Dec 20

How To Get Selected For Beta Tests

How to get selected for beta tests

Getting into most beta tests is not rocket science. For many, simply signing up will be enough. Luckily for you, many game developers want to get their games to many people as possible, so they will let anyone into the beta. Most often, these beta tests aren’t advertised, however, so you will need to keep an eye on gaming magazines, news sites, forums, and developer websites to let you know about the availability of these tests. It would be helpful keep an eye on the development of your favorite game series, as this will clue you into the betas. Developers will also occasionally let you know about beta tests at smaller companies they may be friendly with, so you can hear about a beta test for a game or company you have never heard of.

How to find the best beta tests

Like anything in life, the more experience you have with beta testing, the better your chances will be for the games you really want to test. Even though most beta tests are relatively simple to get into, the biggest and best games can be anything but. For the biggest games, it will take a bit more effort (and a little luck!) on your part, but there are a few tricks you can employ to get a leg up over your competition. As mentioned before, keeping an eye on gaming magazines, news sites, forums, and developer websites is an absolute must. Because demand to get into the beta tests can be great, often how early you sign up for the beta can have a huge impact on if you are selected. It is imperative that you sign up within the first day or two that registration opens for you to have any chance.

The hardware diagnostic tool

Once you have signed up, most developers will have you run a diagnostic tool on your computer and submit a small .txt fill that the tool generates. Don’t worry, this isn’t a virus, and it won’t harm your computer. It is merely a tool the developer uses to get a readout of what hardware you are using and the capabilities of your system. Each piece of hardware is different and has the potential to interact with other pieces of hardware in every conceivable way, so game companies go through great lengths to make sure their games are tested on a wide variety of systems and hardware configurations. This ensures their game will work no matter what video card or CPU you happen to be using. After you have completed the diagnostic, you will often fill out a questionnaire as the final part of your application for the beta test. Take this seriously, these questions will be vital in making sure you are selected. You will be asked about your gaming experiences, about your hobbies, previous beta experiences, as well as your availability during the beta testing period. Companies want to get a good cross section of people to

Dec 10

MMORPG: Know your role!

Perhaps the biggest advancement in videogames in the last 15 years is that of the MMORPG (Massively multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game). What exactly does that mean? Well, “Massively multiplayer” refers to the fact that you are playing with and against literally THOUSANDS of other players at once. When you play, you play on what is called a “server” and that server acts as a persistent world that is always there. So depending on where you are in that world determines what other people you interact with in that world. “Online” is pretty self-explanatory. “Role playing game” is any type of game where you, as the player, embody a character in a world. Think Dungeons & Dragons, but as a video game and much less complicated.

When starting out in an MMORPG, your first task will be to create a character and the “role” he/she will play in the world. There are three main “roles” to consider, each with its own very different play style, strengths, and weaknesses. Try to become familiar with these roles and if you can, try each one out before you commit so you can be sure you are having as much fun as possible. The three main roles are Tank, DPS, and Healer.

Tank: Tanks are designed to absorb the brunt of enemy fire for the rest of the party (group). They typically have a high defensive bonus, but cannot deal as much damage.

DPS (Damage Per Second): DPS classes can’t take a beating like Tanks can, but can deal a huge amount of damage.

Healer: Healers restore the health of their allies, obviously. The trade off, they can’t deal as much damage nor take much of a beating. Healers are always high in demand because they aren’t as glorious as the player who gets to kill everything….but if you play healer, you will never have to wait for a group to quest with.

Once you decide upon a role, it’s time to create your character! Go through your games’ character creation process and choose wisely. This character is going to represent you in game! Take extra time to make him/her look how you want. Also, don’t neglect choosing a good name! Pick something that sounds like it could be from the game world. Don’t be that guy who’s character name is “Iluvboobzzz”. I love boobs too, but this is a MMORPG! See you in game!

Dec 09

“Quick tips” to remember when you start working as a game tester.

“Quick tips” to remember when you start working as a game tester.

1. There are many sites online that offer mini-games to help increase your eye for detail, critical thinking, and focus. Do them.
2. Listen to directions. I repeat. LISTEN TO DIRECTIONS. Developers want testers who will follow directions EXACTLY. Something as simple as exploring a part of a level you weren’t supposed to is enough to get you fired.
3. Don’t google “game tester” when searching for jobs, search for QA tester.
4. You must be able to tolerate monotony…even in your games. You will play the same game or part of game over and over for days on end. You will typically play the same game for the entire development cycle, and this can get very boring.
5. Develop your writing skills and verbal communication skills. You could start a gaming blog, take a few free courses online, or write for fun. Get as much practice as you can.
6. Don’t pay anyone who claims to be able to help you get a job as a game tester. It may take knowhow and savvy people skills, but you can get the job for free. Don’t get scammed.
7. Present yourself professionally, but don’t be afraid to brag about your gaming accomplishments. Believe it or not, they will help you get hired! Developers want capable testers.
8. Be persistent and network yourself as much as you can. Feel free to use networking sites to introduce yourself to potential employers. Be visible without being annoying.

Dec 08

The Greatness of Browser Based MMORPG Games

It’s really amazing how far browsers have come since I was a kid. I know I am going to date myself here, but I remember when I was younger using Netscape Navigator to update my geocities homepage. Yikes! The offerings are a bit more robust these days, and it shows. It blows my mind that you can actually play full featured games within the browser now. It doesn’t end there though!

One of the most popular (and revolutionary) game genre to come out in the last 15 years is the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game). Usually they require you to download anywhere between 6-35 gigabits of data, plus you need a system strong enough to handle the graphic workload. Not everyone can handle that. That’s why I am excited for browser based MMORPGs. The technology for this is only a few years old, but it’s so exciting!

Since the MMORPG is browser based, there is no need to download anything. You just go to the homepage, login, and voila! It’s instant gratification. What’s even better, is that they are fantastically portable. Since there is no need to download anything, you can play them ANYWHERE. You could play at home…from your hotel room….from a library….or FROM WORK without having to do anything extra. Just login and play! Imagine being able to slip into a game for a few minutes on your lunch break at work allowing you to de-stress. How about slipping away at a boring family function to get a little gaming in? All of this is possible because of browser based MMORPGs. Now get in there and game!

Dec 08

Why Do Companies Beta Test

Why do companies beta test

Software is incredibly complex. We’re talking millions of lines of code. Every detail is controlled by some line of code, from what textures make up the ground all the way down to the placement of a rock. The game must also respond to user input so the game has to know what to do when you click a button.

Because of the amount of code involved, sometimes things don’t work as intended. Unfortunately, the only way to find out where the code isn’t working as intended (called bugs) is to play the game. The game needs to be played in every possible way imaginable in ways both intended and unintended by the designers of the game. Some glitches can be very difficult to find and require a very specific set of actions to produce, but since bugs affect the reviews of games and have the potential to “break” the game, a company must do the best it can to discover and fix as many bugs as possible before they release the final version of the game.

Dec 08

How to Become a Game Tester

How to become a game tester

Despite what many TV commercials tell you, you do not need formal qualifications to become a tester. In reality, what your parents always said to you about never being able to use your gaming in the real world is WRONG! Your skills and knowledge of the gaming industry is important to employers! Some basic knowledge of computer programming may give you an advantage, so it wouldn’t hurt to take a few courses or research online if you have the time.

Employers will want to see proof of your knowledge and enthusiasm for the industry, so you must keep yourself up to date. Read any gaming magazines and websites you can find. This is a very competitive industry, so anything you can do to differentiate yourself is only going to help you.
It would also be helpful to join a gaming forum, especially one linked to a professional organization, game company or developer. This will allow you to hear about opportunities before they are advertised to the publicly.

Something to note about universities that offer computer games courses. The most useful ones will include practical skills (like hands on experience) and the best will offer work placement. However, don’t worry; having a degree is not a requirement for most entry level jobs.
Skills

The following is a list of attributes you should possess or acquire for a job as a game tester:

• exceptional problem-solving skills
• a passion for playing computer games (duh)
• college level writing and speaking communication skills
• an basic understanding of what quality assurance entails
• the ability to work well on a team
• the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
• exceptional patience and persistence for repetitive work
• discipline
• attention to detail
• flexibility

Dec 04

Game Tester Vs. Beta Tester

Game tester vs beta tester
Despite being similar in name, “Game tester” (sometimes referred to as “quality assurance tester”) and “beta tester” actually are two completely different jobs. The main difference is that game testers are paid. Another difference is that beta testers apply for the games they are interested in and must be selected, but game testers are hired by the game company. Game testers also do not have a choice on which games they work. When a game is released as a beta, a small group of game testers have already spent thousands of collective hours testing the game to get it ready for the beta. It can be a thankless job.

Game tester job description
A game tester’s primary job is to find and record bugs in the programming. Game testers also act as the game’s first users and report on playability and recommend improvements.
As a game tester, other job responsibilities include:
• playing games in as many ways as possible
• testing different versions of a game at various stages of development
• ensure the game performs as the designer intended
• compare the game against competitors
• keep detailed notes on game problems and suggest improvements
• try to determine what is causing the problem
• try to recreate the problem and record the steps taken to recreate
• check accessibility options (ie. Colorblind, deaf, physical impairment)
• check for spelling/grammar mistakes
• enter bug reports into the quality management system
• adhere to strict deadlines.
• follow the direction of management without deviation

Game testers often work long hours at inconvenient times (such as evenings, weekends and holidays) to ensure they meet strict deadlines. This intensifies as a game’s release nears.
Compensation
Game testers are paid at a hourly rate between $8-$20/hr, typically at the lower end of that spectrum. Game testers usually are not offered benefits at the same level of the salaried employees. The job is not glamorous. You really need to love games and want to be a part of the team to make it worth your while. The main benefit is that by becoming a game tester get your foot in the door of the video game industry, which tends to promote from within. The job gets you in front of every aspect of a game’s development cycle and offers a unique chance to see the various jobs in action. If you have the ambition and the skills, you very well could use game testing as a springboard to a much more “glamorous” position.

Nov 25

Rise of Mythos Review

Rise of Mythos Browser Game

Release Date: 2013
Latest Version: 1.2
Play Now
Only in the US
Platform Online

Rise of Mythos is a free online (browser-based) Trading Card Game (TCG) published by Gamefuse.  All you need is to login into the game page either creating an account or through facebook account. You will be given some options such as desert area, windy area, Jungle etc. that you can choose to play in.  Throughout the game you will be instructed how to play with a pop-up dialogue box, that is really vague. You’ll understand how to play a card at the end of your tutorial, but the rest you’ll have to figure out on your own.

In this game you build a deck of creatures from your available pool and try to strategize what combination is most effective to battle your own adversary, but the actual game play doesn’t play out like a typical TCG. Instead, the game features a grid overlaid on top of a 2D world. You will discover around four different lanes. When you activate a card, you choose one of the available lanes to place that creature, and then one of the first three spaces in that lane which serve as starting spaces.

The game is won once you get the creatures with a number lane beyond the enemy forces and leaving the enemy hero open for attack. Once the hero’s lifepool is zero, they’re beat.

Play Now

Play Now
Jul 15

The Saddest Character Deaths

Sgt. Paul Jackson – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – Video

The last thing Sgt. Jackson ever sees

The last thing Sgt. Jackson ever sees

Noble 6 – Halo: Reach – Video

Noble 6

Noble 6

Ghost/Roach – Modern Warfare 2 – Video

The Betrayal

The Betrayal

Soap MacTavish – Modern Warfare 3 Video

Death of soap

Death of soap

John Marsten – Red Dead Redemption – Video

Death of John Marsten

Death of John Marsten

Aerith – Final Fantasy 7 – Video

Sephiroth's blade does her in

Sephiroth’s blade does her in

Lucy – Assassins Creed Brotherhood – Video

An assassins blade to the belly

An assassins blade to the belly