Game development is never as simple or on the plan as a developer would want it to be. The process usually involves fixed deadlines, code choke points, production holdups, never-ending work cycles, etc. Game testing is a subpart of the development process which assures the quality of the video game function. With so much work on their plates, developers often develop a game full of errors and bugs, despite their total effort. Before the release, these glitches, defects, etc., identified and eliminated by a rigorous and iterative game testing process.
The process of game testing
- Identification – At first, the game is run and analyzed. After that, the problematic code has termed a bug.
- Reporting – This bug gets reverted to the game developer. Bug placement and the means of its identification reported as well.
- Analysis – The developer responsible for the bug’s code, such as a graphic designer, initial programmer, sound artist, etc., verifies the defect in the program.
- Verification – This step validates the bug/glitch removal as the tester again tests the code and states or denies whether the bug exists any longer or not.
The majority of game development companies differentiate bugs as per their estimated severity. Game tester’s primary job is to find the bugs that are obstructing the game. Mainly there are three types of bugs.
- The first type of bugs are critical and can prevent a game’s release by affecting them severely by crashing the game.
- In the second type, bugs are not as critical as the first one, but they need attention as their removal is crucial for smooth gameplay.
- Third type bugs are harmless in comparison with type one and type two bugs, resulting in small and obscure game problems.
Many organizations use different types of game testing techniques in the absence of a fixed testing methodology. Along with the time testing methods also evolved with conventional software testing.
Here are some of the testing methods used in Game Development
Functional testing mainly targets identifying and eliminating any kinds of bugs, errors, or defects. Mostly found in the crucial components of the game like Graphics, Combat controls, Audio-Visual synchronization, Game floor transitions, Movement controls, Performance issues, Menu transitions, etc. Each element should function at its hundred percent for the game to work perfectly as a whole. Thus, functional testing guarantees that a game functions as per its advertised commitment.
Gameplay testing focuses on the progress of the game flow. The story curve main aim is to quickly capture a player’s attention and keep them engaged for prolonged hours. It is only possible when the game stories or various game elements are in sync with one another. Each progression in the game must be linked with each other to assure engaging gameplay. The design of the game and the characters should represent the story created by the designer.
Gamers usually worry about the vulnerability of their system when they play a video game. The main concerns are user data theft, uninhibited system access constraints, communication system traps, virus embedding, weakly encrypted algorithms, etc. Hence, a gamer looks out for the highest quality guaranteed games for enhanced security and authenticity.
With the increasing variety in gaming hardware, it has become essential to ensure a video game’s stability by providing its performance remains unique in supported hardware. The game testers should be up to date with the current market and test using modern devices. Not only hardware but also the operating system also managed and updated with time. Compatibility testing helps to determine a game’s merest system requirements.
Endurance testing is to test the game limits by running the game under heavy load. The most common tested aspects include the number of players a game can handle, the number of characters active on the game screen, parallel threads running, graphic rendering, network choke points, etc. Thus, endurance testing examines how much stress a game can handle.
Regression testing takes place after the concerned developer has fixed a bug/glitch. First, the game tester assures that the bug has been removed. Then further tests are run to check if the modified code has negatively altered or corrupted some other game element.
A game that responds well to a single-player may have faults when burdened down by multiple users. So, in a multiplayer game, comprehensive multiplayer testing is done with the sole aim of pushing game limits across a connected network.
Compliance testing guarantees that the game strictly follows the regulations laid out in the design stage. Some of the fundamental types are Enterprise policy compliance, Marketplace guidelines compliance, Regulatory bodies compliance (PEGI, ESRB, etc.).
Even though the entire process may look scary and time-consuming, game testing is a crucial video game development process for game success among gamers. A game designed with the best concepts but with bugs will ever result in a bad gaming experience. Fixing bugs in the initial testing phase is more affordable than fixing them after the release. If a game fails in giving the user a flawless experience at the first impression, users will find another game at their fingertips. A game’s success mainly depends on the quality of the testing process. We can see many examples where money and talent has no barrier, but still, the game failed to create a name because of inadequate testing.
Perfection is an undesirable dream, but we at Aavega Interactive indeed believe in pursuing perfection to guarantee excellence in our products and services. The game testing team in our office thoroughly checks each game before its release by doing numerous test cycles. Our QA testers have years of computing expertise, evaluation skills, analytic proficiency, and endurance testing. The testing team’s main objective is to give complete satisfaction to the end-user as per game specifications.