Gaming is one of the most popular areas in software development. Recent advancements in the gaming space use complex algorithms so that the game can properly execute the functions it is programmed to. Among the many processes of crafting a game is testing. This usually requires extensive use that touches on every possible permutation of the game.
Do not confuse game testing with software testing – these two are entirely different. The majority of the tasks under software testing take place in the backend. On the contrary, game testing requires the test specialist to have a full grasp of the game’s technical and business requirements. There needs to be an end-to-end view, beginning from the game’s architecture and process flow until the intended audience, game specifications, and rules. It’s a complicated, collaborative process between various departments of the organization.
And once the game is finally launched, end users might still experience glitches and other visual errors which are far from what is promised to them during the teasing period. From this perspective, game testing services are in place as part of the development to uncover glitches and ensure a smooth gaming experience before the game is introduced to its end users.
Having said that, all games need to undergo testing throughout their development life cycle. If you are still not convinced, below is a list of signs that you are in urgent need of game testing services.
Most Common Game Errors Indicating the Need for Game Testing
Freezing or Crashing
Freezing happens when the game suddenly pauses or hangs during gameplay. This issue is most concerning as it does not terminate the game entirely. Instead, it slows down the game while it is running.
To illustrate this concept, consider the popular game titled ‘Call of Duty’. One of its main requirements is that players should arm themselves with weapons to kill the other players off the game. Freezing can sometimes occur when a player is switching or equipping weapons. From the perspective of a game designed for players to actively seek enemy players and kill them with weapons, encountering a freeze event while switching weapons is a crucial error.
Minor defects in graphics do not have a direct impact during gameplay, but awkward graphics can affect how players perceive the game’s environment. By extension, the perceived environment of that player contributes to the decisions they make during the gameplay.
For example, in a game called ‘Assassin’s Creed’, the face of one of the game’s non-playable characters appeared to have merged with the painting in the background. This resulted in a distorted appearance that freaked out some players. Another example is when a player fires a gun but missed the intended target because of geometric inaccuracies with the height of the ground.
Errors with in-game purchases can take the form of player payments that did not get reflected, delay in incurring paid product or service, unwanted charges, among many others. The impact of this issue varies on the aspect paid by the players.
Minimal impact is incurred if, for instance, the paid skin of a player is not being made accessible for them despite already submitting the payment (‘skin’ in this context refers to the clothing or body detail seen on the player’s avatar). However, it is troubling if players are charged with products or services they did not avail in the first place.
Audio completes the entire experience of gameplay. Having the appropriate audio during certain situations create the mood during play. Moreover, audio also helps the players observe what is happening in their surrounding environment. For instance, having an audio issue in which players fail to hear gunshots fired by their enemies can put them at a disadvantage.
Having text inside the game is highly important because it gives the player ample time to digest the provided information. Players might miss out on crucial instructions provided before or during the gameplay because of mistyped or misplaced text.
A gameplay defect happens when certain functions of the game do not work according to its intended programming.
Unlike the previous errors discussed, gameplay defects disrupt the experience mid-game. One example is in the game ‘Sea of Thieves’. Its gameplay defect prevented players from accessing any items from their inventory. Considering that this game specifies the use of inventory items to complete challenges, players are ultimately blocked from proceeding with the game because of this defect.
Encountering some errors is unavoidable given the complicated processes that happen during the game’s development, and the network of teams working on different aspects of the game; not to mention the enormous competition because of the numerous games developed today.
The common game errors elaborated above are only touching the surface of the entire experience of millions of players globally. Therefore, it is highly significant that game testing specialists are equipped in handling and performing exhaustive testing procedures so they could guarantee a seamless game for their end-users.