Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
chapter 1
Two Rules of
Game Testing
Whenever I start a new test team or bring a new tester into the group, I give them these
two rules:
Rule 1: Don't Panic
Rule 2: Trust No One
Don't Panic
In a game project, panic is a bad thing. The person panicking did not choose to panic,
and may not realize it is happening. It is an irrational reaction to a set of circum-
stances, and it can lead a tester to cause harm to the project. When I sense that a tester
is reacting inappropriately to some unreasonable request, I will indirectly remind him
not to panic by asking “What's rule one?�?
Scuba divers put themselves in a situation similar to what game testers might face:
limited resources (the equipment you bring with you), time constraints (air supply),
rules to follow (rate of descent/ascent), and other surprises (unexpected sea visitors).
According to Dr. William Morgan, episodes of panic or near-panic may explain many
recreational diving accidents and deaths. The panic attack was often spurred by some-
thing that a non-diver would deem serious—entanglement, an equipment malfunction,
or the sight of a shark. But the attacks don't make things better, Morgan says—they
can lead to irrational and dangerous behavior. 1 Even scuba divers with many years of
experience sometimes experience panic for no apparent reason. 2
1. “I'm Afraid We Must Talk About…Panic Underwater.�? The Why Files™
<> (January 21, 2005)
2. “More questions and answers about Panic Underwater…�? The Why Files™
<> (January 21, 2005)
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