Standing out from the competition has always been a challenge in the game development industry. Taking into account the number of games released worldwide, attracting players’ attention to your game gets harder and harder. Developers and publishers try to stand out via various elements of the game, like original mechanics, plot, impressive visuals, etc. But there’s an aspect that can both sell or ruin any game. This aspect is the game’s quality. Even the greatest concepts of mechanics, even the most stunning visuals won’t work properly if the game shows constant freezes, struggles to get 30fps, or keeps closing. To avoid that, game companies develop Quality Assurance (QA) departments.
Number of games released on Steam according to Statista.
Game testing and QA are critical processes that should not be overlooked in game development. They help to ensure that the final product is polished, functional, and enjoyable for players and can help to avoid negative feedback and poor sales.
In addition, the cost of fixing bugs after a game’s release can be significant, making it more cost-effective to invest in thorough game testing and quality assurance before the game’s release.
In this article, we will dive deep into game testing and provide recommendations on companies you can work with for this kind of job.
Game testing is identifying and fixing bugs and errors in a game before its release. It is an essential part of game development that helps ensure the game is stable and free of troubles (or, at least, these troubles are not critical). Quality assurance, on the other hand, is the process of testing the game’s functionality, user interface, and overall user experience to ensure that it meets players’ expectations. Various games require various approaches to testing. Here are the basic kinds of testing which are likely to be used in game development.
- Functional testing is a type of testing that verifies whether a game’s features and functionalities are working as intended. This type of testing focuses on testing the game’s individual functions and mechanics to ensure they perform correctly and meet the game’s design and functionality requirements.
It typically involves testing various aspects of the game, including the game’s user interface, gameplay mechanics, game modes, character interactions, artificial intelligence, and sound effects. It is usually done through a series of test cases designed to simulate typical player interactions with the game. Functional testing can help you discover whether a player can interact with objects in the game world, whether the game’s AI responds correctly to player actions, or whether the game’s user interface is easy to use and understand, and many other similar things.
- Ad Hoc testing is a kind of testing focused on discovering all the possible user paths in all the iterations between the player and a game. It often includes trying to “break” the game intentionally. It is usually a big part of the game certification process. Ad Hoc testing can be performed without any plan or following the documentation guidelines. It often helps to detect issues that can’t be detected by functional testing.
- Compatibility testing is an approach to game testing focused on interaction with the targetted platform. Here QA engineers test the controls, platform-specific features, and game’s performance on the targeted device configurations. Compatibility testing includes not just working with configurations of gaming hardware but also OS-specific features.
Expanding the QA team is often a good idea for the development of your game. But how to choose a proper external partner for game testing? Here are some things we highly recommend you pay attention to while choosing a porting partner.
1- Experience and Expertise.
Except for a general review of the company’s track record of providing high-quality game testing services, it’s important to understand whether the company’s experience is relevant to your project. A company with rock-star experience testing online RPGs can’t guarantee proper testing for your single-player visual novel. Take a look at genres, titles, and scale of the games in your potential partner’s portfolio. Choose a company that has an experience with games similar to what you’re developing.
2 – Quality Assurance processes.
Make sure the game testing company has a well-defined quality assurance process in place. They should have a systematic approach to testing your game, which means providing and following test plans, executing test cases, and providing detailed reports on bugs and issues found during testing.
3 – Testing Tools and Infrastructure.
Ensure that the game testing company has access to the testing tools and infrastructure required for effective work on your game. This includes a variety of devices and platforms. This will allow them to test your game on different devices and platforms, ensuring it works correctly across all required platforms and controllers.
4 – Communication and Reporting.
Make sure to establish proper communication between you and the video game testing companies you work with. Look for a company that is responsive, communicative, and provides regular updates on the testing progress. They should be able to provide detailed reports on bugs and issues found during testing, including steps to reproduce them.
5 – Price and Timelines.
Consider the pricing and timelines offered by game testing companies you work with. Ensure they can provide testing services within your budget and timelines without compromising quality.
Luckily, outsourcing the QA services with the help of video game testing companies is not a new thing for the industry. Here’s a list of game testing companies you can consider collaborating with.
Pingle Studio is a Ukrainian game development outsourcing company, that started it’s path in game development шт 2007. The company provides a full scale of game development services: co-development, porting, full-cycle development, game art & animation production, and game testing. The company has 4 offices in Ukraine, with headquarters in Kyiv, and also business offices in the US, UK, Canada, and Cyprus. The company has 400+ employees, including 40+ QA engineers. Being one of Europe’s biggest video game testing companies, Pignle has proved its expertise in QA by working on NWI’s Insurgency: Sandstorm, KRAFTON’s Thunder Tier One, Square Enix’s Life is Strange, tinyBuild’s Hello Neighbor franchise, and many other games like DKO Divine Knockout, GigaBash, My Time At Portia, The Walking Dead Saints & Sinners, Lost Ember, PC Building Simulator, Beyond a Steel Sky and a number of NDA projects.
Starloop Studios is a game development partner with headquarters in Lleida, Spain. The company’s headcount is 100+ people. Starloop provides a full cycle of game development services, including QA testing. They are famous for working on titles like W40k Deathwatch, TMNT Mutant Madness, Dragonride VR, GRIP. Starloop Studios started working in 2011.
Unlike the companies above, QAwerk’s only focus is on providing testing services not just for games but mostly for WEVB applications, mobile apps, and VR/AR software. The company has offices in Tallinn, Estonia, and Kyiv, Ukraine. Their game testing experience includes working on AnimA (ARPG) and Critical Ops (Multiplayer FPS)
iXie Gaming is a 200+ people game development division of Indium Software with a headquarters in California and extra facilities in UK, Singapore, and India. They are operating since 2013. iXie Gaming’s QA expertise focuses on mobile game development and Flash/Java games.
Snoop Game is also a gaming QA outsourcing company with offices in Estonia and Ukraine. The headcount of the company is 200+ employees. The company is founded in 2013. As one of the largest Europe video game testing companies, Snoop managed to work on Draw a Stickman: EPIC3, Ministry of Broadcast, Om Nom, Cut the Rope, Survival Island, Hidden City, Gladiator Heroes, Hoverloop, and many other mostly mobile franchises.
Testybytes is an Indian software testing company with headquarters in Pune, Maharashtra, India. Almost 300 professionals work at Testybites. Like QAwerk, Testybites provides a lot of various testing services, including WEB and Mobile apps testing, automation, software testing, and localization testing, Their game testing portfolio includes working on projects like Lyrico, Soulworker, Metin2, Nightmare Nick, Nausicaa, and Math Pathfinder.
Being a global game development partner since 2007, we managed to develop a deep and wide expertise in game testing. We work with all relevant game devices: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo consoles, various PC configurations, VR and AR hardware, and mobile devices. Our development expertise is mostly Unreal Engine and Unity projects, but we also have a wide experience in providing game testing services with other game engines.
For example, we helped KRAFTON Inc to improve the quality of their original title Thunder Tier One – an ultra-realistic tactical top-down shooter game. Our QA team passed all the test scenarios for the project. Despite incomplete game documentation with some lacking parameters and amount of specific checks, caused by the very high level of realism in the game, we delivered all the QA side of the project in just 1.5 months. Our game testers even researched the parameters of real-life guns and explosive devices to discover their properties like weight or magazine size.
We also did a decent amount of QA work for GigaBash – crazy kaiju fighting game by Passion Republic. We covered all the game regimes, including multiplayer on PC, PS4, and PS5. Our testing team used GDD to create test documentation. We put extra effort into finding every single bottleneck and crash in the multiplayer.
As for our VR experience, one of our favorite projects with this technology is The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – a VR shooter based on the famous AMC and Robert Kirkman franchise. VR games require at least 60fps to feel playable, so we tested it on every required set of VR helmets and controllers.
In case you consider Pingle Studio as your game testing partner – Contact Us and let us see your game!