We’re about to announce our partnership with GameBench – a company with the industry’s first usability analysis and one-tap testing tool for mobile games (and for some graphics-intensive apps too!) – at Game Developers Conference. Before the news hits, we wanted to offer you a heads-up on how this integration will offer you an instant way to test the real performance of your Android games at Bitbar Testing. Today, we’ll have a guest blog about the integration – by Sharif Sakr of GameBench – focusing on Android games performance optimization.
Game devs can now test frame rates across multiple Android devices with a single click
How does a game studio go from nothing to 350 million installations? How does it get 300,000 fresh downloads per day, for just one of its titles?
In the case of Fingersoft, creators of Hill Climb Racing, this degree of success came as a result of a smart decision to guarantee smooth performance to all potential users — including those with very low-end phones.
“There are so many cheap Android devices that basically don’t have any games,” says Fingersoft’s Jaakko Kylmäoja, interviewed in the latest edition of Edge magazine. “But Hill Climb Racing runs on them, so it keeps us in the charts.”
As of now, however, there’s nothing to stop any Bitbar user from following Fingersoft’s lead and stealing the same advantage for themselves — and all with the barest minimum of time and effort.
To see your game’s frame rate, as well as its RAM and CPU usage, you simply need to click the “Enable GameBench” checkbox in the Advanced options tab before you start a test.
Just to recap: GameBench is already available as an app on Google Play, where it has proved popular with developers who use it as a tool for manual testing on standalone devices. However, we’ve been working to bring it into the Bitbar Testing since we first announced our collaboration back in September of last year.
There’s still a lot of work for us to do because this initial phase of integration is admittedly quite limited. We’ve so far only targeted devices in the farm which run Android Jelly Bean, with support for all Jelly Bean iterations except 4.3. However, some devices won’t spit out complete performance reports, even if they’re technically compatible.
GameBench itself reliably supports a much broader range of devices up to Android Lollipop, as well as revealing many at-a-glance performance metrics beyond just frame rates. The tool is even being used by ARM to help chip and device manufacturers to make better use of real-world benchmarking. All of which means that, once the integration is complete, Bitbar users will have full access to what is fast becoming an industry standard for performance testing and certification.
Meanwhile, there’s already some very useful functionality on offer. I’ve just run a test loop of Hill Climb Racing on a group of Android 4.1.2 devices, for example, and I’ve quickly verified Fingersoft’s performance claims: the game does indeed run at a silky smooth 55-60 frames per second on a whole bunch of cheaper models that you’ve possibly never thought about, or even heard of — like the Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos, the Coolpad 8198T and the Fuhu Nabi Jr.
How does your game compare on these devices? Put a tick in the GameBench checkbox and let us know!
Sharif Sakr – Director of Business Development, GameBench
Sharif is responsible for media, PR and brand licensing strategies at GameBench, as well for growing the company’s relationships with users and enthusiasts. He comes from a journalistic background, having worked as a technology reporter for BBC2′s Working Lunch and BBC World TV News, and as Senior European Editor for Engadget. He still writes for Forbes in his capacity as an analyst and consultant, and makes regular appearances on Bloomberg, Sky, CNBC and other channels.
Sharif graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Human Sciences, but has since chosen to specialize in mobile devices and processors rather than bipeds. He’s the author of some of the web’s most influential reviews of phones, tablets and other gadgets.