Game Development Reference
The “fresh eyes�? concept is applicable to structured testing as well. It's wise to have testers rotate
the specific suites they're responsible for periodically—even every build.
Making Order Out of Chaos
Ad hoc testing is a natural complement to structured testing, but it is by no means a
substitute for it. Whether you have been given a specific assignment by your test lead
or you're playing through the single-player campaign “just to see what happens,�? your
testing should be documented, verifiable, and worthwhile.
Set Goals and Stick to Them
Before you begin, you should have a goal. It need not (and should not) be as complex
or as well thought out as the test cases and test suites discussed earlier. But you need
to know where you're going so you don't wind up wasting your (and the project's)
time. Briefly write out your test goal before you launch the game.
(Whether you actually achieve the goal of your free testing is less important. If, in the
course of trying to reach your goal, you stumble upon a defect you hadn't intended to
find, that's great. That is what free testing is all about.)
This goal can be very simple, but it must be explicit. Here are some examples:
How far can I play in story mode?
Can I play a full game by making only three-point shots?
Is there a limit to the number of turrets I can build in my base?
Can I deviate from the strategy suggested in the mission briefing and still win
Is there anywhere in the level I can get my character stuck in the geometry?
If you're leading a multiplayer test, let every other tester know the purpose of the game
session before it starts. Successful multiplayer testing requires communication, coor-
dination, and cooperation, even if it seems that the testers are merely running around
the level trying to shoot each other. In most circumstances, one tester should direct all
of the other players in order to reach an outcome successfully. This can often be as dif-
ficult as herding kittens. If one tester in a multiplayer test loses sight of the aim of the
test, the amount of time wasted is multiplied by the number of testers in the game.
Don't let your team fall into this trap.