One of the vertical markets I cover here at Sogeti is gaming – a fascinating sector for a number of reasons: it’s fast-paced, competitive, and rapidly embraces technology. It’s also just an inherently fun market to work in, because it needs to entertain in order to succeed.

Of course the gaming sector is a serious business with unique demands. Games are inherently intricate pieces of software, whether you’re talking about networked gaming, desktop, console, mobile gaming or betting platforms. Video games comprise a depth of design that is compounded by multiple potential paths of game flow. Development and testing challenges vary depending on whether a game is linear or non-linear, how many sets of load-testing requirements there are, the number of platforms to be verified for compatibility, and the need to capture intricate layers of rich graphics and sounds.

Betting platforms such as card, dice and other games of chance, bring to the mix the complexity of mathematical evaluations, player odds tracking, multiplayer interactions and security precautions and reassurances. Fixed-odds gambling platforms for horse racing and other sports are also now expected to deliver real-time, in-play or live-play applications. Popular online bingo halls add random number generators into the equation, while all of these must also comply with the very latest fraud and money-laundering regulatory updates for each participating region.

Despite these factors, gaming is very fluid compared to many other sectors. Take retail as a comparison: a retail application may be written, tested, launched then remain largely unchanged for its lifetime. Meanwhile, gaming has a high turnover rate of new software and applications that must be constantly redeveloped and tested at an unrivalled pace.

Across the board – from desktop gamers to online gamblers, users have high expectations and anticipate a rapid pace of gaming evolution, formats and practices. Gaming companies operate in an incredibly competitive market with users that have little or no tolerance or loyalty for poor gaming experiences or application performance.

While a range of approaches are used, I see Agile as one of the most popular development methodologies in gaming. Agile requires a close-knit team mentality which works well with the gaming mind-set, and is a great fit for an extended project of ‘game-worthy’ iterations. Gaming companies work to strict scheduled release plans, and one of the major strengths of Agile development is delivering to order. However, development teams must always bear in mind that Agile development must be supported by rigorous and intelligent testing that is able to match the fast pace of development and identify critical defects more effectively and efficiently.

For this reason, at Sogeti, we have developed a portfolio of Agile support services to help Agile developers to achieve the step-change in productivity and flexibility they are looking for, without sacrificing quality. Fully equipped, we believe that developers making the move to Agile are on the best path to delivering fully working software that meets business requirements on time and within budget.

Just like any consumers, gamers expect to have bulletproof software that is secure, as close to ‘bug-free’ as is realistically achievable, and of the very highest quality so that it performs consistently and is delivered to schedule. After all, software and applications should never be a gamble.


Posted in: Opinion, Testing and innovation      
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