How we test SparkChess across platforms


Just another testing day
Just another testing day

SparkChess 9 is now available on all major platforms and devices, completing a cycle started last year. You may be wondering why the mobile version came out a month and a half after the desktop version.

Our vision for SparkChess has always been to make it universally available. Developing it just for iPhone or Windows would certainly be easier but be believe that chess lovers should be able to enjoy it regardless of their platform of choice.

We are building SparkChess with open standards and we try to keep the experience consistent. For this to happen, we need to test it. A lot. Sure, we have some automated testing, but the most time is spent with manual testing. We prefer manual testing because it doesn’t just tell us if a feature works, but also how well it works – if it’s intuitive, if it’s fast and if the overall experience is positive.

In the pic above it’s a mobile testing and profiling session. As you can see we use a variety of devices and we prefer older and smaller ones, because if SparkChess runs smoothly on a 3 year old, 4″ phone, it should run great on the latest and greatest one.

Some of the mobile devices we test on are:

  • A 5-year old Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablet with Android 4.0.4;
  • A 2-year old Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 with Android 5;
  • A low-end 7″ Asus tablet with a really bad screen and Intel- CPU;
  • A 4-year old iPad 3;
  • A 2-year old Moto G running Android 5;
  • A 3-year old iPhone 5S.

So we test with different systems, different sizes, different screens. And each platform and each device has its own peculiarities. Some devices have a really poor GPU that misbehave, others won’t play sound properly. We do our best to work around these issues and deliver a game that’s fun and enjoyable.

So there you have it. Time to pour another cup of coffee and test some more.

Armand Niculescu

Armand Niculescu is a full-stack developer and creator of SparkChess. He has two BDs in engineering and marketing and a MSc in Management. He's been programming since the age of 12 and he also loves design, photography, and - obviously - chess.