How software testing saves the day for gaming apps

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The global gaming market is a behemoth worth over $150 billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.7% over the next seven years. 

There are more than 2 billion gamers in the global gaming community. 

These statistics reflect the importance of a properly functioning, seamless, and highly interactive game. With such a large customer base to serve to, there is little scope for error to make by the game developing companies. 

While game developers apply programming and creative skills while building a game, their vision is often restricted and mind saturated when it comes to testing those games. 

But, releasing a bug-infested game is also not an option as it will only attract a giant amount of backlash from the gaming community. 

Today, there are plethora of games available including video games, simulation & role-playing games, strategy games, puzzle games, and many more. 

Further, the gaming applications are no longer limited to the video gaming consoles only. With the dominance of smart phones, the revenue of mobile games is expected to hit $76.7 billion by the end of this year. There are a range of multiplayer online games available in addition to console and mobile-based games. 

Having such a broad range of game types and devices, taking a less than optimal approach for testing them may prove fatal for the game developing companies. 

Game testing is critical for game developers to beat their competition and stand tall among the gaming community. 

The what and how of game testing 

Game testing is an integral part of the game development process in which intricate and thorough software testing of a game is performed to ensure its quality control before release. 

Unlike the earlier times when games were simpler than today and developers themselves were responsible for testing, the modern and highly complex games demand dedicated testing resources for quality assurance. 

Game testing is a process in which each scenario is played multiple times by the testers, in every possible permutation and combination, while trying to break the game and find critical bugs that may cause the game’s failure after release. Therefore, it is only fair to say that game testing is a critical component in ascertaining the success of a game post release. 

Ideally, because of the high technical and creative complexities of the modern games, testing should start as soon as the first code is written. This means, taking a DevOps-driven continuous testing method aligned with an automated CI/CD pipeline becomes necessary for a timely release.  

As there are usually very strict deadlines for the game releases, and as game testing itself is a tedious and time-consuming process, leaving it to the last minute may cause unsolicited crunch and resource exhaustion. 

During the game testing process, the testers write detailed test plans and provide extensive feedback on bugs along with a step-by-step explanation for developers to be able to recreate the identified bugs. 

The game testers typically follow an efficient defect tracking system which is used to report the bugs to the developers. After obtaining the report, the developers are required to analyze and resolve the identified bugs and then send them back to the game testers for verification. At the verification stage, the testers verify whether or not the bug has been successfully fixed. 

Common challenges in game testing 

Gaming is a fiercely competitive landscape and with the extensive diversity in the type of games and devices, game testing becomes quite challenging. Some of the common challenges of game testing are: 

  • The lack of a structured approach and randomly testing the game 
  • User role-based testing with hundreds of possible permutations & combinations 
  • Testing each game on multiple handsets and platforms for compatibility 
  • Issues related to network connectivity, latency, and frame rate while testing 
  • Optimizing RAM usage and consumption 
  • Complexities of the GUI-level testing of a game 

End-to-End testing for a leading game-based learning applications provider 

A leading provider of game-based learning applications imparting language and literacy skills focused on pre-K to 6th Grade students was facing the following challenges: 

  • No standard topology being followed for servers and clients setup 
  • Limitation in monitoring the network devices like switches and access point 
  • Inconsistent availability of media server in customer locations 
  • Observing frozen behavior of the application at customer locations 
  • Customers using legacy devices with older application versions 
  • Lack of information of the devices, client application versions, and network bandwidth utilization at customer locations 

Evidently, the company was in an urgent need for game testing and approached Cigniti to conduct: 

  • A Proof-of-Concept on testing applications in low performing networks at their partner and customer school networks 
  • End-to-End testing in their network to replicate multiple customer environment with all the devices used in the field 
  • Client State & Compatibility Matrix Testing of the application on multiple legacy and new devices 

As a result of the extensive game testing performed on the client’s application, they were able to efficiently resolve all their challenges and experience high customer satisfaction. Read the complete success story here. 

How can we help you deliver flawless games 

Cigniti’s game testers have an in-depth experience in the end-to-end gaming eco-system across platforms including desktop, console, mobile devices, tablets, phablets, & cloud gaming. Our game testers create detailed testing strategies, meticulously incorporating industry gaming standards, for example, Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW), into our test strategy and processes. 

We have successfully helped organizations enhance the gaming experience for their users while our clients have been able to significantly reduce the time-to-market and prepare their game for success in all languages and markets. 

Our team of game testers consist SMEs with relevant experience in areas covering multiple gaming platforms, key areas for sports betting testing, & in performing game-specific tests.  

Schedule a discussion with our game testing experts to discuss your requirements.