“The dread of criticism is the death of genius”- William Gilmore Simms
Game development is never as elegant or on schedule, as a developer would want to, the process is usually sprinkled with tight deadlines, code choke points, production bottlenecks, endless work cycles, etc. Game testing is a subset of the game development process which ensures the quality of the video game function. With so much on their plates, developers often end up developing a game full of glitches and defects, despite their full effort. These errors, bugs, etc., are identified and eliminated by a rigorous and iterative process of game testing before the release.
The majority of game development companies classify bugs in accordance with their estimated severity. The game tester’s major job is to find the bugs that are hampering the game.
In absence of any fixed game testing methodology, various types of game testing techniques are employed by different organizations. At times, the techniques evolved for the usage in conventional software testing are employed as well.
Functional testing is targeted for identifying and eliminating any and all kinds of bugs, errors, or defects. These are looked at, in the major components of the game like Graphics, Audio-Visual synchronization, Combat controls, Game floor transitions, Movement controls, Menu transitions, Performance issues, etc. Each component should function at its hundred percent for the game to function perfectly as a whole. Functional testing ensures that a game functions as per its advertised promise.
Gameplay testing focuses on the progression of the game flow. The story curve is designed in such a way so as to easily capture a player’s attention and keep him engrossed for long hours. This is only possible when the game events or various game components are in sync. Each progression in the game must be in support of each other, to ensure engaging gameplay. The design of the game and the characters should be in accordance with the story knitted by the developer.
Gamers are often concerned about the vulnerability of their system when they play a video game, major concerns being user data theft, uninhibited system access restrictions, communication system pitfalls, weak encryption algorithms, virus embedding, etc. Hence, a gamer looks for the highest quality assured games for enhanced security and reliability.
With the increasing diversity in gaming hardware, it has become very crucial to make sure of a video game’s stability by ensuring that its performance remains unsurpassed in supported hardware. This can be ensured, only when the testers are up to date with the contemporary market and perform game testing using neoteric devices. Not only hardware, but the operating system also needed to be managed and improved with time. Compatibility testing is helpful in deciding a game’s minimum system requirements.
Endurance testing is done to test the game limits by operating the game under heavy load. The commonly tested aspects include the number of players a game can handle, the number of sprites active on the game screen, the number of parallel threads running in the game, network choke points, graphic rendering, etc. Endurance testing explores how much stress a game is capable of handling.
Regression testing is carried out after a bug/glitch has been fixed by the concerned developer. The game tester ensures that the bug has been actually removed, and then additional tests are run to check if the altered code has negatively affected or degraded some other game element.
It is often seen that a game that reacts well to a single player, may fault when weighed down by multiple users. So, if a game is multiplayer, extensive multiplayer testing is carried out with the sole aim to push game limits over a connected network.
Compliance testing ensures that the game adheres to the regulations laid out in the design phase. Marketplace guidelines compliance, Enterprise policy compliance, Regulatory bodies compliance (PEGI, ESRB, etc) are some of the common types.
Though it is scary looking and time consuming, game testing is a crucial process of video game development for ensuring its success among gamers. A game based on the best of concepts, but with bugs will always result in a bad gaming experience. Fixing bugs in the testing phase is much cheaper than fixing them after the release. Also, the first impression is essential and if a game disappoints in giving the user a flawless experience, then users will find another to play within no time. A game’s success largely depends on how its testing has been conducted, since there have been in numerous instances where money and talent was no bar, but still the game failed to create a name, because of bad or insufficient testing.
Perfection is an impossible dream, but we at Juego Studio sure believe in chasing perfection, to ensure excellence in our products and services. The testing team at our studio thoroughly checks each and every game before its release by running various test cycles. Our game testers have years of experience in computing expertise, analytic proficiency, evaluation skills, and endurance testing. Our testing team’s primary objective is to deliver complete satisfaction to the end user as per game specifications.