What is a game?
We live in a world where the gaming industry is one of the largest segments of the entertainment industry. A great variety of computer, console, mobile and browser games are released that give users the opportunity to feel cool, winning in this or that virtual space. But how often do we think about what the game in general is?
Play is a competitive process in which the player is involved. At the end of the process, depending on his actions and luck, the player receives a reward or punishment. The types and amount of reward or punishment, as well as the duration of the game, the actions that can be performed during the game, and the process of the game itself constitute the set of rules of the game.
Game testing process
First of all, this is a check of how exactly this or that object is displayed. This testing is especially clear if you imagine a first-person game. What we see on the screen should be what our character sees with his own eyes, that is, the camera. And with that in mind, we check what we see looks like.
Secondly, the physics test. During game creation, a decision is usually made about how the player will physically react to objects and events in the game. How he will walk and at what speed. How he will jump and how high. How he will react to a collision with a wall or a monster. For functional testing of this part of the game, we need to learn a lot, but first of all – the concept of Collider. A collider is a setting that, when it touches another collider, should “tell” the game to react in a certain way. If the character collider hits the wall collider, it must stop. If it touched the thorn collider, it took damage. You yourself have probably played games where at certain moments the player’s character could crawl between textures or fall into them, where he should not have done this. This is exactly what needs to be checked during testing.
The working process
The whole process of creating a game is quite simple and hardly changes from company to company. There is a game designer, he is a task manager. He assigns a task to the performers who perform it, usually developers and artists. After the task has been completed, it is given to testers for testing. Everything seems to be simple?
It is so, but there is one huge but in the game testing life cycle. The testers know the game best of all! They are the ones who know about those limitations that a game designer and even a developer may not know about. These can be the limitations of the gameplay (how the player interacts with the game and how the game reacts to the player’s actions), in which we are tied, it can be events that can happen when adding one or the other! And the task reaches them at the very end, when it is already difficult or simply impossible to fix it, and the whole task will have to be redone almost from the very beginning.
A true Jedi of game testing should always look at the tasks that are assigned to the developers and proofread them! Believe me, there will be so much benefit from this that it will more than cover the costs of time that you, as a specialist, spent on reading the task!
First, the tester will immediately understand what to test. When this task reaches him, he will already know about it and will be ready for it, which will speed up the process many, many times
Secondly, the tester can immediately see problems and errors when setting tasks. Can see undescribed scripts or logic errors not noticed by the developer. So we arm ourselves with the question “What if?” and go to tasks. If there are no mistakes, the game designer did everything right and thought of everything – good for us! This is usually not the case.
Speaking about the workflow of game testing for beginners, I would like to touch on the topic of alpha and beta testing, when a company developing a game puts out a product for users in an incomplete or not at all ready state, so that users can now go into it and play, evaluate and give what something feedback. In general, I am in favor of alpha and beta testing, as this in some cases helps to correctly adjust the player’s experience of the game. Feedback from users of the beta version can be extremely dependent on the final result, since, of course, two hundred players will test the feel of the game better than five or seven testers and even twenty developers, since they are not used to the game, they are new, fresh …
How much does it cost and is it worth it?
A huge amount of resources are invested in the game development process.
On the other hand, good testing can and will make the player admire our creation. That he will come and bring his friends, and they will bring their friends! That he will be happy to open it again and again, enjoying the gameplay, unique in its kind. Carried away by the process of the game, he will be able to feel better, and we will feel better, as we gave him such an opportunity!