Game testing is an exciting aspect of game development. There are many fantastic virtual games on the market, but all of them have been extensively evaluated in the game testing process before being launched. Game testers attempt to find defects and faults such as invisible walls, malformed characters, poor net code, missing textures, imbalanced weaponry, map gaps, slow loading times, and sluggish controls throughout the process. Quality assurance is an essential element of the game production process since it guarantees that the player's gaming experience is smooth, enjoyable, and free of interruptions.
1. The game testing procedures
The fundamental game testing procedure is broken down into steps.
- First, get ready for testing. Game owners or publishers provide the papers and test settings required by game testers so that game verification can commence.
- Carry out the test. The test suites are executed on the new build. When an error is discovered, test as much as possible in the vicinity of the problem to obtain all of the facts that will be documented in the report.
- Report the findings. At this stage, a report is created that contains all of the problems and bugs discovered.
- Repair the flaw. The discovered error is addressed by the entire testing team, as well as the game development team, and the appropriate solution is determined.
- Return to step 1 and test again.
Note: To make the game testing process easier and more productive, follow these procedures as well: Take notes, don't rush, stick to the protocol, always double-check that the version you're testing is the correct one, and stay focused on the game.
After understanding the procedure thoroughly, here are some tips for you to start your own game testing case!
2. Game testing tips and strategies
How can you become an excellent QA game tester? VNEXT Global has recommended ten testing rules.
A) Make a nice replica
A repro, also known as reproduction, is the process of reproducing the actions that lead to a problem. For example, the second level does not begin after the first one is completed. So we need to launch the build with this issue, complete the first level, and notice that the second level does not begin—those are our repro steps for this issue. Sometimes problems are so complex that they require more than ten stages to replicate. It is critical to identify the root source of the problem, which may not be as clear as we believe; this is why a thorough investigation is required.
There are many QA video game testers at VNEXT Global, and the games we test change frequently. When you work for a developer, you may test one or a few games. When you work for a video game publisher, you get information on what you'll be testing the next morning. I know from experience that playing the same game day after day is tiring, but with a video game publisher, the projects change. This implies that other testers, let alone engineers, may be unable to duplicate some of the errors you discovered. A clear repro is required and will assist anyone else in swiftly replicating and locating the problem.
B) Just because something worked in the past doesn't guarantee that it will work in the future.
Confirmation bias affects many QA testers. This occurs when you think that something worked in the previous build and that it must work now, with no need to double-check. That is an error. Important mechanics enjoy colliding with other major mechanisms. If a new release provides something new, enabling a new mechanic, it frequently introduces new defects for the previously tested mechanic, so regression testing is required to examine how new changes influence the prior aspects of the game. I recommend evaluating all of the most recent changes and the areas they affect from a prior build when you obtain a new release.
C) If you are unsure about something, simply ask.
As a new employee, you are unfamiliar with how a project operates. New items in games are frequently either bugs or features. If you're unsure, don't be afraid to question other staff or developers—they have information to give.
If something is missing from a game's documentation, you must inquire about it. Don't be scared to ask questions—if you don't, it's a dead end and you're essentially a Schrödinger's cat.
D) Keep track of everything and look for patterns.
This restriction came about as a result of several poor reproductions. The recording is beneficial because you will already have a video of the bugs as well as all of the repro procedures for other people to observe. After watching the video, you can repeat the processes, look for trends, and consider alternate scenarios. Congratulations! You discovered a bug! Okay, so it does not cause for celebration, but it's better than having the players find it.
You don't have enough free space on your hard drive? Make room—it'll be well worth it. It's best to record everything and test for issues numerous times—and I advocate testing several times because some bugs aren't 100% repeatable for a variety of reasons. That is why it is critical to research and narrow down the alternatives to the actual cause of a bug. Recordings will aid you in this process. Furthermore, recording may allow you to see what you can skip—perhaps there is no need to reach the same checkpoint ten times. It's also worth noting that recordings and screenshots are useful in bug reports, so you should be gathering these regardless.
E) Experiment with various peripheral devices.
Let me tell you a little story: There was once a game that did not work with a gamepad. I began reporting it as a problem, but just in case, I asked my colleagues to test it on their devices. They claimed that it worked. My gamepad turned out to be broken.
You should test applications on several devices, screens, display resolutions, and other settings, because a bug may surface only under extremely specific circumstances. It is preferable to find the bug yourself rather to have the developers or players do it.
F) Have patience.
Many testers give up because they lack patience. The job is repetitious; you play the same game six times a day, sometimes 50 times a month, and you must remain concentrated the entire time. Let's imagine you need to test a level, but you don't have the developer's console, so you can't skip parts of the game to get there—you have to play them all. It can be a monotonous routine at times, so you must be patient and level-headed.
G) As soon as you discover a bug, report it.
You've discovered a serious bug, but you have to leave work in 5 minutes and are exhausted. Furthermore, it's Friday, and you're already planning your weekend activities. "Whatever," you reason, "the devs will undoubtedly solve it." Perhaps it doesn't even matter. "Why not take care of it on Monday?" Wrong!
Report bugs as soon as you discover them. Even if it takes some time, find the cause and enter it into the database. Even if it's recorded and on your drive, out of sight and out of mind, you can forget about it later. Don't wait because these forgotten bugs frequently return after the release.
H) Read the game's manual!
Some projects lack documentation and do not require it. However, if documentation is provided, read it!
Assume we have a game that you can play for hours on end, and each milestone build adds new locales or levels to it. There may be new NPCs, a new map, or new quests—if it's all documented, you'll be able to keep track of everything and ensure that everything functions as planned. You'll also know what to expect when you play the game.
If developers do not recognize an error, you can always turn to documentation and show them the exact line where the issue is addressed. It should address the problem by acting as a reminder, or it may turn out that the files need to be updated, which will benefit everyone in the future.
Furthermore, documentation is extremely useful when it comes to testing platform holders' requirements. If a platform owner points out a disparity between a game's documentation and how the game behaves, you'll have to retest everything with a new build.
I) Your best buddy is unconventional thinking.
When you play a game for the first time, you will do so in your own unique way. But that's how you roll. Assume a million people buy the game; each of them will have their own manner of playing, which you must also verify. A great tester should be able to put their own preferences aside and enter the thoughts of many different players.
For example, in an RTS game, there will be numerous methods to construct your city. You can concentrate on the economy, have one or several towns, while someone else may concentrate on the military—you must consider all alternative options. Before you can consider your job finished, you must verify as many aspects and combinations as are theoretically conceivable, and employ unorthodox techniques to play a game, testing various extremes (boundary values).
J) Don't forget about the other players.
The goal of testing is to evaluate the quality of a game and report any concerns so that developers can remedy them—everything must be checked. Testers exist to ensure that gamers have the best possible gaming experience, allowing them to play the game that the developers intended for them to play. You go through the bugs so they don't have to. As a tester, you bear some of the responsibility for players' enjoyment of a game. If you accept an incomplete game or fail to do everything possible to uncover flaws, you are not being fair to the players, and you are a player yourself.
Occasionally, an unfinished game gets released. Does this imply that you failed as a tester? Not at all. This occurs when a game is purposefully allowed to pass testing. QA game testers are aware of all the bugs, but a final decision may be taken not to resolve any of the minor issues. For whatever reason, management, the producer, or the main developer may determine that a game is ready for release. It's something that needs to be communicated and agreed upon with other parties, but if you know you've done everything you could to improve a game, you can rest easy knowing you did your part for the gamers.
I hope these suggestions could really help your career, and you may find them useful as well.
If you are looking for a trusted IT partner, VNEXT Global is the ideal choice. With 14+ years of experience, we surely can help you to optimize your business digitalization within a small budget and short time. Currently, we have 400+ IT consultants and developers in Mobile App, Web App, System, Blockchain Development and Testing Services. We have provided solutions to 600+ projects in several industries for clients worldwide. We are willing to become a companion on your way to success. Please tell us when is convenient for you to have an online meeting to discuss this further. Have a nice day!