Game Development Reference
common ways in which an in-game problem is communicated. Some exceptions are
under the control of the game, such as restricting user input choices. Other exceptions
are caused by external conditions that are not under the control of the game software,
such as network connection problems. Figure 15.4 shows the special alert you get when
trying to play Dawn of War in multiplayer online mode when your game PC is not con-
nected to the Internet. Exceptions can occur in any of the game operating regions.
The Stress Trigger
The Stress trigger tests the
game under extreme condi-
tions. These could be condi-
tions imposed on either hard-
ware or software resources.
Memory, screen resolution,
disk space, file size, and net-
work speed are all examples of
game conditions that could be
stressed by users or through
testing. Simply reaching a limit
does not constitute a stress
condition. Once stressed, the
resource must be used or oper-
ated in some way for the stress
behavior to reveal itself.
Figure 15.4 Dawn of Waronline game mode connection exception alert.
The Normal Trigger
Normal game operation takes place in the In-Game operating region. This refers to
using the game apart from any stress, configuration, or exception conditions, kind of
like the way you would script a demo or show how the game should be played in the
user manual. The “normal�? code is distinct from the code that handles the exceptions,
the code that processes configuration changes and the code that takes over under
Most of the testing that is done uses Normal triggers. That is okay because that is how
the game will be used the vast majority of the time and testing is not just about finding
defects; it also demonstrates that the game functions the way it is supposed to.