Is it fun? Is the level enjoyable to play? The answer to these questions is “I don’t know” and you’ll never know until you test your assumptions.
Answer these questions in the “Implementation” Forum.
Before we move on to the next step, we need to find out if the game is fun, if users understand the objectives, and does it work. To do this we conduct user testing sessions and gauge the responses. Testing sessions are formalized…
“Test early and test often,” is the mantra of many development teams. But testing is more than just seeing if something works. The process is used to identify software defect, gauge the quality of the product, document any uncovered design or programming issues, check for inconsistencies, and save development time.In the early days of game development testing was completed by the programming staff, but as the products became more complex, a larger set of resources were needed. At this time most publishers created a Quality Assurance department. It is their responsibility to make sure the game is working correctly, manage the bug list, conduct testing sessions with outside users, and evaluate if the game is “fun”.
The software industry if full of testing phases. Here are some common types of testing that takes place. Many of these related to the game industry, but the red represent common phases.
Here is a chart explaining the testing process. After each play test, a list of issues is generated. This list is reviewed by the QA staff and programming bugs are reported to the development staff. Bugs are assigned to specific team members or departments and then analyzed for possible solutions. Once fixed, the bug list is updated with the solution and is sent back to the QA Lead or a designated QA staff member.Unfortunately, there is no standard model used across the industry. Each company has developed their own process which is constantly being tweaked and refined. Typically bugs are entered into a proprietary bug database and classified from a “Class A” bug, which must be fixed to a “Class C” bug, which the development team would like to fix, but not at the expense of altering the production schedule. Ask – “Why do you think such an elaborate process is needed?”
CISC 105: Intro to Game Modding
Lecture 11: Implementation
Charles Palmer – Fall 2013
Let’s talk about progress
Where are you in the development process
Where do you go for help
What’s next on your list to accomplish
What can I do to help?
Building a section of your mod
For the remainder of the class we’ll be building a
section of your Skyrim mod. Your grade will be based
on your ability to produce these items at each
drops, and at
least one trap
Test early and test often…
• More than just a mantra
• Used to
identify programmatic defects
check for inconsistencies
Uncover design or programming issues
Save development time
Not just for programmers
• Formally handled by the Quality assurance department/team
Types of industry testing
Functionality testing is most commonly associated with the phrase "game
testing", as it entails playing the game in some form. Functionality testing does
not require extensive technical knowledge. Functionality testers look for
general problems within the game itself or its user interface, such as stability
issues, game mechanic issues, and game asset integrity.
Beta testing is done during beta stage of development. Often this refers to the
first publicly available version of a game. Public betas are effective because
thousands of fans may find bugs that the developer's testers did not.
Regression testing is performed once a bug has been fixed by the
programmers. QA checks to see whether the bug is still there (regression) and
then runs similar tests to see whether the fix broke something else. That
second stage is often called "halo testing; it involves testing all around a
bug, looking for other bugs.
Continue building your mod with the Creation Kit.
By this time you should have a good bit of your mod mocked up. Now it’s time
to see if your mod accomplishes what
you’ve expected. To prove this
assumption, create a test log that can
be used to collect feedback from your
users and categorize user feedback.
Remember the purpose of a play test
is not to show how cool your product
is, this is a chance to find out how you
can make it better.
This first play test should answer some simple questions. Check for things
o Can the player navigate the space
• Do they get lost
• Do they get stuck
o Are there problems with the environment
o Are the creatures too hard
o How long does it take to complete the task
The important thing is to let your tester explore
so you can document their progress and record
When you are ready to evaluate your mod, use the Testing Log template to
conduct five play test sessions. During the play test, your role is just to listen.
Try not to direct the player’s action (unless they feel frustrated) or
engage in too much conversation. Once the session is over, either by
completing the objective, giving up, or reaching a pre-determined stopping
time complete a log entry for each player.
After testing with five players, upload
the Testing Log to Moodle