The game development and testing industry has transformed significantly in recent times and is currently booming. Its global market is expected to surpass USD 200 billion by the end of 2023. With these statistics, it’s evident that more growth is expected in the industry over time. Also, the companies in this sector are expected to accelerate and invest more resources to keep pace with the rapidly evolving technology and ensure a seamless gaming experience. Automated game QA is one of the recently introduced approaches in game development to enhance test coverage.  

This aspect has witnessed significant advancements in the past few years and is likely to evolve with time. Here’s a quick look at the present and potential future of automated game testing.  

The Present of Automated Game Testing   

How far has automated game testing gone so far? Well, here’s an overview of the aspects introduced in automated game testing to date: 

1. Test Automation Tools 

Game developers and quality assurance (QA) experts use various automated testing tools to test different components of their games. More test automation tools have been introduced to cater to different testing needs.  

For instance, some tools specialize in testing specific game aspects, such as: 

  • Regression testing 
  • Integration testing 
  • Unit testing 

Here are a few commonly used tools for test automation: 

  • Unreal Engine Automation System 
  • Unity Test Framework 
  • Third-party testing solutions. 

2. Performance Testing  

Performance is a crucial aspect that determines your game’s success. A poorly performing game will frustrate players, leading to a backlash in the gaming community. On the other hand, if your game performs optimally, players will enjoy a seamless gaming experience. They can spread “good news” about your game, attracting more players. And that’s where performance testing comes in handy.  

Performance testing enables you to obtain critical data about game performance, including refresh rate, stability, and responsiveness. Currently, game developers leverage automated testing to identify performance bottlenecks, such as CPU spikes, frame rate drops, and memory leaks. As a result, they can mitigate any performance issues that may negatively impact the payers’ experience.  

3. Player Experience Monitoring 

Player feedback is crucial in enhancing the gaming experience. It helps developers identify and resolve issues that affect their playing experience. Considering the huge number of players, manually tracking their feedback can be challenging. And that’s where automated testing tools come in.  

Modern automated game testing tools can track and analyze player feedback and behavior. This helps developers identify and mitigate issues in real-world gameplay and make the necessary improvements.  

4. Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) 

Developers are increasingly using CI/CD pipelines in game development. This allows for automated testing and deployment of new game builds. Also, it helps catch glitches and bugs early in the development process, preventing the possible release of faulty games. 

The Future of Automated Game Testing 

What should we expect in the future of automated game testing? As we look into the future, more advanced automated game-testing models will be built to address complex game-testing scenarios.  

Here are a few things to expect in the future of automated game testing: 

1. Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Integration 

AI & ML solutions have been introduced in automated game testing. As we look into the future, these technologies are likely to play a more critical role in automated game testing. These technologies boast advanced capabilities and can learn and collect player feedback autonomously. 

Here are a few ways AI and ML can enhance automated game testing: 

  • Creating intelligent test case scenarios. 
  • Predicting potential errors and bugs based on historical data.  
  • Detecting complex game issues. 
  • Compatibility testing. 

2. Realistic Testing Environment 

The gaming world has grown tremendously. New gaming trends have emerged, with more efforts focusing on integrating real and virtual gaming environments to deliver a more immersive experience. This has resulted in the advancement of augmented reality and virtual reality in gaming. 

More of these technologies are likely to come in the future. So, automated testing tools may need to simulate such environments more accurately to ensure games work smoothly in these settings.  

3. Cross-Platform Testing 

As the tech world evolves, games have become available on multiple platforms such as console, mobile, PC, and the cloud. This has resulted in an increasing need to create cross-platform games to attract a broader user base, which translates to higher profitability. But what does this mean to automated game testing

Well, it implies that automated testing tools will need to adapt to test compatibility and performance across a wide range of hardware and software configurations.  

4. Security and Fair Play  

Online multiplayer and competitive gaming have become popular in recent times. Server downtime and unfair play in such games can ruin it’s fun. Also, it can attract negative player feedback and experience because both parties need to feel like they’re competing on fair ground.  

Automated testing will potentially play a critical role in ensuring the security of game servers. Also, developers will likely leverage automated testing tools to detect and prevent unfair play or cheating. This will ensure both players have an equal winning opportunity. 

5. Ethical Considerations 

Automation and AI have been heavily embraced and integrated into game testing. But is the player’s data secure, considering the amount of data collected about their profile? Exposing a player’s data can raise significant issues related to privacy.  

Regulatory bodies are constantly creating new policies to ensure personal data is protected against unauthorized exposure or access. Ethical considerations will likely cut across automated game testing to ensure the responsible use of AI models and protect data.  

Final Thoughts 

Automated game testing solutions will become critical in ensuring that video games are fair, high quality, and top performance. In fact, it will continually improve with time, thanks to technological advancements. However, that doesn’t mean it will do away with manual testing in the future. Instead, they will be used concurrently to improve test coverage and ensure the release of error-free games. This way, game testers can overcome automated testing challenges while delivering a thoroughly tested game to the player.  

Planning to deliver engaging and highly immersive games to players worldwide? iXie’s would be the right choice with massive experience in the gaming industry over the past decade. 

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