The QA sounds terrible, like some sort of nightmare. However I still say the game reviews don't sound all that bad. So what if you are subjected to absolutely terrible games? Just vent your frustration in the review (in a professional manner naturally). The only thing that keeps me from trying to become a video game critic is the difficulty of actually getting the job, against the odds.
I used to write music reviews, so I guess it's a similar situation: I only got the junk, the editors kept all the decent stuff for themselves.
As for the QA thing: I had a friend who got a QA job at Sega. She lasted less than a week, partly through unsuitable travel and working hours but... well, you can work around that sort of thing if it's really the dream job you're expecting.
I got a job in the mdeical industry, more specificly, i work evening and night shofts as a gatekeeper at a medical factory.
When i come to work, i have to walk around teh factory for about 2 hours, and the rest of the shift i can sit and do whatever i like, as long as i'm ready to react if something happens (it rarely does)
I'm allowed to bring my laptop to work so i do so, and once i'm done walkign around, i fire it up and play whatever games i feel like, however i want to. All while getting paid.
I'm also undereducation as a 3d digital artist, so theres a good chance i'll get to see the gaming industry from the inside in a few years
I interviewed at EA UK once for a QA role, managed to get selected for the QA pool (basically they call you when needed) which got me excited at the time. Though in the end couldnt take it up - they would call up often needing you the next day and there is no job security, you might only have a job for a couple of months. On top of that you could be working anytime of the day so could have a shift that starts at 2am or someother stupid hour of the day.
The interview was fun and I got to see inside EA's offices but having to QA as part of the process (you owuld have to describe bugs shown in videos in detail) and being told you would probably be working on the same bug for days, jsut doing with your character taking 2 steps to the left etc each time to see if it continues to break really puts the job in perspective. Plus you get paid horrendously.
Yeah, I wouldn't want a testing job, hence I probably won't get into the industry even though I really, really want to.
umm...welcome to the Age of the Technician?
Because its not possible anymore to work with existing tools and use existing "IP" as a template,
(With the exception of the unreal engine, go whoever released that to the public!)
it is nearly impossible to be a successful craftsman in our era and build modern tech-level projects.
This is a pretty depressing article, but it speaks the truth.
If anything sounds too good to be true, you need to have it inspected. Chances are you'll find something.
Good read but kind of discouraging :P
Depressing article, I'm not really phased though, I'll continue to finish my Journalism degree. I still know it will be a job, and I love writing, and honestly a bad review is easier to write than a good review.
I love finding broken things in games, and don't mind repetition. I'll spend hours running around in circles so I can get a few levels.
Where do I sign up?
Wait are you asking about the job as a Game Dev? or the job as a Reviewer/Critic ?
For game dev. , it's hard sometimes because I see alot of gamedev teams that are understaffed and work pro bono but they did make some very nice freeware games.Names don't pop up right now but google it you'll surely find some.I worked for a team for a short period of time as a concept artist.It was fun, but we finnaly reached a dead end.We were like 5 people doing daily work and about 20 that were episodic sort of speak.
I'm thinking that low salaries and maybe understaffed devs are one of the causes for the industry mostly stagnating now, or going down.
As a comp sci student, game dev would be my dream job. I can imagine QA being hell though. At the company I currently work at, the company uses the software they make (it's software for coders) and that leads to automatic QA. Also, it's a great way to show confidence in your own product.
Yes... it WOULD suck. But you're comparing how boring you're work is to your free time,instead of other people's work. So yes, its not the best. I doubt however, it is less fun than most people's JOBS. This was especially glaring when you complained how your were playing matrix online while your friends were playing WoW. I sorta doubt it unless they play WoW at work. Then again I guess a sob story isn't particularly impressive when you write about playing Matrix Online while your friends are writing reports on a tax deduction.
Not only that but most of us are in thankless jobs with several repetitive tasks. We all have things to complain about. Maybe working in video games is not as glorious as many kids fresh out of school think it is but that can be said of most jobs as well. You may not get to play perfect games or even good games but you're still playing games. Rock stars and pro athletes complain about being on the road all the time and they're under immense pressure from media and fans that expect them to perform. What was just a game becomes a job. But the bottom line is that they get to play a game for a living. I will admit that given the money they make, it's not the best example but it does prove that even the sexiest jobs have their downside. Every single job has it's downside.
As for being a reviewer, yeah, as a lower level reviewer, you're going to get crappier games to play. It's called Paying Your Dues and it happens in almost all jobs and industries. I'm an engineer and as a junior engineer, my projects were much more standard fare and not that interesting. After a few years of experience, I started getting the more interesting stuff. Even in pro sports (not the best example, I know), the rookies carry the veteran's bags. In the case of a reviewer, you work your way up to the editor's position and then you dump all the crap games on the rookie. It's a fact of life and a part of every job.
The point that you should be making isn't that working in video games sucks. You should be saying that it's like every job where you have good days and bad days and you have to work your way to the top.
In addition being a tester doesn't mean you get any kind of influence on the game, you do robor's work because there is no robot advanced enough to do it, right?
@the article: those are exactly the reasons why neither me or DD(digital doom) want to become professionals at reviewing.
Having done part-time amateur QA testing for a Neverwinter Nights server that still gets updated on occasion, I feel your pain. Of course, my testing isn't quite the same as a full product test, because we know we're using a (relatively) solid base gaming engine, and just adding to it.
Our authors actually also are required to be present for any and all testing that is done at any time to try to explain desired effects, at least until someone else gets proficient with the new test build, which can take between one and a hundred tries, depending on the scale of the event.
After the alpha testing is done, we proceed to do anything and everything in our power to cheat that we can. When I mean anything and everything, I mean it. Having a good amount of experience with the DM client, I will show up and do things the players can't do on their own to help them cheat. I don't have to do everything in my power to do it, but I do quite a bit. I hand over free items, help exchange ideas, show new tricks, and pretty much try to be the exact opposite of the normally upstanding citizen I normally portray(Especially as a DM on the main server). The players get compensated, and I miss out on some sleep. Life moves on.
After the beta testing is completed, I end up with a copy of the new areas for the module, or new items, or whatever, and I begin to proofread. Usually this part is simple as most of it is caught during the alpha and beta testings, but sometimes something odd will slip up. It may not seem important, but one of the areas that was set up before I was a DM still has a three year old typo I'm trying to fix, and it drives me nuts every time I see it.
After all of that, the special area is loaded again, and given a dry run with a brand new set of testers, to ensure it runs smoothly, and is fun. Once finished, we ask for our inputs, then get approved about 80$% of the time. Having logged about 20 failed hours really sucks, but sometimes, you just put up with it and move on.
It's not quite as amusing as our epic project, which is a rebuilding of the server from top to bottom, in an attempt to reduce the sizes of a lot of the scripts, enhance the gameplay, and bring the areas up to par with the latest patches.
I currently work as a 3d artist. Previously I've had a bunch of different jobs, ranging from working in hamburger hell to being a technician, a demolition worker and a teacher. And although I love games and art and like doing what I do in a way I have to admit that this is the job where I have the hardest time keeping my spirits up.
What people don't seem to get is that on a day-to-day basis it's usually just another office job. You go to work, sit and stare at your computer and in general do menial and repetitive tasks. In the case of artists the tasks just look more fun to the casual observer. I heard about a guy who had to work on the same character for nine months, remaking it over and over again. To any casual observer that must have looked way more awesome than anything ever after a quick glance at his screen. I have to admire the guy. I probably would have cracked before half the time.
A big problem is that some companies really rely on their workers being passionate about what they do, and occasionally really abuse it and start expecting or even demanding stuff like their employees working twelve hours per day and only getting paid for eight. Look up "EA Spouse" for just one horror story. From personal experience I can only say that since I took my first steps into this industry I've run into more people with current or past serious stress ailments than I'd ever met in my life up to that point.
So why don't we quit? Well, many do. Also, there are a lot of studios nowadays who take better care of their employees. Things are improving, I hear. I can only speak for myself in this matter: I'm in it because it's something I know I can do well. While I may have been in higher spirits during my previous careers I can't really look back at them with the sense of achievement I can in this industry. Once a game is finished you can take a copy home and put it on a bookshelf and point it out to people to say "I made that".
And that's really cool.
I'm a gamer, but I work as a programmer, and whenever one of my friends mentions how cool it would be to work in the industry and why don't I look for a job there, I tell them simply because I love playing games (and I don't want to hate it)!
While I'm looking forward to joining the Game Industry, I do know what I'm in for.
I know what it's like to be a quality tester (on my own work) and I know how painful it is to read through over a thousand lines of code (only halfway through school, so my biggest projects have been about 1500 lines of code) looking for the minor typo that is preventing it from working (for those unfamiliar with programming, it's hell).
But, as another article said this week, I can't not do it.
Is this a joke?
Sure it would be annoying with everyone thinking you had a great job, but most work is boring and monotonous. I once had a job where I had to adjust plactic wrappers on bleach bottles for 12 hours straight, FOR NO DESCERNIBLE REASON! It cut my hands open and I thought the whole thing was some sort of social experiment. But I didn't complain, cause at least it wasn't a sweat shop and I was getting paid.
You want excitement, join the army. This isn't getting any violins from me.