Mobile Game Testing eBook Smartbear

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  • 2TestCompleteby SMARTBEAR

    Introduction ............................................................................................4

    User Expectations .................................................................................5

    Methods of Testing for Video Games ....................................................7

    Black Box Testing ..................................................................................8

    White Box Testing ..................................................................................8

    Automated Testings Role in Video Game Development .......................9

    Video Game Testing on a Mobile Platform .......................................... 11Mobile ............................................................................................................. 11

    Data ......................................................................................................... 11Network Availability .................................................................................. 12Gestures .................................................................................................. 12GUI ........................................................................................................... 12Portrait and Landscape Views ................................................................. 12Processing Power .................................................................................... 12Memory .................................................................................................... 13Battery ...................................................................................................... 13Fragmentation of devices ......................................................................... 13

    Gaming ........................................................................................................... 14Audio ........................................................................................................ 14Graphics ................................................................................................... 14Accessibility ............................................................................................. 14Databases ................................................................................................ 14

    Conclusion ...........................................................................................15

    Contents

  • 3TestCompleteby SMARTBEAR

    Introduction

    Weve all heard the stories of video game testersrecent high school graduates sitting in a room, playing video games for twelve hours straight, drinking Mountain Dew and documenting any bugs they can find. Many kids think of this as a dream job. But what they dont understand is that its probably one of the most tedious, mind-numbing jobs one might fall into. As a software tester, its not par-ticularly the scene you want to think of when you imagine your day-to-day work life, yet this is the culture of testing video games. There isnt any test automation tool that can help minimize the tedium. Its all manual user acceptance testing and, the truth is, video game testing probably ruins video games for most of the people who attempt this voca-tion.

    This eBook is about the exploding industry of mobile gam-ing and the reality of testing video games for mobile de-vices. If the nuances of mobile app testing and video game testing werent bad enough, combine the two and you have a perfect storm for any software tester. Even the most seasoned software tester might be hesitant to approach mobile gaming.

    If you go into the Apple store or the Google Play store, ev-ery day there is a new list of games that have come to the market. A recent study by eMarketer showed that by 2015, approximately 162 million people will be playing games on mobile devices. To put that into perspective, it amounts to about half of the entire US population playing mobile games in some fashion. So, despite the fact that mobile gaming can be a testing nightmare, the benefits of produc-ing a hit game could outweigh the risks. The eMarketer

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    study also claims that user growth could push revenues for the mobile gaming market to $1.78 billion in 2013. Clearly, there is money to be made!

    User Expectations

    So youve decided that developing a mobile game is a great way to make money. Before jumping right into game development, you must understand who your end us-ers are and what genre and platform caters to the users gaming needs. As with all software development, the user will be your best friend and worst enemy. By listening to your users feedback on design and mechanics you increase the chances of being successful. However, by ignoring the needs of your users, you risk alienating them and destroying your credibility as a video game developer.

    Here is an example:

    The main point of a Diablo gamewhat users came to love the Diablo games forwas the constant slaughtering of monsters and demons with the sole purpose of level-ing up, customizing your character, and finding cool loot to which you could sell off or trade with other players.

    Yes, Diablo III had cool loot, the graphics were better, performance was fine, but there was something very wrong with this iteration of Diablo. With Diablo III, Blizzard intro-duced the auction house as a way to make real life and in-game money off of the rare loot a player could find, with

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    a small fraction of all real-money transactions going into Blizzards pockets.

    The issue here was that the gear a character needed to be strong enough to progress further in the game became a bottleneck when you had no choice but to use the auction house to get the gear your character needed to progress. Essentially, Blizzards attempt to add a feature that was supposed to be optional became the sole basis of the game. Users found themselves spending more time look-ing for gear on the auction house instead of going out and fighting monsters.

    We are writing tell you about an important change to Diablo III: were going to be removing the gold and real-money auction house system from the game. When we initially designed and implemented the auction house system, the driving goal was to provide a convenient and secure system for trades. But after much review and player feedback, it became increasingly clear that despite the benefits of the AH system and the fact that many play-ers around the world use it, it ultimately undermines Dia-blos core game play: kill monsters to get cool loot. Were working out the details of how the auction house system will be shut down, but we wanted to share the news as soon as we made the decision in order to give everyone as much advance notice as possible. Please note that the final shutdown will occur onMarch 18, 2014. We will keep everyone informed as we work through this process, but feel free to check out our blog poston the subject, and stay tuned toDiablo 3.comfor further details.

    TheDiablo III team

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    The point is that you must be in touch with whom you are creating the game for and the game must be tested not only for bugs but for fundamental issues, such as un-wanted features and/or requirements that are irrelevant to stakeholders. Sometimes, simplicity is the best approach. In the case of mobile games, you can always add features later via patching once you have a better idea what your users really want. However, this should not be an excuse for releasing buggy software and patching later since this will eliminate your chances at being reputable. Those bad reviews dont go away after you release version 2.

    Methods of Testing for Video Games

    Youve built game requirements based on feedback from all stakeholders. The development team is about to start developing the game and the testing team is about to start testing the developers work. Welcome to the world of video game testing! Your users are going to pick apart your game and tell you everything that is wrong with it, so test for anything that would ruin the user experience.

    Every gaming company tests their game differently, be-cause there are so many different genres of games and since software testing methods are always dependent on the context of the project. Despite the differences in testing methodologies from team to team there are two main cat-egories of testing that always seem to be used for testing games.

    Black box testing Testing functionality without checking the code

    White box testing - Testing and examining code as opposed to functionality

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    It is important to understand that these are generic test strategies and not types of testing. For instance, func-tional testing would be a specific type of testing that falls under the black box testing strategy. Likewise, unit testing would fall under white box testing.

    Black Box Testing

    Black box testing is the method of choice for testing video games. This testing strategy is done without access to the code. It is done by the tester to interpret how a user would play the video game in normal use. When you hear about the scenarios and picture a group of recent high school graduates in a room drinking Mountain Dew and playing and testing video games, they are black box testing.

    Not only is black box testing an easy way to emulate a user, it is also a cheap way. Black box testers need mini-mal technical knowledge, but good hand-eye coordination from heavy gaming is highly sought after. You need testers who can play a game all the way through quickly and then play again going a different path through the game.

    Black box testing is advantageous in that it ca