Firstly, what is computer game testing?
It's a process to break a game that's in development and to report to the developer team how it was done. The process needs to be repeated until the game is no longer breakable, or at least very difficult to break. The thing we should concern here is that computer game testing is not just like you are only going to play the game. You’re going to extensively test, explore and do everything in your control to find anything that affects the gameplay, visuals or experience.
Secondly, who are game testers?
A game tester, or a quality assurance game tester, plays video games that are under development to check for errors, also known as glitches or bugs. Game testers normally work for video game companies, often in close connection with programmers and other technical members of the development team. They are expected to test extensively, often repeating game levels multiple times to make sure they have tested every possible permutation of play. As well as playing games, game testers take note of any gameplay errors they find along with steps on how to recreate those errors. They communicate these problems to the development team so they can correct them. Their work is to guarantee the game will be bug-free, or at least it has the least possible number of errors.
Thirdly, QA game testers’ responsibilities:
- Play and test the game repeatedly in different ways and situations
- Learn to be repetitive as well as unexpected.
- Test different versions of the game including PC and console versions if available
- Concentrate on certain areas of the game and try every possibility available
- Compare new versions of game and replicate previous bugs to see if they have been fixed
- Play game using different settings and options if available
- Check for typos, spelling mistakes and grammar.
- Report any error codes that may pop up and report them to bug tracking software
- Proof any other documentation with game including manuals, instructions and other booklets
- Understand the difference between reporting a bug and reporting a feature
Finally, QA game testers’ necessary skills:
Attention to detail: it is the first important skill of a QA game tester. A game can fail if its tester doesn’t assume the responsibility of a task and pays adequate attention to details. A tester must make sure all aspects of the work are performed correctly, testing the game’s images, texts, controls, sounds, scenarios, requirements, and functions.
Well understanding games in terms of design: it is another necessary skill for testers. They must know the answers to questions such as: what graphics were used in the game’s development? What programming language was used? What tools were implemented? This helps when it comes to writing up bug reports, improving readability, and making it easier for the developer to understand the problem and find the issue in the code. In this way, a tester contributes to the creation of several scenarios in terms of design that widen the scope of testing options for the game.
Having a keen sense of logic and reasoning: this is very important since they need to understand how the game works, its logic, and the objective it is meant to fulfill. These aspects will be used to estimate possible scenarios and to guarantee a game with the least number of errors.
Problem-solving skills: good game testers use an approach that pays close attention to problem-solving. They apply algorithmic thinking, as well as analytical and critical thinking to create usability tests, which helps to assess the problem and make decisions in a logical and methodical manner. With a logical approach, testers contribute practical solutions to problems they may encounter in the development phase of the game.
Computer and videogame industry knowledge: it is also critical for a tester to be successful. A tester must understand the importance of quality assurance testing since a game brings in more income when an application meets the user’s expectations. On the contrary, the losses generated by a low-quality game with lots of errors can be unacceptable.
An understanding of software’s quality control process: it is definitely an essential skill of a QA game tester. A game tester must have a good knowledge of what’s involved in the game testing process, how game revision and auditing function, how to verify all procedures and previously established standards. Most importantly, the tester must ensure problems are identified and resolved.
Flexibility and being able to adapt to different processes: a game tester must be capable of working in a productive and flexible manner, adapting to changes that arise during a project. In addition, they must adapt to possible new work scenarios and multiple challenges, as well as to responsibilities and work hours in order to meet the requirements that guarantee a high-quality game.
Having programming and coding knowledge: lastly, but just as importantly, this skill is also necessary to game testers, since it can be helpful to them in their work. Based on their knowledge of this field, they can provide additional information about an issue when creating a bug report, which must be very useful to solve the matter. Moreover, learning the basic concepts of programming will help differentiate them from other testers and broaden their scope.