Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
chapter 12
Cleanroom Testing
Cleanroom testing is a technique extracted from a software development practice
known as Cleanroom Software Engineering. The original purpose of Cleanroom testing
was to exercise software in order to make mean time to failure (MTTF) measurements
over the course of the project. In this chapter, Cleanroom testing is applied to the
problem of why customers find problems in games after they have been through thou-
sands of hours of testing before being released. If one measure of a game's success is
that the users (players) will not find any bugs, then the game team's test strategy
should include a way to detect and remove the defects that are most likely to be found
by users.
So how do users find defects? Users find defects in software by using it the way users
use it. That's a little bit of a tongue twister, but it points to a testing approach that exer-
cises the game according to the way the players are going to use it. That's what
Cleanroom test development does; it produces tests that play the game the way players
will play it.
Usage Probabilities
Usage probabilities, also referred to as usage frequencies, tell testers how often game
functions should be used in order to realistically mimic the way customers will use the
game. They can be based on actual data you might have from studies of game players
or based on your own expectations about how the game will be played. Also take into
account the possible evolution of a user's play during the life of the game. A player's
patterns would be different just after running the tutorial than they would be by the
time the player reaches the boss on the final level. Initially, the player would utilize
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