Game Development Reference
Examine your own tests and look for ways you can improve so you gain more trust in
your own skills in finding defects. Just never let that trust turn into arrogance or the
belief that you are perfect. Leave room to mistrust yourself just a little bit. Remain
open to suggestions from managers, developers, other testers, and yourself. For exam-
ple, if you're in the middle of running a test and you're not sure you are testing the
right version—check it! You may have to go back and start over, but that's better than
reporting the wrong results and wasting other people's time too.
As game development progresses, management and developers want to feel comfort-
able about the quality of the game and its readiness for the next milestone and, ulti-
mately, final release. As a tester, you should not be lulled into complacency. I often re-
energize my team by instructing them to “Treat this release like it's our last chance to
find problems.�? Conflicts will arise about whether or not to introduce new tests, and
you'll hear complaints about why important problems are found so late in the project.
There are many reasons for late defects showing up that have nothing to do with
incompetent testing. Here are some you will run into:
The defects were introduced late, just before you found them.
Bugs from earlier rounds of testing kept you from getting to the part of the
game where the late defect was hiding.
As you spend more time testing the game you become more familiar with
where the defects are coming from, so it is perfectly natural that especially
subtle problems might not be found until late in the project.
In any case, even if the bugs were there from the very first release, they were not put
there by the testers. Somewhere there is an imaginary world where game testers get to
hear “Thank you for finding this important defect right before we shipped it!�? but
don't count on that happening in our world (refer to Figure 1.6).
Chapter 12, “Cleanroom Testing,�? and Chapter 14, “Play Testing and Ad Hoc Testing,�? give you
methods to use for testing the game based on your testing intuition and insight.
You can get a head start on knowing what not to trust in a couple of ways. Sometimes
the developers will tell you, if you just ask…
Tester: “Hey Bill, is there anything you're particularly concerned about that I should
focus on in my testing?�?