game, game. repeat.

Interview With EA Tiberon

Fri 13 February 2004

Jonathon writes:

I got to Tiburon around 3:40pm. My interview wasnt until 4pm, so that was good. I would have been there even earlier, but we had a little trouble finding the place. Good thing we left early!

So I walked into Tiburon, very cool building. I saw some arcade machines and stuff in this one room, it must have been the game room. I then found where I needed to go, told them I was there for the interview, and they gave me an application to fill out.

After I got done filling out about 80% of the application, they called everyone in a room to take a test and said we could finish our applications afterwards. So the 15-20 or so of us walked in to take the test. Some were around my age (19 years old), others were in their mid-20s, and some people looked to be over 30. Most of them looked like hardcore gamers. I look liked a beach lifeguard in comparison.

Let me give you a sample of some of the questions

  1. There is a lily pad in a pond. Every day the pad doubles in size. On the 60th day, the pad covers the whole pond. How much of the pond does it cover on the 59th day? (By the way, they worded it a little trickier than I just did).

  2. Here are the names of 5 football players. Which one has dreadlocks?

  3. 1 10 3 9 5 8 7 7 9 6 ? ? What numbers go in the question marks?

  4. Today is Friday. What is the day after yesterday, that follows the day before it, after the day after that, before that day?

And they had other logic, sports, and math questions that were easier and harder than my samples above. They also had video game questions and grammar/spelling questions.

After the timed test (30 minutes, seemed like 15 but I finished the test in time) they took us into a room with a bunch of burgundy colored Gamecubes. We each had our own TV and console, and we were playing a test copy of Madden 2004. They gave us 20 minutes, and we had to find and write down as many bugs that we could find. One I found was:

>>From the Main Menu, go to Madden 101. Then go to Whats New? Then back out of it and the NFL logo will have a graphical glitch.<<

They also gave us 20 minutes to find the glitches that they had written down for us already, and to cross out the unnecessary steps. That was actually pretty easy.

So then, after the tests, they said we could just chill and play the games while they grade the tests. A few minutes later I got called outside of the room (and I was winning 7 to 0. Take that, Cardinals!). He walked me outside of the little office and said something like, Well unfortunately this is the walk out of the office which means you arent hired. The way he said it, I thought he was joking with me. But then I realized he was serious. He said that I just didnt score high enough on the written test. I asked him, Do you know how well I scored? Was it like average? and he said, I dont really know. But were hiring the top 5 out of the 20.

I must have messed up badly on the math and sports questions. While in the parking lot waiting for my ride home, I figured out the math questions without even trying. The answers just suddenly appeared in my head, my subconscious must have been figuring them out.

So all in all, it was a fun experience. I guess I’m meant for other work. To be honest, while I was playing the game to find glitches for the 20 minutes, I started to think to myself, I dont know if I want to do this all day. I think itd become more tedious than bagging groceries was. Some of you may think, oh yeah Jonathan, playing video games is so tedious. But it is. Were not just playing games all day. Were going through menus, going back and forth doing the same thing hundreds of times (but just a little different each time) to make sure it works. I could see how it would get old fast, and I understand why many game testers say they rarely ever play video games for fun anymore at home. It all takes a certain type of mentality. I think a true hardcore gamer would love it, but I’m not that hardcore.

Here are a couple tips for becoming a game tester, based on my little experience:

  1. If you know someone in the industry, that can help a lot. I have a friend, who has a sister, who has a friend that works as a programmer in the industry. That friend helped my friends nephew become a game tester without any tests like the ones I did. Was that confusing enough for you?

  2. Know the companys games. I havent played a Madden game in years, and I wasnt very knowledgeable about sport players, especially football and Nascar.

Updated on October 10th, 2013

Removed the link to Jonathon’s email, I figure he doesn’t want to keep hearing from people through this page nor be exposed to more spam.