Alpha, Beta & Release Candidate
At Spil Games, we strive to ensure the best possible experience for our players. Not only is quality important, but we also want to ensure a pleasant experience for all parties involved getting the game published.
To get officially started, upload your build using the Developers2016_FileCamp instruction manual. If you’re game is currently already live after our QA approval, refer to the Developers2016_FileCamp_Update document.
Adjust Sandbox vs. Production mode
It’s highly required if your app contains Adjust to have it set to “Sandbox” mode until the Final Beta or Release Candidate approval. Failing this will immediately reject your app.
This also counts during the Alpha phase if Adjust is built in already.
We do this is to avoid false data coming in our Production dashboard which would mix the data during testing with the one from real users which we can’t manually delete.
This stage composes of basic QA requirements set by Spil but also by the Google Play & App Store. These are all oriented around the core mechanics of an app game and device behavior including simple guidelines defined by the App Store and Google Play.
SDK integration checks will be excluded during this phase (unless otherwise specified) to mark progress and reach a specific milestone getting the game live.
It will also help Spil Games plus the developer of the app to get an idea of how far the game is being ready and to see how capable the developer is in terms of providing game quality.
Furthermore, it shows and helps build trust relation between Spil and the developer. Not only does this show that the developer is able to deliver builds in time but it will help us understand how technical capable the developer is.
Getting your game Alpha approved:
Your game must be able to get uploaded to our stores (this includes correct package names/bundle id, version codes, file size, permissions, target SDK Version and other technicality.) This is also needed for us to prepare and upload assets in the stores while the developer is working towards Beta. Upload is also required for QA testing purposes (Test flight, test flight to developer etc.).
- Core mechanics of a game app played on a mobile device should all be working, this means all buttons (outside SDK’s) should be functional (play button, resume, jump, move etc.).
- Selecting the home button should minimize the app and resume to the same state when returning. The user should be able to pause and return to the menu during any level progression.
But also major things like freezes, crashes and other major game bugs should be free at this point.
- More specifically for Google Core mechanics (different hardware device), simple things like selecting the Back button should be functional within the game (game returns to the previous menu, exits the app at main menu etc.).
- UI & Graphics, this means the game shows no issues in visual graphics, scaling of the game and rotation of the app.
- Audio, should be free of audio issues (audio can be muted, audio doesn’t play out of app focus, audio resumes and it’s smooth without crackle).
- Text, all master (English) text should be adequate in spelling and grammar, but should also visually not contain cut-offs, overlapping, missing text, placeholders etc. This is also part of Apple’s App Store guidelines.
- Metadata that the stores heavily frown upon, this can be using Apple or Android logo’s in a way not allowed. The game contains no protected copyright material (celebrity pictures, logo’s etc.).
It’s important that the game design is defined as final before entering the Beta Phase as all the technical (SDK) checks are performed during that phase and changes in game design can affect SDK and other technical related checks. Once all these points are approved (if applicable for your game), the game may continue to Beta phase. Any other game design changes are of course still allowed but will have to wait as an update after the game has gone live.
During Beta, the developer has to show he is technical capable of implementing SDK’s which are obligated as per contract at that point. We will assist the developer when they request this help during this Phase.
Before Beta can commence, a submission form is required to be filled in by your Spil Account Manager which will require your help fill in correctly. This submission form gives QA a quick insight on critical elements within the game like: which SDK’s are implemented, does the game contain social platform elements (Facebook share, friend invite and if so then where is it triggered?). These are all crucial to QA in order to ensure quality and avoid time being lost trying to figure out the locations of buttons, how far an implementation is if events have been set-up on our side or not and where things are going wrong.
Getting your game Beta approved:
Uploading the game to our stores (this includes correct package names/bundle id, version codes, file size, permissions, target SDK Version and other file issues that the stores might reject an upload for.).
- Splash Screen is correctly implemented.
- All SDK’s and it’s requirements like Chartboost, Adjust, Spil SDK, Fyber, Google Analytics etc. (some of these SDK’s could already be unified within the Spil SDK).
- All technical Google Play & App Store related implementations. This means, In-App Purchases + Restoring of Purchases, Achievements, Leaderboards, GP-Sign In, iCloud Game Save, Push-Notifications, Rating Requests etc.
- Social connect aspect like Facebook buttons, Twitter etc. (Share functionality, Friend invite etc.).
It’s important to know that any technical related issue outside the Spil SDK is mainly the developer’s responsibility to fix.
We only provide assistance if the developer clearly showed us he did everything within his capable hands to solve the issue.
Also, the developer’s responsibility to reach out to us in this case. Send an email to quality at Spil Games explaining the situation and include your skype details where we will be able to review your mail and contact you accordingly.
If your game is Beta approved that means it’s final and it’s ready to be published Live.
Your game will only proceed to the Release Candidate if the agreed Release Candidate deadline has been reached or if your Spil Account Manager sees the need to push it into this phase (with QA’s advice).
Getting your game Release Candidate approved:
Any remaining issue that’s found during Beta is left, will have to be fixed in order to get the approval.