Computer Games Are Serious Business and so is their Quality: Particularities of Software Testing in Game Development from the Perspective of Practitioners

12/12/2018
by   Ronnie Santos, et al.
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Over the last several decades, computer games started to have a significant impact on society. However, although a computer game is a type of software, the process to conceptualize, produce and deliver a game could involve unusual features. In software testing, for instance, studies demonstrated the hesitance of professionals to use automated testing techniques with games, due to the constant changes in requirements and design, and pointed out the need for creating testing tools that take into account the flexibility required for the game development process. Goal. This study aims to improve the current body of knowledge regarding software testing in game development and point out the existing particularities observed in software testing considering the development of a computer game. Method. A mixed-method approach based on a case study and an opinion survey was applied to collect quantitative and qualitative data from software professionals regarding the particularities of software testing in game development. Results. We analyzed over 70 messages posted on three well-established network of question-and-answer communities related to software engineering, software testing and game development and received answers of 38 professionals discussing differences between testing a computer game and a general software, and identified important aspects to be observed by practitioners in the process of planning, performing and reporting tests in this context. Conclusion. Considering computer games, software testing must focus not only on the common aspects of a general software, but also, track and investigate issues that could be related to game balance, game physics and entertainment related-aspects to guarantee the quality of computer games and a successful testing process.

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