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Testing plays an important role in every development step of a game. A game testing is done at different levels of development process to detect various defects and bugs. Including test cases, there are many unconventional methods involved in finding bugs.
Following are different methods used to find bugs in games to ensure hassle free user experience:
Exploratory testing: Game testers play games like the regular end users do, to find bugs and defects. Different testers have various ways and approach to play the game that helps in discovering bugs or defects.
Break the rules: Do not follow the same set of instructions every time while testing. Go beyond the scope of test cases to find potential vulnerability or defect and choose different ways to achieve the same result
Use unconventional method: Play game in a wrong order or incorrectly, such as not doing any actions, skipping some steps and observe the changes that happen.
Use all functions everywhere: Try to use all functions even at every stage even if it is not of any use at that point.
Try things that are not allowed: Press buttons rapidly at different places. Before finishing level retrace steps and check the result
Examine Effects: Try playing games with minimum inputs or minimum user actions. Similarly, try playing games with maximum inputs. Try to walk through walls, obstructions or objects and examine the effects
Test cases: Production or development team suggests testers the specific areas of a game that needs to be tested. Testers follow test cases given by the development team and complete each action as per given directions.
Functionality testing: Test menu and every menu function, and assure that it is working correctly.
Durability testing: Test for odd situations like load game without a memory card, run the game for 48 hours and check how game respond
Appoint different testers for the same job: If a same tester is performing test cases over and over for every new build, then the person may lose enthusiasm and focus. This can lead to missed defects or bugs. New testers will start work with a new point of view and can find new bugs if any. Always rotate testers to get best results.
Performance Testing:A game with incredible graphics and features may still fail to satisfy a player if the game is too slow or freeze up at certain levels. The critical success factor of a game is its underlying development and testing. For this, run a game without pause or keep on increasing the number of players if it is a multi-player game.
Running such tests would give you data on how the performance is at high load and if there is any bugs detected. If the results show performance issues, then it means that your game has bugs that need to be fixed.
The following are common types of bugs seen in game testing:
There are many more similar defects which can be found in peripherals, dialogues, loading games, networks, consumer rating, etc.
Game development and testing is a long and complex process. Unconventional methods, test cases and close observation help to find every kind of bug in games. The expectation of gamers has increased considerably, so even a small error can spell doom to the success of a game.