Why do we test games?
The earliest game in history were found in 3,000 B.C. with the most popular ancient game being the Chinese game Wei-qi (aka Go in Japanese). These games were created as either teaching tools or recreation among the noblemen. Many of these games, like Mancala, have lost value among board game players due to either fads, poor gameplay, or more interesting games that were created.
Creating a new game takes a lot of effort to find what will enchant and entice the player to want to play and then play again and again. Early game makers found a need for order that leads a gamer towards a rewarding objective is necessary more fun. An example of this was the original sports of the Victorians. Before strict rules, there were brutal stories of players coming home with broken bones, bruises, and inability to work the next day in the factories. By adding rules and regulations, things become more about your ability to overcome struggle and win, rather than a war among men. More had fun in the wins and losses.
As we look towards today, gameplay is about what are and aren’t rules and how you can achieve success from the experience of playing a game. Winning has to be a thrilling reward and having chaos within these rules can bring complaint or disinterest. Testing is needed to iron out the wrinkles each sport or game has. It also brings to mind the best and worst of what it has and how to improve the fun or move to another game.
Why spend so much time on testing?
A game tester is the home inspector of a game. A home inspector’s job is to check the bones and structure are done by the book, as well as the finished product of a newly built home or used homes being repaired. A tester is the gatekeeper of gameplay being fun. If they fail to keep up the fun, it’s their job to announce it to the developer either as a bug, or a problem that needs to be addressed. Sometimes like in home construction, the higher ups won’t listen and place shoddy work, covered with a fresh coat of paint, up for sale and sell it as quality construction. It’s only until the end-user buys the product do they know the truth. Though it’s sometimes faster to repair a video game than it is a house, the tester should be as vigilant as an inspector to flesh out poor work quickly and with precision.
TestBird follows this same idea. Testing is very intensive, especially with mobile phones. Different models with different hardware and software can make testing one by one a monumental assignment. This is why we built our tools to help in the compatibility testing that goes with testing. Given extensive reporting also helps us to improve a developers work.
When developers and testers follow the examples of the past artisans and build towards the future, excitement can be better cultivated. And that is what we all love in this industry? For gamers to enjoy our art form and have more fun in their lives while making money from it. We hope to help you in improving your game and that we all improve in business.