Test games, earn XP and GTGold, get rewarded for giving good feedback? Err, yes please, don't mind if I do!
Whilst they've been around for a few years now, I'm old and they're fairly new to me. Game Tester has been growing quickly more recently. I noticed a tweet or two of theirs late last year, then promptly forgot about it sorting out my health issues at the time. But I cleverly did snag a link and stuck it, together with a bunch of other stuff, into a notepad file on the phone that I rediscovered over the weekend.
Game Tester bill themselves as "the crash test dummies of the gaming industry".
We help developers find the answers to the problems within their games. We bring together players and developers to sit across one platform and understand what can be improved in their game, how changes will make it better and, in the end, help them deliver a stable and positively reviewed game. As a Game Tester, you will be able to say “I contributed to the success of that game!”
As an added bonus, the Game Tester HQ is Proudly South African and is located right here in Mzansi!
Our headquarters is located at 3 Dock Road, Waterway House, Cape Town, South Africa. Our founders and management team are based in Australia, our development team are in South Africa, we have team members on the ground in the United States and the United Kingdom, and we are excited to say we now have an agreement with our first team member to represent us in Singapore.
Game Tester runs tests for mobile, PC, Mac, console, and VR across the entire spectrum of gaming genres. Tests become available to you in line with the preferences you specify on your gamer profile.
XP is earned every time you complete a test or provide feedback. The more XP you earn, the more tests you'll be invited to. At the same time, you'll also earn GTGold.
GTGold is Game Tester's platform currency that can eventually be used to make purchases from the Game Tester Shop. Gift vouchers, gaming gear, merch and clothing are all listed as rewards that can be purchased from the Game Tester Store. That said, currently I can only see gaming and PC components, peripherals, a few pre-builds, and some Visa/Mastercard Virtual Card gift card vouchers available.
Luckily, the pricing for the components, and presumably the supply, is locally based, so you can get an idea of the relative value of the items on sale. You can also, in most cases it seems, reduce the purchase cost by using GTGold that you've earned towards the purchase.
I can't quite work out the Rand value of GTGold. I think it's about 65 GTGold to R1 but am guessing that fluctuates with the exchange rate. To give you an idea, the R510 Redragon Hylas headset in the screenshot below will cost you 34 000 GTGold, while the US$25 voucher needs 25 000 GTGold.
Once you've registered and set up your profile and preferences, be sure to download and install the Game Tester app for your mobile device to get instant notifications whenever a new test suited to you becomes available.
In addition to game tests, (or while waiting for your first invitation to test a game) complete surveys and questionnaires about games and gaming on the site for added XP.
If you do decide to sign and try your hand at a little Game Testing, be a mensch and use my referral link when you sign up. I'll score some bonus XP when you complete your first play test in the future, you'll score an opportunity to test games = win/win! My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.
Not sure if you're right for game testing? Here's the top 10 tips from Game Tester to help you along:
Each developer will have specific areas for each of their tests that they want gamers to focus on to help progress their project to the next stage of development. Read and take note of all test requirements and objectives, you don’t want to finish a test only to realise you avoided things they wanted feedback on.
You never know what questions you’ll be asked at the end of the test and it’s easy to forget minor details, particularly when playing for longer sessions. Note your likes, dislikes and any bugs you encounter – it’s our number one tip for providing higher quality feedback.
Know your role
As game testers, the majority of the titles you play will still be deep in development. By their nature, the content will be unfinished, feature occasional crashes/bugs and sometimes might not work at all. Try not to let this frustrate you and instead channel these observations into the feedback you provide.
Share what's broken
If you encounter a bug, glitch or crash, don’t let it slide. Take a note of anything that doesn’t seem quite right, you might end up being the sole reason no one else experiences that same bug when the game releases to the public. You're a fundamental asset to increasing the overall quality of any title you play with Game Tester.
Take it all in
Take moments to absorb non-gameplay elements of the game, for example, art style, animations, music, voice acting, sound effects, ambience, lighting, user interface etc. Each of these are equally important when building the world and overall feel of any video game.
Keep an open mind
You may have a pre-existing opinion of a certain genre, franchise or studio that relates to the game you’re testing, try to put these thoughts to the back of your mind when testing. Remaining impartial is incredibly important to offering unbiased and constructive feedback. You might not be the target audience, but your feedback can still be valuable.
Try to be specific
Try to remember or note where you were and what you were doing when something went wrong and give as much information as possible, including your hardware specs where necessary. Links to in-game screenshots or video clips can also be a powerful visual tool that help developers recreate issues and have them fixed up quicker.
Testing games can be difficult sometimes, especially if your hardware is causing a game to run poorly or crash. Remember these developers are requesting your services specifically to improve these issues. Try to remain constructive and if something sucks, explain how you think it could be improved.
Reading through feedback from hundreds of testers can be a daunting task for developers, try to present your feedback in a clear and neat format, using line breaks and bullet points where necessary to make the information easier to digest.
While the main target for game testers is to look out for bugs and areas that can be improved, it also helps developers just as much to know what parts of the game are enjoyable, this allows them to focus on their strengths and bring other elements of the game up to the same level of quality.
Let us know if you do sign-up with Game Tester in the comments below, and keep us informed about the tests that you do get involved with (but only if you are allowed to - no breaking of NDAs here please!)