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Game Testing Methodology

Game Testing Methodology



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Published by: api-3698888 on Oct 14, 2008
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Game Testing Methodology
Effective testing comes from a well-structured approach and a well-defined testing methodologyso the game product is highly satisfying to our Publisher and the game player. In contrast, poor testing results in a buggy game or software that gives rise to a long stream of repeated testingand project delays.The purpose of this document is to explain the testing methodology for game development. Thisdocument is intended for the person performing the
. The topics and the level of details provide an interesting and useful set of information for the Game Tester or Software Tester.There are a number of Quality Assurance and testing initiatives that are covered in thisdocument, including a testing strategy, testing processes and techniques, test coverage criteria,Testing Requirements, a Test Plan definition, testing documentation, and “Full Cycle Testing”.There are few, if any “fixed rules” for this testing methodology; however, there are manysuggestions, ideas, and guidelines for improving the quality and effectiveness of testing for our game projects. Hopefully, testers will be able to learn, understand, plan and carry out effectiveand efficient testing in a structured manner. If you have any questions about the information, please contact your Software Quality Director.This document must be used in conjunction with the other companion QA documents1.Game Testing Primer,2.Testing Design for a game project, and3.Defect Reporting Guideline.
Game Testing Methodology
In a simplistic view, testing is to identify
found in the software
so the problem can beremoved. There are different forms of tests and testing that can be categorized as
testing and
testing (“Clear Box” testing is also known as “White-Box” testing inthe software industry). Their testing objective and overall processes are indifference (e.g., test planning, test design, testing execution, regression testing and bug reporting), but their focus of attention puts emphasis on different aspects of the game:
Black Box
” focuses on the functional or the playability aspects of the game. For examples, testing the user interface (e.g., the selection menus and the use of buttons),the “look and feel” (e.g., the graphics and animation), and the actual gameplay.
Clear Box
” is focus on the architecture and integration aspects of the gamesoftware. For examples, the use of a database, pipelines, the interaction/integration of game components like the rendering engine, the AI engine, sound, and so on.For Black Box testing, the tester must know how to play the game (e.g., use of the game pad,know the rules and the game flow). For Clear Box testing, the tester must understand whatcoding is. The Software Tester uses a run-time debugging environment, feeds the code or chunksof code with input (i.e., data, setting variables, etc.) and analyzes the test result.
Testing is
a single person’s job, nor solely the responsibility of the Game Tester and theSoftware Tester for a game project. Every team member working in a game project must have“quality” in mind, and each person is responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the work that he/she produces.This testing methodology is
the only process and it should
be used in isolation. Thereader must be aware that this testing methodology is considered as an integral part to the GamePre-production and Production processes.In reality, no one can test a program
, i.e., testing every single part of the gameusing different and all available characters, so triggering different path of the logic and all the possible variations of input, interfaces, AI, and then output. Our testing strategy is to developexcellent, full-coverage, and effective testing (i.e., 80/20 rule).
Game Testing Methodology
A requirement is an objective that must be met. The tester must understand most of the gamerequirements and translate them into functional terms (e.g., what needs to be tested, what thingsare testable and what not, what are the targets and measures, etc.), leaving the design andimplementation details to the developers.As part of the testing requirement development process, the testers read the systemdocumentation, gather all the visual and written information, analyze what and how the gamecomponents can be tested. It is the responsibility of testers to read all the relevant documentationso they can share
(to understand and appreciate)
the mission of the project. Please refer to the“Full Cycle Testing” section about how to conduct a quality review.You are required to develop a Testing Requirements document for each game by outlining whatand how the game and game components will be tested. The document includes:
a list of features,
the specifics of the internal design and external designs of the game. This mayrequire a description of the possible implementations if it makes the testingrequirements easier to understand (e.g., certain theme of the game, the characters,the animation, the AI, cinematic or camera view, and so on). For example, to testthe multi-directional fight action for the Chan PS2 game, you must make referenceto the use of “Ring of Engagement”, describe how the opponents engage into thefight scene, and what you expect the single/combination fighting actions.
a testing structure detailing if and how Game Testing and/or Software Testing isapplied (i.e., in a spreadsheet format for the items identified above),
the testing criteria (e.g., ideas for testing), and
the completion criteria (e.g., what are the expected results, what does “somethingis done” or “something is working” mean to you in game testing?)After the testing requirements are identified, the Technical Director for the game and theSoftware Quality Director will review the document to confirm scope and priority. Followingthe test requirements, the testers work on their own test design and develop a Test Plan and TestCases. Any testing dependency requirements must be identified and communicated to the gameteam so the game code is “test-enabled”, i.e., what kind of cheat codes, or “test automation-enabled” code are required?The testing documentation is expected to be developed in the early stage of the project, i.e., drafttesting documentation is produced when we have the first playable build. It is important to notethat the testing requirements will not cover every single detail of the game, but it must cover testing all the contractually required elements (e.g. specific features and the major gamefunctionality). You can obtain this information from the game Technical Director.

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