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(SFGate)   Video game tester makes $40K a year, but can work up to 106 hours a week   ( divider line
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14932 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Mar 2003 at 7:02 PM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

170 Comments     (+0 »)
2003-03-05 10:48:34 AM  
And thats a problem? Buddy of mine does that in 3 days.
2003-03-05 10:59:53 AM  
Wow, 3 days? Where's he get the extra 34 hours?

That said, I'm guessing that being a video game tester is its own reward...for a while. After that though, most of them are probably ready to move on to something without quite so much repetition. The "attention to detail", excellent communication skills and creative problem-solving required for the job probably look great on a résumé.
2003-03-05 12:12:13 PM  
Hey, I live just down the road from Guildford. That's the closest a Fark article has ever come to me!
2003-03-05 12:18:32 PM  
Carpal Tunnel syndrome soon to happen. Call me.
2003-03-05 12:25:42 PM  
Video game tester makes $40K a year, but can work up to 106 hours a week

That's why I chose to become a kagel tester.
2003-03-05 01:16:01 PM  
I've always wanted a job like that, but I think it would get REAL old REAL fast. However, theres nothing quite like getting paid $40K for goofing off ALL THE TIME.
2003-03-05 01:49:24 PM  
My room-mate(another Farker) is a video game tester. It gets old fast. He's working 11 hours days, 7 days a week, playing the same damn game over and over again. The worst part is, you don't even get to pick which game you play.
2003-03-05 05:50:56 PM  
Could you imagine playing some the really aweful games for 106 hours a week? It's not like you get to choose the games. Heck, I'd love to get paid to play Metroid Prime or Madden for 100 hours a week... but if they made me play some some Disney game... Yeesh.
2003-03-05 07:06:46 PM  
I dont care, id love to have video games ruined for 340k a year.
2003-03-05 07:07:39 PM  
-300k thank you.

and poo on flood protection.
2003-03-05 07:08:42 PM  
So that works out to, what, $8 an hour? Sounds like he needs a better job.
2003-03-05 07:08:47 PM  
Could you imagine playing some the really aweful games for 106 hours a week? It's not like you get to choose the games. Heck, I'd love to get paid to play Metroid Prime or Madden for 100 hours a week... but if they made me play some some Disney game... Yeesh.

I would play friggin Barbie's Playhouse for 106 hours a week for $40k a year.
2003-03-05 07:08:47 PM  
Not only do you get to play lousy games, you get to play lousy games that still don't work right! YAY!
2003-03-05 07:10:22 PM  
Trust me, as a person who works/ed for a video game company, it's not as fun as it sounds. You have to beta test very early versions of the game, basically every build the game goes through you have to play. Which means if it's a racing game you have to go through every single lap many upon many times, or if the game has annoying sound effects or music, you have to listen to it over and over again..
Ah, and the hours thing? That's mainly during crunches, like when there is a deadline that has to be met, or in the final stages of the game. The testers at our company worked forty hour shifts mainly because the company paid them by the hour and wouldn't pay them overtime...but that's another story.

It's much funner creating the games, trust me.
2003-03-05 07:11:00 PM  
i like the sound of this job - it seems to be the kind of job you could do drunk.
2003-03-05 07:11:27 PM  
DeathOfRats: I trust you, I trust you. Jeez!
2003-03-05 07:11:42 PM  
And obviously you have to tediously go through every scenario to make sure it works.
2003-03-05 07:11:43 PM  
$40K a year? In the Bay Area? In Marin????

The man is a) not buying a house, b) not saving anything c) not getting any nookie...

Oohch. fwiw I think he's not getting a good deal for wearing his ass out that many hours a week, unskilled labor or no.
2003-03-05 07:11:58 PM  
They obviously wouldn't make you play a game geared for 4-8 years old if your 18+
2003-03-05 07:11:59 PM  
That works out to somewhere between $7 - $8 an hour.

/useless comment
2003-03-05 07:12:21 PM  
Not to burst anyone's bubble, but senior testers (those who log the most bugs and are the most useful to developers and PMs) probably get first pick at whatever "good" games the house creates.

Article mentions Lucasarts. Be great to test SW Galaxies and Jedi Knight 2 - Jedi Outcast all day, but someone has to test Super Bombad Racing and Obi-Wan.

And if you don't get on with a dev house like Lucasarts, and money gets tight, who are the first to be laid off?

Well, technical writers, but QA is a close second.

(former QA lead)
2003-03-05 07:12:53 PM  
$40K in SF? I can tell you right now that kind of money doesn't get you far in the bay area.
2003-03-05 07:13:11 PM  

Well, maybe if *I* had been beta-testing Xenosaga it wouldn't crash when we open segment 16's door in the simulator...

2003-03-05 07:13:41 PM  
Zorgon beat me to it.
2003-03-05 07:13:57 PM  
Reedster I know someone that had to test the interactive Barney Doll. How'd you like that for 106 hours?
2003-03-05 07:14:25 PM  
sounds better than me working 2 jobs, very physical, where I only have time to fark about a hour a day, and sleep 4 hours a day. My back hurts, my brain is on automatic, give me sore thumbs anyday.
2003-03-05 07:14:36 PM  
man, they couldn't pay me enough to play those crappy lucasarts games. too bad sega's kaput :(
2003-03-05 07:14:52 PM  
It's worth saying twice or more, Waterbottle. The article hints at it, as well.
2003-03-05 07:15:58 PM  
Rhiannon, et al, $40k/yr is a little less than $20/hr.

And that's pretty standard for QA, at least up here in Microsoftland.
2003-03-05 07:16:29 PM  
Sorry to burst your bubble, but to test Jedi Knight 2 you'd have to go Raven, and to test SW Galaxies, Verant.
2003-03-05 07:16:41 PM  
Yeah but if anyone has the connections or knows of a place in the D/FW area needing testers let me know. I would like to do that. Currently I work for an ISP and their sister startup CLEC and I'm on call 24/7 and I would seriously like to give game testing a try without having to move to far away.
2003-03-05 07:16:59 PM  
This is what I wrote in my /. comment about working as a QA Lead.

it sucks don't do it.
2003-03-05 07:17:27 PM  
QA sucks! They underpay you, work you long hours, and you are forced to play games over and over and over. I use to do it a while ago, I was good enough to where I decided what game I wanted to work on...

Lets just say it isn't a glory job like some people think.
2003-03-05 07:17:45 PM  
My personal best was 94 hours in a week.
2003-03-05 07:18:03 PM  
Well, for arguments' sake, anyway, LucasArts would have acceptance testers for their license, wouldn't it?

But we know what each other means.
2003-03-05 07:18:04 PM  
Kanyakumari: Not with 107 hour work weeks it's not.
2003-03-05 07:18:24 PM  
Wow. /.'ed and farked in the same day, and the server is still standing. Amazing. Didn't think it could be done.
2003-03-05 07:18:27 PM  
Adam cole check with Terminal Reality up in Lewisville..they usually hire testers regularly.
2003-03-05 07:19:16 PM  
I love how SFGate gives us the option of enlarging this picture:
[image from too old to be available]!!!
2003-03-05 07:19:27 PM  
03-05-03 07:16:59 PM Warcupine
This is what I wrote in my /. comment about working as a QA Lead.

it sucks don't do it.

I agree :) I was in the same position and hated it. I got so burnt out on games I still can't bring myself to playing most unless they are REALLY good. If i find a bug in it... oh man, I just can't touch that game again. UGH, the nightmares!
2003-03-05 07:20:10 PM  
Kanyakumari true true..just didn't want people to assume that everything that comes out of lucasarts/disney/microsoft/et al, actually comes from those playes..gotta give credit where credit is due. ^_^
2003-03-05 07:21:00 PM  
As a lead game tester for San Rafael's LucasArts Entertainment Co., Alamano acknowledges that he works in a kick-back atmosphere, and he likes his $40,000- a-year salary.

Yeah, that's something to be proud of. Are we supposed to be impressed that they make that much for a job which doesn't even require a high school diploma?
2003-03-05 07:21:03 PM  
Anyone working 107 hrs/week exempt from overtime is an fool or a masochist.

Hey! 4:20 pacific time!
2003-03-05 07:21:19 PM  
No thanks, I'll continue to drink beer, live in my parents basement, and fap all day.
2003-03-05 07:21:57 PM  
..playes = places..
2003-03-05 07:23:26 PM  
40,000 in bay area is crap wages, seriously. you'd break even at best.
2003-03-05 07:23:33 PM  
Here's another great quote from the article:

"You say, 'There's a bunch of jerks playing Quake III 24/7,' but then you see the same people having these really intelligent discussions, and you see a different side of them," said Pahlka. "Game developers are passionate about their work and think about it on a more intellectual level than you would imagine."
2003-03-05 07:23:44 PM  
Well, if he ever gets tired of playing video games all day, he can always retire and devote himself full time to playing drums.
[image from too old to be available]
2003-03-05 07:24:25 PM  
My roommate is amazing. I think 118 is his tops.
2003-03-05 07:24:45 PM  
Okay, I have called Warcupine a fool or a masochist for working massive overtime for no pay.

Ha, ha!

2003-03-05 07:26:02 PM  
You people know nothing, making games is the most horrible job ever. Have fun with deadlines 24/7 for 1 years straight. By the time one game is finished, you'll be looking like a corpse and damage your physical health permanently.
2003-03-05 07:26:37 PM  
Great. They are having a convention in San Jose. Now they will all be drunk and I will have to kick um out of the club.
2003-03-05 07:27:04 PM  
I once worked for a company that did a Penn & Teller's worst video game ever (Sega CD, never got published) and one of the mini-games was an eight hour drive on a completely straight desert highway and the bus you had to control had a slight pull to it. Someone in the design phase thought it was so bad it was funny, but it still had to be tested. And once you finished the eight hour drive and got one point, you turned around and went back again.
2003-03-05 07:27:51 PM  
I read a detailed article about this kinda stuff a year or two ago. Sounds like it can be a really shiatty job. You gotta play through the buggy versions, find all the errors, etc. Plus you can't just play through the game normally, you gotta do all kinds of stupid and crazy shiat to find any obscure bugs that might be in the code. I love playing some games, but I wouldn't want to play single parts of those games for hours on end trying to find everything wrong with it. Not to mention that you really wouldn't be appreciated worth a damn.
2003-03-05 07:28:43 PM  
#1 40K/year in the san francisco bay area is peanuts.

#2 i spent all day yesturday at the game developers confrence and i swear i was the only girl there under the age of 40 who doesn't love ren faire. not that this should have surprised me.
2003-03-05 07:29:31 PM  
Even on its worst day, QA is better than sitting behind a desk answering phone calls, data entry, or any job involving the unclean public customer. (May vary depending on which company you work QA for. EA Sucks)
2003-03-05 07:30:02 PM  
My only advice to anyone wanting to work in the videogame industry: don't.
The only exception being if you are starting your own development house, and are self-sufficient for funding. Otherwise, you are going to work hard for nothing and the publisher won't even give you the god-damn common courtesy of a reach-around.
It's not that different from the record industry.

If you can code, get a nice stable job working on biz software, lots of regular programmers are gamers that would have loved to work on games but preferred going home at 5pm and eating food other than ramen every night.
2003-03-05 07:30:25 PM  
You people know nothing, making games is the most horrible job ever. Have fun with deadlines 24/7 for 1 years straight.

Wow. Sounds like hundreds of other jobs. And with mine the deadlines and SLA's don't stop at 1 year straight.
2003-03-05 07:30:31 PM  
BeerChillerGuy: I remember reading about that game. Funny stuff. Wouldn't a fly hit the winshield every once in a while or something?
2003-03-05 07:30:48 PM  
I would guess that if your working 106 hours a week that a house would be uneccesary as that would only leave a little less than 9 hours a day. At the end of the work day you just go out to the parking lot, and crash in your car until it's time to start the next day. Sounds like a really rewarding life. To me there is a delicate balance between making enough money, and still having enough time in the day to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
2003-03-05 07:31:17 PM  
ReverendOtisElevator: I am a software developer and I was thrown in to a QA position once. I would have much rather been answering phones, thank you very much.
2003-03-05 07:31:58 PM  
I also work in games...and to be honest the 100+ hour weeks are so amazingly uncommon that I would guess it was thrown in there for the "wow" factor. It is true that some companies "require" many many hours over 40, but in the case that you do not set your own hours you are required to get overtime and are not exempt. You are exempt in video games only if you can set your own hours...end of story. A requirement to show up at 9 is NOT setting your own hours and you should demand payment for your overtime. I have a friend who did this and as he quit his job he hit up the unnamed company for a logged $30K of overtime. And yes...he got it. :)
2003-03-05 07:33:19 PM  
The game actually had cameos by Lou Reed and Debbie Harry (friends of Penn & Teller) but the game would have gone down in history as one of the worst ever if it got published. But that was the point. Absolute Entertainment was the company.
2003-03-05 07:34:28 PM  
Mynameisbob depends on the company. There are some really good companies that, yeah while there will be deadlines, the atmosphere is always charged with energy. Unfortunately at the last couple companies this hasn't been the case, but a few friends of mine work for good companies.

BeerChillerGuy haha, I remember reading about that game, the bus was made so where you couldn't just press forward, you actually had to steer the bus because it had bad alignment or something.. I thought it was all a what happened once you finished the bus drive?
2003-03-05 07:35:06 PM  
He estimates that programmers and other professionals who make games make 10 percent to 40 percent less than they could be earning in other technology companies

Cry me a farking river. At least they still have jobs.
2003-03-05 07:36:11 PM  

It's a job. People need jobs. Better to make $40k than $400/mo on welfare or unemployment.
2003-03-05 07:36:13 PM  
The bus had a slight pull to it and once you reached the end you got one point, and then you turned around and went back again. The testers figured out a way to tape the controller so they didn't have to hold it the whole time to keep it going straight, but talk about a painful video game experience!
2003-03-05 07:37:45 PM  
Brianna makes an important point: There's an almost complete lack of female team members. I'd say a 1:30 ratio from what I've seen. LAME.
2003-03-05 07:38:07 PM  
a bunch of crying biatches. some of you don't know what hard work is like. Most jobs don't pay crap and you bust your ass. Me, I have a nice job now. I'm not complaining.
2003-03-05 07:39:11 PM many farkers are in the game industry..from what i've read so far, there seems to be a good handful at least..
2003-03-05 07:39:33 PM  
There aren't any girl programmers cause girls aren't good at anything except cleaning. Sometimes cooking.
2003-03-05 07:39:58 PM  
i think working in the game industry is great -- but i program for a small outsource company, it might be really different at a huge conglomerate -- i have a few friends who have worked for EA and not loved it.
2003-03-05 07:42:16 PM  
I was a game tester for a year. let me say this

You arn't PLAYING the game

You are testing it. You work, at times, 18 (and once I had to pull a 24 hour) shifts 7 days a week testing the same game for months at a time. Testing sometimes involves general testing where you play for a bit, but as soon as you run into a bug you stop and try to reproduce and reproduce. Before we could write a bug up you had to reproduce it 10 times. Before you can reproduce it, you have to figure out what caused it. Sometimes its really easy "I push this button when the ball is in the air and the screen goes black" Sometimes you have no idea why the game locked and you were testing for 6 hours to get to the point in the level where it locked. This is the best part of testing.

Most of testing is loads - load every team vs. ever team in every city in every wheather condition. Or, throw a pass to every player and make sure th announcer calls his name correctly. Its not fun and its not playing.

Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that most of the company treats you like cockroaches and even when you have suggestions for better game play or ideas on how to fix things you arn't allowed to talk to the devs.

Its a job like any other, it has its perks but it gets really old really fast.
2003-03-05 07:42:22 PM  
Boutitboutit at one company I worked for, out of over fifty people, there was one female, and she was an artist. At the last company i worked at, there were two females, one artist, one scripter. There were also testers and receptionists, but in the actual field itself, there just arn't enough females...
2003-03-05 07:42:50 PM  
there is an interesting series of articles at penny-arcade written by a video game tester. the gist of it is that he has to try everything he thinks a gamer would. things like beating a zombie game with just a knife, or filling the screen in a RTS with as many units possible.
2003-03-05 07:44:19 PM  
EA is the devil. Never work for them. They are greedy, self serving, egotists who don't care about making good games, only good money.
2003-03-05 07:46:19 PM  
That's why they call it "work" and not "full body massage."

I make 46k a year, with a PhD. Sob.
2003-03-05 07:46:28 PM  

if you're interested in why this is an the implications of girls/women not being involved in playing or making games you should read "from barbi to mortal combat: gender and video games" great book :).
2003-03-05 07:47:48 PM  
Lets just hope his job doesn't get him as frustrated as this gamer.
2003-03-05 07:47:58 PM  
DeathOfRats: Yeah, ever time I meet a woman that's into games I mention that should she decide to stop studying "International Business" she's desperately needed in the gaming industry. I think the company that makes the first game that girls are really into will make a ton of money. Look at The Sims: TON of money.
2003-03-05 07:50:09 PM  
The women who have the minerals to work in QA with three dozen males for every female deserve more praise than this thread is willing to offer.
2003-03-05 07:51:48 PM  
Rev.: I agree completely.
2003-03-05 07:53:48 PM  
I guess I'm a freak. I was the only female tester in a group of (max) 150. Now I'm an admin. I love all kinds of video games. though I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm going to have to grow a penis if I want to get out of this admin position and be an AP
2003-03-05 07:53:50 PM  
Game testing is the worst job in game development. Period. It is not 'playing' a game, as has been stated. It is meticulously going through every crack of a game, looking for anything that you shouldn't be able to do. Pulling every lever possible in every sequence possible. Going through everything so many times that you will have nightmares about it in your sleep. I mean, think about it. An average game takes, what, 20-40 hours to complete, at most? And you'll play that game 40 hours a week (or more) for at least 6-12 mos.

Also, $40K is a lead's salary. Most places pay testers in the $8-$10/hr range. Which isn't that horrible when crunch time comes, but if you're not in crunch time you may as well be working for In'n'Out Burger.

Not to mention that a lot of testers are hired on as temps and have no job security once their game is finished.

No, testing is a crappy job. The *only* good thing about testing is the possibility of getting a development job out of the deal, but the chances of that are pretty slim.

Now, *developing* games, that's fun :)
2003-03-05 07:55:55 PM  
I, too, work for a game company - we're actually quite lucky to be at about 20% women. Granted, all but a few
are in the art department, but that's still considered very, very high for the industry.
2003-03-05 07:58:15 PM  
Kyoryu: Actually, I enjoy testing games. But then, I've always been destructive like that.
2003-03-05 08:07:47 PM  
I just quit at a company that is up in Washington. Let's think real big here. Anyway, my first position was testing a portion of a program that made games work. I played different games all the time. I did this almost 2 years. I made well above 40k doing my job. I was even allowed to drink beer and liquor at my desk. So, you think this isn't a bad deal? I can say it is just like any other job in the world. You work with a bunch of asshats that drive you nuts and it becomes tedious as hell. So the dream job can quickly become the worst job. I do have to say, I had some great times.
2003-03-05 08:09:08 PM  
Dear god no!!! Sitting in meetings? What kind of sick company does he work for? Poor suxxors!
2003-03-05 08:09:30 PM  
Video game tester makes $40K a year, but can work up to 108 hours a week


Video game tester makes $20K a year, but can work up to 54 hours a week

sounds like a shiatty job to me...
2003-03-05 08:10:45 PM  
its just a matter of time before a computer will be doing all the testing. Granted, the whole purpose is to have a human hand in finding errors. Still, someday some AI will be doing that work.
2003-03-05 08:16:32 PM  
Gee, that'd be cool to make $40K. I'd just have to learn to live on half my current pay.
2003-03-05 08:17:57 PM  
I absolutely love video games but I know I couldn't do this job. Every once in awhile even I have to stand up and go outside once in awhile.

At least now I know who to blame when I get stuck in a wall in MOH:AA. These testers still let mistakes and generally crappy games through. Who tested Simcity 4 and what did they test it on? A Cray?
2003-03-05 08:18:18 PM  
I've done audio production for games. I guess I count as a female in the industry. I did a Russian game project that had been translated into English... making it sound natural was tough, but they were happy enough with the end result to ask me to do the post production on the German version as well- that was interesting, considering I don't speak German....

By the way, one of the toughest things ever is reading a bad review of your game after the countless hours you've spent on it.

As an aside, I LOVE playing Diablo II. Other games just don't get my attention though.
2003-03-05 08:23:19 PM  
That's why I manually masturbate caged animals for artificial insemination.
2003-03-05 08:23:38 PM  
Ohhh Ohhh BobMobber!!! Why don't you tell everyone at FARK how much you make so we can bask in your glory hole.
2003-03-05 08:24:48 PM  
You people know nothing, making games is the most horrible job ever. Have fun with deadlines 24/7 for 1 years straight.

Try working on a state wide political campaign and/or state level inauguration. Flat salary (so no overtime) and there are many weeks where you just don't leave the office. Weekends are always part of the work week. A 12 hour day is called getting off early. At least with video games you can push back the release date.
2003-03-05 08:27:22 PM  
Diablo is the only game that I met people in that claimed that they were girls that I believed.
2003-03-05 08:28:23 PM  
Okay, we all agree, most jobs suck. That's why a Guaranteed Basic Income should be instituted.
2003-03-05 08:29:39 PM  
GuyD, what made you believe them?
2003-03-05 08:32:16 PM  
Having sisters and lots of girlfriends, I can just tell. I know I am going to take crap for this...
2003-03-05 08:35:48 PM  
No, I'll just roll my eyes and lok at you funny. ;-)
2003-03-05 08:36:14 PM  
40K is ok in Bay Area. Rents have come way down since dot-bomb days. Currently a studio or maybe a 1bedroom can be had for 1k/month in San Francisco. Rent control limits increases to about 2.7% a yr. Without student loan or other debt, ya can live like a human!
I worked at Sega around 1994 in tech support. We were paid $8./hr. Most tech sup jobs now are $9-$12/hr. We had a game console in front of us, but phones had to be answered every minute without let up. Each worker was tracked on calls per minute and any idle time. Just game testing woulda had me stay. Everybody on the phones wanted that.
BTW, overtime pay is a given. Strong unions and employment law in the BayArea, even for indy contractors(common). With tech salaries WAY down and unemployment high around here, that 40k is farkin' good, dudes. Lots of very experienced people are working retail-think SuckBucks for $9./hr.
2003-03-05 08:36:25 PM  
look, I mean... look.
2003-03-05 08:38:01 PM  
Case in point, I doubt any guy would ever say that. :-)
2003-03-05 08:39:21 PM  
Chess_the_cat On both computer and console games bugs are waived. This means the testers found it and reported it but they decided that they would fix it later in a patch (for PC games) or just ship it flawed (console). Testers are only human and there will be things that slip through the cracks, but chances are if you find a bug the testers found it and nothing was done about it. It sucks becasue the public always says things like "testers must be farking blind to have missed this". Yet another reason testing isn't the the great job it seems to be.
2003-03-05 08:41:51 PM  
GuyD soooo, am I a chick RL?
2003-03-05 08:42:25 PM  
Yes, but can they bioport in yet?
2003-03-05 08:42:35 PM  
Toriko - Isn't that the truth. I had to fight for my bugs. They loved resolving bug as "Won't Fix".
2003-03-05 08:44:37 PM  
GuyD I hated 'Waived NAB' (not a bug) or 'Waived by design' Ok.. so you're telling me the player -isn't- supposed to have collision? Ok... thanks.
2003-03-05 08:49:00 PM  
Toriko - And yes, a very pretty girl too. :-)

Told ya I have sisters and girlfriends. ;-)
2003-03-05 09:00:05 PM  
Bunch O' Noids.
2003-03-05 09:09:37 PM  
Yeah,Bowser Clerks has been on too much lately.
2003-03-05 09:11:41 PM  
it would be nice to be a beta tester for ID right now. maybe i could get my hands on a copy of doom 3
2003-03-05 09:12:48 PM  
Anybody else hate Ernst Adams or is that just me?
2003-03-05 09:21:21 PM  
This link might work for you, check it out:​pg
2003-03-05 09:22:42 PM  
Hehe Toriko.
Where'd you work that had to employ 150 testers?
2003-03-05 09:25:02 PM  
Toriko that Jiji on dem shoes? ^_^
2003-03-05 09:28:10 PM  
I tested hardcore for the They Hunger series for Manke. Then I got smart and got paid for it. Then I got moved into development. $50K/year for 40/week ain't bad :)
2003-03-05 09:28:30 PM  
In SoCal... hrm.... let's guess....

I think Interplay had close to that at their peak. Maybe EA Pacific.

To my knowledge Blizzard has never had that many testers, at least not in one facility.

I think there's also an EA facility up in LA, but I'm not sure.

I don't know if Midway down here in SD ever had that many people... they'd be the only ones that I can think of that would have.

So I'm going to guess one of the EA offices. Or maybe Activision. It'd have to be a fairly major player (lots o' titles at once) to have that many people.
2003-03-05 09:31:29 PM  
They tested for the free mod, kid_at?
Those were a good series of mods for halflife..the first two at least..didn't care for the third one.
2003-03-05 09:35:25 PM  
I dun wanna say who I work for lest my arse get fired. I can safely say we are planning on hiring 200 - 250 testers in this office this year.

PS. jiji? Is that some refernce I'm missing or that my brain has forgotten about?
2003-03-05 09:36:29 PM  
If you are the test lead, does that make you the Master Beta Tester?

budum bum pshhhh
2003-03-05 09:38:21 PM  
Toriko, Jiji, from Kiki's Delivery's an anime, by Miyazaki.

[image from too old to be available]

BeerChillerGuy the link doesn't work..needs a password or something.
2003-03-05 09:39:42 PM  
Kyoryu all good guesses. All wrong. =)
2003-03-05 09:40:35 PM  
Try this:

2003-03-05 09:41:28 PM  
Myself, i am guessing Verant.. that many testers, it's surely for a massive online multi game, and verant's got two coming out this year (supposedly)..

You dont have to say anything..just nod your head if im right.
2003-03-05 09:41:42 PM  
DeathOfRats Arrrgh.. I've been wanting to see Kiki's delivery service for a long time. I'm currently watching Fruits Basket and Chobits (just finished Noir) I'm harassing my supplier for .hack and Kiki's. That kitty is sooo kawaiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!! *want want want*
/anime GEEK
2003-03-05 09:43:38 PM  
Not Verant / SOE *shhhh* you guys are gonna run outta guesses then you will get it right =P
2003-03-05 09:44:53 PM  
Haha, BeerChillerGuy that's the game alright. ^_^
Shame it was never you happen to have any copies of it?
2003-03-05 09:46:02 PM  
PS I like your name. DoR

/Prattchett fan
2003-03-05 09:48:12 PM  
Naw, the only game I kept that I worked on was RDF: Rapid Deployment Force on Sega CD, a tank game with lots of FMV
2003-03-05 09:48:56 PM  
OK. All due respect here. $50K for a 40 hour dev job is low. By about 15K. Testers are valuable, I don't know why they don't get paid jack, but - it's not a hard to learn skill.

What does a degreed professional earn in the industry? What to PMs, designers, what's the career path?

Everyone knows you can go from Test to Dev. Where from Dev? How long does it take?

All that said - indeed, a dream job can turn to hell, as stated below. You CAN kill someone with a pillow.

It makes me grateful for the life I've got now... Even WITH the extra work.
2003-03-05 09:49:18 PM  
Hehe Toriko *cough* not that I am advocating buying pirated stuff *cough* but there is a box set of dvds floating around with all of Miyazaki's movies up to Princess Mononoke you can buy for ~$50.. or you can just buy the Kiki that Disney released a few years ago.

On amazon..

Be patient, Disney's releasing Laputa castle in the sky and Spirited Away in april..
2003-03-05 09:50:02 PM  
BeerChillerGuy - I just picked up a Sega CD. Sonic CD rocks.
2003-03-05 09:50:48 PM  
Toriko hehe, no need to whisper it..say it loud and proud. I am a Pratchett fan, and I am not ashamed. ^_^
2003-03-05 10:02:10 PM  
Toriko -

Well, either me not guessing Verant was a slip-up on my part, or intentional.

BTW, you really should see Kiki's.

Larsoncc -

Going from test to dev? Depends if you have skills or not. If you have no specific skills (programming, art, etc.) then you're competing with every other tester for the rare design or AP position that becomes available. Not good. And getting $65k a year straight out of testing?? Not gonna happen. At least nowhere I've seen.
2003-03-05 10:04:38 PM  
03-05-03 08:28:23 PM Ahaze if you're still around. i checked the link and disagree. IMHO the history of welfare shows what happens when you try to give value to people for doing nothing. besides which no matter what the "floor" the CPI would simply rise to reflect it. instant inflation.

sorry on topic people, like an accident i just couldn't look away.
2003-03-05 10:05:05 PM  
*begs for an AP position*
2003-03-05 10:05:55 PM  
Testers get paid little because most are users with a modicum of computer knowledge. From what I've seen very few know what a spec is, or have heard of whitebox testing, or even the registry.

Then again maybe our company just hires worthless people...
2003-03-05 10:11:32 PM  
OK. All due respect here. $50K for a 40 hour dev job is low. By about 15K. Testers are valuable, I don't know why they don't get paid jack, but - it's not a hard to learn skill.

It pays so low because the job requires no special skills. You certainly don't need a college degree for it, and probably not even a high school diploma.
2003-03-05 10:14:33 PM  
Kid_at Where I work there are two kinds of testers, dudes who look in the paper and think "Whoa, I can get paid for playing video games" and then smart aspiring coders/artists/etc who want their foot in the door in the industry. In my experiance, these two people dont mix and the intellegent ones get their hopes and dreams crushed. Its really sad to see the face of some young smart kid who was bright and exuberant just a few months ago look hollow and dead as they mope around the office.
2003-03-05 10:17:50 PM  
And that is your right, Curious.

Disagreeing, I mean.
2003-03-05 10:23:47 PM  
Toriko also check out Cat Girl Nuku's an older anime, but you'd like it's cat theme.
2003-03-05 10:26:17 PM  
Ummm do you know anything about VCDs or SVCDs? We can run offline and talk about this so I don't threadjack, I've been pulling out my hair for 3 nights running looking for a codec. I have Chobits on VCD or maybe SVCD (i cant tell) I want to see it cause CLAMP is my favorite manga studio (not really a fan of Card Captor though). Its killing me that the discs are next to me and i cant see them.
2003-03-05 10:30:19 PM  

The worst part is that the unskilled ones generally end up forming cliques and ostracizing the skilled ones, making it much, much, much harder for them to get noticed.

I make a point of using any connections I still have in the entry-level areas to find out who there actually has skill and pointing them out to Them That Hire. It doesn't always do me a lot of *good*, but I try. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
2003-03-05 10:35:03 PM  
I have MS messenger and ICQ or we could meet in the fark chat room

Kyoryu EXACTLY. Its really sad to watch the grunts gang up and beat down the smart ones. What is this kindergarden?! Luckily they were scared to beat up on me, I'm a bit fragile but they also thought I was the type to cry harassment and get them fired. (I'm not but they didnt know that)
2003-03-05 10:48:45 PM  
K I deleted your ICQ number from the comments for your privacy =)
2003-03-05 11:51:15 PM  
Anyone who has a skill (coding, art) and is trying to break into the game biz through a testing job is doing it the WRONG way. The only jobs you need to work through testing to get into are production, and that's because there aren't quantifiable skills to allow the hire of a good producer without paying his dues.
2003-03-06 12:36:53 AM  
Wow! Toriko elongate your ears a little bit, and you'd look a perfect Elf. Umm, that's a compliment, btw.

Anyway, what city is this unnamed company in? Perhaps a summer internship or position may be available?
2003-03-06 01:21:29 AM  
As a tester who's been doing this for about seven years(and is still doing it), I'm a-gonna weigh in.

Believe me folks, most testers are not paid 40k. Usually you start out as a temp making 20. Then you are hired on perm making 20-25 with benefits. Then you are made senior and you make 30. That guy in the article has got himself a sweet deal. How can you live on that? You have to live small. Here are a few facts about this life;

1. I live in San Francisco. Most of the people working this job with me either commute from Richmond or live in a box and eat ramen four nights a week. I live at home, if I couldn't, I would take a higher-paying job as a data-entry plebe.

2. If you're in this job to get a foot in the door, it happen, but if you count on it you'll probably be crushed. Sure, I'd like to get into design, or production, but I don't have any illusions about it happening soon or ever. In the meantime, I am being payed to compulsively play video games and complain about it(by writing bugs), which means that I am being payed to do something I would do anyway.

3. It's a job. With meetings and bullshiat, managers and corporate jargon and resizing, re-structuring, a punch-clock, moronic customers who you can't get mad at because they're farking 12, deadlines and overtime, overtime, overtime.

4. At some companies, they offer you a choice. If you want benefits, you have to agree to work overtime without extra pay. This means that even with a raise, becoming a permanent employee at my last job meant losing about 2k a year in exchange for benefits, and for working the same hours with the same total lack of job security.

/end biatchfest...for now.

I do this because in the world we live in, in the society we live in, I guess I have to do something, and this is the most tolerable thing I have found so far. Hell, 5% or so of it is even fun.
2003-03-06 02:13:06 AM  
testers always getting treated the worst at games companies, they always end up being their won little faction and don't mix, its rare they get a foot in the door to do design or coding, plus its really really boring, its not playing the games as such, the best testers do freaky stuff to the game, and cause it to crash, and you have to play the same bit over and over and over, for some submissions video taping the entire game from beginning to end without any cheats or restarting

the game i just finished i had the testers play the same bit over and over for days, they were fed up of it after a few hours.
2003-03-06 02:19:50 AM  
*sneaks a high5 to Charlie*
2003-03-06 02:34:45 AM  
03-05-03 07:29:31 PM ReverendOtisElevator
Even on its worst day, QA is better than sitting behind a desk answering phone calls, data entry, or any job involving the unclean public customer. (May vary depending on which company you work QA for. EA Sucks)

Whats up man. Rembember me? I go by "YoDaddy" as my game user name.
2003-03-06 02:35:56 AM  
I got tired of getting screwed around when I was in the business, and after I got laid off, I decided to change cities and job types. Maybe seeing all the 30 year olds still making only 30k depressed me into thinking I'd be the same!
2003-03-06 03:12:37 AM  
Big Al

I hear ya. I took a year and a half off of the industry for the same reason.
2003-03-06 03:20:29 AM  
So if you play video games at work, WTF do you do when you get home? Work? Then again, if you your putting in those kinds of hours, I guess the only other thing you can do is sleep. Man, my thumbs hurt after just playing a couple of hours a day. Do they were gloves or just have calluses like a construction worker?
2003-03-06 03:30:04 AM  
My hands were ok, it was my eyes that burned. If you are testing an action packed game you have to keep them open without blinking for long periods of time.
2003-03-06 03:32:49 AM  
Toriko So if your eyes get jacked up, do they have to pay workman's comp? And do you use special screens, or filters or glasses, etc...?
2003-03-06 03:46:58 AM  
03-06-03 03:20:29 AM VegasBreakfastClub
So if you play video games at work, WTF do you do when you get home? Work?

I should sue my former employer for killing my lack of interest in video games now. The only games I play are F1 2002, the GTR2002 mod for it, and Hearts of Iron... thats it. Every other game I try to play... I just can't. My brain is totally messed up now!
2003-03-06 03:48:11 AM  
03-06-03 03:32:49 AM VegasBreakfastClub
Toriko So if your eyes get jacked up, do they have to pay workman's comp? And do you use special screens, or filters or glasses, etc...?

At my big company, there were only a select few testers who weren't temps and actually had health coverage. Everyone else had to deal with their own problems. Most got fired within the first few months. The turnover rate is very high.
2003-03-06 03:54:58 AM  
Damn. It's the American version of a farking sweat shop.
2003-03-06 06:38:45 AM  
Welcome to my Life.

Games Test for Infogrames.

(somebody shoot me now)
2003-03-06 06:39:44 AM  
Oh I should have pointed out I do work those hours. Doing testing for LeMans 24 Hours sucked ass.

But I dont even get a 3rd of that wage. I want my giggles back. :\
2003-03-06 08:41:37 AM  
Back in the early 1980's I was a playtester for Compuserve. State of the art ASCII graphics! Massive 100 player games! No pay, just fun and the knowlege that nobody else knew we were playtesters. Didn't have to follow a script, just stress every facet we could find. After "hit elf with stick" several hundred times, it was fun to give the stick to the elf and find that he'll hit himself. No glory, just the fun of discovery. I was, however, getting concerned when my now ex-wife spent 2 hours on the phone every night with adventure game designer Scott Adams. If they had paid me a salary and given me a requiremnts list that must be filled, I don't think I would have done it.
2003-03-06 09:59:37 AM  
All this time I was "testing" games for free.
2003-03-06 10:34:41 AM  

This is ME:

But it's more than 40K

/Bored but paid well

2003-03-06 10:35:45 AM  
Ugg.. bad JAVA! Shame....
2003-03-06 12:14:36 PM  
VegasBreakfastClub Like Al said most testers are temps, no healthcare for youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!
2003-03-06 12:15:17 PM  
Bad mod, no cookie! Close your tags!
2003-03-06 06:30:23 PM  
hah. I have beta tested a few games, and some are fun, but the ones burdened with bugs aren't. Some have bugs that totally ruin the game, but you still have to play it
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