Game testing is an important stage in the development process that should not be overlooked. Also called quality assurance (QA), this is a complicated procedure with numerous game test stages that you should be familiar with to get the most out of it.
In this post, we’ve outlined the key stages of video game testing and provided some practical advice based on our own professional experience. We also look at how game testing services might help game development businesses and publishers make the process smoother.
The Different Stages of Video Game Testing
Planning, testing during the development stage, Alpha tests, Beta tests, and post-production testing are the five main testing stages for video games. Let’s take a closer look at them.
1) Make a plan
The planning step of high-quality testing is required. In this phase, testers acquire data by engaging with product owners and developers to better understand core game mechanics, flow, and narrative, among other things. This data is then utilized to create a testing strategy that is documented.
The basic information about game testing types, phases, and tools employed during the process is usually included in the strategy. This saves time by avoiding questions that may be answered at the start of a project.
2) During the development stage, testing
Some people believe that you can only test completed games, although this is a frequent fallacy. Developers are the first to begin game testing while on the job, and they use many testing methods, such as unit testing (which checks different source codes for issues and errors). Furthermore, developers verify basic functionality to guarantee that everything is in working order.
During the development stage, many essential and sometimes crucial issues are prevented and corrected through quality assurance. As a result, you save time and effort later on by not having to repair these errors, and they don’t grow into something greater.
3) Alpha evaluation
It’s time for deep quality assurance after developers have finished constructing a game and are confident it works at least on a basic level. So, what exactly is the Alpha stage of game development? A team of quality assurance engineers conducts closed Alpha testing, and this phase requires the greatest time and effort in the entire testing life cycle.
QA engineers examine the quality of various game components using the two primary categories of game testing: functional and non-functional. Load testing, for example, guarantees that a game can handle a large number of people at once. In contrast, translation testing ensures that appropriate settings dependent on location (language, time zone) are automatically adjusted.
4) Perform a beta test
A game should be generally bug-free and almost ready to release following the Alpha testing stage. However, it has not been seen by a larger audience or those who will perform it. As a result, beta testing enlists the help of genuine fans and gamers to gather feedback and make last tweaks before the release.
So, how do you use Beta to test games? Closed Beta and Open Beta are the two stages that are commonly followed. Let’s take a closer look at the differences.
- Closed Beta. This form of testing is carried out by real persons who imitate gamers’ actions. Non-professional testers are usually persons that work in the game development industry. Because the number of participants is restricted (50-100), QA engineers invite them to participate in non-public testing to uncover minor flaws.
- Open Beta. A game’s available beta test is a pre-release procedure where anybody can participate. Typically, players interested in a new product join up for an Open Beta test, receive access to the game, and provide comments to the QA department. UX/UI impressions are frequently the focus of this testing, but users may also discover minor flaws.
5) Testing once the product has been completed
You believe that testers can move on to other tasks once the processes above are completed. It isn’t, however, the end of the story.
User feedback is frequently included with the release of a game, and Gamers may discover bugs or lodge concerns that must be rectified. As a result, developers must update various game sections that must be checked to avoid causing the game to malfunction. As a result, even after the main project is completed, QA support is essential.