WHAT DOES A GAME TESTER DO?
First of all, in order to achieve the desired quality, a tester must:
- Understand that quality must be a mindset!
- Learn about the game (specs, game design docs, etc.);
- Test from different points of view: as a gamer, as a normal user, etc.;
A games tester receives copies of games with a very helpful debug menu that helps to reach locations, load missions, has a lot of indicators that help testers and devs to discover and fix bugs.
During gameplay, the tester attempts to discover hidden bugs using different POV methods to cover every possible scenario.
For example: checks the collision of any object that may or may not be on the gold path, check FPS on crowded areas full of NPCs while triggering a scripted event, opens menu during a cinematic and makes graphic changes, and so on…
After discovering a bug, game testers must write a description of what occurred, along with directions and steps to reproduce, that accurately describe how to find the bug in the game.
All bugs are logged and assigned to designated developers but this not the last stop for them. Once the test team receives a new build which includes the fixes for the bugs, the Bug Regression comes into play; during this procedure the team makes sure that the issues are no longer present and that the fixes did not cause any additional bugs.
As games get bigger and bigger, making leaps in both graphical and mechanical complexity, they’re generating more and more bugs, and in some cases might not be so easy to catch or fix.
But, there is no game industry standard when it comes to QA procedures, every game is different and every company has its own process.
In the end, testers use their expertise to assure Quality of the final product.