The importance of a validation process in video game development

Although often overlooked, having solid and dedicated testing processes is a critical part of having and releasing a very successful project. It is very common to just rely on free testing when doing last minute-checks before releasing your big project. By doing so, developers are prone to miss important issues that can break a game. The consequences can be severe, from missing an important deadline by being rejected by platforms to getting negative reviews and being downvoted into oblivion. 

 

Having a solid validation process is the last barrier that your project needs in order to ensure that no breaking issues are lurking in the final build. A validation pass usually contains multiple sections that are targeting important aspects of the project and are not the scope of routine testing processes. 

 

When a validation pass is triggered, abstain from adding more code and fixing issues. If there is something that needs to be fixed, the validation process needs to start over.

 

Our recommendation is to include the following checks into a validation pass:

 

  • Analyze every present issue and decide if they pose a threat to your schedule release and if it could impact the overall perception of the project by the end users

 

  • Run a smoke test through all the major game features to ensure that everything is functional and ready to go

 

  • Make sure there are no placeholders left in the game – having placeholders present gives out the feeling of an incomplete project or sloppy work – that’s a big no-no from us

 

  • Perform an update test on your local machine if you’re targeting an update release, make sure that there are no issues like progress loss or even conflicting features

 

  • Have a localization pass – if your game is featuring multiple languages, make sure that everything is displayed correctly in the right language

 

  • Perform a compliance pass in order to prevent a possible rejection from the targeted platforms – all compliance guidelines should be available on the platform’s page, if not, feel free to send us a message, we are more than happy to help

 

  • Download and install the game build using the targeted platform tools to make sure that the pipeline is functioning properly

 

There can be many more added, according to the specificity of each project and the targeted platform. It’s always a fine balance between complexity and time costs. We recommend that a validation process takes no more than 2 to 3 days, depending on the size of the team. Yes, it is time consuming, especially for solo developers and small teams with no dedicated QA, however it is a very important step in making sure that all the risks are drastically reduced. 

 

Do you think we missed something? Leave us a comment or email us at hello@alkotechlabs.com.