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Cheatsheet To Ensure Your Video Game Passes the Compliance Test

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Cheatsheet To Ensure Your Video Game Passes the Compliance Test

Be it any platform – XBOX One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch or 3DS, months of development and QA efforts will go to waste if your game fails to clear the console manufacturers’ compliance testing parameters and guidelines. Though developers cannot release a game without getting an express approval from the console manufacturers, QA houses often tend to miss reporting these critical and easy to find defects.

Before heading into full-fledged compliance testing, it is critical to get an insight into how console manufacturers usually test games. Because the timeframe is limited and there are numerous projects in the pipeline for submission approval especially during specific seasons, every console manufacturer creates a set of standards against which they test games. They may not play the game end-to-end and at times may also ignore the occasional aesthetic issue – but if a game throws any severe compliance testing issue against their standards, publishers will be asked to resubmit. It is therefore essential that game developers test their games against these standards to ensure quick approval. This is where a knowledgeable and experienced game testing companies come in handy.

GlobalStep has worked closely with leading video game developers and publishers, providing them class-leading compliance testing services, thereby helping them get their titles approved with the minimal resubmission. We have one of the best pass-through rates in the industry. Our experience and close partnerships with leading console manufacturers also provide us with unique insight into the testing process. Now, we understand that by the time it is time to send the game over to console manufacturers for the final approval, you are already running against tight timelines and a resubmission can be costly both in terms of the redevelopment needed to fix defects as well as possible release delays.

Based on our extensive experience, we have developed the ultimate compliance testing cheat that will come handy when you have very less time remaining for testing. These are the absolute minimum tests that you must perform to maximize your chances of getting approved in the first-go:

Screen Resolution:

You must check your game against all the screen resolutions supported by the targeted console – from lowest to the highest resolution.

Goals:

(a) Game compatibility with the set resolution from console settings
(b) Display stretching
(c) Text visibility – Pixelation is fine in lower resolutions as long as users can read the text
(d) Cropping of the display in an inappropriate manner which truncates important game screen elements such as text/HUD

Accounts:

Testing end-user scenarios with test/sandbox accounts

Goals: 

(a) Basic Sign-in and sign-out functionality
(b) Cloud save handling with user’s online account
(c) Game compatibility with and without the use of online accounts
(d) Checking online rankings/posts using multiple accounts on the same console

 Terminology & Artwork:

It could confuse the user if each application used its own terminology. To prevent such confusion, First Parties have defined the unique set of wording and artwork to represent their system components, operations, peripherals, services, and other items.

Goals:

(a) Verification of terminology displayed in the game against the standards set by the console manufacturer
(b) Ensuring that consistency is maintained throughout the title
(c) Checking the artwork of product/controller/ used in the game

 Error message handling:

Except for a handful of system messages, nowadays almost all the First Parties have given developers the freedom to create their own messages so that end users can easily understand and resolve the error.

Goals
(a) Validating the user-friendliness of the message or information displayed after an error generation
(b) Checking the flow if the user is able to resolve the error

Controller/Peripheral Support:

What is required to run through a game? Of course the input! Done via controllers, touch or different peripherals for consoles.
Goals
(a) Verifying if the user is able to change the supported controller configurations
(b) Supported & unsupported controller/peripheral connection and disconnection impact on the game
(c) Least one but checking the controller vibration feature functioning

Online Connectivity & Network errors:

The current trend is to keep more and more people engaged with in-game online services/features.

Goals
(a)Verifying if supported online features are accessible/playable in end user similar conditions such as account creation/network strength
(b)Performing several network interruption errors and checking the game handing

Save & Load:

Another important section! This area is the most utilized one by end users, so there is a high likelihood that end users will encounter any relevant issues that are present in the Master Candidate.

Goals
(a) Save data compatibility between main game version and patch version
(b) Trophy/Achievements unlocking with local & cloud save data

Parental Control

Parental controls and age ratings allow limiting the types of content that can be accessed online, and type of game that can be played. Certain settings even allow to restrict access to the Internet, disable in-game purchases, and regulate the amount of time a child can play and more.
Goals
(a) Setting up the supported parental controls and checking the game behavior accordingly.
(b) Verifying that notifications are displayed to end user and temporary or permanent lifting of restrictions is functioning as intended

DevMenu /Debug Settings

To aid with testing end-user scenarios, first parties do provide Devmenu /debug settings in their development/testing kits.
Goals
(a) Generating message pop-up to confirm the handling for certain end-user scenarios. E.g. Insufficient Memory
(b) For every in-game operation, specific functions are being called in the background which is not visible to end user. These functions can be checked through debug settings E.g. Default age, Save data creation, online multiplayer, PSN network, etc.

Paperwork:

To conclude, please do not ignore the submitted paperwork as well. Most of the times, the game is found to be compliant with the standards but basic paperwork issues are flagged which results in a submission failure.

This basic cheat sheet will help you minimize the chances of resubmission, but there are still chances that a console manufacturer raises a red flag against your game title. The best way of ensuring that your game sails through compliance testing are to work closely with an experienced game testing company like GlobalStep. Learn more about our game compliance testing services.

[Lekhraj Premraj Pardeshi, is currently working as an Assistant Manager in the Interactive Entertainment dept. He brings to the table 9+ years of experience in the gaming industry, and possess excellent domain testing domain knowledge across different platforms. Lekhraj is a specialist in Compliance testing for Mobile & Nintendo platforms.]

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

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The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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