Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Mobile phone games are another genre potentially well-suited to test automation. A
developer can be required to have any given game run on many tens or hundreds of
mobile phone handsets over the life of the title. Most handsets differ only slightly from
each other, but some differ substantially in annoyingly disparate ways. Automating the
testing of game screen displays, key press actions, and menu selections for each phone
is advantageous over purely manual testing. Very modular test code is essential to
cost-effective automation of these mobile phone games.
Five Habits of Effective Automated Testing
Establishing the five practices described in the following sections will positively
impact the effectiveness and success of your test automation initiatives.
Filter Automated Test Results
If you decide to move ahead with some degree of automated testing, a key element to
put in place early on is some form of filter or prescreening process for the data your
test scripts generate. This process should include both human and automated filters
to ensure that the same bug is not being reported over and over, or that trivial bugs
are being passed on through the system and accorded the same level of priority as
important bugs. Indeed, you would do well to implement a tiered system of bug
importance, because it will relate specifically to the potentially immense amount of
data your test scripts may produce. A high incidence of a particular bug can be an
indicator of how important it is to fix it, so your system cannot merely assume that
frequently reported bugs are trivial. You will also want to introduce a feedback loop in
your internal system to ensure that erroneous “bugs�? your scripts turn up are not con-
tinuously generated and flooding the system with unnecessary data. Also, see to it that
the test scripts are rewritten as necessary to enhance their hit rate on significant
bugs—bugs worth noting and eliminating. It is common for the introduction of auto-
mated testing to go hand-in-hand with excessive numbers of error email reports that
get widely disseminated throughout the company. These take precious time from
team members who have to wade through trying to decide which bug report they
should attend to and which they can safely ignore. Designating a specific member of
the team—an ombudsman or ombugsman?—whose job it is to act as a filter can save
tens upon tens of wasted person-hours as you go automatic.
What Happens in Testing Stays in Testing
For very practical reasons, you definitely want to ensure that all hooks and additional
code you've added to your game code for testing purposes are removed prior to launch.
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