Confessions of a Game Tester

Getting paid to play isn't all fun and games. Find out what testing games for a living is really like

Overtime

Tell us about the hours you're expected to work.

Tester A: The most hours I've worked in a row was 37 hours non-stop. The most hours I've worked in one week was 111 (sleep just wasn't an option). The longest stretch and most grueling overtime I've worked on a project was 6 months of 70+ hour weeks on one project with no break before doing 4 more months of 80+ hours on another project.

Above: From our Department of Totally Made Up Statistics comes this nifty pie chart showing you what kind of schedule you can expect as a tester

Tester B: [I've worked] 40 hours in a weekend with a 4 hours of sleep each day. There was a scheduling error, and we had one weekend to do 2 weeks worth of testing. Nobody went home, we all ate take-out, and you can imagine what it smelled like by Monday morning.

Tester D: I have worked as much as 110 hours in a week. I did it because I wanted to help make the game as good as it could be. If your friends, girlfriends, family, etc. can accept not seeing you for months on end and can welcome you back with open arms after your journey than you can get by. Life takes on a new meaning when you dedicate yourself single-mindedly to this business, which will eat your soul if you let it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My new approach to play all games on Hard mode straight off the bat has proven satisfying. Sure there is some frustration, but I've decided it's the lesser of two evils when weighed against the boredom of easiness that Normal difficulty has become in the era of casual gaming.
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