Building mobile game applications require a detailed process to be followed in a systematic way. These processes covers requirement gathering, detailed design, development, usability testing, QA testing, full beta testing and then finally deployment on different target devices.
Mobile game testing is also a bit different from regular mobile application testing. An effective mobile game testing should include a disciplined, well-structured and systematic approach. The testing process should be integrated with your agile development process. A test automation framework is always recommended for all types of mobile game testing as a part of overall testing and development process.
In general, mobile game testing also follows the similar rules as used in software testing domain. The broad testing categories are white box testing and black box testing. As per the process, mobile game testing also falls under these two categories, but the goals of testing is a bit different.
Let us have a look at these two testing process with respect to mobile game applications.
- Black box testing: In case of mobile game testing, it covers overall functionality and play-ability aspects of the application. The key testing areas are graphical user interface (GUI), usability and user experience. The other features which comes under this black box testing are menus/sub-menus, graphical UI elements, animation, special effects etc. The actual game play on different target devices is also an integral part of black box testing.
- White box testing: This type of testing focuses on the architecture, design, coding, integration and system related aspects of the mobile game. The test also covers third party integration, databases, external/social media integration, game engine, audio integration etc.
Test automation is an important process in mobile game testing domain. Automation, in black box testing context covers the features, controls, capabilities, game play and automated testing flow of the game application. For this type of automation, it is highly recommended to build test scripts to measure the progress, faulty states, image recognition etc.
In white box testing context, automation mainly focuses on the integration aspects of the game application with other entities.
The most important methodologies in mobile game testing are as follows.
- Functional testing: It is generally manual testing and playing the game end to end.
- Performance testing: Performance is very critical for Successful games.
- Regression testing: This is very common testing for changes in the application.
- Compatibility testing: It covers the compatibility of the game on different target devices.
- Load testing: It tests the limit of the system. It is generally done by using automation tools.
The development life cycle of mobile game applications are almost similar to software development process. Let us have a look at different phases of SDLC with respect to mobile game development.
- Conceptualization/Inception: In this phase, the idea/concept is refined and given a final shape.
- Design: It covers general layouts, usability, user experience etc.
- Development: This is the coding and building phase of the game application.
- QA/Testing: In this phase testing and QA activities are performed.
- Deployment: This is the final phase when the game application is deployed on multiple target devices.
Now we know that the mobile game application development life cycle and the testing process is having similarity with normal SDLC and testing process. But there are some more interesting features which need to be considered during mobile game development and testing.