With almost 40% of the world’s population playing computer games of some kind, it’s not a secret that game testing is a burgeoning business. As as you can imagine, COVID-19 has accelerated this trend as more gamers stay cooped up at home and sometimes in quarantine. During this time, they may either nurse their gaming addiction or even create one. Hence the gaming market has exploded during COVID, and XBOSoft has been one of the fortunate top service providers for the many game studios in need of game testing. So what sets XBOSoft apart from the rest? Our usual winning formula of attention to detail of the domain that we’re testing. Applying our accumulated experience in the industry to help our clients sift through the issues:
Platforms: The platforms while consolidating in the console space with only a few players, still have proliferation in the mobile space where new versions, screen sizes, and especially refresh rates can make a big difference for the gaming experience. Something functionality that you may think is pure and simple can actually be complex to implement across multiple platforms. So as with many software applications on mobile, you need to understand the user community, what devices they are using, and devise an appropriate mobile testing strategy consisting of real, simulated, and device-farm devices.
Payment: Payment in multiple forms and methods either upfront, monthly, per item as well as other various micro-payment formats all need to be tracked in addition to virtual currencies that can be exchanged sometimes at different rates for different game items and upgrades. This complexity combined with payment gateway or other 3rd party integration and ties to 3rd party accounting and regulatory tracking can not only be cumbersome but daunting.
Integrations: In addition to 3rd party payment mechanisms, some game studios may employ other integrations for their game engine or other non-proprietary admin functions via components and libraries rather than writing everything from scratch. In this case, these integrations and their various parameters for calling them need thorough examination as they can also create security holes and performance degradation issues.
Experience: Of course we all think of the gaming experience, but what makes a good experience? Usability concepts in software can apply but not all. Sometimes you want things to be difficult to do or find! So understanding the gaming mind and working with designers to understand the meaning and objectives of levels and player types is critical. Games are not just about functions and buttons for sure. Additionally, performance should be tested from the beginning with benchmarks done as each version is released. No matter how great your game is or how much fun and addicting it is to play, if performance suffers you won’t get far.
Function versus glitch: Lastly, related to experience, sometimes you may have a ‘glitch’ or malfunction that occurs under particular instances and this could even be purposeful as a marketing technique to promote uptake and excitement amongst gamers who have the ‘secret’ token, tool, or pathway to get from one level to the next. Intentional and non-intentional glitches need the right approach to discovery and testing.
With all of these elements and more as critical factors for game testing, it’s no surprise that the game testing market is expanding rapidly in today’s environment where environmental factors such as the current pandemic keep us indoors. The difference between a so-so game, or a game with viral uptake can mean millions of dollars and revenue and billions in market cap valuations. Don’t get caught behind the eight-ball with a game that’s not thoroughly tested where gamers find glitches they shouldn’t or can’t properly play the game on their device. To find out more about XBOSoft’s game testing services, contact us today.
XBOSoft CEO and founder Philip Lew leads the company's strategy, operations and business development. A thought leader in software development and QA and frequent speaker at trade and academic conferences, Phil has worked with hundreds of organizations to assess the quality of their software and improve software quality and processes using systematic methods.