As game development becomes increasingly popular, there are more opportunities for you to get into the gaming industry as a tester or developer. With the explosion of technology these days, it is easy to test out different software and games by yourself or with others.
Game testing comes in many forms! You can do general usability tests, gameplay reviews, bug finding, content analysis, and more. While some of these positions require having advanced knowledge of video games, most don’t!
General usability tests ask questions about a product to see if people like it and how well it works. This includes things such as asking whether users feel their money was worth the experience, looking at the design, and evaluating how intuitive the device/software is.
Gameplay reviews look at what parts of a game someone has already tested and determine if they think it is good or bad. This could be an entire playthrough of a game, a few minutes of gameplay, or even just a minute here and there.
Bug finding goes through computer programs or apps to make sure everything functions properly. Sometimes this will involve searching online or talking to other developers to figure out what symptoms indicate a problem.
Content analysis looks at how well done certain aspects of a game or app are.
Gather your testing team
As mentioned before, game testers are very valuable members of any games development team. They play crucial roles in ensuring that the gameplay is fun for players at all stages of the game!
As such, it’s important to gather as much information about potential game testers as possible. You don’t want to waste time looking for people if you can’t trust them or they aren’t willing to test games!
While there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to how many game tests you should do, I would suggest doing at least one test per person. This way, you know exactly who will be performing their job while also getting to know more about them.
It’s also worth noting that while most companies require candidates to have some sort of gaming experience, this doesn’t mean they need to have done professional tasters. Many individuals enjoy experimenting with different types of games to see what feels good to them. – Check out our article here for tips on finding game testers!
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Disclaimer: The content in this article was created solely for InternshipJourney.com and iGR does not take responsibility for the accuracy of its content.
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Create a testing environment
One of the most important things when game testing is creating an adequate gaming environment. This includes ensuring you have enough space to play games, having access to the appropriate software such as graphics editors or movie editing suites, and having enough equipment such as headphones so you do not need to use the computer’s speakers!
As mentioned before, one of the biggest mistakes new testers make is using the same settings they usually have. Because these settings are familiar to them, it can sometimes be hard to determine if something is working properly or not until you switch up your settings and see what changes occur. Using the same settings may also lead to false positives or negatives because there could be an internal setting that has changed.
By switching off these settings and seeing how different versions work, you will know whether anything has worked better or worse for you and you will learn more about the test subject.
Outline the game testing process
As mentioned before, one of the most important roles that testers play in any development team is game testing. This includes reviewing both current games as well as new gameplay concepts for possible inclusion into future titles.
Game testing also looks at how existing parts of the game work and if they are working properly. For example, does every player have easy access to all features of the game? Does everyone feel like their experience is smooth and seamless? If not, what can be done to fix this?
As you can probably tell, creating an immersive gaming experience requires many different people with diverse skills. One person may need help designing new levels or modes, while another could review whether or not certain features are intuitively clear.
There are several ways to begin game testing. Some individuals start by looking through YouTube videos and reading online material about the game industry, while others get directly involved with other tester groups.
Test the game
As mentioned earlier, testing is an integral part of developing any kind of video or computer games. There are several ways you can test your game. You can use third-party software to run through the levels and play modes of your game, you can do it by yourself, or you can hire someone else to do it for you.
There are two main types of testing that most people know about when it comes to gaming. The first one is called user testing. This means going onto some sort of site where there’s free access to your game, such as YouTube or Facebook, and watching users go through the different features and see how they work.
Another type of testing is internal testing. Here, members of the development team will put in the game and check everything out. They may also add things into the game to make sure it works properly, like adding in an element to see if it looks right and functions correctly.
When doing either of these types of tests, remember what changes were made to the game so that you can repeat them with no extra resources. Also note anything unexpected that was found while testing so that you can fix those issues and improve upon them for the next time you test the game.
Game testers not only look at whether or not the graphics are pretty and fun, but whether or not the gameplay flows well and is intuitive.
Find the weaknesses in the game
As mentioned before, testing is an integral part of any successful game development. There are many ways to test your game, and different people have their personal favorites. What’s important though is that you know what types of tests you should be doing and how to evaluate the results!
One very common way to do game testing is by finding weaknesses or flaws in the gameplay. These can be anything from issues with the mechanics of the game to things like poor graphics or sound. When looking for these sorts of errors, most people will begin by playing through the game using as few glitches or exploits as possible. (Exploits are features of the game that are not intended to work but that do.)
Once everything seems okay and the controls feel good, then some people will start experimenting with the game. They might try diving into certain sections of the level or looking at the details of the environment. Some will even add new textures or modes to the settings so they get a better look at the game. All of this is totally fine since it does not require you to use the game’t official tools; you can simply keep notes about all the funny things you find while playtesting.
After all this, take a close look at the parts of the game where there seem to be lag or areas where the quality drops slightly. Look for instances where the framerate slows down or where graphical qualities such as texture resolution or polygon counts drop slightly.
Fix the weaknesses
As mentioned before, game testing is more than just checking if the games are fun to play. While this can be done by simply watching videos or playing through some levels, it’s not enough!
Game testers should look for any potential weaknesses in the game. These could be things like poor graphics, bad level design, and so on.
If there’t seem to be anyone else that has these issues, you may want to bring them to light. Or maybe your opinion differs from others? Either way, don’t hesitate to share yours with other people!
Your thoughts might help someone else start working on their own project! Figuring out how to make a good game takes time, and you never know when you’ll stumble upon something helpful.
Test the game again
After testing your game, you must test it yourself! Before sharing your game with anyone else, you must make sure that you like how the game played for yourself. If you do not, then people will lose trust in you as a creator and person.
Testing your own game is much more practical than trying to get someone else to try out your game. You will know if your gameplay works and if there are any flaws.
Game testers are also very valuable since most companies need them to check out their new games before letting others play them. Many companies cannot afford to have an internal tester take time off or work during peak times so they hire external game testers.
General game testers can be hard to find and expensive so having your own personal game testing service is helpful.
Comment on the game tests
As mentioned earlier, you do not need a degree in psychology or gaming expertise to test games. All that is needed are good resources and how to use them efficiently!
There are several ways to do game testing. Some people focus more on accuracy of testing, while others may just want to have fun playing the game and see what happens. Either way, it’s important to be careful about your observations because they could influence someone else’s opinion of the product.
When doing game testing, there are two main types of comments you can leave. Positive comments and negative comments.
A positive comment leaves praise for the game, an example being saying how great the graphics are. Negative comments describe anything that can possibly go wrong with the game, such as poor gameplay or ugly graphics.
It is very important to remain neutral when leaving these comments because your impressions might bias the results. For instance, if you like the game very much, then maybe it has some bad parts that need to be changed. Or perhaps the developers made too many changes which distracted from the core experience.