Types of Game Testing

Cyberpunk 2077 was released and issues followed owing to major bugs in the game that created havoc in the gaming world. Reports came out earlier that the undersized QA team and lack of proper testing were the primary reasons for the game’s failure.

This issue created widespread awareness or was a wake-up call for several gaming companies to incorporate efficient and sufficient QA into the gaming industry.

It is expected that the gaming industry will grow by an additional $256.97 billion by 2025. Software testing makes sure that all that money and time you spend on developing the game does not go in vain.

To get a better understanding, let’s have a look at different types of game testing.

Functionality testing/functional testing

Functional testing is performed on games to make sure that issues such as crashes, stability issues, performance issues, device compatibility, mechanical, audio-visual, integrity issues, etc. can be traced out.

When it comes to performance issues, crashes, game freezing issues, graphical issues, audio visual issues, etc. can be found so that they can be fixed before the release.

Functionality testing has a lot of advantages over in-game testing. They are,

  • Helps in validating the performance of the game’
  • You can ensure that the game is performing according to the requirements document.
  • Crucial aspects that help in user engagement, such as graphics, audio, visuals, and texts, can be verified.
  • The installation process, network issues, etc. can also be verified.

1) Combinatorial Testing

Combinatorial testing is an efficient method to lower the number of test cases. Parameters are the crucial aspects of combinatorial game testing. Parameters can be easily found by having a deep understanding of the game requirements. Since parameters help in creating efficient testing, the number of test cases can be lowered a lot.

Some of the parameters of games include,

  • Events
  • Settings
  • Gameplay options
  • Character attributes
  • Customization options
  • Hardware configurations

Each parameter has a value and it can range from numbers or texts. Test cases created in this type of testing can either be homogeneous or heterogeneous in nature.

2) Ad Hoc Testing

Finding out the user path is a daunting task to perform. But with Ad Hoc testing, discovering user paths can be a less stressful task. Also, destructive user paths that get revealed after release can be very harmful to the game. So, in this case, ad hoc testing serves as a risk mitigation process as well.

Facts about Ad Hoc Testing

  • Ad Hoc testing is performed without any documentation, plan, or process.
  • The mission in front of the game tester would be to break the game by executing thousands of edge-case scenarios.
  • Ad Hoc testing reveals bg that cannot be found out during functional testing
  • For better results, it’s wiser to perform Ad Hoc testing at multiple intervals of SDLC.

3) Compatibility Testing

To ensure maximum ROI, a game must perform seamlessly across all platforms. Compatibility has been a major issue in the gaming industry, and upon necessary tweaking, the issue can be reduced to a great extent. When we look at the comment sections in play stores and reviews online, most of the issues reported are about the compatibility of the games across various platforms.

If you are thinking about why gaming companies are not giving the required focus to compatibility, here is the answer.

There are millions of devices, OS configurations, chipsets, ICs, processors, etc. in existence. To test the game in all of them is nearly impossible. However, isolating the factors that need to be tested will ease the process.

4) Play Testing

Playtesting is a process used in game development at different points in time to make sure that the flow of the game is as per the initial design.

Playtesting helps in testing various design elements, gameplay, audio-visual elements, etc. Playtesting has great business value because it’s performed by testers or gaming enthusiasts so that user expectations can be easily measured and tweaked accordingly.

Types of playtesting

Gross Playtesting

This is done when the first draft of the playable game is done in the development cycle. Usually, gross playtesting is performed by the design team to check the gameplay and make sure that it’s smooth.

In-house Playtesting

This type of testing is performed by an in-house team or contract gamers. These gamers will be proficient in gaming, and they will go through every aspect of the gameplay to ensure that the gameplay is smooth and the game is interesting and can lure in a lot of users.

Blind Testing

Usually, a beta version of the game will be sent to selected players and will ask them to do a survey or log the issues they have found in the gameplay.

Since the game is tested by real users, insights gained will be much more useful than relying on someone who has preoccupied thoughts in mind.

Final playtesting

The mechanics of the game won’t be considered in this type of testing. In fact, the aesthetics of the game will be fine-tuned upon the suggestions of testers.

5) Cleanroom Testing

If you look at the issues closely, you will start to see a pattern emerging. This pattern can be attributed to a root cause.

That’s the necessity of cleanroom testing. Some of the biggest hurdles in performing cleanroom testing are that it can only be performed by someone with statistical reasoning knowledge, design knowledge, and mathematical knowledge.

However, programming knowledge is not required to carry out the process.

6) Localization Testing

Your game has English as the official language. However, you wish to release the game across the world in various languages.

How will you make sure that the translation is on point and does not disrupt the game flow? And also, how will you make sure that there are no offensive remarks in the game?

To make sure that no such things happen, localization testing is the only way.

Attributes that will come under localization testing are,

Language

  • Spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes
  • Numeric formats such as DOB, financial symbols, calendars, etc.
  • Metrics and currency formats
  • Errors that are related to the country’s formats, such as phone numbers, zip codes, etc.
  • Language flow
  • Translation errors
  • Voice over issues’
  • Cultural references that are sensitive in nature.
  • Contextual issues, in which the words are different than the context,

Visual issues

  • Characters that are not recognized. For instance, UTF characters
  • Font issues’
  • Translations that are longer when compared to the original language. This might cause the textual string inside the game to break.
  • Translations that do not work
  • Compliance issues
  • UI/UX issues
  • Visual placement

7) Regression Testing

Games are often subject to enhancements or alterations. Regression testing ensures that the new incorporations are not at all disrupting the smooth functioning of the game.

Through regression testing, the new output of the test can be compared with the older ones for a better picture. Regression testing helps test the game from scratch and unravel new bugs every time.

In short, regression tests help in the re-validation and re-execution of tests.

Final note…

These are the types of testing performed on games to make sure that they are liked by users across the world.

These testing forms can only be performed by an experienced game testing company. Be it technical testing types that require game testing tools’ assistance or user-based testing, it has to be carried out with the utmost care.

Not to mention mobile apps. Apps that have made billions of dollars are often tested continuously to ensure maximum user experience.

If you need assistance in testing your game, we can help you. We would love to hear from you.

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