We are covering almost all topics from software testing industry. Very less testing professionals are aware of Game Testing industry and Jobs. Game Testing industry is expanding really fast and now there are many “game design” and “video game testing” openings available in market. Here is a very interesting article on game testing which will give you a brief idea about game testing industry!
This is a guest article written by a Game Testing Expert “Malini”.
Game Testing Industry Introduction:
The video game testing industry is set to become the largest industry. In spite of the recession, there was no dearth in the sales of the game titles, although the game console sales were hit and the game testing companies had to revamp their strategies.
Gaming had its ups and downs over the years but it continues to grow leaps and bounds. Facebook application games are really path breaking with budding developers experimenting their knowledge. Episodic games are the new thing. Games for the iPhone are the new frontier.
So, no one in the game industry knows where games will be even two or three years from now. The only thing they know is that everything is changing and that the games that are released in a few years will be different from what we have now.
Following Jobs are made available by Gaming Industry:
- Video game programming Jobs (designing video games)
- Video game testing jobs
Designing Video games requires skilled and experienced video game designers. Testing video games is equally challenging as game tester needs to have a solid writing skill, very good communication skill and habit to keep attention for details.
Video game testers play critical role in game development industry. As video game programmers spend years deigning video games and video game tester needs to make sure it’s ready for release in very short time span.
What You Will Learn:
What is a typical Game Testing Process?
Computer games take from one to three years to develop (depending on scale). Testing begins late in the development process, sometimes from halfway to 75% into development (it starts so late because, until then, there is little to play or test).
Once the testers get a version, they begin playing the game. Testers must carefully note any errors they uncover. These may range from bugs to art issues to logic errors. Some bugs are easy to document but many are hard to describe and may take several steps to describe so a developer can replicate or find the bug. On a large-scale game with numerous testers, a tester must first determine whether the bug has already been reported before they can log the bugs themselves. Once a bug has been reported as fixed, the tester has to go back and verify that the fix works – and occasionally return to verify that is has not reappeared.
Game Testing Strategy:
Evaluation of game rules:
Game rules adequately explain operation of all components of the game including features, free games etc. Game functions as defined by rules.
UI, Functional, Performance and Compatibility test:
Verify Games outcome and data are correctly shown when games are played. Verify Game Functionality such as Game Progress, game outcomes, handling of incomplete and re-started games, multi player games.
Verification the Integration points:
Check if game win determination aligns with game rules.
Reviewing gaming procedures:
Procedures will be reviewed by System management, player account management, tournaments and promotions.
Infrastructure and security review:
Require to verify all equipment and network implementation. Secure and reliable operation for example time synchronization, OS reliability and security.
How to Test Games?
This process is almost similar to product or web application testing. Here is the typical game testing process:
Identification: First analyze and identify the game rules and behavior
Functional Testing: Ensure game works as intended. This also includes integration testing with third party tools used if any.
OS and Browser compatibility: Most critical game testing part is to ensure game works on required Operating systems. For online games check functionality on all intended browsers.
Performance testing: This becomes critical for online games if gaming site handles betting on game. Game testers must verify if Game Testing site smoothly handles customer load.
Multi player Testing: For multi player games you need to verify the game functionality to handle all players and functionality with fair distribution of game resources to all players.
Reporting: Bug reporting to developers. Bug evidence need to produced and submitted through bug reporting system.
Analysis: Developers hold the responsibility to fix the bugs.
Verification: After the fix, bug need to be verified by the testers to confirm that it shouldn’t reappear.
Game Testing Tips:
1) Understand Random Number Generator evaluation (RNG): This is very important to add unpredictability in game. In most games this RNG system is used to map game outcomes.
2) First identify the “game algorithm” from Source code to identify issues in game application.
3) Verify the source code for appropriate use of random numbers and error handling. (Only if you know the source code)
4) Validate and evaluate the game predefined rules.
5) Verify consistency of game rules.
6) Make sure offensive content or material is never displayed.
7) Regularly Check Game history and system event logs.
8 ) Make sure Games outcome are displayed for a reasonable time.
9) Irrespective of Single/Multi player games we need to validate bandwidth and client software.
10) Verify Minimum/maximum limits of bets, deposits and other critical game symbols.
11) Verify correct game and system operation after game fail over and recovery.
12) Always verify all reports for data accuracy. Verify reports for date, time, number of wins, money etc.
13) Test System requirements. This is very important in game testing. Verify all the infrastructure and security requirements, Game equipments, network and game synchronization with OS.
14) Make sure sufficient information is always available to users to protect game players.
Game Testing Jobs:
Gaming field is getting much better day by day and Game Career as a Game designer or tester is very bright. There are many game testing professionals making decent amount of money as a video game testers, working from home. Present Internet generation bringing massive innovations and scope to grow. IT and Non-IT people are willing to spend their free time to play online and video games. “Game testing from home” is now a new trend to earn money. We can clearly see that it’s getting into our daily activities.
If anyone of you is trying hard getting into gaming industry then you need to have interest and passion that drives you to success. Due to addition of vast and complex new games, Game QA is no longer less technical than general software QA. Game testing was widely considered as a “stepping stone” position but now it’s becoming full-time job opportunities for experienced testers.
If you have passion for games and good understanding of testing methodologies, becoming a successful game tester is not difficult for you!
About the Author
Malini has over 10 years of experience in IT including development, testing and project management and her passion is in advancing the profession of software testing. Her technical articles and white papers have been published in many leading websites. She holds an MBA in IT and a GNIIT diploma. Read more about Malini on her blog.
If you are in Game Testing Industry, your valuable inputs will help our readers to know more about Game Testing. So please share your thoughts and tips on Game Testing in comments below.