June 16, 2006 10:28 AM | Simon Carless
I was just reading this in my physical copy of Edge, but apparently now it's also posted on Edge Online, yay - a good, unrelentingly honest feature on game testing called 'A Bug's Life'.
The article starts by pointing out: "Anyone with any experience of the QA process will deny the slightest resemblance between testing a game and playing one for pleasure: finding bugs is unmistakably work, and, by common consensus, very dull and repetitive work at that. On top of this, pay is often poor, job security frail, working conditions extreme and recognition hard to come by."
In addition, it used to be that testing was one of the best ways to get hired as a designer or assistant producer, and this article suggests that may not even be true any more: "For all that testing experience is still a common CV footnote, it’s increasingly just that: a footnote, a summer job done during one of the university courses that are squeezing out the opportunities for graduates of the games industry’s unofficial vocational school. “I don’t actually think that QA is such a good route into the industry anymore,” warns [Arthur Parsons, an executive designer at Travellers’ Tales].“
So... all a bit depressing, then? All I can say, having worked in the game industry developing titles that were then forced through the QA wringer, is that good testers are worth their weight in gold.