Game testing is a repetitive process because every new build may contain so many bugs that one needs to test thoroughly. Otherwise, you may experience some issues in your game, such as unresponsiveness on the game screen. The music may or may not be played well. Some functions of your device operating system may not respond, and you may get too many hang problems in your smartphone or the device that you use for gaming.
Thus, game testing requires not only the professional quality assurance expert but also demands the study of game rules and the basic structure without matter how lengthy the game is or how much time it takes to produce the game.
Mainly software testing is classified into three categories that are functional testing, non-functional testing, maintenance testing (regression and maintenance). In software testing, one needs to ensure that the actual software product is defect-free and fulfills the expected requirements of the customer.
On the other hand, there are different types of testing for game testing that ultimately help us understand that it is different from software testing. For example, Audio Testing, Fun Factor Testing, Balance Testing, Game Level/World Testing, Network/Multiplayer Testing, AI Testing, physics Testing, Realism Testing, Audio Testing, and Modification API Testing.
Apart from that, it is essential to understand the file architecture, the overall component architecture of the game, the game flow, the dependencies, and the file structures.
Moreover, one needs to review the test documents when it comes to updating any changes in the game specifications and whenever you introduce a new prototype of the game. You also need to prepare new test cases and new configurations to ensure that there are no new bugs found in the game during testing.
The Lifecycle Of The Game Development:
Entertainment is the one and the only motive of the game testing. Because the game is the type of software program that assures that even after the depressed condition of the person, he/she will be able to relax while playing the game and forgets everything whatever the situation he/she is currently dealing with.
Therefore, adopting the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) that one prefers for software testing is not enough. There are various challenges (visuals, graphics, sounds, physics, animations, collisions, gestures, AI, and user inputs) faced by game developers while working on any game development life cycle.
To address all issues in the game, we need to use the GDLC (Game Development Life Cycle) that may contain about six development phases, instead of using SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) that may have only four stages to work on – analysis, design, code, and testing.
In SDLC mode, the analysis is necessary to measure and collect the data of user requirements as it helps the software testing company while developing the software requirement specifications.
In the SDLC design phase, those specifications are then translated into software modules representation and more detailed models. During implementation or code generation, one needs to translate the models into source code and the executable software application.
Finally, the testing is carried out in the SDLC model to assure that all elements work as expected and completely fulfill the customer’s specifications.
However, the GDLC involves a total of six stages that are given below:
- Main Production
- Alpha Testing
- Beta Testing
- Master Phase
It is crucial to start the game development from pitch because it allows developing the initial design and helps to understand and prepare the game concept.
After making the gaming concept in the game development, there is a need to refine this process through pre-production. It covers game ideas, features, storyboards, requirement analysis. Documentation is also done during this stage. You need to focus on the technical design document, special specifications of the game’s features, animation, frame overlay, and the entire game architecture. Here are some aspects that you need to concentrates on during the pre-production stage:
- Camera (Zoom in and out, cinematic view, replay), action attributes, and music player.
- Object and event triggers, player movement, scores, positions, and player statistics.
- Game rules, flow, logic, and several conditions to reach the next level.
- Special effects, non-interactive sequence, multi-button actions, title screen, etc.
- Movie clips, vibration effects, Gamepad, use of button functions, gamepad, use of analog and digital mode.
3.) Main Production:
The realization of the pre-production is done in the main production part, including the focus is given on checking the game design, concept art, and its design document. This process can be so lengthy because there are so many things that one needs to check during this phase. If something is missing in the previous stage, the game developer can fix it and move to the next stage that is alpha testing.
4.) Alpha Testing:
Alpha testing is performed by the internal team members of the game development company. It is a kind of software testing that helps find out the bugs before launching the product for the public or real users. This kind of testing is also known as user acceptance testing.
5.) Beta Testing:
Beta Testing is also another type of user acceptance testing. In this stage, the software application is tested in a real-time environment for sure, but it is essential to get the test done from the real users or clients who are not part of your organization.
Security, reliability, and robustness are major factors that are focused during beta testing, not in alpha testing. In alpha testing, it is possible to resolve the critical issues from the developers immediately and before the release of the product.
In contrast, the beta test gives us client reports and their users’ feedback on how they feel and what kinds of results they received while operating the product. Any issues that the real users or clients mainly face can be corrected through beta testing, but the improvements are given in the next versions of the product.
6.) Master Phase:
After done the coding stage, integration of various modules, performing the regression testing, functional, alpha, beta, algorithm, data integrity testing, incremental, or any specific game testing, the final task is to release the product.
Therefore, we can clearly see that game testing are different from normal software testing because the game tester job responsibilities are:
- Sorting the specifications based on the targeted audience and their intended purposes.
- Determine the device and user specifications by performing functional, non-functional, and domain-specific testing.
- Check the targets of testable items, non-testable items and simultaneously calculate both functional and non-functional aspects.
- Ensure that functional requirements will meet consistently and completely.
- Prioritize the customer’s needs based on the game’s complexity, criticality, and uniqueness.
- Identify the game characters, AI, the theme of the game, cinematic views, gameplay, camera view, and many other features.
- Identifying conflicting, interdependent, and customizable requirements are also responsibilities that game developers/testers have to fulfill with dedication, knowledge, and experience.
Tools Used For Game Testing:
User experience or usability is something that is tested for all applications or software. Yet, the testing that is unique for gamers is a fun factor one needs to carefully perform via the Fun Factor Testing.
It helps to satisfy the entertainment needs and gives the best user experience in terms of fun while playing.
Today 3D games are very popular compared to 2D games because the main focus is given to provide a better visual appearance to users. Interactive colors, animated characters, and good sounds impress gamers a lot and are the reason for their addiction to play games every day.
However, 2D games don’t focus much on the environment. Their dimensions and controls are very simple and easy that sometimes gives a monotonous feel to gamers.
Testing is crucial to make the video games best like Call of Duty, Spider-Man, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, Super Smash Bros, Fortnite, Red Dead Redemption II, Minecraft, and Rocket League.
If the game includes too much animation using computer-generated imagery, then it is evident that testing a game can be a complex and difficult task, mainly if every single step is done through manual testing.
Therefore, to give the customers the best gaming experience, you need to conduct the test through game testing tools that are available on the internet in a wide variety.
Some examples of popular game testing tools are:
By using such tools for game testing, you can address the many challenges that may face by game testing companies or their experts:
- Role-based testing for all users.
- Checking the GUI (Graphical User Interface) of the game.
- Performing testing on the basis of handsets and multiple platforms.
- Get the testing done with total RAM usage and consumption.
- Implementing the tests with latency, network connectivity, frame rates, and keeping other factors in mind.
Quality assurance and entertainment are the main factors of game development. The essential function of game testing is the identification and documentation of software bugs or defects.
To give extreme levels of entertainment to gamers, the software testing company should have highly technical experience, computing experience, critical evaluation skills, endurance, test labs with world-class game testing tools, and analytic competence to create a win-win situation in the industry.
As we discussed, game testing is a repetitive process, so we need to use the automation tools and have great experience in the working of GDLC (Game Development Life Cycle) like pitch, pre-production, main production, alpha, beta testing, and master phase.
By implementing these stages and the numerous testing types from combinatorial, clean room, functional, regression, tree, compatibility, performance, localization, soak, recovery to security testing, we can confidently say that game testing is extremely non-identical to normal software testing.