In modern world the game industry has carved out its own niche in the global economy. At an early stage the game development cost wasn’t very high, but today we need a large staff of developers, testers, designers and so on to create the end product of high quality. Stable demand for computer games stimulates businessmen to invest money in the development of this economic sector. Though one should remember that investing in the game development can be not as successful as investing in software development.
Games do not solve business problems. The main function of games is entertaining. The end user expects to get not the exact execution of specification or other documentation, but a fun gameplay. Users evaluate the game within the first hour of the game process. If the first impression was negative, it is almost impossible that player will get the next versions of the game, no matter how successful they are.
That’s why it is important for any software testing company to test games before they go on sale. The success of the game may depend on the following factors: game mechanics (the properties of the software model, embodied by the animation and programming), game interface (a set of elements and techniques through which the user controls the game) and the gameplay (various aspects of game: graphics, sound, actions that should be performed by the user to achieve the aim of the game, etc.).
Game Testing Types:
- Functional testing. Its goal is to identify deviations from functional requirements. It comes down to walkthrough the game over and over again, identify problems and the conditions in which they can be fixed.
- Load testing. When testing games it is advisable to create situations that require large computational load. So the tester can check system performance in a stressful situation. While load testing it is easier to notice and fix potentially unsafe code sections in time.
- Compatibility testing. In most cases game programming is performed on personal computers or laptops. However, many games can be designed for other devices: game consoles, mobile phones, communicators, etc. Game development is carried out in simulators of these devices, but they can differ from the original in a big way. Therefore, in the future some difficulties may occur when starting the game on the original device. Besides that one should pay particular attention to the licensing of software. If there are any deviations the game can be back for revision, which takes extra time and loss of money. So it is very important to check whether the game satisfies the requirements of the hardware.
- Localization testing. Games are often translated into the languages of the countries where they are expected to be put on the market. It happens that translators cannot provide completely accurate translation, which would be fully consistent with the events of the game. Even translated in proper way, it may not reflect the situation and grate on native-speaker’s ear. Therefore, after localization it is useful to test the game by inhabitants of those countries where the final product is supposed to be put on the market.