Game Testing Tips for a Successful Launch
Game testing carries an important role in game development since testing begins when the game is still in early development and goes through a lot more of tests during the whole development phase until it reaches the consumers. Game testing as well is considered one of the hardest software testing jobs.
It is a game testers job to emulate the end user of the product we are testing. By identifying and describing important defects, we’re making sure that we give you quality products for the end users to enjoy. Game testing is a tedious and complicated job that involves meticulous planning, needs a structural, and disciplined approach to product testing.
Of course, it takes years of practice and experience to be a really good game tester; game testers have developed an eye for detail, extreme focus and critical thinking. Since game testing is an integral part of game development it is important for game creators to keep in mind of these tips when it comes to game testing; which is why we have written tips to create a successful launch.
Game testers will look out for performance defects, in the game environment, textures, and elements. The game testers look out for any performance issues, including crashes, freezes, and progression blockages while tests the interactive applications.
As functional testers, we look out for the accuracy of the elements of the game. Testing areas of the game graphics, if there are missing graphic-colors, design, or issues with the animation. Testers also check game elements such as if the game’s weapons inflict the right damage or if game items respond to their proper functions by playing the actual game. After determining the different defects, the game has our functional testers to then report to the game creators where they fix the issues, and then sends the game back to the testers where it will undergo a re-test. This will be done until they will be able to produce an error-free and fail-safe product to enter the market.
Game Soak Testing
Soak testing refers to exposing the game on a long period of execution for an extended period in different modes of operations, such as idling, paused, or at the title screen to validate system stability. Games need to go through a thorough evaluation to deliver the maximum player experience. The reason for soaking is to be able to identify the presence of rounding errors that show over time and can be a problem since it can affect its pointing system, health value consumption and other game parameters that involve numerical computation.
Soak testing is essential to be able to achieve realistic game behavior. There are different game components to test such as menu, graphics, sound effects and audio, game levels, world setting, player and NPC’s attributes, game flow and intelligence, player statistics, and console hardware.
Poor communication leads to miscommunication both verbally and written. Game testers should are in constant communication with the game creators to inform them of the bugs and other issues seen during the testing phase. Proper data entry and verbal communication should be well practiced and not be overlooked since precise information is needed to be relayed to fix game bugs and other issues to be addressed. Another consequence of failed communication is the possible delay in the application development.
Game Compliance and Compatibility Testing
A lot of games require a hardware device this especially is important towards console games since most games are not a stand-alone system. This part of game testing is a means to be able to unearth any flaws in the hardware that affects the software. Hardware and software should be compatible in both sides. Qualified testers for software testing make sure that the game follows strict compliance and that it would perform consistently regardless of operating system variations or in diverse devices to ensure strict compatibility. Thus compatibility testing is done to ensure proper compatibility. Compatibility testing ensures that the end product would function accordingly; this comes very necessary towards console games.
Commonly a lot of RPG’s and story-based games have been developed in Japan. It is likely that there will be inconsistencies in scripts and translations to one language to another. Unlike functional testers who play the game, localization testers face an interface where all game scripts and its translations are listed.
Game Testing Strategy
Having a well-structured approach to game testing increases testing efficiency and better quality products thus increasing the satisfaction rate of the end users. Without a proper testing strategy, it is more likely to experience buggy and glitchy products. Having a defective game reduces quality and affects brand reputation.
There are different aspects of test strategy that should be identified and be taken into consideration. These are some of the strategies needed keep in mind.
• Definition and Philosophy
There are different forms of testing and knowing which tests to use is essential. Categorizing them accordingly will make it easier to be able to track down the different types of tests that need to be done. Testing as well is not a one-man-job. Game testers should keep quality in mind and should be done with precision and accuracy.
• Testing Requirements
Of course in any project, some specific standards and requirements should be met. Testers should have a good understanding of the requirements they should be able to know what should and shouldn’t be tested, what are the targets, etc.
• Timeline Review
Time pressure is existent in the development of game projects. Recognizing threshold points where sufficient timeline must be provided for the testers to perform. There are some iterations for testing each new or updated game features there will be a set of different testings that needs to be done. The threshold varies within the game; testers should be able to communicate the needed testing requirements with the developers, and the Publishers.
• Infrastructure and Security Testing Review
Security testing and testing of software should not be overlooked. Testers should be able to test the security and reliability of both software and hardware devices to prevent possible security breaches when the product has been distributed to the end user. Without proper security testing on developed games you are risking of exposing your clients information, which could also include, banking information, birthdate, and any other sensitive data that could expose your users from danger.
Mentioned earlier, even in the early stages of game development, game testing has become an essential part of development. And is considered one of the hardest software testing jobs Game testing determines the quality of the product to attain the satisfaction and quality expected of the end users. Knowing and understanding the different aspects of game testing will reduce the chances of experiencing bugs, software defects, security and other possible problems. It is essential for game testers to be able to understand the reason and purpose of each test to be able to accomplish making a successful game.