CyberPunk 2077, was a much-awaited game from CD Project Red. Before its release, the game received numerous awards with critics praising it for its gameplay, graphics, and storyline. So naturally, there were sky-high expectations for the game.
But once Cyberpunk was released in 2020 the game was filled with bugs. Gamers panned it offline and online. In fact, the reaction was so negative that Sony pulled the game from its Playstation Store and offered refunds to players.
One reason cited for this failure is the game’s rushed game development process and the resulting hastily completed testing. Most likely, the testers didn’t receive enough time to thoroughly check the game and identify major bugs.
Instead, it was players who found them.
Game testing (also known as QA or Quality Analysis) is the process of reviewing the game to find bugs that negatively impact the gameplay experience. Testing is conducted by specialists called testers/ quality analysts. The testers play the game repeatedly, find bugs, and then report it to the development team. Sometimes, testers also suggest improvements to the game.
Testing is an integral part of game development. Without proper testing, you cannot guarantee your game’s playability or overall quality.
Testers conduct numerous types of testing, each with its own goal and purpose. Below are some of them:
Under functionality testing, your quality testers check if your game’s features are functional.
For instance, if your game has social media integration you have to ensure your players can log in and connect to your game with their social media accounts. To ensure the feature is working properly, your quality testers will check the feature by logging in multiple times from different social media accounts. If there is any issue with the login, the issue is marked and reported to the development team.
To make sure features are integrated properly, your testers will also compare the features alongside your game’s design document. If the feature differs from the requirement, testers will also report that.
Testers conduct performance testing to check the game’s overall performance. They will check for frame rate drops, freezes, and slow load times. They also analyze your game’s memory and CPU consumption.
Then based on the testers’ feedback, the developers optimize the game for better performance and hardware resource management
Load Testing in game development is conducted to determine the capacity of your game’s server and if it can handle a lot of concurrent players.
So, your testers will assess the load based on metrics such as response time, network delays, performance bottlenecks, etc.
Your testers will do compatibility testing to check if your game is playable across all platforms and target devices. If there are any discrepancies between platforms, devices, or hardware/ software configurations, the testers mark them as issues and report them to the development team.
In mobile game development companies, compatibility testing is essential because 1) Most mobile games are cross-platform, and 2) Even under the same platform there are numerous devices with varied hardware and software configurations.
Smoke Testing in game development is the primary test that quality analysts conduct once a build is received. During a smoke test, the testers check only the basic features of your game and do not check in-depth.
Playtesting is conducted to assess if your game is fun to play. Testers play the game and check whether the various levels, challenges, enemies, etc., as well as the game as a whole, is an enjoyable experience.
Playtesting is important as it helps you identify key flaws including game balancing, level design, and gameplay issues.
QA in game development is an important aspect that flies under the radar.
To develop a good mobile game, you have to conduct different types of mobile game development testing. Each type of test has its importance in determining your game’s quality. Because it helps you not only tweak issues but also improve your game before release.