How to Test VR Games

Summary: This article describes how developers can get the best Test results by having Testers that record their playsession and how Testers can set this up themselves

Dear developers and testers,

Testing in VR is a significantly more challenging than tests for non-VR environments with the main reason being the medium breaks.

Once you’re in VR, you cannot easily make notes or a screenshot without putting off the headset. When you do that, you will lose the focus of what you were looking at.

Lets have a look at different VR testing methods

Testing with Room for Improvement:

Just run the application, play the game, make notes / feedback afterwards and send them to the developer. This is not a good practice for VR, because you most likely will forget some of the issues you encountered. Also, you just might oversee things.

Great Testing:

What will improve the test outcome significantly is a recording of the whole playtesting session. This will give the developer great insight of how you perceive the game and if issues occur what went wrong.

A great tool for recording videos on NVIDIA Cards is NVIDIA Shadowplay, as it has very little impact on the performance and will compress the video directly so it’s in handable size.

How to record:

  1. Install Nvidia Geforce Experience
  2. Start it
  3. Press this button
  4. Exit again -> Now you can start recording your screen pressing alt+F9 anytime
  5. Test
  6. End recording pressing Alt+F9
  7. The video will be saved under your “My Videos” folder

Freakign Awesome Testing Gee I Love You so much!!

A nice recorded video is great however there is one important thing missing: You! For developers, it’s really helpful to see the actual player, how he moves, where he struggles with chaperone, etc.

So even better than just a video is a video where the VR player can also be seen.

This might feel odd for some people to film themselves moving in awkward positions, but let me get this straight: By the holy developer codex I swear you that we will not judge you or even give the video away. All we care for is to make the game better, and seeing you e.g. struggle with the controls is a huge help for that!

I have a Webcam:

Great: Just pop up the Live-Feed window from your webcam and overlay it to the game when recording with Shadowplay.

I don’t have a Webcam or my Webcam cannot see my playspace:

No Problemo! There are great applications where you can use your phone as Webcam.

iOS: I tried iVCam and it does an amazing job for it. Best of all, it’s free!

Android: As I don’t have an Android device: Can you recommend me a good app?

How to be the best Tester a Developer can dream of

Now that we capture great footage if you playing the game, you can greatly improve the value of your test if you also let the developers know about your experience

  • Normal testing guidelines: Be authentic, don’t sugarcoat anything, explore bounds
  • Give additional feedback when sending the Video, things you liked & disliked, things that went wrong, everything
  • This is a big, but simple one: When recording the video, record your voice (easy to do with the VR headset) as well and just talk. Comment what you think, what you do, things you (dis)like, things that go wrong, just speak your mind

Feel free to let me know what you think!