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How to Add Value to Game Development Process?

We’ve been discussing different aspects of developing mobile games and testing different architectures and systems to build more durable mobile games. We’ve also received feedback that received has been overwhelmingly positive and we invite you to connect with us because we’re determined to continue providing our expertise, the top practices, tips and techniques and a host of other useful information in the making of more mobile-friendly games. Let’s take a look at the ways that testing can add value to the process of developing mobile games as a whole – and which are the top crucial indicators to think about.

Moving across the mobile game development chasm

A lot of testing of mobile games is performed manually, and isn’t a good way to cover everything. Effective mobile game testing must stem from a well-structured , organized approach, the making use of automated testing framework(s) along with seamless integration into your agile approach.

In addition there are many test automation frameworks that were initially designed to work with native apps (or elements of web apps) which is one reason why the biggest myths for mobile game developers is that testing automation tools do not adhere to game testing standards which means that native UI elements such as their IDs, features, and so on. are not immediately identifiable. This isn’t the case. Many of these frameworks provide great methods to test games for mobile. For instance, they can be tested using features for image recognition.

When testing is concerned it is easy to assume that the process is to have bugs discovered and documented in order developers can eliminate these bugs. So, the metrics that are traditionally employed for testing software such as the amount of bugs identified and the amount of test cases developed – are fantastic, but don’t show the value of testing . Because of this, testing isn’t thought of as a profitable and efficient effort for businesses. However, the rapid feedback provided by gamers using App Markets and worries regarding user retention, it has altered the way that serious mobile game developers approach testing. Feedback and ratings that are not good leads to a decrease in downloads, and ultimately leads to the game to be a fraudulent investment.

Can crash reporting aid you? Absolutely however it only gives you with the knowledge that your game on mobile doesn’t function or crashes, or that users experience another issue or experience other issues. It’s too for you to fix it. Your game is now made available to the public, and the negative feedback has been made public and fixing the problem won’t necessarily help. In some instances, negative reviews or reputations can make it impossible to get new titles accepted, or at least not being out in front of hundreds of millions of players.

3 Key Factors to Increase value in Mobile Game Testing

The added value of testing into the process of development can be as evident through its effectiveness in speeding up the development process (improved production) and the ability to publish your work earlier (time-to-market). These ‘improvements’ can be evaluated directly by worth:

Your effectiveness in your QA on identifying and developing to fix the flaws. This is the. top factor in the cost of mobile application as well as game design. The direct cost of defects can have direct impact on your bottom line including the actual cost of fixing the flaws due to testing, the expense for fixing or verifying the crash reports that come from the marketplace, and the loss of customer acquisition costs (CPI) and the loss of lifetime value of customers (LTV that affects top-line).

It is often an easy thing to overlook as a cost driver however, if you put your numbers honestly in the open it will be apparent that the late bug-fixing process is consuming the developers’ time, and can cause delays in the release. This results in lost revenues and customers.

Costs associated with time-to-market directly affect your bottom line. Time is an essential attribute not only to compete but also to earn revenues as quickly as is possible. When you begin your game, each day counts because you begin making money sooner. The most important measurements are monthly/daily acquired players (MAU/DAU) and the average revenues for each (daily daily active) user (ARPU ARPDAU). Keep in mind that delays in publishing aren’t due to testing – provided that your development process allows for agile testing and development.

Many game designers do not consider the effects of delays. However it’s quite simple to determine the impact on each day of delays to your bottom line. Manual testing, even for mobile games – can slow the launch further. The solution is flexible, automated test-driven development that includes continuous integration with continuous testing and quality control for real-world devices every day during development.

The effectiveness of your Quality Assurance. This is by far the most evident way to affect you bottom line. The best way to evaluate the efficiency is to measure the value of manual testing with the the cost of testing automation tools and automation costs. Although this will only give you the cost estimates for financial purposes but it is important to take into consideration other factors that are not considered. The standard approach to the testing of mobile games, which is in the present the majority of the crucial testing and QA tasks are completed in the most recent phases during the creation process. We talked about the new concept of an agile approach to mobile game development, and the best way to reap the full advantages this approach could bring – and also increase the effectiveness of your QA.

How do you increase the value of Games Development Process?

Effectiveness. The most effective way to address the problems related to efficiency is to incorporate game development and testing processes into a seamless agile development. This enables you to automate a huge number of different types of tests, using real mobile devices (all sorts of those) and check code after every build (daily/nightly/weekly builds). The efficacy has three advantages and attributes listed below:

1. Instant feedback on the presence of defects. Mobile development adds an additional aspect of automation using real devices that your end users use. From a developer’s perspective the immediate feedback regarding defects boosts productivity by a significant amount, as you’ll have the code that you just wrote fresh in your head. Who can remember what you had for lunch two weeks ago, vs. today?

2. Effectiveness in defect identification prior to the release will result in lower failures in the field. Gaming apps are among the most fragile with the most crash rates of all app types. Let’s look at an example: A mobile game that has 50k monthly active players submits 2200 crash reports per month. If you have three games available this would mean 6,600 crashes each month. If the analysis-fix-verification takes around 1h, the cost is huge. It is not due to engineering costs however, but due to the expense to the reputation, lost customers and the possibility of losing revenue.

Testing on actual mobile devices prior to release could have enhanced the game and helped to make the game more stable. The performance of the development could have improved by about 2-4. Monitoring post-launch is important, but you must not be in a reactive mode when it comes down to finding defects as it can cost you a great deal.

3. The lost CPI along with LTV. You are aware of how much each installation costs you, and probably know what is the LTV that your customers use. If your game is not working after the release, it’s likely that you’ll have to forfeit both CPI and LTV of that particular user or all users who are using the model. It is strongly recommended to connect your CPI plus LTV for each incident that occurs in the field to determine the effect of any errors.

Being proactive and using a the true Agile development methods, including a constant gaming testing methods using real mobile devices can result in a an increase in top line and a significantly enhanced bottom line as well being happier developers. Every developer would like to work on the latest features, not repair existing features in fire-fighting mode, based on the crash reports being reported by the market. Remember! Manual testing isn’t flexible, and is not the answer to these points. You don’t get instant feedback. If you’re looking to test your game by hand using the top 50 to 100 devices, for instance, the cost of doing this bi-weekly, as well as monthly, is expensive and nearly impossible.

Time-to-Market. A shorter time-to-market can boost your profit margin. The earlier you start your game, the earlier you begin earning revenue. If you are able to release your brand new game or an old game that has new features monetized two weeks earlier than previously , using agile and automatic mobile tests, that’s 14 days removed from each release cycle. If you release 6 times every the year (every for 2 months) this is an annual savings of 84 days.

The maths behind the loss of income is quite straightforward:

Imagine 100,000 average daily users (DAU)
Imagine $0.05 average daily revenue users (ARPDAU)
14 Days (x) 6 releases/year (x) 100 000 (x) $0.05 = $420 000/year/game added to your total revenue.
If you own five games the total amount would be approximately $2 million from a faster time-to market.

It is possible to achieve this by cutting down two weeks from each release cycle. Some games are not directly revenue-generating, so substitute ARPDAU with the appropriate value for every mobile user.

Also, time-to-market efficiency is increased through a unified development and testing processes. This is the case with every software development process, but for mobile app development this is the only way to conduct development in a timely manner. There is a wide variety of different platforms for end-users (e.g. various devices that have different software and hardware setups) and your games must support ever-growing complexity of games that have to be tested on these devices for each new release.

It is possible to automate a large amount of testing and you can do it on actual devices following each new code check or nightly builds. This can reduce your development testing process, speed up defect fixing and lead to a better overall performance.

A faster time to market also ensures that your competitors are kept at bay. Your competitors won’t have the chance to advertise their products over yours, which is an issue in the event that your releases start to slide. It is possible to release more often with greater confidence in how good your products.

Productivity. Quality of assurance (QA) is a crucial element of making and maintaining games that are successful on mobile for millions of players. One of the measures that are used in the game development process is the QA’s effectiveness in its ability to detect and remove bugs in games prior to they are released to gamers. This kind of performance of quality assurance is assessed using various metrics such as:

Bugs found rate : how quickly the QA team discovers bugs in the testing process per minute spent on testing
Post launch, issue rate is high – how many issues are discovered after go-live?
Rate of satisfaction with the customer such as complaints to customer support, problems that are reported to app stores, overall rating of the game
The quality of the deliverables and the documenting issues – how easy the developers can comprehend the issue and create changes based on document
The number of test cases added each period of time

The unique challenges to mobile game development and quality assurance are the diversity of devices and the various operating systems and hardware configurations as well as carrier and OEM customizations. These factors increase the difficulty of QA and can lead to longer development times (time-to-market) as well as higher crash rate (lower levels of customer satisfaction, and consequently which can impact your bottom performance) and more costly customer support costs (more complaints from customers) and a sloppy development teams (dealing with issues from customers instead of. creating the latest features). To increase QA efficiency, teams have to have access to actual devices – exactly the same ones that the end-users utilize.

Development and QA teams must have access to these devices when they have a problem in development. They fix issues after launch or receive complaints from customers. When issues are discovered earlier more affordable is the cost of fixing the issues. To make sure that bugs are found efficiently it is possible to automate testing, and test it on actual devices following each new code check or nightly builds. This will speed up your development-testing process, speed up defect fixing and will result in a better bottom line.

If you use a cloud-based solution that focuses on mobile development as well as QA performance for your entire team is likely to be improved significantly: The cost is less than manual testing process, developers are more content (instant feedback on the latest software without the hassle of dealing with buying new devices) The product owners are more satisfied (higher customer loyalty, greater LTV, quicker time-to-market) and customer service is more pleasant (fewer complaints from customers) and, most importantly of all your customers are happier because they don’t get annoyed by “not functioning on the device I’m using”.

Conclusion

There are many methods to improve the current developing mobile games process. If you concentrate on the above three elements and follow an flexible process that includes constant testing, you’ll quickly see benefits and develop more robust games. This is a checklist of things to do to help you build games of higher quality:

If you are thinking of automating the majority of your testing. Choose one of the top open-source testing frameworks that are available for the most well-known mobile platforms.
Do not be a victim of a lock-in to a vendor by using standard language (Java dotnet, perl PHP, Python and ruby) There is a vast pool of developers who use these languages that you can tap into.
Automate as much as is possible of the testing process to increase the agility of the organization (even give developers the responsibility for the creation of automated tests)
Continuous integration as well as continuous tests. testing is a continual process in agile , and will give you results on a daily basis
Integrate your test management system to enhance cooperation and transparency across the company. Tools should allow for a seamless flow of collaboration
Instant accessibility. Development teams don’t have the time to deal with long sales cyclesor procurement processes for every device or tool. Select a solution that offers quick provisioning, without waiting for equipment procurement, internal or external processes.
Last but not least, the most important oneis that tools matter but how you use them is more important. Tools can make a difference however, how you utilize them is what will determine the success of your project.

Happy Mobile Game Testing!