Game testing 101: Definition, types, and strategies
With the popularity of mobile and computer games left and right, the gaming industry is expected to continue to boom in the years to come.
The pandemic has paved the way for the expensive growth of the industry. With many users patronizing their respective games, game developers continue to innovate and create new content.
However, not all in-game content is a hit to users. Users have various preferences and standards on what a game should look like.
To address all of these, game testing is performed. But what is game testing? How is it done? And how does it work?
What is game testing?
Also known as video game testing, it is a process wherein third parties (or game testers) are hired and asked to become a game’s beta testers.
They are given access to it to test the features, identify common issues and glitches, and enumerate all the bugs for the developers to address before the release date.
The game testing allows these testers to learn the game’s mechanics and get ahead of it in the normal servers.
Why game testing is a must
Game testers can earn a huge amount of money just by reviewing the game. The insights they provide to developers are valuable, ensuring the quality of the game.
But more than and beyond this, game testing enables enthusiasts to get an insider view of the gaming industry.
Getting access to various games will enhance their game mechanics, strategic thinking, and keenness to detail, given the weight of responsibilities they have.
In order to make this possible, qualifications to become a beta tester are rigorously tested. They need to have graphic design skills, QA engineering knowledge, and even project management.
2 types of game testing
There are two types of game testing:
Play testing is focused on understanding the overall experience of the games. It assesses whether the game is fun or boring, and how difficult it is to accomplish.
Quality testing focuses on the technical aspects of the game. From glitches and bugs, these testers identify these issues and report to the developers for enhancements.
Game testing process
Beta testers undergo a series of testing rounds. Normally, it takes four rounds of testing for the whole process to be performed.
The game testing process includes the following:
- Gross playtesting – the initial phase of testing, which focuses on finding problems in the gameplay. Normally, this is performed by the design team.
- In-house testing – conducted by in-house game testers. They perform a comprehensive assessment of the glitches in the game.
- Blind testing – the developers ask users without knowledge of the game for feedback. This is to elicit insights that might have been overlooked in the first two phases.
- Final playtesting – focused more on improving the aesthetics and design of the game once the entire process of evaluation has been completed.
How to be part of the game testing process?
There are several ways for someone to be part of the game testing process. However, the selection committee of companies follows a rigorous process to identify which game testers to hire.
To become a game tester, below are the impotent requirements to remember:
Improve gaming practice
Game testers need to be enthusiasts and conscientious individuals. They need to:
- Have in-depth experience playing various genres of games.
- Have familiarity and proficiency in various game consoles, be it computers or mobile phones.
- Be able to provide valuable insights by identifying features that can be improved in the game.
- Be efficient in making reports that can describe the overall experience.
- Identify features that would improve games.
These capabilities can be improved by continuously upskilling. Game testers can learn Photoshop and Maya or take 2D and 3D game production courses.
Game testing: Improve technical and mechanical skills
Game testing requires a lot of technical skills. With various games being developed and deployed on the dot, it is crucial to stay updated on new skills, such as:
- Understanding the fundamental responsibilities of a game tester. This will allow for a better appreciation of the needs of game developers, such as bug and glitch detection.
- Learning QA technologies such as code release, performance testing, and playtesting.
- Be acquainted and familiar with the developments of top gaming companies.
- Improve reportorial creation and technical writing skills crucial to developing analysis and insights.
These skills are quite challenging to understand and gain. Technical courses would be needed to gain relevant degrees.
In lieu of this, online courses are available to gain all of these certifications and skills. Some are even 100% free online.
Build a resume
Game testers require an extensive and intensive resume that best reflects their capabilities and credentials.
To this, certifications are needed to accompany and serve as proof. Include all relevant training and accreditations, be it online or in person.
Include all relevant public beta testing experience there is. This will further solidify the position and experience required by companies.