Game Development Reference
For example, using a minimum time may not allow certain effects to be completed
once they are started, or may make certain goals unachievable.
Maximum values can also cause undesirable side effects. They are especially impor-
tant to use where they place an extra burden of time or skill for the tester to reach the
maximum value. Both developers and testers will tend to pass over these values in
favor of “easier�? testing.
Use maximum values for the same minimum value parameter categories in the pre-
ceding list. In addition to testing in-game elements, be sure to also include tests for the
maximum number of players, maximum number of saved files, and maximum stor-
age (disk, cartridge, and so on) space.
When a child (or even an adult) colors in a page of a coloring book, we judge how they
do based on how well they stay within the lines. Likewise, it is the responsibility of the
game tester to check the game software around its boundaries. Game behavior that
does not “stay within the lines�? leads to defects.
Some of the boundaries to test may be physically rendered in the game space, such as
Town, realm, or city borders
Goal lines, sidelines, foul lines, and end lines on a sports field or court
Mission or race waypoints
Start and finish lines
Portal entrances and exits
Other boundaries are not physical. These can include:
Mission, game, or match timers
The speed that a character or vehicle can achieve
The distance a projectile can travel
The distance at which graphic elements become visible, transparent, or invisible
Dig deep into the rules of the game to identify hidden or implied boundaries.
For example, in football there are rules and activities tied in with the timing of the
game. The timing of a football game is broken into four quarters of equal length, with
a halftime pause in the game that occurs after the end of the second quarter. The game
ends if one team has more points than another at the end of the fourth quarter. With
two minutes left in each half, the referee stops the clock for the Two Minute Warning.