Just a few years ago, publishing and marketing a video game was so expensive that independent developers stood virtually no chance of getting their games recognized. The advent of Android has lowered the previously high entrance barriers to professional game development, allowing anyone with programming skills to create their own games and market them for a number of platforms.
Testing is something that should be done throughout the development process. Websites such as SmartBear.com offers a code analysis tool which can streamline your analysis process in case you missed a mistake. But there are different kinds of testing. Following these three steps in order will ensure that your final product is the best it can possibly be.
1. First Round
The developers should be the first line of testers. It’s a lot easier to fix bugs as you go along than to wait until you’ve designed the last level. Every time you reach a milestone in development, you should play the game from start to finish, keeping a log of the bugs to fix before moving on. By starting from the beginning, you mimic the user experience and can make sure the entire game feels like a cohesive experience rather than just a collection of levels.
2. Content Testing
Once you have some bug-free playable chunks, you can start asking others for their feedback. New developers often get trapped in this part of the process. They get so bogged down in trying to please everyone that they lose sight of actually completing the project. If you plan on making money with your game, you need to consider your target audience. Once you know your audience, collect a random sample of them to play your game. Providing testers with a list of questions can help focus their attention on what aspects you want feedback on.
3. Final Bug Testing
Once you’ve made the absolute best game you can make, it’s time for the final round of testing. Use different testers than the previous stage and make clear to testers that they are NOT providing feedback on the content. Other developers are ideal for this part, as they have some idea of what to keep an eye out for and can offer suggestions on how to fix technical problems.
Most importantly, do not rush the process. Don’t let anyone touch your game until you honestly feel like there is nothing that you can improve on. That way, the feedback you get will push your limits and help you become a better developer.