Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Assign a Lead Tester
This is no trivial matter. The lead tester's experience, temperament, and skill set will have
a tremendous influence over the conduct of the testing cycle. This may be the single
most important decision the test manager makes on the project. A lead tester must be
A leader—able to motivate the test team and keep them focused and productive
A team player—able to recognize the role test plays as part of the larger project
A communicator—able to gather and to present information clearly and
A diplomat—able to manage conflicts as they arise (and they will arise)
The test manager, or the lead tester, should then appoint a “vice lead tester,�? often
called a primary tester . On very large teams (for example, more than 30 testers), it's not
uncommon to have more than one primary tester, each leading specific sub-teams
(for example, multiplayer, career mode, and so on).
Determine Phase Acceptance Criteria
In an ideal world, you will be working from a contract, design spec, or product plan
that defines very specific criteria for each phase of testing. But it's seldom an ideal
The lead tester should take whatever materials are available and write a specification
for the Alpha, Beta, and Gold (release) versions of the game. By establishing clear and
unambiguous entry acceptance criteria for each phase of testing, you can avoid conflicts
later in the project when you may feel pressure from various parts of the organization
to begin, say, Beta testing on a build that isn't truly Beta. Once the test manager has
approved these criteria, they should be disseminated to all senior members of the project
Three elements are required in the certification planning for each test phase:
Entry criteria: The set of tests that a build must pass before entering a given
test phase. The game won't be considered “at Alpha�? until the code passes the
Alpha Entry test, for example.
Exit criteria: The set of tests that a build must pass before completing a test
Target date: The date both the development and test teams are working toward
for a specific phase to launch.
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