Resources For Games Testing

We’re revamping the Resources for Software Testers section of the Dojo as some of you may know.

A recent email came in to us asking for help with games testing. This is something I was also asked quite a while ago by a friend of mine as part of her University course. I was stumped. It’s not an area I’m familiar with myself. I offered some guidance about testing ideas in general but I couldn’t offer much to help with games testing specifically.

So, can anyone help? What resources would you recommend for software testers who are particularly interested in games testing?

Maybe you don’t necessarily have links to resources but you have insight based on your experience. Could you share that too?

4 Likes

So as a huge part of games testing comes down to the user experience and whether it’s fun or not, I found it really useful to read ‘A Theory of Fun’ by Ralph Koster. It’s aimed more at designers but there’s bits and pieces we can take away from it

2 Likes

Hi
I am aware that this is a very old post, but I am new to the group and I have been working in the Games Industry for nearly 10 years (mostly as a compliance tester) and debunking the myths of Game Testing has become a sort of passion of mine.

A common misconception is that we just play to game and check for things like how fun it is or how hard a level is to complete. I often wonder if a software tester for Netflix, gets asked if they just watch TV all day :laughing:. In reality testing games is no different from testing any other piece of software.

Without breaking any NDAs with specifics, I have found that an average Game Tester will probably cover at least the basics of the following during the testing of a game:

  • Functionality Testing - Everything from does the button work, to one in a million edge case crashes
  • User Experience - In some companies, this is often an email to the whole office asking for volunteers to join a session or two during development. As an example in the last 10 years, I have only done 6 hours. I have heard of one studio that insist that their QA spend their daily lunch breaks during User Experience testing!
  • Security Testing - Hacking and Data Breaches seem to be almost everyday news nowadays.
  • Cross-Platform Testing - this can include Consoles, PC/Mac, Mobile and Cross-Browser Testing depending on what it is going to be launched on and can often part of the reason why games have different release dates for each platform.
  • Performance, Load, Memory and Network Testing - Especially for games that are multiplayer and/or are graphics/audio heavy.
  • Platform Compliance - some platforms focus on user experience, some focus on how their brand is used/displayed (down to the pixel!), and as recent news has shown some have specific requirements for in-app purchases! This will usually be a reason why a game release is delayed on a specific console.
  • Government/Country Compliance - Did you know that in some countries there are specific cultural rules about using images of skulls or skeletons? That the child age for GDPR-K data storing is different in most European countries? or That adding in-game incentives to sign up to an external newsletter or Account or to log in daily can be classed as coercing minors and encouraging addiction?
  • Audio Testing - both for balancing and making sure specific audio is triggered at the correct point
  • Accessibility Testing
  • Localisation Testing
  • Device Testing - The hardware requirements you see on the Steam Store along with a large variety of controllers and joysticks are all checked occasionally to destruction!

Depending on the Studio, the QA could either be completely outsourced, left all to the Devs unit tests, be a small team of one-size fits all style testers or a big department of split into specialised disciplines.

I am pretty sure I have missed a lot of areas, but if you decide to update the Resources section again I hope it helps.

1 Like

Thank you for reviving an old post @fruityoatybar :grin: It’s always good to have new perspectives on things :muscle: