There are a lot of people who underplay or underestimate the value of game testers. To most people, game testing, in a nutshell, is someone getting paid by playing video games. Technically, yes. But there’s more to it than that. When was the last time you played a game on your console and it suddenly froze and you tried to turn off the game and turn it back on again and the same problem is occurring at the same point in the game? And your console is fine, you tried playing other games on it and they all work great; it’s just this one game that’s giving you such a hard time. When did that ever happen?
To put it bluntly, game testers make sure that the game you’re playing doesn’t have any of those issues. Think of them as Q & A. Game tester’s job is to make sure that the game is ready before releasing it to the public. There are three processes in Quality Assurance: Functionality Quality Assurance(FQA), Localisation Quality Assurance(LQA), and Platform Certified Quality Assurance (CQA).
FQA is important because it ensures the software works impeccably during development to prevent any crashes in the finished product. Testing the game’s functionality involves looking for anything in the game that seems unusual. An example of that involves a character being able to go through a wall instead of colliding with it. Another example involves the software suddenly freezes at some point in the game.
LQA is a process that deals with the linguistic function of the game. If you want to sell your product to the rest of the world, you have to make sure it comes in different languages. LQA ensures that the game is translated in the appropriate language and it makes sense in that language. They also make sure that the text is clear and accurate and the texts are in the right place on the screen so that it doesn’t overlap the character’s face for example.
CQA is pretty interesting and its process is similar to FQA in a sense that it involves testing the functionality of the game, however, CQA gives guidelines and instructions for the testers. This is especially useful because it helps testers pinpoint where there are potential bugs that need to be looked at. This helps developers save a lot of time and money and it could also help avoid delaying the release date for the game. Some developers, however, cannot afford CQAs or do not think they need any strict requirements when making any checks for bugs. This, of course, could lead to possible damages in the game when it’s released to the public. And if that happens, it could be game over for the developer.
Hopefully, this gives you a unique perspective in game testers and help you appreciate that the game that you’ve been playing for a while didn’t glitch or quit unexpectedly.