Game Localization Testing Process

Today, more and more titles ranging from massive multiplayer games to small applications for mobile devices get adapted for a regional market. Regardless of the size of the game and the intricacies of its operations, every testing project will follow a similar testing model:

Test Strategy & Planning

  • The project scope is determined – timelines, costs and resources are all assessed.
  • A team leader is assigned to the project and depending on the size of the test project numerous assistant leads may also be named.
  • The defect tracking database, DevTrack, is setup – this database will assign testers to track different bugs and subsequently track maintenance progress on individual bugs. Alternatively, the client’s database can be used, in which case the team leaders will familiarize themselves with the already existing system and the client’s requirements at this stage.
  • The test leader evaluates the localization status of the game and assesses technical details, design documents and the overall nature of the game.
  • The test leader compiles the individual compliance checklists and a terminology list depending on the platform on which the game is to be tested.
  • The overall test plan is drafted.

Test Environment is Setup

  • Testers are prepped and required training is done.
  • A kick–off meeting is held and test plan is reviewed.

The release life cycle of every game is different and defined individually, but in general the following stages are present:

Testing Execution: Text files

At MO Group International we work with an automated process that searches the text files of your game to detect inconsistencies and terminology violations. While this is by no means intended to replace proofreading and testing by qualified professionals, it provides a certain level of security and allows us to do the actual testing more efficiently. With this system, it is also possible to support you with finding inconsistencies and terminology violations in the language the game was originally developed in.

Testing Execution: Localization Compliance

Once the amended text files have been implemented we start doing test runs for localization compliance. There we will not only look at the content and terminology of the messages, but also their format and the different messages and text elements in context of the behavior of the game.

Testing Execution: In–Game Testing

For every build we receive we aim to complete a play-through in every language we are testing, covering all areas of the game. During this process the testers search for issues with incorrect language and translations, special character problems, inconsistencies, formatting problems and many more. At the beginning the focus is on the most obvious problems to achieve fast progress, resulting in a more and more polished result towards the end of the localization testing phase.

Bug Reporting and Fixing

Depending on the client’s preferences many linguistic issues can be fixed directly in the text files, which then get returned for implementation before a new build is sent by the developer. Other issues get reported in the bug database and assigned to the developer for fixing. All bugs reported then get checked on following builds to ensure that the problem has been resolved.

Post-Release Testing

At times a developer wishes to release patches, updates or additional content after the release of the main title. Here the localization testing process is needed not only to do the regular tests, but also to ensure consistency between the main title and the post-release software.

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