Game Development Reference
Collect sources of game feature requirements.
Identify the requirements that fall within the scope of the planned testing, based on
your individual project assignment or the game's test plan. This would include any
storyboards, design documents, demo screens, or formal software requirements, as
well as legacy titles that the new game is based on such as a sequel or a spin-off.
Estimate the number of TFDs required and map game elements to each.
Separate large sets of requirements into smaller chunks and try to cover related
requirements in the same design. One way to approach this is to test various abilities
provided in the game, such as picking up a weapon, firing a weapon, healing, and so
on. Plan on having one or more TFDs for each ability depending on how many vari-
ations exist, such as distinct weapon types or different ways to regain health. Another
approach is to map situations or scenarios to individual TFDs with a focus on specific
achievements . These could be individual missions, quests, matches, or challenges,
depending on the type of game you are testing. In this case, you are establishing that
particular goals or outcomes are achievable according to which path you take in the
game. Basing the TFD design on achievements could be used either instead of or in
addition to the abilities approach. Don't try to squeeze too much into a single design.
It's easier to complete and manage a few simple TFDs than one complex one.
Model game elements on their assigned TFDs using a “player's perspective.�?
A TFD should not be based on any actual software design structures within the game.
The TFD is meant to represent the tester's interpretation of what she expects to happen
as the game flows to and from the game states represented on the diagram. Creating a
TFD is not as mechanical as constructing a combinatorial table. There is an element
of art to it. TFDs for the same game feature may turn out quite different depending
on which tester developed them.
Begin the TFD with a blank sheet or a template. You can start on paper and then trans-
fer your work to an electronic form or do the whole thing in one shot on your com-
puter. The use of templates is discussed later in this chapter. Use the following the
steps to begin constructing your TFD from scratch. An example appears later in this
chapter that illustrates the application of these steps.