Testing is critical to a game’s success. A technical slip can spell disaster.
Things happen fast in the app stores. Even a small technical problem can see your game swept away in a tidal wave of negative reviews.
Vadim Starygin’s medieval army game Royal Offense suffered this fate. It’s a cool game with zombies, skeletons and vampires.
“The audience is teen boys and adults,” says Vadim. “Anyone who has a credit card and wants to own an army. Who hates skeletons and spiders.”
Players find the strategy element of the game challenging and it has excellent pixel artwork designed to look good on tablets with retina displays. Yet some of the reviews were poor.
The game quickly received comments like “it doesn’t run on my Android” and the rating quickly slumped.
“I bought a phone to test the game on,” say Vadim. “But there are other Androids with different specs. On some phones there is not enough memory [to play Royal Offense] and people down-rated my game.”
Testing a game sufficiently is one of the biggest issues for small developers. It doesn’t matter how great a game is, if it isn’t working properly on some people’s devices they’ll be only too happy to tell the world.
Vadim wasn’t aware that some Androids have a spec with less memory and so he only found out when players began to respond to Royal Offense.
“You have to be prepared with the tech stuff,” he says. “I didn’t know and people were fast to down-rate my game. In the end, I used Bluestack’s Android simulator to fix many of the memory problems I encountered.”