Making Games QA a Success

All QA teams are not created equal. Grzegorz Huba, QA Project Manager in Testronic’s Warsaw office, lays out the core changes necessary to make your Games QA team a success.

Over the years Testronic has established itself in the field of Quality Assurance across movies, games and TV. A considerable part of its success has come from the Games QA team which works with a variety of games publishers and developers from around the globe. I’ve had more than a few people ask me how they can improve their QA team’s performance.
The first and most important change that needs to happen is having passionate team members. If you work in an environment where people live and breathe games, then you can collaborate to continuously improve the way you work.
In order to achieve this you also need to understand the role of QA, which is to work together with games creators and help them make the best version of their product possible. There is a temptation to treat games QA as a sort of ‘side team’ whose role is to simply produce of a large quantity of bug reports. For both the client and vendor this results in an impression that QA is ‘doing what is should’, but the key is to understand that we can do so much more. A dedicated QA team can help find design flaws before they are turned into code, provide feedback on graphics or sound design and actively participate in testing how the gameplay feels and whether it is balanced.

“There is a temptation to treat games QA as a sort of ‘side team’ whose role is to simply produce of a large quantity of bug reports”

The QA team needs to make an extra effort in order to understand the real needs of the team they are cooperating with, even if those are not clearly highlighted at first. This can be achieved by ensuring there is an honest, open communication on both sides and that the team focuses on the bigger picture, not just the next task in the work schedule. It is also the responsibility of QA to suggest what type of testing should be done and at which stage of development, so that all the major parts of the game are sufficiently tested.
This all ties to a major change, which contributes to the success of games QA, which is establishing a partnership relation between QA team and the team creating the game. Going one step further than simple service delivery and making sure that both sides closely cooperate to achieve the same goal is what makes the games QA a success.