Do not Miss These While Testing a Game!

Gaming, be it mobile games, PC games or console games, is a multi-million dollar industry. Interesting as it sounds; testing video games is one of the most fascinating jobs every professional dream about. Hence, high-end level game testing is crucial to any game out there.
A well tested and executed game not only meets and exceeds the expectations of the player but also throws a lot of challenges towards the tester to make the game more interesting. It must also be tested for compatibility with the cross-platform without compromising on the player’s privacy and security.
Let us discuss some important things that you shouldn’t miss while testing a game.
1. Random Number Generator Evaluation (RNG)
Arguably the most important component for the gaming platform is the Random Number Generator, which determines the outcomes for a game. The component adds unpredictability to the game an maps its outcomes based on the user’s data.
The tester is expected to first identify the game algorithm to validate and verify the predefined rules of the game. The RNG must be adequately tested to avoid predictability which exists towards the outcome of a game.
2. Break the Game
Yes, you read that right. As a video game tester, you will have to find loopholes in your program by breaking it into parts. You want to root out any possibilities that might hinder the working of your game. For achieving this, you will have to be a little unconventional in playing and testing.
Games like VainGlory, which involves millions of combinations of player actions, will require you to interact with various objects and characters, with an endless sequence of the environment. Game testers must be keen in understanding these combinations and think outside the box.
3. Measure its Social Presence.
It wasn’t too back when Facebook introduced the first social media games. In 2013, with the launch of Wii U (and Miiverse that came with it), it was obvious that social media was going to play a crucial role in the Video Games industry. Today, video games are almost connected to every social media on the internet.

Must Read : 9 Different Types of Game Testing Techniques

Social media can act as a double-edged sword for the video game testers. If used intelligently, it can serve as a platform for bringing like-minded people together and in a close-knit community. So make sure that as a game tester you have to measure the proper social media presence which may bring some interesting demographics that your game is targetting.
4. Keep the Secrets.
Being a game tester, it is required that you honor the non-disclosure agreement and demonstrate the ability to keep secrets. Many times, a game tester posts an alpha version of the game which is in violation of the NDA. This might lead to cancelling the project and cutting the company’s losses.
If by any chance you happen to appear for an interview that asks you to describe a question regarding the security of its game, you may straight away refuse as it’s under the NDA.
5. Evaluating the Game Rules
Testing any video games requires you to verify the game environment and behaviour. It also includes the game texture, elements, stability and games messages. As a tester, you need to evaluate how every aspect of the game including how each one interacts with the other. This is often neglected by majority thinking these are issues beyond the development phase.
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The game needs to be thoroughly evaluated to deliver maximum gaming experience for end user. Hence, the testing phase focuses on some crucial part and breakdown to achieve realistic game behavior.
No product is perfect without testing for the product to the launched in the market and it applies to video games testing as well. With the enormous network of games emerging in the market every day, your game has to be tested to see how it withstand real-time concurrent load before released. Game testing is done to achieve consistent performance across all hardware/software/platform/device combinations that your target audience might use.
Technology never stops evolving and the gaming industry is always at the forefront. Hence, when recruiting for a gaming tester, the employer usually specifies what he is looking for in the desired position.  So if you have the passion for games and a good understanding of various testing methods, it isn’t difficult for you.

Game Testing: Prominent Trends Of The Future

For a developer coming up with ideas and developing a game, the product requires creating the perfect balance between the applications of complex software and meeting high expectations of the customers. The end product of creating a game is ultimately expected to offer a certain degree of unsaid anticipation of fun and excitement.

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The game itself, however, may be prone to bugs and defects as the end product depends on the application software that may be accompanied by a share of limitations and complications of its own. Those who are into game development are conscious of and take into account all these challenges before they strive to develop error-free games that not only look and feel great but also work and function equally well.

The availability of game testing services offers game development studios a facilitator that ensure through testing of game functionalities so that they can create robust, error-free, and entertaining interactive application software.

Importance of game testing

The importance of game testing cannot be stressed enough. Games offer an interactive experience which needs to be seamless and enjoyable keeping in mind the complexity with which many entertainment genres are mixed. Video games by themselves are a highly interactive medium which is its biggest selling point. When this is combined with a large user base, with the availability of release of the same game on different platforms such as PC, PlayStation [1], and XBOX [2] it can end up in a lot of unanticipated and unforeseen issues. Without proper testing, such problems can carelessly be overlooked. If end users are delivered with a game product with bugs, it will invite criticism from them as it messes with the seamless experience they look forward to, which can, in turn, lead to the reduction in unit sales.

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Many of the concepts used in conventional software testing are also applicable to game testing saving a few customizations. The focus is more significant in this case on the intangible ‘fun’ aspect that is absent in conventional software testing. There is also a need to take into account various player demographics and educational elements for this.

Below we discuss the types of testing that are relevant to game testing:
Functionality Testing

It refers to detecting any bugs, defects or errors in a game so that it doesn’t unfavourable impact the end-user experience. Some of the things that game testers keep in mind while testing the interactive applications include performance issues such as crashing, freezing and progression blockages. The inspectors thoroughly look at the entire map of the game to identify gameplay issues, graphics problem, and audio-visual issues.

Installation Testing

It is usually done to check and verify the smooth functioning of the game on different platform configurations. We need to ensure that the game can be installed, loaded and run primarily on various platforms that mainstream users support. These are usually covered in test cases.

Feature Testing

This testing is done for the verification of the smooth functioning of the game’s features. These are described in test cases. For covering distinct features, detailed test cases are more suitable. Task-based test cases cater to a superior level of detail. When there are a variety of features for different player statuses, test matrixes becomes handy and more useful.

User Interface (UI) Testing

UI testing aims at focusing on two important things, both the graphical elements as well as the content types. It makes the most sense first to create and develop a relevant list of preferred checks and then work based on this list. The localization of the game should also be covered.

Performance Testing

The first step to performance testing is the need to identify the most common tasks a player is anticipated to perform. Next, the acceptable times for these tasks need to be determined and these times mark the goals. Each of these tasks then needs to be completed smoothly. In some cases, extreme testing is also done by running the game continuously for 24 hours. For testing multiplayer performance, you can increasingly add more players.

The Future

The growth and evolvement of technology is a continuous process in this day and age, and most often the games industry is the front-runner in the technological growth. The game development gives a push for the technological innovation arena.

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The hardware market is driven by the games industry, whereas with conventional software you can see it conforming to the hardware market. The present market trends point towards the growth and demand for VR. Virtual Reality is considered to be the next big thing in the technological growth, especially when it comes to gaming.

VR is anticipated to be a massive scene changes in the gaming industry, giving gamers and end-users a lifelike experience like never before.

We can already see all market segments are covered, right from card box viewers that use a phone as the screen like the Google cardboard project [3], and Samsung with its Gear VR [4]. Even certain gadgets have specific optics to set interpupillary distance, etc. like the Oculus Rift [5], Morpheus [7] and Vive [6].

Companies starting their endeavor in this new area of gaming will try to come up with new methodologies and ways of testing different kinds of hardware and software applications.

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It will ultimately pave the way for new enhancements in the testing. Questions are likely to arise when we think about if we need to immerse ourselves in the game or application before testing.

Only the future can answer our doubts and questions. As far as what awaits the game industry in testing and development is an exciting future that lies ahead where they both go hand-in-hand to create a new level of experience.