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Mobile Games – Usability And Functionality Testing

By Author: Michael Wade
Total Articles: 85

Testing Mobile Games is similar to the process of mobile application testing. With an increasing number of mobile games developed and released all over the world, user expectations go up all the time. In order to compete and thrive in the market, it is important to deliver the best possible quality products.
There are many similarities in the procedures and logic behind a mobile application testing and a mobile game testing, the motives and goals being entirely different for both. Mobile Game Testing needs to include both the processes - Manual and Automation testing.
Usability and Functionality testing are common to all types of application testing. With the convergence of the mobile technology and gaming, a very unique and focused testing effort is required. Games are mostly driven by their usability or user experience rather than their functionality. Games can range from simple puzzles to elaborate ones. Before outlining the test metrics the following points should be considered:
- How will the users play the game ?
- What will be the ideal duration of a game session?
- Who will be the target users of the game?
The answers to the above considerations will steer the usability testing in the correct direction. Other usability factors that need to be considered are the devices for which the mobile games are developed. Many games which are initially intended for smart phones are extremely difficult to play on tablets. Assuming that tablet gamers are more serious than smart phone gamers, a gaming application suffers severe negative impact if it does not work well on all devices.
Usability Testing checks the time and effort required in order to complete a specified task and identifies easily overlooked errors. It involves user viewpoint testing, user documentation testing and end-user interface testing.
Functionality Testing is the most common form of game testing. Mostly done manually, it requires playing the game while the testing process takes place. It executes internal checks as well as checks aligned to the system’s specifications and ensures that all the intended features are working as perceived. Automation is also sometimes a viable option in several areas of functional testing.
While functional testing is always a necessary activity in mobile game testing, the real difference between an average mobile game and a successful mobile game is brought about by the importance given to the unique features and constraints of a mobile environment. These unique features and constraints include battery usage, download size, sound and language controls, ease of use as per user level and interruption handling.
Conclusion
Mobile Game testing is a vast domain. Even if a game holds a great idea with effective refelexes, failure in exhibiting a clean usability and user experience will make it harder for the application to get acceptance in the market. Usability testing helps to get a clear view of what the users see and experience while playing the games,Functional Testing ensures that the game is robust and capable of handling all kinds of inputs.

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