Game Development Reference
The nature of these external devices is that they each have their own settings, proper-
ties (for example, version), and physical connection. Some of these devices can even
have additional devices attached to them, such as the Nyko ® Xbox game controller
shown in Figure 15.3, which can have lights, fans, vibration, memory, and microphone
and/or speaker capabilities depending on the models and add-ons that are used.
Figure 15.3 Nyko ® multifunction Xbox game controller configuration.
Disconnecting one or more devices during gameplay is a type of configuration
change. Unfortunately for developers, the game software is unable to do anything to
prevent the user from connecting or disconnecting external devices during gameplay,
or from changing settings or software versions on the game platform. Configuration
changes can occur in any of the game software operating regions.
Connecting a device could be done to correct an accidental disconnection (“The dog
kicked the phone cable out of the wall!�?), change out a faulty device, or add a new
capability, such as a headset for voice control. This too should be anticipated by the
game design and incorporated into the game tests.
These possibilities shouldn't be excluded from testing just because your initial
response might be “Why would anyone ever do that?�? Recognize when you have this
kind of reaction that you should test that area vigorously. It is likely that other people
would have had reacted similarly and didn't bother to find out what would happen in
Configuration failures might show up immediately as a result of the configuration
operation or at some later time when a game operation relies on the new configura-
tion. Seemingly unrelated capabilities might also fail as a side-effect of a configuration