Meet HeadSpin at STARWEST in Anaheim from Oct 4 - 6
Close
Game Functionality Testing: How It's Impacting The Gaming Industry

Game Functionality Testing: How It's Impacting The Gaming Industry

August 26, 2022
 by 
Kazuaki MatsuoKazuaki Matsuo
Kazuaki Matsuo

Developing a game is no easy task. Developers constantly have to balance complex application software with user expectations - who expect the game to be a certain way and come with a degree of excitement and fun. The game is unlikely to succeed if it doesn't meet these requirements.

While figuring out how to meet user expectations, developers must also deal with application software complications or limitations. These limitations leave the game prone to bugs, design issues, and defects.

For developers, the goal is to develop an error-free game that works great, looks, and feels good. Game testing is the best way to ensure this. Game testing services act as facilitators for achieving an entertaining, robust, and error-free game. They do this by running functional tests on these games.

Functional Testing in Gaming

Testers run functional tests in gaming to identify any errors, defects, or bugs in a game. These functional tests ensure the game runs well and meets all user expectations providing a seamless experience. 

Through functional testing, testers aim to identify performance issues, freezes, crashes, and progression blockers that hinder seamless gameplay. Additionally, they look for audio-visual problems and graphic issues in the entire game, testing all areas for false triggers or any in-game events that don't react as they're supposed to.

Some of the other things that testers keep track of include:

1. Game testers test game controls to verify their functionality.

2. Testers ensure there are no graphical corruptions. They test the gaming interface to identify missing colors, graphics, and issues with animation, cut scenes, and locations.

3. Testers also run tests on audio and text across the game. The aim here is to ensure the game audio has no inconsistencies, matches the mood and style of the game, and the text does not give wrong instructions. 

Once testers identify all the issues within the game, they send a report to the developers notifying them of the same. The developers fix the issues and send the game back for re-testing. This approach ensures that once the final product is out, it is bug-free and ready for users to interact with it.

Also check out: Differences Between Unit, Integration, and Functional Testing

HeadSpin’s Role In Helping You Effectively Test Your Game

The HeadSpin Platform

The HeadSpin Platform helps meet all your testing requirements by letting you connect to real devices from anywhere in the world. Its unique platform helps you with the following:

1. End-To-End Evaluation: When it comes to testing games, you must test every element to ensure seamless gameplay. Leveraging the HeadSpin Platform, you can analyze networks & devices, your application, run functional and non-functional analysis, and perform Black Box & White Box testing.

2. Data Driven Analysis: Gathering user data is essential to ensure your game meets user requirements. With 120+ data points collecting data, the HeadSpin Platform ensures you get valuable data to analyze experience & performance comprehensively.

3. ML Based Insights: HeadSpin uses machine learning to empower its users. The HeadSpin AI provides detailed, actionable insights that you can leverage to improve your game’s performance & overall experience. 

4. Real Devices: HeadSpin enables you to run your tests on real world infrastructure. It gives you access to real devices, connected to real networks, deployed in over a 100 locations worldwide.

5. Create Your Own Lab (CYOL): The HeadSpin CYOL gives allows businesses to leverage the  device infrastructure, allowing them to test and debug their app workflows remotely so as to utilize their prior investments in infrastructure and it is benefits enterprises as follows:

  • Test both iOS and Android devices and remotely control and debug apps.
  • Host all devices in a specific location by leveraging the electronic lock feature to secure devices.
  • Access HeadSpin's global device cloud to track and identify every device user.

Since gaming applications require quick interactions, targeted tests can be run on local devices through manual testing, data collection with the CYOL deployment thus reducing latency.

6. This enables teams to have experience centric development, an agile mentality by bringing collaboration among engineering, QA & DevOps, and product teams.

Challenges In Gaming That Affect UX and Revenue Maximization

The gaming industry has evolved over the years. Developers no longer create games for just one platform. There are gaming consoles, computers, mobile devices, and now VR. Users want to be able to access their game from any devices, thus gaming companies make cross-platform games.

Also read: Guide to Game Testing Types and Processes

With so much to consider while developing a game, it can get difficult to meet all requirements. Here are some of the challenges that impact user experience and revenue maximization:

Gaming Experience

Testing such games requires real devices. The challenge is in measuring gaming experiences across real devices, carrier networks, locations and localized contents, and user conditions.

Frame Rate Stability

FPS is a key factor in ensuring games run smoothly. Many aspects contribute to maintaining frame rate stability. While some of these aspects rest with the users, it is important to ensure that your game functions smoothly based on your minimum and maximum graphics requirements assessment. However, without the proper tools, ensuring your users see game visuals quickly and smoothly is a challenge.

Device Compatibility

Users do not consider what it takes for a game development studio to make a game. The only thing that matters to users is quality & performance. If their system meets the game's requirements, they expect the game to perform well. However, for the developers this means testing multiple device types globally. The challenge here is to verify the gaming experiences on these devices to maximize the number of users without losing performance & experience.

Recommended post: Critical KPIs that affect user experience in the mobile games

Ability to Scale Out

A game's inability to scale is a major drawback. User satisfaction levels are constantly changing and they expect a game to keep giving new features. Without this, users may abandon the game out of boredom. Updates introducing new features, DLCs to add extra content to the base game are now common expectations. If your game is multiplayer then there’s the aspect of player volume.

Ensuring your game's ability to meet these demands, handle peak loads, and efficiently manage, store, and retrieve player volume data, ranking, and statistics, is a challenge.

Device Performance

Battery drain and processing speeds are aspects of mobile game performance testing. For mobile or laptop gaming, ensuring your game does not drain too much battery is crucial. Users don’t want to have to constantly charge their devices or augment their usage. This can negatively affect user experience and revenue maximization.

Also read: Contrast between UX and Usability

How HeadSpin Helps Overcome These Challenges

The HeadSpin Platform helps:

1. The HeadSpin Platform helps monitor and measure network latency. When online gaming, network latency directly impacts gaming experiences.

2. With the HeadSpin Platform, you can run user experience tests and multiplayer tests on real devices from anywhere in the world. With the added feature of recording test sessions, you can ensure your automated game testing gets easier and faster.

3. The HeadSpin AI gives detailed information on FPS, CPU usage, battery drain, and memory usage, to help you improve your game performance. 

4. HeadSpin’s VMOS (Video Mean Opinion Score) experience ML model helps you quantify the user's subjective perception of video using a single number. You can use the MOS time series with HeadSpin video quality metrics to identify regions with video quality issues, and check which metrics have the largest impact on user experience.

5. You can get access to core KPIs like battery usage, memory usage, audio/video MOS, time to interaction, frame rate, launch time, and APP crashes. Through these KPIs, HeadSpin enables KPI based performance benchmarking. 

6. The HeadSpin Platform gives you access to real devices and supports multiple frameworks, this enables you to create, execute, and automate tests on real devices for the best results.

7. When you’re running games with in-app purchases, it is critical that you ensure your user information remains secure. HeadSpin enables you to test & monitor in app transaction performance to help with this.

The HeadSpin Impact

Faster Release Cycles

A client using the HeadSpin Platform for testing their game noticed a 75% reduction in time to market for new feature releases. They were able to leverage HeadSpin automation to ensure 2-3 releases each week.

Innovative Testing Platform

  • Performance Insights: HeadSpin helped this client diagnose, identify and fix user experience and performance issues with user flows like CDN, network, server, and more.
  • Recorded Sessions: HeadSpin’s ability to record test sessions helped this client understand UX aspects difficult to quantify.
  • In-app Purchases: The client leveraged HeadSpin capabilities to ensure the game charged in-app purchases directly to the users carrier. 

Test Automation

HeadSpin was able to help this client by delivering test automation for Unity. The client leveraged HeadSpin capabilities to identify the factors affecting battery drain. They improved UX for lower end devices and with a quick ramp-up of their testing infrastructure, they were able to handle user surges better.

Conclusion

Ensuring your games functionality is seamless is crucial to keeping your users happy. The HeadSpin Platform gives you the resources you need to perform effective functionality tests and meet your user requirements. Reach out!

Game Functionality Testing: How It's Impacting The Gaming Industry

4 Parts