Our sole aim is to cover almost all the topics from software testing industry. Very less number of testing professionals are aware of Game Testing industry and the Jobs offered by it. The Game Testing Industry is expanding rapidly and currently, there are several “game design” and “video game testing” openings available in the market. Here is a very interesting article on game testing which will give you a brief idea about the game testing industry!
Game Testing Industry – An Introduction:
The video game testing industry is set to become the largest industry now.
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 own 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 too.
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 the games that will be released in the upcoming years will be different from what we have now.
Following Openings are available in the 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 are equally challenging as the game tester needs to have a solid writing skill, excellent communication skill and the habit to keep attention for details.
Video game testers play a critical role in game development industry. As video game programmers spend years designing video games and video game tester needs to make sure it’s ready for release in a very short time span.
What You Will Learn:
- What is a Typical Game Testing Process?
- Game Testing Strategy
- How to Test Games?
- Game Testing Tips
- Game Testing Jobs
- Recommended Reading
What is a Typical Game Testing Process?
It takes from one to three years to develop a Computer game (depending on the scale). Testing begins late in the development process, sometimes from halfway to 75% into development (it starts so late because, until then, there is a little to play or test).
Once the testers get a version, they begin with 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 that 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 or 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 properly- and occasionally return to verify that has not reappeared.
Game Testing Strategy
There are several strategies involved in the Game Testing process. Given below are few of them:
#1) Evaluation of Game Rules:
Game rules adequately explain the operation of all the components of the game including features, free games etc. Each Game functions as per the rules defined.
#2) UI, Functional, Performance and Compatibility Test:
It includes verification of Game outcomes and if the 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.
#3) Verification of the Integration points:
Check if the Game win determination aligns with the Game rules.
#4) Reviewing Gaming Procedures:
Procedures will be reviewed by System management, player account management, tournaments, and promotions.
#5) Infrastructure and Security Review:
Require verifying all equipment and network implementation for secure and reliable operation. E.g 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 its behavior.
- Functional Testing: Ensure if the 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 if the Game works on required Operating systems. For online games check its functionality on all intended browsers.
- Performance Testing: Performance Testing Technique becomes critical for online games if gaming site handles betting on the 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 the functionality with a fair distribution of game resources to all players.
- Reporting: Bug reporting to developers. Bug evidence needs to be produced and submitted through the bug reporting system.
- Analysis: Developers hold the responsibility to fix the bugs.
- Verification: After the fix, the bug needs to be verified by the testers to confirm that it shouldn't reappear.
Game Testing Tips
- Understand Random Number Generator evaluation (RNG): This is very important to add unpredictability in the Game. In most of the games, this RNG system is used to map its outcome.
- First, identify the “game algorithm” from the Source code in order to identify the issues in the Game application.
- Verify the source code for appropriate use of random numbers and error handling. (Only if you know the source code)
- Validate and evaluate the predefined rules of the Game.
- Verify consistency of the game rules.
- Make sure any offensive content or material is never displayed.
- Regularly Check the Game history and system event logs.
- Make sure if the Game outcomes are displayed for a reasonable time only.
- Irrespective of Single/Multi-player games, we need to validate the bandwidth and the client software.
- Verify Minimum/maximum limits of bets, deposits and other critical game symbols.
- Verify correct game and system operation after game failover and recovery.
- Always verify all the reports for data accuracy. Verify reports for a date, time, number of wins, money etc.
- Test System requirements are very important in Game testing. Verify all the infrastructure and security requirements, Game equipment, network and game synchronization with the OS.
- Make sure if sufficient information is always available to the users to protect Game players.
Game Testing Jobs
Gaming field is getting much better day by day and the Career as a Game designer or Game Tester is very bright. There are several game testing professionals making a decent amount of money as a video game tester, working from home itself. Present Internet generation bringing massive innovations and scope to grow. IT and Non-IT people are willing to spend their free time in playing video games or any online game. “Game testing from home” is now a new trend to earn money. We can clearly see that getting into our daily activities. Game testing career is turning hot day by day in the market.
If anyone of you is trying hard to get into gaming industry then you need to have the interest and passion that drives you to success. Due to the 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 a full-time job opportunity for experienced testers.
If you have the passion for games and a good understanding of testing methodologies, becoming a successful game tester is not difficult for you!
About the Author:
This is a guest article written by a Game Testing Expert named “Malini”. 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 tips and suggestions on Game Testing in comments below.