A recent conversation with a game testing expert has made me realize the paradigm shift that the gaming industry is undergoing. He was highlighting the recent surge in the count...
With the advent of increasingly complex games, quality assurance has not remained limited to just testing, but emerged as an inclusive and imperative process that now encompasses a broader range of tasks.
Earlier, gaming industry had set parameters for quality assurance, where the QA teams were called in to thoroughly test the product for the need of identifying possible bugs and glitches at the later stage of development. Then, the testing was limited to finding and fixing the bugs, rather than ensuring that the end product, the game title, would be enjoyable, engaging and easily accessible to the users. However, now the scenario has changed completely and quality assurance has emerged as an important aspect of overall development process – rather than just a sidekick to the protagonist.
A Welcome Change:
Again, it’s the growing complexities of the game titles and the need of the publishers to be up there with the best – if not outscore! Now-a-days, game testing services enjoy the topmost priority in the process of developing and marketing of a game.
Today, game QA teams come early in the picture from the start of the development – where they are entrusted with the task to check the content and sometimes even play a hand in influencing the decision making to augment the entire experience of gameplay. Involvement of QA team from the start also gives enough time to run QA checks at regular intervals and offer a complete competitive analysis. It leads to improvement in overall efficiency in workflow – from across visual art teams to developers. This is also the reason why most of the established publishers and studios have recognized that QA is a vital part of software development and now they are investing heavily in this important process.
Though, it is simply impossible these days to release completely bug-free games (again, largely due to the inherent complexity of the games), a thorough testing can reduce the number of issues significantly. Quality assurance team can change the overall process of game’s development if they get involved from the start. If the QA team gets the complete information about the size and scope of the game at the start, it can easily estimate the size of the team required during the project development process – from start to finish.
Different requirements, one goal:
As per their requirements and games, different studios can have different priorities and expectations from quality assurance department. Thus, testing methods also vary in different genres of games i.e. expectations around a racing game may differ from RPGs comprising of shooting or strategy setting. These variations also stand true across different platforms of gaming from consoles, smartphones and tablets. Now, QA firms also play an important role in evaluating the requirement of additional content and patches required in the future, after the launch of the game. This plays an important role in ensuring a good gaming experience to the users as because add-ons can have a radical change in the content and future of a game and its overall performance.
Laxmikant B. Thipse
Founder & CEO
GameCloud Technologies Pvt Ltd