Game Development Reference
Following are some real benefits to utilizing capture/playback automation:
Retesting is faithfully repeated exactly as it was done the first time. You will
discover intentional and unintentional changes to software this way.
Problems get noticed and recorded every time, no matter how late in the day it
is or how long the test machine has been working.
Automated tests produce documentation of the test results every step along the
way, every time the test is run. Typically other pertinent information is
recorded as well, such as date, time, and identification of the software build
Different automated tests can run concurrently on multiple computers. One
person can easily manage two machines running automated tests.
Automated tests can be run during non-working days and hours. In some
game projects there is no such thing as “non-working days and hours,�? but
perhaps automated testing can re-introduce that concept to your project….
On the other hand, capture/playback testing has some limitations and drawbacks:
Capture/playback automation requires some overhead to keep automation
scripts up to date with the game code.
Capture/playback automation won't notice if something goes wrong outside of
what is specifically checking for. A test that is checking one part of the UI may
not notice when your health suddenly goes to zero or your sword disappears.
You can't just grab anyone who says they do testing and expect them to be
immediately successful at capture/playback test automation. Programming
training and experience will make a difference, as will reading and working
through this chapter.
Achieving even modest automation goals can have a big impact. If you expend the
effort to get just 20% of your tests automated, that could save up to one extra work
day a week for each tester.
Some automated test solutions involve special hardware, software, programming lan-
guages, or all three. These are not always a good fit for testers who may not have heavy
hardware and/or software engineering backgrounds. These solutions also tend to be
expensive because of their special-purpose nature. A preferable approach is one that
is light on programming and keeps the tester focused on the art and science of testing.
Capture/playback test automation is like using a digital video recorder while you test.