In game development, game testing is a phase of the development cycle. Game testing can be done externally by developers from the publisher or 3rd party developer or internally by developers at the company who developed it. Game testing aims to find bugs missed in earlier phases before release. The most common types are graphics bugs, environment problems (bad textures in a level), and gameplay glitches (flashing images on-screen when they're not supposed to be). In the industry, a bug is considered complete once the developer or publisher has no other option but to release the game with those bugs. Once a game is released with those bugs, the developer or publisher can return and fix the bugs later, if they want to.
The stages of game testing are:
The following are some specific types of game testing:
This is done by the team leader and is used to define the goals of a game tester. This can be used to discuss what areas to test, what style and level of playtesting will be most useful, and how often testing needs to be done. Planning and designing the game is usually reserved for the producers and game designers. Have a vision of what a game should be and what you will be looking for during the testing. This ensures that every tester will be looking for the same thing.
To prepare for testing, the game should be installed and configured on a machine used for test purposes. A patch should be applied if available, as any recent bug fixes will have to be tested. Configuring the game includes properly setting up graphics, control devices, and sound. Please make sure you are comfortable with the game before you test it. Playing the game before testing it will help you troubleshoot problems when they happen. For example, if you notice you need help playing a game and decide to fix it before testing, you may miss a critical bug.
Execution is the actual testing of the game. Start at the beginning and progress your way through the game from start to finish. It is wise to have a checklist of things to test to ensure you get everything that needs to be tested in your game. Testing each level thoroughly is essential because it may only be later in a game that an unnoticed bug will cause problems. The gaming industry has been known to break games due to this oversight. Test the controller, audio, music, and other sound effects. Testing these areas should be done at each level. Do not skip a step or define an area as 'unimportant' because testing it may lead you to a bug that will take time to fix if it is found.
The purpose of the analysis is to determine the effectiveness of your test plan and what areas could use additional testing. It is also used to determine if the game passed or failed the testing phase. The analysis is usually done by the team leader and should be documented. This can be a file or spreadsheet that lists all bugs found, including those that were fixed and those that could not be replicated. Consider this phase of testing as completing the checklist from execution. It is the same as reporting the data from each level. This will help in determining how the game was affected by any problems.
5. Bug Repair
This occurs after the game has been tested to completion. The details of the bugs found should be documented in the bug report. It is vital to fix all of the bugs that are discovered. This creates an effective and efficient set of procedures for game testing and ensures that a game will be as good as it can be before it hits the shelves or subscribers' computers. The list of bugs found should be addressed and should be fixed quickly. If a programmer is unavailable to fix the game problem, some developers may get assistance from other programmers to fix a bug.
6. Repeat the process severally
With each test, you should repeat the same process but keep track of any bugs found and address them. A bug with a name, description, and when and where it occurred should be noted in the bug report. Doing this will make it easier to track down the causes of bugs later on and identify any recurring problems. Game testing outsource companies frequently follow this process to ensure every bug is identified and fixed.
7. Game testing should be documented
The game testing process should be documented to document the stages of game testing, who did what, and what bugs were found. This can help in identifying areas that need improvement during future tests. Frequently, you might find that a particular bug needed to be adequately fixed and repeated, or other bugs were added to the game by a new code release. The team leader should be able to document what was done during the testing and any difficulties encountered on each level. The team leader should also research how much time each test took to complete and whether all goals were met. This can help improve future trials.
Testing a video game is much more than simply running the game or ensuring it runs properly. It is essential to document all facets of the testing phase so that it can be used as a guide for the next test and improve future trials. Game developers must balance their games' quality and quantity to ensure that each game will be successful. Testing is one way for developers to do this. Game QA outsourcing companies also incorporate this process to make sure that every game is as good as possible.
Playtesting aims to determine if a game has the correct elements, including the excellent fun factor, and if it achieves what is intended by its developers. Playtesting can help identify problems with balance, pacing, and difficulty curve or issues with balancing or introducing new content if that is what the playtesters are being asked to look for. The game testing services of a company can help ascertain what the playtesters are looking for and how they are responding. The benefits of these companies can be very convenient to the developers because they are usually some of their employees who live nearby. Still, they need to be approached in the right way by game developers to get them to do a good job.