Independent Software QA Testing Services
Game testing is primarily a subset of game development, it is a software testing process solely aimed at quality control of video games including discovery and documentation of all potential software defects. The interactive entertainment software testing genre is a highly technical niche field that requires prior computing expertise, analytic skills, competence, patience, critical evaluation, and endurance.
Testers are assigned to log defects, glitches, and ‘bugs’ found in either the programming code or graphic layers. Game testers ideally should have a background of playing different games on a multitude of platforms. They must notate and reference all problems found in the detailed reports, meet deadlines with all project assignments, and level up to complete the game titles even in the most difficult play settings. Game testers additionally need to be highly observant to spot all the minor defects in the game build.
QA is a highly critical component in game development, although the video game industry inherently does not have a standard testing methodology. Testing starts as soon as the first code is written and exponentially increases as the game progresses toward completion and end stages. The main QA team tests the game from its first QA submission stages till as late as post-production. Early in the game development process the testing team is relatively kept small focussing initially on daily feedback for new code changes. As the game approaches the alpha stage, more team members are deployed where test plans and test cases are written. A good bug-reporting system is deployed. As the project enters the beta stage, the test teams proceed with clear assignments and requirements for each day. A Tester’s feedback may determine final decisions on the exclusion or inclusion of final features. Further introducing testers with fresh perspectives may help identify novel bugs. At this point, the project head engages in daily communication with the client and department heads.
Testers receive scheduled uniquely identifiable game builds handed straight from the developer’s end. The game is play-tested and noting any uncovered errors. Ranging from bugs to screen art glitches, logic errors, and level bugs. Game testing requires a creative gameplay skill to log in subtler bugs. QA testers often implement concurrency control to avoid logging the same bugs multiple times.
The game-test team is required to test all lately-added features and content without much delay. Ranking bugs according to an estimate of severity that are deemed critical to functionality.
The categorization of defects is as follows –
A – Are High Priority critical bugs that can potentially prevent the game from being shipped, or may possibly crash the game? Potentially preventing its market launch.
B – These are essential defects that require attention; however, the game may still be playable. However, some B-level bugs are equally severe to an A-level High Priority bug.
C – These are subtle and obscure problems, often being recommendations rather than actual defects.
Identification. Incorrect program behavior is meticulously analyzed and identified as a defect.
Reporting. The defect is further reported to the developers using a defect tracking system. The defect scenario and steps to reproduce it are included in the report with documentation such as screenshots and video recordings.
Analysis. The developer is responsible for the logged defects, i.e. the programmer or game designer excavates the malfunction. Although outside the scope of a game tester’s responsibilities, the programmer might require further information or evidence from the tester.
Verification. After defect fixing, the tester verifies and attests to the same.
Although there is no standard method for game testing. Standard best practices and methodologies are constantly refined and may differ for different types of games.
Functionality testing is commonly associated with “game testing”, as it requires playing the game in some form. However, Functionality testing is not extensive technical knowledge. Game testers often look for general defects within the game itself or its UI, such as instability, mechanical issues, and game asset integrity.
Compliance testing is the sole reason for the existence of game testing labs.
First-party licensors for console platforms have certain strict technical requirements for titles to their licensed platforms.
The formatting of standard error messages, handling of memory card data, and handling of legally trademarked and copyrighted material are the additional responsibilities of game testers. A single violation in submission for license approval can potentially get the game rejected, incurring additional costs in further testing and resubmission. The time frame delay can cause the title to lapse an important launch window, potentially costing the game owners even more money.
Compliance can additionally refer to regulatory bodies such as the ESRB and PEGI, when the game targets a particular content rating. Testers should report any objectionable content that is deemed inappropriate for the desired rating. Quite similar to licensing, games not receiving the desired ratings must be re-edited, retested, and resubmitted at a further additional cost.
Compatibility testing is normally required for PC titles, towards the end of development as compatibility depends mostly on the final build of the game. Two rounds of compatibility tests are done – early in the beta stage allowing time for issue resolution, and later in beta or during release candidate. Major functionalities of the game on various hardware configurations are meticulously tested. Compatibility testing further ensures that the game runs on all possible configurations of hardware and software. The hardware encompasses brands of different manufacturers, device versions, and additional assorted input peripherals such as gamepads and joysticks.
The testers evaluate the performance and results to match the game’s advertised minimum system requirements.
Soak testing involves leaving the game running for prolonged periods under various modes of operation, like idling, pausing, or on the title screen. This testing requires no further user interaction beyond the initial setup. Automated tools are deployed for simulating repetitive actions, such as mouse clicks. Soaking can also help detect memory leaks or rounding errors that surface manifest over a period of time only. Soak tests are usually regarded as one of the primary compliance requirements.
Beta testing is executed exclusively during the beta stage of development. Often the beta often refers to the first publicly available version of a game.
Regression testing is further performed post all bug fixes are executed by the programmers. The QA team checks in to relocate bugs via (regression) and re-run similar tests to check in for further defect leakages. That second stage is often termed “halo testing” involves testing bug peripherals for other similar bugs.
Load testing is deployed to test the limits of a system, the maximum possible number of players on an MMO server, the number of sprites active on the screen, or the multiple threads running in a particular program. Load testing requires simulating heavy traffic and heavy multiplayer activities measuring the breaking point of a gaming application to enable its functionality performance correctly when under load.
Playtesting video games is crucial since it can potentially reduce additional associated expenses. Making game levels that don’t function or aren’t profitable isn’t ideal. Playtesting can ensure early detection of severe errors, prevent fatal defects, and manage critically looming production issues.
The target audience and end user must experience the visual design, gaming experience, ease of use, and all controls functionality seamlessly. Hence, game testing is deemed highly crucial and essential to significantly expand a game’s market outreach and its subsequent success.
The critical drawbacks include bad UX, defect leakage in the final product, a relatively smaller user base, and lesser revenue generation.
Our game testing service is available on multiple platforms, including consoles, mobile devices, desktop apps, and game clouding. Our experience and testing facilities can warrant a seamless gaming user experience. Since games are also software, they are not entirely unique from other applications that we test. Our internal testing team has all QA criterions covered when coming to testing gaming software. Here are our standard game-testing methodologies:
Game scenario testing
Multi-user testing and Multi browser testing
Usability / UI testing
Ad hoc testing
We also provide free pilot projects for service trials as well.
Tools deployed are
Other Additional Services that Compliment Game Testing are