Game Development Reference
The following sections examine each phase in order to understand why it is vital to
the project and distinct from the other phases.
Depending on your role on the team and when you were brought into the project, you
may think that testing begins sometime after a good portion of the game is developed.
In reality, testing begins when the project begins. There may not be people called
“testers�? involved at the beginning, but project scope, design, and assets are being pro-
duced from the start that need to be evaluated, critiqued, and corrected.
Much of what happens at the early stages of the project will set the tone for how well
testing will go later on. This means both how good the software stands up to testing,
and how well the tests themselves are organized and executed. The bottom line is that
both the development and test teams can go home earlier at night if more effort and
skill is applied to testing activities at the beginning of the project rather than trying to
fix things later on by throwing more testers (and more overtime work) at it.
You can't test quality into a game. The quality of the game is established by the code,
graphics, and sounds that are produced and compiled into the game code. All testing
can do is tell the development team what is wrong with the code. Testing better earlier
can get problems fixed sooner and cheaper.
If you received a coupon in the mail at the beginning of your project that said “send
in this coupon to save 20% or more on your project,�? would you send it in? When you
save testing for the end of the project it's like having that coupon but not sending it in
because you didn't want to pay for the postage to mail it.
Almost as soon as a project is conceived, planning for test begins. Test planning
includes the tasks outlined in the following sections.
Determine the Scope of Testing the Project Will Require
The design document, TDD, and project schedule are reviewed by the test manager in
order to formulate a “scope of test�? document that outlines how much testing
resources—that is, time, people, and money—he or she will need to get the game tested
thoroughly for release (see the following sidebar, “Expansion Plans�?).