Develop Conference: Affordable and flexible services for smaller developers

QA firms: You can’t afford not to use us

Developers that want their games to become successes absolutely must devote some of their resources to quality assurance, say the firms behind these services.

Babel, VMC Game Labs and Testronic we’re united in their view that games companies, especially smaller studios, need to treat QA and testing as an essential part of the game production chain.

Speaking at a panel exploring the changes to QA at the Develop Conference in Brighton, VMC’s Linda Lemieux said: “You can’t afford not to use us. All of us can adapt to your needs to make it cost effective for you.

“The world is changing. Games are on your phone. They’re going to be in your glasses, in your wristwatch and beyond. We can really be your best partner if you let us.”

Keith Russell of Babel agreed the biggest misconception about QA and localisation companies today is that they are too costly and incapable of adapting to the needs of smaller developers.

He advised small developers to leverage what they have got, but, above all, speak to the QA firms if they are unsure what it is they want.

“Advice is free, so just talk to us,” he said, going on to explain that opening communication early on – perhaps months before you’re in need of their services – with a QA firm such as Babel, can be useful simply to give developers better knowledge about the QA process.

Babel, he said, typically spends around £5,000 on handset per month, which it acquires in order to give developers access to a broad selection of platforms to test on.

Alastair Harsant of Testronic said that, contrary to what some indie developers believe, QA firms have had to adapt, and their services now cater for teams of all kinds.

Case in point, Russell explained that one developer that does daily game update to test new ideas uses Babel’s service for just one hour a day, so getting a dozen or so testers to test the mobile game from a new studio isn’t a problem for them.

The panel was chaired by indie developer Andrew Smith on behalf of AppyNation.

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