How AI Is Revolutionizing Game Testing in 2023

Yana Khare 14 Sep, 2023 • 9 min read

Introduction

Everyone remembers PUBG, right? PUBG was one of the most talked about games, and everyone from kids to adults played it worldwide. The global gaming industry is a three-hundred-billion-dollar industry with approximately 3.9 billion gamers across the world. The number of games being made has increased in recent years to meet the number of people playing video games. This has created a high demand for game testers, as game testing is an important part of game development. Technological breakthroughs fueled by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms have helped manage this demand. Thanks to these advancements, we are now able to automate many test cases and use AI in game testing, making the process more efficient.

AI and machine learning are now used for video game testing.

Before going further, let’s first know what game testing is. Game testing is the process of analyzing a game to create a high-quality product. The main goal of the process is to make a game as error-free as possible to enhance user experience, as the quality of the game is highly critical for its success.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the difference between AI and the traditional process of game testing.
  • Learn about the role of AI in game testing, including its benefits, limitations, and applications.
  • Know the potential of AI in game testing and development in the future.

Table of Contents

AI Vs. Traditional Process of Game Testing

AI has been an integral part of video games since the 1950s, but humans have primarily tested video games for a long while. The developers or their friends & family test small games, while big games are sent to vendors, who spend hundreds of manual hours playing them. AI is slowly and gradually overtaking this traditional process.

AI vs. traditional process of video game testing

Source: Deep Core Data

Let us look at the differences between the AI-powered and the traditional game-testing process.

Factors  AI Game-Testing Process Traditional Game-Testing Process
Methodology Testing uses automated scripts and algorithms. Humans do manual testing to look for bugs.
Speed and Efficiency Much faster and more efficient. Slower process and may miss errors, leading to restarting the testing process.
Scope of Testing Has a broader range of scenarios and inputs. Can test only one scenario at a time.
Bias Depending on how it is programmed, it may lead to bias. Less susceptible to bias.
Cost Has a high upfront investment but is cost-effective in the long run. Could be more expensive in the long run due to high labor costs.
Creative Thinking Does not have the potential for creative thinking. Human testers can use their creativity and problem-solving skills to identify issues in a way that AI cannot.
Game Balance May be unable to identify balance issues, as it typically focuses on specific test cases than the overall gameplay balance. It can help ensure that the game is balanced, with no single strategy or playstyle dominating the gameplay.
Code Coverage Provides greater code coverage and identifies potential issues. Human testers may miss the errors.
Player Experience Can identify errors but can’t provide feedback as it is limited by test cases and algorithms programmed into it. Human testers can provide feedback on the game’s difficulty, pacing, and engagement.

Importance of Game Testing

Game testing is integral to game development as it ensures the game is successful and enjoyable for the users. Testing a game is much more than just playing them; the testers have to look at various aspects to identify and discover defects and bugs to enhance the stability and execution of the game.

Game testing is essential because:

  • It would help ensure that the final product performs well throughout.
  • It allows developers to work on problematic areas for the best user experience.
  • It helps improve the game quality and makes it more enjoyable for players.
  • Finding errors in the game after its release is much more complex and expensive and would lead to a considerable reduction in sales and revenue of the company. The testing process helps prevent that.

Overview of AI and Its Role in Game Testing

Role of AI and machine learning in the gaming industry

As defined by John McCarthy, “Artificial Intelligence or AI is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. It is related to the similar task of using computers to understand human intelligence, but AI does not have to confine itself to methods that are biologically observable.”

AI isn’t restricted to the limit of human intelligence and so could surpass all boundaries in the near future. In the last few years, the application of artificial intelligence has grown exponentially in various fields, including game development and testing. Integrating AI with game testing can assist in automating and streamlining the process, making it faster, more efficient, and more accurate.

How Is AI Used to Test Video Games?

Machine learning, neural networks, and natural language processing are now used in the gaming industry.

Here’s a list of how AI helps with game testing:

  1. Bug Detection and Reporting:

    AI algorithms can be used to detect bugs and errors in games. This will help game developers save time and fix issues more quickly and efficiently.

  2. Gameplay Optimization:

    AI algorithms can enhance the player’s experience by recognizing areas of the game that may be too challenging or too easy. They can alter game mechanics and controls to optimize the game’s flow and pace. They can also make iterative modifications depending on player input and data analysis.

  3. Performance Testing:

    By analyzing the game’s code, AI can help test the game’s performance and identify problem areas. This tells the developers whether or not the game is ready to be put up on the market.

  4. Compatibility Testing:

    AI algorithms work to ensure that the hardware and software work correctly on a wide range of systems. This optimizes the game for the widest possible audience and ensures a seamless and enjoyable gaming experience for all players.

  5. Test Case Generation:

    The game’s design and mechanics can be made with the help of AI to test its functionality, performance, and usability. This speeds up the design process and ensures that there aren’t any defects in the game.

AI Algorithms Used in Game Testing

Gaming is a fast-developing industry that needs advanced testing methods to ensure game quality. Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms have been developed as a powerful tool in game testing in recent years. These algorithms intend to improve decision-making, test game mechanics, and assess player behavior, among other things.

Let’s examine how AI algorithms like Machine Learning (ML), Neural Networks, and Natural Language Processing (NLP) are used in game testing.

  • Machine Learning: It can analyze player behavior and preferences, which would help optimize the game design and enhance user experience. By analyzing player data, machine learning algorithms can determine which game mechanics are engaging and which ones are not. ML algorithms can also analyze large amounts of game data, such as player behavior and game metrics, to identify patterns and trends indicating issues or improvement opportunities.
  • Neural Networks: They are beneficial in predicting player behavior as they are trained on large data sets that help them learn patterns and make predictions. Neural networks can also detect cheating and optimize game mechanics. Moreover, they can help enhance players’ experience by creating more realistic game environments.
  • Natural Language Processing: It can help identify language-specific issues and improve game dialogue to enhance the player experience. It can further assist in analyzing player reviews and identifying recurring concerns like glitches or crashes. NLP can also assist game creators in prioritizing bug repairs and improving the game’s overall quality.

AI Tools Used in Game Testing

Here are 8 of the most common AI-powered tools used to test video games more effectively.

Common AI tools for game testing
  1. GameAnalytics: This tool uses machine learning algorithms to analyze player data and provide insights to game developers.
  2. Test.ai: It is a platform that uses AI to automate video game testing and detect visual and functional bugs.
  3. Applitools: This platform uses machine learning to identify inaccuracies in the game’s user interface.
  4. Appsurify: A platform that uses AI to automate the testing process and identify bugs and performance issues.
  5. Gamebench: It is a platform that uses AI to analyze game footage and provide insights to game developers.
  6. VerSprite: This platform uses AI to automate video game testing and identify security vulnerabilities.
  7. PlaytestCloud: It is a platform that uses machine learning algorithms for player feedback and provides insights to game developers.
  8. DeepMotion: A platform that creates more realistic and natural character animations for video games using AI.

Benefits of Using AI in Game Testing

Benefits of using AI for testing games
  • Increased Efficiency: AI tools such as Test.ai, Applitools, etc., can automate repetitive tasks much faster than humans.
  • Improved Accuracy: Humans can make mistakes while doing a task, but a machine will take a record and analyze each and every piece of data accurately. Also, developers will be free from manual testing and can better utilize their time.
  • Reduced Time and Cost: Finding errors in the game after its release is much more time-consuming and expensive; AI helps reduce this cost and time for game developers.
  • Greater Coverage: With AI, game developers can cover a lot of different environments and scenarios simultaneously, which is impossible for humans to replicate.
  • Improving Gaming Experience: AI can help game developers find a problem area that can be improved to make the game more enjoyable and easy to play for users.
  • Early Detection of Bugs: AI can detect bugs and other game concerns significantly earlier in the game development process. This lets developers correct these issues before they become big concerns that might lead to the game’s release being delayed.

Challenges of AI in Game Testing

Drawbacks of using AI for game testing
  • Lack of Human Judgment: AI is a machine that lacks the human element. Only human testers can provide feedback on noncognitive and emotive factors such as the game’s difficulty, pacing, and engagement level.
  • Difficulty in Creating Accurate Models: AI algorithms require large amounts of data to be trained effectively. The algorithms on which AI functions may have limited training data, making it difficult for AI to learn from.
  • Need for Skilled Professionals: There aren’t enough skilled professionals available to develop and operate AI-based testing tools. This makes it very difficult for game developers to use AI tools in game testing.
  • Integration with Existing Game Development Workflows: AI is still a relatively new concept and may make it difficult for game developers to integrate their systems with AI algorithms.
  • Limited Capabilities of AI Algorithms: While artificial intelligence has made considerable advancements in recent years, it still has limitations. Several components of game testing may be too difficult or need too much human intuition for AI to be effective.
  • Ethical Concerns: Depending on how AI algorithms are trained, they may introduce biases and negatively impact the game and its participants.

What Is the Future of AI in Game Testing?

The gaming industry has experienced amazing advances in the last few years. It has also seen a rapid transformation from traditional to AI-based processes – be it in game development or game testing. Constant innovations in technology have helped gamers have a more realistic and interactive experience.

As a result of the automation of repetitive and time-consuming tasks in game testing, game developers have been able to concentrate on more intricate and creative aspects of the game.

In the future, developers will work more closely with artificial intelligence.

One of the areas where AI could have a significant impact is in the creation of virtual and augmented reality games, which require highly specialized testing methods and tools. AI-powered testing tools can assist in identifying and resolving issues specific to these platforms. This can help ensure that players have a seamless and immersive experience.

Combining AI and Cloud Computing can aid scalability and be a cost-effective game development solution. Testers can quickly and effectively test games on a variety of platforms without requiring costly hardware or infrastructure with the assistance of cloud computing resources.

You can also merge Big Data Analytics with AI to help you identify patterns and trends that may be difficult for traditional game testers. This would help improve the accuracy and efficiency of the -testing process. Big data analytics can also help create more personalized game experiences by identifying player preferences and behavior.

The potential of AI-integrated game testing will increase with rapid technological advancements and the integration of AI with other technologies. This will create a more personalized, engaging, and immersive experience for gamers.

Conclusion

AI is revolutionizing the world, and with it, game testing is also transforming significantly. The use of AI in the gaming industry has also become increasingly important in recent years. Using AI algorithms such as machine learning, natural language processing, and neural networks helps game developers save time and resources. It also helps increase efficiency and ensure the quality and engagement of games. As the gaming industry continues to grow, AI will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future of game development and testing.

Key Takeaways

  • AI algorithms such as machine learning, natural language processing, and neural networks assist developers in game design and testing.
  • The process of AI game testing differs vastly from the traditional process. Though the conventional process has benefits, AI has far more benefits than drawbacks.
  • Some of the most common AI tools used for game testing include GameAnalytics, Test.ai, Applitools, Appsurify, and Gamebench.
Yana Khare 14 Sep 2023

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