Video games have been around for more than 40 years, getting more popular and varied every decade. Now, with the omnipresence of smartphones, the sector is seeing huge growth. Among the 2.5 billion video gamers all over the world, the share of mobile games is getting bigger and with the boom in mobile gaming, the video games sector is expected to become a $300 billion industry by 2025.
With app stores overflowing with games, the competition is strong and developers want to make sure to release products the gamers will actually like. That is why there are people in charge of testing new video games before launching them on the market. The work of a video games tester focuses on quality control: identifying programming errors, or errors and mistakes in the text, audio, and design. It is necessary to do all these quality tests to ensure that the game is working perfectly and doesn’t freeze for example.
In one of our latest Special Activities, we worked with Social Point, a company developing video games for mobile devices and Facebook. They wanted to test two new video games before publishing them, so we turned some of our Nicequest members into video game testers for this occasion. We selected 150 members from the United States between 25 and 45 years to test the two video games, answer a survey and earn extra Shells.
But how exactly have our members been involved? Let’s have a look at the different stages of how a new game is born.
The phases of the video game development process
This process can be summarized in 4 phases and our collaborators participated in the first two.
Dragons, warriors, monsters, elves … and lots of imagination! Everything is born with a concept, a vision, an idea of the game that you want to develop. The story unfolds, sketches of the scripts are created to determine the goals, quests, the main characters, the context, etc. In this phase, the Social Point team chose several themes and concepts for the game.
From our side, thanks to the questions in the profiling surveys, we selected some of the video game enthusiasts among our members. After showing them two images, we asked them which video game idea they liked best. You know … there is nothing that you can’t find out with a good survey! ?
In the second phase, the ideas of the previous phase are put into practice and a video game prototype is created. This is where the specific goal of the game is set (for example, defeating the villain), loops are implemented, which establish the dynamics of the game, the structure of the narrative and the progress of the game within a plot; and sound elements like music, effects and voices are added.
In this phase, our members tested two different types of video games for 10 minutes. After trying both games, they answered a survey to give their opinion.
When a video game prototype is approved, before making the final launch to the market, there is a soft launch, which serves to prevent failures and improve the overall user experience. The game will only be available in the App Stores of some countries, which makes it easier to fix errors later on since it is a small and controlled group.
In this phase, the feedback of real users is collected and serves as an opportunity to identify improvements in the gameplay and fix bugs, formatting errors and everything else that hadn’t been detected before. In addition to fine-tuning the product, during a soft launch, it is evaluated whether the videogame will actually be published or not.
4) Market launch
When the game is ready to go it is published in all app stores and is available for download in all countries.
In this phase, the developers will still listen to the feedback of the players and evaluate data to further improve the game when needed. It is the perfect opportunity to develop a co-creation strategy that helps the company to innovate and improve its products based on the specific needs and preferences of the users.
Creativity, design, technology and animation skills, composers, screenwriters, programmers, and testers. The development of a videogame is a project involving many parties and a simple idea can be transformed into a great video game to entertain specific audiences or the next big trend game.
In Nicequest we are proud of the members who have contributed in some of these stages and have helped, once again, to create a customized product.
How about you, do you like video games? What is your favorite? Tell us in the comments!