General information

Subject type: Mandatory

Coordinator: Ana Beatriz Pérez Zapata

Trimester: Third term

Credits: 4

Teaching staff: 

Jon Aguinaga San Sebastian

Teaching languages

  • Spanish

The subject will be taught mainly in Spanish.


Basic skills
  • B1_That students have demonstrated knowledge and understanding in a field of study that is based on general secondary education, and is accustomed to finding at a level that, although with the support of advanced textbooks, also include some aspects that involve knowledge from the forefront of your field of study


  • B2_That students know how to apply their knowledge to their job or vocation in a professional way and have the skills they demonstrate by developing and defending arguments and solving problems within their area of ​​study


  • B3_Students have the ability to gather and interpret relevant data (usually within their area of ​​study), to make judgments that include reflection on relevant social, scientific or ethical issues


  • B4_That students can convey information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialized and non-specialized audiences


  • B5_That students have developed those learning skills necessary to undertake further studies with a high degree of autonomy


Specific skills
  • V2. Design the mechanics, rules, structure and narrative of video games following the criteria of gameplay and balance to provide the best possible gaming experience.

  • V3. Identify the type of player and design the game experience according to its psychological characteristics.

  • V15. Design and plan quality assurance strategies, test and data analysis of video games and interactive products.

Transversal competences
  • T2_That students have the ability to work as members of an interdisciplinary team either as one more member, or performing management tasks in order to contribute to developing projects with pragmatism and a sense of responsibility, making commitments taking into account the available resources



The subject "Quality Assurance and Game Balancing" is composed of two blocks:

  • Quality assurance: the entire testing process that takes place in real video game companies is studied. From the basics (what is testing, what is a bug and how is it reported...) to more advanced testing techniques (boundary-value analysis, pairwise testing, etc.). The most important task of this blog is the creation of a complete test suite of an existing video game, where the student will have to use all the knowledge learned in the course.
  • Game balancing: we will study the sections of balancing games that usually have the most problems (sustained uncertainty, inequality between players and dominant strategies). The most important techniques are studied to mitigate these problems and propose solutions. We'll take an in-depth look at case studies like Clash Royale and Hearthstone.


Block 1: Quality assurance

Topic 1: Fundamentals of testing

  1. What is testing?
  2. Type of testing
  3. Approaches:
    • Black-box testing
    • White-box testing
  4. Testing levels
  5. Fundamentals of Black-box testing
  6. The 7 principles of testing

Topic 2: Testing design techniques

  1. Ad hoc testing/ exploratory testing
  2. Pairwise testing
  3. Equivalence partitioning
  4. Boundary value analysis
  5. State/transition coverage
  6. Negative testing
  7. False positives and negatives

Topic 3: Management of testing

  1. Regression testing vs retesting
  2. Priority vs Severity
  3. Bug report
  4. Phases of testing and development

Topic 4: Evolution of the tester in the world of work

  1. Requirements to work in video game companies
  2. Grow in the world of testing
  3. ISTQB
  4. What should I do now if I'm interested in testing?


Block 2: Game Swing
Topic 1: Introduction to game swing

  1. The teaching of game balance is the teaching of game design
  2. What is not game swing?
  3. The five questions of the game swing
  4. Games as systems
  5. Types of swinging games (or purposes)
  6. Absolute game swing and perceived game swing
  7. How can a game be balanced?
  8. Balancing experiments of typical games
  9. Balance Design Document (BDD)

Topic 2: Sustained uncertainty

  1. Initial level of the challenge
  2. Increasing the level of challenge
  3. Dynamic challenge adjustment
  4. Emergency and open worlds
  5. Fight positive feedback loops
  6. Non-skill based actions in multiplayer games

Topic 3: Equality between players

  1. Temporal asymmetry: advantage of the first movement
  2. Asymmetry of characters in power games and turns
  3. Character asymmetry in physics and real time-based games
  4. Internal asymmetry of the characters in the group
  5. Team and game asymmetry in multiplayer games
  6. Asymmetry of characters in games based on persistent worlds

Topic 4: Equivalent strategies

  1. Object-based strategies
  2. Action-based strategies
  3. Situation-based strategies
  4. Time-based strategies
  5. Economic strategies
  6. Gaps: strategies based on exploitation and metagaming

Evaluation system

The grade of each student will be calculated following the following percentages:

A1. Group work Test suite. 12,5%

A2. Laboratory practices. Development of Methodologies. 12,5%

A3. Partial examination. 25%


A4. Group work. Assessment of swinging in a board game and a video game. 25%

A5. Final exam. 25%

Final note = A1 0,125 + A2 0,125 + A3 0,25 + A4 0,25 + A5 0,25



  • You must obtain a minimum grade of 4 in both the exam average and the assignments average. The average of both sections must give a minimum grade of 5 to pass the subject.

  • Any late delivery of activities will score a maximum of 8.

  • In the activities carried out in groups, the teacher will be able, according to the information at his disposal, to personalize the qualification for each one of the members of the group.

  • In the case of detecting plagiarism, copying or fraud in any evaluable activity or test, this will automatically obtain a final grade of 0. Additionally, in cases of copying or fraud, both the person who copies and the person who allows copying are responsible for their conduct, and the consequences of the conduct affect all students involved in the irregular action. Regardless of the suspension caused by plagiarism, copying or fraud, the professor will communicate the situation to the Department Management so that the applicable measures are taken in terms of disciplinary regime and the initiation of the relevant disciplinary file.

  • Misspellings, writing errors and formal and technical problems specific to the subject will be penalized with 0,10 points, up to a maximum of 2 points, in all assessable activities and tests.


  • It will be necessary to get at least a 5 in the final exam to pass the subject.
  • The maximum mark for the remedial subject is 6.