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Game Testing

Games can fun and especially exciting during their conception, design, prototyping and final build. As a result of having too many requirements and requests from customers, you may be required to introduce half of the features and present them to one audience while the opposing version of the build is used to test other features on a different audience. Games have the potential to go very far if they have been properly tested out and left with only the most crucial features. This will take away distractions from the game in the form of unwanted features leading to bugs and performance issues.

Nowadays you can see a lot of publishers decide to offer their games to be tested by the audience. These games are usually cheaper than other games (Early Access). Sometimes that can be a good thing, as you, as a game developer can attract additional funds needed for further game development. On the other hand, from a player perspective, this can be frustrating sometimes.

The question; do we need game testers is one question asked frequently. Johan Hoberg recently wrote an interesting article about this topic and I suggest you read it if you are interested in this kind of things.

Game Testing

As a game developer you can get your games tested out for proper performance on the devices for which they have been targeted. This testing digs out all the bugs that might have been caught in the application code. For instance, users may not like some of the features you introduce into your game such as in app ads and purchases. Separating your test audience with half the features in each allows you to collect stats and determine which version of the game will have higher chances of success in the market.

There are several companies that provide game testing solutions, but I’ll use Swrve for example.

Swrve, a leading company in this field working with EA, Activision or Zynga, just to name a few, has a great solution for A/B testing as you can contrast and compare features that will catch and engage the attention of the gamer making them to spend more time playing the game without troubling or disturbing features. With their detailed stats board and an easy to implement mobile kit, your mobile title will be coming out to production much faster and with a greater customer base. A/B testing allows you to polish your games so that they are of an optimum quality that will convince buyers to want to know more about the game and how the feature reduction makes play more easy.

There are a lot of things that can A/B tested such as wording, color schemes, layouts, locations of items and so on. These features can be grouped into categories and from the main code base, trunks can be forked off to include the particular features to be tested. A/B testing makes your game to have more fun and be more enjoyable since you will have feedback about the features that are loved by people and the ones that are not being loved. As a result, you can take out the features that they do not like and leave the game build with stable features that will not crash in the real world environment.

Swrve has provided testing solutions for games and applications for various platforms for some years now. They have a very easy to use SDK and the getting started instructions are not so hard to follow. The stats dashboard is also quite detailed and gives you more insight into how people responded to the features you had in each version of the game.

All in all, you will have a game that has got only the minimum features needed to have an enjoyable as well as rewarding game experience. This will not only be rewarding for you as a developer, but the players as well.

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