The game testing industry has seen significant success lately and is anticipated to exceed $300 billion by 2025. Video games are undoubtedly on the rise, but most people do not know how much testing is behind every error and bug-free game. People handling this task are game testers, and regardless of how exciting it sounds, it is a serious job that implies vast IT knowledge and expertise.
Game testing is that one essential part of the game development process that cannot be overlooked, much less underdone. Gamers’ experience depends on the game testers’ ability to identify bugs or errors like deformed characters, missing textures, unbalanced weapons, invisible walls, long-loading times, or sloppy net code. All these can negatively impact one’s gaming experience, and this is game manufacturers’ last wish. That is why quality assurance is the key to delivering top-notch games enthusiasts would have no reproach about.
But what methods do these game saviours employ to ensure user-friendly, engaging, and innovative games? Read on to get more insight into what a career in game testing means and the various techniques used to provide an optimal experience.
Functionality QR testers are responsible for confirming whether the final product complies with the specifications. This means they must hunt for generic problems like audio-video, stability issues, game asset integrity, mechanic issues, graphics and user interface representation. In this phase, the game’s fun character is not taken into account, as the functionality factor is the #1 priority.
The app’s performance during crash situations, switch-off, and restart is also on the to-do list. Proficient game testers are also preoccupied with performance problems like progression blockages and freezing that many of us experienced at least once while gaming. On the other side of the coin, UI testing is meant to determine whether the graphical elements and content types are relevant.
Game testers must be exceptionally involved at this stage, which requires much focus and professionalism. If you dream of becoming a game tester, you would better weigh the positive and negative aspects. Apart from the vast information you need to learn to come to the point of testing games, it is also necessary to spend a lot of time in front of a computer.
This can further result in various computer-related injuries, such as headache, neck and shoulder pain, and eyestrain. If you ever get such an injury on the job, ensure you know the steps to claim compensation. Specialists from Personal Injury Claims UK recommend always working with professional personal injury lawyers in such cases.
As its name also suggests, this type of testing is free-form. This means a particular application can be tested randomly on any game section. The ad-hoc testing involves three types of testing: pair testing, monkey testing, and buddy testing. It might sound funny (which it is), but this testing phase focuses on identifying hidden bugs and errors one might miss during the functional stage. Catching errors and defects through a random approach might not seem the best solution, but seeing the game through another pair of eyes is more helpful than you imagine.
This method is used in the game’s early stages as a rapid and successful means to detect software failures and bugs. The initial step is determining whether the application meets the definite functions bug-free or requirements. Plus, this type of testing can examine and analyze the inputs and outputs of the application, so you can gain better insight into the various conceivable outcomes and combinations.
This method predominates in commercial software testing to produce test cases, but it is also effective when it comes to other types of software. The game’s quality, cost, phase, and test execution can be significantly improved with the help of combinatorial testing strategies game testers execute.
Progression and regression testing
It might be obvious what it is about from the technique’s name, but it does not hurt to explain it. A game tester tries to reach the application’s end without bugs or interruptions with the progression method. When testing, professional game testers hunt for freezes and crashes from beginning to end. You would be surprised to discover that only 1 percent of the progression breaks result from a stuck spot while scripting issues cause the remaining 99 percent, so a game tester needs to focus on the latter.
With the regression method, on the other hand, a developer could re-run the previous tests and compare the results to determine if any other failure shows up. Even if it might appear annoying, the regression technique is fundamental to ensuring the quality of the end product. Because yes, only in a perfect world a fixed error remains fixed forever. Although the bug has been solved in the earlier stages of the game’s testing process, it can bring about other failures, so it is imperative to seek old bugs in the current code and scrutinize the app one more time before delivering it to the audience.
The application’s overall performance is checked under real-time load and scenarios at this stage. Game testers have to ensure the present infrastructure provides a smooth functioning, and the desired speed enthusiasts expect. Performance tuning’s primary purpose is to improve product speed, and for this, several parameters must be checked, including:
- battery consumption
- network connectivity
- graphic performance
- response time on servers and clients
- processor and memory restraints
If these above-mentioned steps are not taken properly, the game could lack the fun factor, not create an outstanding experience for the niche audience, fail due to poor video, broken features, crucial bugs, bad music sound etc., or not include a player-centric design. These are considerable risks in game testing that every professional should carefully assess while testing.
Being a game tester is not an easy job, and we are sorry if we have shattered your expectations. The truth is that it implies tactic, but if this is what you are passionate about, do not be afraid to pursue this because it is undoubtedly a rewarding career.