing your initial communication can save a lot of time later on. And this principle applies to a lot of written communications, in business and in life.

And that is Tom Sloper once more helping us understanding a little bit over the game biz QA.

Thank you Tom!

Game Testing Methodology

Hi, everyone!

Here I come with one more post, but this time, talking about Game Testing Methodology as the title said!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the source of this text and all I know that this was available here. And also, I couldn’t find the author of it. So, if you want to have the full version of it, just check the website above.

Further more, if any of you know who is the author of this text, please, let me know so I can give the right credits.

Enjoy!

Effective testing comes from a well-structured approach and a well-defined testing methodology so the game product is highly satisfying to our Publisher and the game player. In contrast, poor testing results in a buggy game or software that gives rise to a long stream of repeated testing and project delays.

[…]

There are few, if any “fixed rules” for this testing methodology; however, there are many suggestions, ideas, and guidelines for improving the quality and effectiveness of testing for our game projects. Hopefully, testers will be able to learn, understand, plan and carry out effective and efficient testing in a structured manner. If you have any questions about the information, please contact your Software Quality Director.

SCOPE AND DEFINITION

In a simplistic view, testing is to identify bugs found in the software, so the problem can be removed. There are different forms of tests and testing that can be categorized as “Black-Box” testing and “Clear-Box” testing (“Clear Box” testing is also known as “White-Box” testing in the software industry). Their testing objective and overall processes are indifference (e.g., test planning, test design, testing execution, regression testing and bug reporting), but their focus of attention puts emphasis on different aspects of the game:

* “Black Box” focuses on the functional or the playability aspects of the game. For examples, testing the user interface (e.g., the selection menus and the use of buttons), the “look and feel” (e.g., the graphics and animation), and the actual gameplay.

* “Clear Box” is focus on the architecture and integration aspects of the game software. For examples, the use of a database, pipelines, the interaction/integration of game components like the rendering engine, the AI engine, sound, and so on.

For Black Box testing, the tester must know how to play the game (e.g., use of the game pad, know the rules and the game flow). For Clear Box testing, the tester must understand what coding is. The Software Tester uses a run-time debugging environment, feeds the code or chunks of code with input (i.e., data, setting variables, etc.) and analyzes the test result.

TESTING PHILOSOPHY

Testing is NOT a single person’s job, nor solely the responsibility of the Game Tester and the Software Tester for a game project. Every team member working in a game project must have“quality” in mind, and each person is responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the work that he/she produces.

This testing methodology is NOT the only process and it should NOT be used in isolation. The reader must be aware that this testing methodology is considered as an integral part to the Game Pre-production and Production processes.

In reality, no one can test a program COMPLETELY , i.e., testing every single part of the game using different and all available characters, so triggering different path of the logic and all the possible variations of input, interfaces, AI, and then output. Our testing strategy is to develop excellent, full-coverage, and effective testing (i.e., 80/20 rule).

TESTING PLANNING AND TESTING REQUIREMENTS

A requirement is an objective that must be met. The tester must understand most of the game requirements and translate them into functional terms (e.g., what needs to be tested, what things are testable and what not, what are the targets and measures, etc.), leaving the design and implementation details to the developers. As part of the testing requirement development process, the testers read the system documentation, gather all the visual and written information, analyze what and how the game components can be tested. It is the responsibility of testers to read all the relevant documentation so they can share (to understand and appreciate) the mission of the project […]. You are required to develop a Testing Requirements document for each game by outlining what and how the game and game components will be tested. The document includes:

* a list of features,

* the specifics of the internal design and external designs of the game. This may require a description of the possible implementations if it makes the testing requirements easier to understand (e.g., certain theme of the game, the characters, the animation, the AI, cinematic or camera view, and so on). For example, to test the multi-directional fight action for the Chan PS2 game, you must make reference to the use of “Ring of Engagement”, describe how the opponents engage into the fight scene, and what you expect the single/combination fighting actions.

* a testing structure detailing if and how Game Testing and/or Software Testing is applied (i.e., in a spreadsheet format for the items identified above),

* the testing criteria (e.g., ideas for testing), and

* the completion criteria (e.g., what are the expected results, what does “something is done” or “something is working” mean to you in game testing?) After the testing requirements are identified, the Technical Director for the game and the Software Quality Director will review the document to confirm scope and priority. Following the test requirements, the testers work on their own test design and develop a Test Plan and Test Cases. Any testing dependency requirements must be identified and communicated to the game team so the game code is “test-enabled”, i.e., what kind of cheat codes, or “test automation-enabled” code are required?

The testing documentation is expected to be developed in the early stage of the project, i.e., draft testing documentation is produced when we have the first playable build. It is important to note that the testing requirements will not cover every single detail of the game, but it must cover testing all the contractually required elements (e.g. specific features and the major game functionality). You can obtain this information from the game Technical Director.

DEFINE THE TIME LINE REQUIREMENT

When a game project is pressed for time, we must recognize the existence of a threshold point where sufficient time line must be provided for the testers to perform:

* a number of iterations for testing each new or updated game features,

* a complete cycle of regression testing for each build,

*sufficient regression testing of the previously Critical, Closed bugs, and

* a full regression testing expecting to test every event/world/environment object and triggers in the game for Alpha, Beta and Final. This “threshold” point varies from game to game, the tester is expected to communicate the“bare bone” testing requirement with the Producer and/or Project Manager.

Well, as you can see, Testing Games is not that simple. There is a lot, and when I say a LOT, I mean a LOT of things that you have to read and study about. However, just reading and studying is not enough to be a good Game Tester. You have to deal with the real thing and get into the market – as hard as that can be.

Wait for the second part of this text and hope someone out there can understand and use this at work!

 

Originally posted in 05/03/2014.

Software Testing Basics – Learning to walk before you can run

Some people may say “that something you have to run, before you can walk” but I have to reply: “Sorry, Tony. This may be not the case….”

The website that I took this information – with all the credits, you can check it here – put the Software Testing in a few pretty good and simple steps that we can follow to be a great tester.

First of all, I have to say that, in order to be and understand what a Game Tester is and why he is so important in the Game Industry, we have to understand the true meaning behind it.

What are the basic principles of testing and quality?

All computer/video games are basically software. (Let me know if you have a computer/video-game game that is not a software). With that, to start testing games, we have to work with testing software and then go deeper into the rabbit’s hole.

Software Testing Basics: Thing One

Thing One: Testing Is Simple! Period. End-of-story. S-I-M-P-L-E. Just so we are crystal clear: Testing Is Simple.

Anyone who tries to tell you differently doesn’t know what they are talking about and may just be in the wrong line of work. Testing is simple. Always remember that. Any testing that you perform that is NOT simple is at best potentially inaccurate – and at worst wrong.

When testing software, you main goal is to clearly establish whether or not the pre-defined behavior that is expected of the software occurs when and how it is supposed to. In short: Does the software do what it should? Does the software do anything that it shouldn’t? That’s it. That’s how it starts. And that…is simple.

Software Testing Basics: Thing Two

Thing Two: Learn and Adapt. Let’s face it, the reason that testers are always needed is that new technology continues to be developed. Do you actually think that’s going to stop? EVER?!? I don’t think so either. So, in order to keep up, you must always be learning and remain adaptable.

As the software changes, so do the specific demands on testing it. In order to keep up with these demands you must be able to learn the new technology as it is created and then adapt your techniques so that you can test it most effectively.

Software Testing Basics: Thing Three

Thing Three: You must be able to communicate clearly and accurately. When you are testing software and you find a bug (an issue, a defect, a bad result, etc.) you must be able to share your information in such a way that anyone can understand it.

When you do this, then the bug can be fixed and your project can move forward. If you don’t, then you create more work for others, waste time that people are paying you for, and are seen as a drain on the project.

You must know the fundamentals if you plan to be a QA Tester. If you want a software testing job, learn the fundamentals.

If you dream of a career in Software Quality Assurance, you will have to choose the right things to learn. Learn the terminology, learn the fundamentals and Choose Success!

Everything that I learned so far, for a fully understanding, came from basics principles. I do believe that, to understand the bug, why it happened and what is should be doing instead of not doing it, I have to know how it was programmed, what code he used to do it, how the game works on it most simple figure. As a Game Tester, know this kind of stuff, would help you to improve the way you report bugs because you can be more specific and that could even help you to make the bug happen again.

That is also what I understand as team work. 🙂

Important Points about Localization…

Hi!

Localization, as we all know, can be a really tough thing do to. Most of people who doesn’t know this well enough, believes that localization is just to translate the game – as I said in another posts.

After reading a lot about it, I would like to right a few tips that I made myself and, as I understand, how localization works.

1 – Objective: To localize is to put the game into a specifically country. People expect you to sell the game to game players as they start buying it. The game industry is growing every day and all the time there’s a new game coming right up to your console or PC. And, believe me, you would love and enjoy the game much more if you have its own your language. I say that because I am playing Skyrim and, as much as I am enjoying playing it and know how to speak English, it is pretty tiring reading and understanding everything.

2 – Smoothness: It is not (only) important that the game is translated. It helps, but what really make the difference is how the gamer will be inside the game and how his/her attention will be hold BECAUSE of the translation. The player cannot “realized” that the game was translated. Every version of the game has to give the impression that has been done at that own language. It is quite frustrating when you are so immerse into a game and, because of a word, you just realized that it is a game and give the face “WTF?”. Not just talking about the writing, but the audio must be also as good as the original.

3 – Testing: It was a huge game, you spent hours/days/weeks/months translating and, when you think it’s ready, it is not. Sorry, but as far as I understand, you can’t do a one-time perfect job. Even if you are writing a text on your own language. How many mistakes you make? Don’t you ever ask someone to check it? The same happen with the game translation/localization. Talking about me, When I translated Alien Shooter, I called a few friends to play on my computer and asked them what they thing about it, what could I do better and if the texts were ok. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to translate the audio. And that is another important thing. If you don’t have that possibility – as me – make sure that what is being said is the same that was translated. Some people who does understand English will get confuse when listening that important Mission report and reading the text and, because of some weird thing translated, he will lost the entire context. And to make things better, he was talking with a kamizake guy who was about then explode. In other words, that was a one time listening. Frustrating….

4 – Like the game: After studying about it, localizing, translating and testing may not be as good as it seems – as one side of the story. As said before, imaging working on a game that you hate? As me, I am less like to play racing games or sport games. Imagine if I have to localize one of those games? All the players’ status and story (sport games) or info about car parts, engines and how things work. I know that would be a perfect world to work on Fallout 3 and later on Skyrim and later on World of Warcraft and then Dishonored. Even translating SUPER MARIO would be wonderful!!!! But for sure, if you are starting on this area, you may have to create a portfolio or build your name into the market (me right now…) and you may have to work on things that it is not even the game area (me again right now…. 🙂

5 – MOST IMPORTANT: LIKE IT AT ALL: Not much to say. Localizing, testing, translating are jobs like any other. Like your work and you will never have to work one day.

Hope that helps! I know I still have A LOT of things to learn, but I do have to start from somewhere.

Originally posted in 23/02/2014.

Video Game Tester: The Real Deal

Hello!

Found out this text about the QA area and some good information.

If you want more information about QA in other areas or the real deal about it and the source of this text, click here.

Enjoy the reading.

Wanted: Video Game Tester

I have seen the advertisements too. “Get paid to be a video game tester!!!” The promise that game companies will pay you hundreds of dollars to sit on your couch and play video games.

Really? And you will be a bona fide software tester. Really?

If sitting at home playing games all day is what you’re looking for, then you have come to the wrong site. It you are serious about becoming a professional tester, I’m here to get you going.

I can tell you what my firsthand experience was when I worked as a video game tester at a large game company. What I won’t do is sell you empty promises claiming that you can make a living by laying on your couch gaming all day.

If you really want to become a video game tester, then you should know what to expect. You should know that a job testing games for a living is a very different beast than sitting around gaming with your friends all weekend. You should know how you can expect to be treated, who you will be working with, and how you can expect them to smell.

Smell??? Yes, smell…but we’ll get to that in a minute…

The Life of a Temp Video Game Tester

Most of the big game companies hire testers seasonally. They need extra warm bodies to perform their tests to get the game finished in time to be on the shelves in time for the Christmas shopping rush and for the Spring/Summer restock.

Almost all of these hires are temps. They may even be the same temps season after season. What they are NOT: RFTE = Regular Full Time Employee. An RFTE gets benefits. An RFTE may get stock options. An RFTE can participate in offsite parties. An RFTE is subject to reviews and raises.

Temps don’t get any of this. This is due to companies’ fear of liability (look up the old Microsoft temp employee lawsuit).

If you are hired as a temp video game tester, you will not get any of the fringe benefits listed above. You will be worked as hard and as long as they can – you DO get overtime – but this does not mean that you will be converted into an RFTE.

I have a colleague that was on a testing team at a large game company where I once worked. He had been a valued and professional QA tester with his previous employer (where I had trained him) and now was working as a temp at this game company.

(Blog’s Author: According to Tom Sloper (if you do not know him, go after. It is really worthy) some cases are just “out of the box” day-by-day. You will hear a lot of people saying “It happen with one friend of mine…” or “but I know a person that…” Eventually things will happen, but some things will happen once in a life time…. Or may be really hard to happen again)

His team (Temps and RFTEs) was put on a schedule of 15-hour days 6 days a week for 3 months. This was voluntary, but all those that attempted to opt out were highly pressured and if they didn’t agree were released (California is an “at will” employment state).

The Promise: The company would throw a huge party to celebrate their achievement if they hit the date.

The Reality: The company did indeed hold quite the celebratory shindig. However, fearing liability, the Temps on the team were not allowed to attend.

The Reward: The temps were each presented with $10 gift certificates to a movie theater chain.

I tell you this story not to scare you away from working for a big game company, (Blog’s Author: Well, you are doing a pretty good job!) but simply to inform you. There are undoubtedly others that have temped and had much more rewarding experiences. You make your own choice – at least now it can be an informed one.

Your Coworkers and You

These large gaming companies staff the majority of their Quality Assurance departments with gamers. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a gamer. But let’s be clear – a gamer is a gamer. A professional video game tester does more than just game.

Having the need to complete thousands of manual tests within a short window, these companies must hire disposable staff. You will work with temps that have no desire to be professional testers – they just want to play games and have found one way to get paid for it (at least for a short time). The company gives these employees the title of “QA Tester” – this does the Quality Assurance community no favors. (Blog’s Author: Once more, being a QA Tester/Game Tester is an important job as any other. If you don’t take this seriously, imagine if the people that tested the game you are now playing happily on your PS4 did the same?)

If you want people to game with at lunch, you’re in the right place. But if you want to grow your testing skills and take them to the next level, you’re probably not.

This is not to say that everyone that you work with will be a gamer. On the contrary, you will find coworkers who truly are developing their testing craft. But please remember that these are the exception…not the rule.

Testing is Not the same as Gaming

As rewarding and enjoyable as testing games can be, becoming a video game tester entails more than you would probably think.

IMPORTANT: Getting a job playing games is one thing, actually testing them is another. Finding bugs and reporting them, pouring over every single possible path through the game, tracking every combination available to the user, and contributing to the overall quality of a shipped product is a much more disciplined endeavor than just sitting down to enjoy endless hours playing your favorite game.

You also may have to test a game or genre that you don’t really like. While your testing brethren are fleshing out the latest nuances of the newest networked racing game, you may be verifying that Sponge Bob is wearing the correct outfit in each game scene you have been assigned the responsibility for. (Blog’s Author: Now THAT would be really interesting….)

You should also know beforehand that after playing development versions (read: unstable, incomplete, and crash-prone) of your favorite game for 4-6 months (or longer), you may never really enjoy playing that game again the way that you used to. Seeing which features are left out, which bugs get deferred, and how disorganized the software development process can be might very well change the way you view your favorite games. So yes, believe it or not being a video game tester does have a few drawbacks.

(Blog’s Author: Imagine that you have you very favorite game in hand. It is really amazing to play, you enjoy this game and everything that it can offers. A fantastic open world movement and lot of character to deal with, guns, places, etc. It is a dream land because IT IS WORKING. Now, get this game and put a bunch or bugs and problems that YOU will have to deal with. Yeah, this is the real deal….)

Your Coworkers and You – Part II…What is that smell?

(Blog’s Author: I really didn’t understand this topic at first, but now I just don’t want to believe that we have people like that nowadays…)

Since your testing department will be filled with gamers, I should offer one final warning…some of them don’t smell very good. Now this is not just some rant about the lack of personal hygiene practiced by some video game players.

What I am talking about is the smell that is produced when many people:

  • Eat every meal out of the company vending machines
  • Game (on work premises) at every chance during their non-work hours
  • Never go somewhere that they have a chance to bathe

So imagine if you will: multiple bodies covered in a stale sweat that is the byproduct of pork rinds, hot pockets, bagel dogs, and artificial cheese stuff, in a poorly ventilated space, for days at a time. This is not a work environment I would wish on anyone – especially after experiencing it myself.

But if you want experience…

All that being said, if you want to break into the Quality Assurance field, want to get paid to play games, or just want to see what the whole deal is about, by all means get a job at one of these large gaming companies as a video game tester. Securing an entry-level position is generally easier because they have the openings (at least seasonally) and have the bandwidth to hire several untrained gamers.

I don’t agree with most of their processes or methodologies, but it can be a place for you to get a start. If you plan to go this route, do yourself a favor and prepare. Check out the Testing Basics. If you really are serious about getting paid real money to play games, invest in yourself and find out what you need to know to succeed as a QA Tester.

Source: http://www.successful-quality-assurance.com/video-game-tester.html

Well, the text is quite clear about what is the deal of a Video Game Tester. I found out a lot of people talking about how horrible that is and other saying how wonderful that is. Hard to say if this is the best job ever or not. If you like what you are doing and feel completed with the job, waking up every morning happy because you are going to test games that may be your place. If you don’t, I just recommend you to look for something else.

First Time Player Review – DC Universe Online. Is it worthy playing?

Hello, everybody.

 

Today I’ll be talking about this not so old MMO game that I’ve just started playing and you may have heard about it. Still, many people that I talked to have never played before or tried once, but gave up.

dcuoHowever, before you think this is one more Review just like the others with experience people and talking, think again. My idea here is to bring a review from a first-time-player and not the I-spent-500-hours review. Why does that matter? Well, think about it. After you play a game for 500 hours or more, everything will be easy to understand, to remember, easy to do and explain to others in your own words! It’s really nice to have someone explaining everything and how it works. Makes you want to play it. Well, I kinda thing that sometimes that doesn’t work and having a first-player-review is like testing the game for the first time. The UI should be friendly and easy to use making the player experience wonderful and not hard. You’ll get what I mean later.

Here are some things to make you think about the game.

DC Universe Online (or as some people call DCUO) was developed by Daybreak Game Company and co-published by Daybreak Game Company and WB Games for PS3, PS4, Xbox One, and PC based on, of course, DC Universe of DC Comics. Released in January 11, 2011, this “not so free-to-play” gives the player an opportunity to be a super hero or a super villain in Gotham City or Metropolis City.

So, where do we start? Oh, yeah, the intro!

The start cinematic, beautifully developed by the producers, includes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Robin, Cyborg, Flash, and Green Lantern in one side and Joker, Lex Luthor, Harley Quinn, Circe, Deathstroke, Black Adam, and Giganta fighting in the ruins of Metropolis. It’s worthy watching. At the end, Lex explains that the War was caused by the subtle manipulations of Brainiac. During the game, you can see in Gotham and Metropolis Brainiac’s ships hovering over the cities and the invasion all over.

With the end of it, its the players turn with first the creation of the character. I’m not going into all the things you can do, powers, skills, etc, because theres a lot of websites

Gender
First screen to create a character

talking about it. Roughly, you can choose between a super hero where your mentors can be Batman, Superman or Wonder Woman, or a super villain having mentors as Lex Luthor, The Joker or Circe. The character creation is really amazing and you have a lot of options to build your char, including your uniform which can be based in one of the heroes or villains or you can work on your own. With a variety of forms, types, colors, and shapes for the feet, wrist, back, head, hands, chest, shoulder, and legs you can sure bring something unique to your hero/villain or create a uniform like a Super Sayajin or One Punch Man (really, I’ve seen those…). Your first “mission” is to escape from Brainiac’s ship. Somehow, you were one of the heroes/Villains Brainiac was draining energy from. You can consider this as a tutorial for the controllers, communication, interface, scenario, powers, skill points, etc.

Uniform
Character based on … guess who!

After this first “stage” you have to go over missions that your mentor or other super hero/villain will give you. It goes from breaking into places, destroy things, rescue people, healing people, and all kind of mission related. Eventually, you will also find someone trying to break into a building or trying suicide. Just stop/talk to this NPC to get some free XP. With that, you are able to do raid instances (some require a specific level to get into), update your character with weapons, and armors. The world is huge and, even flying or using super speed, it takes a while to go from one point to another in the city.

The game has a lot of good sides to talk about, its really addicted, and you want to keep playing more and more. It’s a nice feeling to have super powers and go around messing or saving people. As of August 2014, according to Wikipedia, the game had 18 million registered users, AllGame gave 3.5 out of 5, Eurogamer 6/10, GameSpot 7.0, GamesRadar 6/10, IGN 8/10, PC gamer (US) 88%, and X-Play, 4/5. But, as any other game, it sure has some down sides. Really.

So, I played this one on the PS3 and PC. First, PS3, if you don’t have the way of controlling a character in a full open environment, do not try it on your console. Have you ever played Call of Duty or Battlefield on a console? Probably, yes, but aiming and moving the camera around should be made only for mouses, not controllers…. but that’s just me. I suck on that kind of game in a console. I’m not good using a controller where it should be a mouse. The PC version feels way more fluent and playable. To tell the truth, when I first tried on my PS3, I played for 15 minutes and gave up. Weeks later, I tried on the PC and here I’m writing about it.

DCUO-A&D
Research & Development Interface to create Exobites

Took me a while to get used to the user interface and many times I found myself using Google to search for how to do this, how to do that, what is this for, what is that for… The tutorial and interface for the items do not help at all. Yeah, after a while you get the way of it and some people would say “ah, that’s not so hard. I know everything and it’s quite easy”, because you took a while to search, go over, and understand it. Think about it. EVERY game, no ones know how to deal with, how to play, how to manage the skills, powers, items… and if you spend a lot of time playing it, you will eventually realized everything was easy and every piece fits together. This should be simple from the first time or at least on the first hours playing. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should know the whole game on the first couple or hours, but the more you play the more you understand what you are doing and move on. You shouldn’t look for stuff all the time. I can also add that I saw other people, new players, asking the same questions in game, same problems, having the same issues. So, yeah, it’s not just me and I do believe the, in some point in history, you did Google how to do something. Exobits and Exobytes are and example of it. Those are not a bad idea – way far from that – but I had to Google and ask people how to deal with that. If I’m a new player, it should be simple, with a better tutorial,  friendly, step by step… otherwise, people would just give up because its “complicated”. (Still, its worthy to keep pushing it).

Exobits_In_Gothan
First screen to create a character

Exobits are all over the cities, but you don’t know what to do with them and, when your inventory is full (we’ll talk about that later), and you have no more space for nothing, its time to learn how it works. From there, you have to keep collecting them.With some Exobits, on a R&D Station, you can build Exobytes, with the right plan (you can buy some and others are drooped by bosses). When they are ready, you can add them to your armor. (Its like the diamonds in WoW or Diablo).

Now. Prices. Lets talk about the “free-to-play” marketing. Sure you can do that, play for free. I’ve been playing for free. However, your inventory has limited space as your bank and if you want more space, you have to subscribe. And it’s not a simple subscription .You have to keep paying for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or, if you’d like, 12 months. Another issue is you don’t have access to all your money, for example. Long time ago, I heard you could handle only $2000. The overrun value goes to something you can call an “investment account” where you have to pay for the game so you can access that money. I didn’t get that at the first time. I thought that would be unlocked after I reached level 10/15/25/30. But, no. Today (2016), it’s still the same, but the amount you have available is now $1500. And to make things better, the value of fixing your armor is nothing more than $10, depending on the armor and how many pieces, and to pay better plans to build better mods to your equipments costs around $1550 or more. Thats right. A little bit higher than what you can handle. Anyway, you are still trying to learn how the game works, so you won’t be worried about it until you reach level 30. Nothing hard to do if you play 4 to 5 hours 2 (sometimes 3) days a week. Do the quests and you’ll be fine.

Another interesting thing is some parts of the game that you can only have access if you buy that specific part. As chapters are released with new content, you have to keep buying them to have access to certain areas. Now, the game has a 22 chapters or episodes, $4 each and some of them for $9.99. Want to keep playing, buy it.

Ok. How about the subscription!?

dcuo membership
Subscription table for the Free, Premium, and Legendary accounts

If you get a subscription and kept paying for that, you’ll have access to a few stuff as the DLC packs, Free replay badges monthly, in game currency (access to your savings account), more space in your character inventory, Broker slots, banks slots (Free – 12 slots, premium account 24 slots, and legendary account, 48 slots), trade items and cash with people, powers (example:light, electricity, earth, quantum, celestial, and rage you have to pay $29,99 to have it), etc…. Somewhere in the game you get the chance to have a HQ. Your own place to call cave, home, place, cell, whatever… You can put furniture in it, place your armor, allow people in, even but some busters to have a sidekick and other nice things, but it doesn’t go much far than that (I really don’t know at this point because I haven’t paid). You don’t have a locker or a place you can hold items (you have to pay for it, I guess). If you want power cells to get other adds to your character, you’ll have to pay for it (really…). Some of this and other stuff can be bought using in-game money (DBC money) however, guess what? They cost money. you can find more info here.

Oh, I almost forgot, as a free player you can only create 2 characters and, if you logout and try to login again, sometimes the game puts you into a queue to get into the game. Yep, you have to wait to people to disconnect so you can play for free. If you pay, you’ll wait 1 second to login. Free player, around 3 minutes but I had usually waited 5 to 10 minutes sometimes. The game also keeps giving you Prometheum Lockboxes which contains (I don’t know, have never opened one) great items, armor, weapons, better than the ones you find in the game. And if you plan to keep them until you have enough time, level, money to buy the game, think again. The lockboxes are only available for 30 days. After that, they disappear. I found close to 6 or 7 and through all of them away, so far.

You may also bump into some kid playing the game and chatting all the time instead of letting you playing, but it doesn’t really make a difference in your game. Just ignore them. Another interesting things is someone may also call your attention if you are speaking too weird stuff (because there are kids playing the game). Again, not a big issue, but it’s weird, isn’t it?!? Feels like Captain American telling me to watch my language… Anyway, a mix of culture is also interesting to find there as I saw Turkish, Brazilians, Chinese, Americans, Canadians, Europeans, etc.

dc_universe_online-widescreen_wallpapersOverall, the game is really good to play and people should definitely try it out, but they could make a better UI and work on those tutorials. Explain better stuff and how to use them. Most of the that I figured it out but not without at least once, going online to look for help. I would say, if you have sometime and are looking for a fun no so “free-to-play” game, this is your game and, if you feel you are going somewhere with it, just go for the membership. I do believe its worthy and compare to other games and costs, it’s not that high.

As me, I’m going to keep my self a free player for a while…

Translation and Localization in Brazil

Hi!

Talking about Localization, we saw that this is the process of  the language adaptation, appearance, and functionality of a product to the public in a specific country. There are many things to take care of and this professional has to be aware of the culture and more.

Deeper into this subject, we have the Brazilian Portuguese Localization. No different from what I said before, but aiming the Brazilian public. Our biggest problem here, and the complains of many people that I talk to, are the movies. Dubbed movies are, most of the time, horrible to watch and make a lot of ears bleed if you know how to speak English. Of course not all the Brazilians can learn English – or another language – and watch the movie with the original sound, but, if they only knew what happens, they may agree with me.

Well, one example is the translation of movie titles. Let work with a really nice movie that I liked a lot because of the sound tracks – Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny. In Portuguese, the translation of that is “Tenacious D – Uma Dupla Infernal” (In Portugal is it call – Rock dos Infernos – En: Rock from Hell). So, let supposed that the movie was released in Brazil and we had to translate to English. The name would be “Tenacious D – An Infernal Double” or “An Infernal Couple”, something like that. Wouldn’t that sound pretty weird?

Now, assuming that the movie is about 2 guys that are looking for a magic guitar pic, why wouldn’t translate the title to “Tenacious D – A palheta do Destino” (Original English name: Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny).

Well, that’s because that wouldn’t be so good as “Uma dupla Infernal”. If you research and check the movies here in Brazil, most of it has really different names and that is because of Localization.

I started to understand why they give such names to the movies that would sound so good also in Portuguese. Brazilian people are not used to these kinds of names and, to reach most of the population, they have to call that. According to the online newspaper ultimosegundo.ig.com.br, only 2% of the Brazilian population knows how to speak fluent English. Then imagine you releasing a movie here In Brazil with the original title. And more, most of the Brazilian people are not used to the kind of music that is played on the movie. Hard/Heavy music are some styles really hard to get into the Brazilian culture. So, that’s why – and for other reasons – that they had to change the name.

I have to say that really makes me feel bad, because, when talking about music, it is a pretty good movie, but I have to agree that it wouldn’t reach so many people with the original title translated.

There is where we come with the localization. Not only on the movies, but in games. If you do not do a really good job, not only translating but localizing, something in the game will be out of tune for the Brazilian public and it make take you game – which can be amazing – to a disaster just because you didn’t do a good job.

Another think about it is how you translate and how you localize a specific game to a specific public. But I will try to talk about that in another post.

Part II – Tips for a Good Translation

Hi.

There I am again with second part of the Tips for a good translation. Once more, these are information that I found over the internet and if you want to check the real source, please IT IS ON THE POST. Read all of it. If after reading once, you couldn’t find the source, READ IT AGAIN! Then if you couldn’t, again, find the source, make sure that you really could find it and send me and e-mail that I will personally (as being the only one working on the blog right now) include it. J

Source of the text: http://www.terminologia.com.br/2011/09/dicas-ao-aspirante-a-tradutor/ (Yo, you found it!!!!)

Translation and adaptation to English: Blog’s Author. Enjoy the reading!

1 – Do the right thing. To understand a pair of languages is indispensable, but NOT enough. All the languages have its own particularities, idiomatic expressions, etc. e.g. a good translator is not the one that translates everything word by word, but the ones that knows how to understand the info and express it correctly on the target idiom;

2 –Research A LOT. Search about the text and work you are doing, so you can understand of what you are writing about. Invest as long as it necessary, because that will give you more confidence and agility when working;

3 – NEVER GUESS. When you get to a point where you have to translate something that has many meanings, make a “cross comparison” of the term’s definition on the main language and target language. Compare them until you find a better translation that fits on your work;

4 – Update yourself. Get into Forums about translation. It is a good way to count with others experience and still be updated with what is going on in the market.

5 – Use, but do not abused the internet. Search engines, as Google, are really helpful when talking about translations. But never trust on the “superficial look” or, “just a quick look” to check something. Go after many sources before deciding to use a term. It doesn’t matter that a term back with 1 million accesses of views, it still can be wrong.

6 – Lear how use a computer. This is your main object of work. Do not stay just on writing texts and using Word. Get into the internet, write e-mails, connect yourself, discover. There are a lot of information (useful ones) if you know where to look and how to do a search;

7 – Be ethical and professional. Read all the text and analyses before accepting the job. Calculate how long you will take to research about the subject, translate and revise everything. Even when the water is coming up to your neck, be ethic: never share a work that was given to you. If you won’t be able to do it, refuse it. Not knowing how to deal with dead-lines can be really bad for your image and it’s better to say that you can’t do it, then to accept and not deliver on time.

8 – Put some efforts into it. Sorry, a lot of efforts into it. To translate is not a “cheap job”. It is a professional like any other that requires a lot of efforts, dedication and improvement to do a great work and build a client list.

Still, there are a lot of other things that we have to learn, but those are the basic, according to the web site where the text came from as below.

Source of the text: http://www.terminologia.com.br/2011/09/dicas-ao-aspirante-a-tradutor/ (Yo, you found it!!!! AGAIN!!!)

Originally posted in 21/02/2014.