Game Development Reference
Start your entry with a descriptive title. Generic or broad descriptions like “Had to
restart game�? or “Problem in training hall�? do not sufficiently describe the problem to
get the attention of the people who need to go after the problem and fix it. Imagine
picking up a newspaper and reading headlines like “Some Crime Happened�? or “A
Team Won�?—it might leave you scratching your head. Instead, provide one or two
details that help narrow down the problem.
Take a cue from the Sports page. If a team beats another under no special circum-
stances, you might see a headline like “Yankees Beat Red Sox.�? But if something else
noteworthy happens, there might be more detail, like “Marlins Shutout Yankees to
Win Series.�? Think of your bug as a noteworthy event that will be competing for the
Figure 2.4 has a title and a description for a problem found while playing Neverwinter
Nights Gold . In this case the title mentions what happened and where it happened.
Always include the “what�? and then add one or two of the distinctive “who,�? “where,�?
“when,�? or “how�? factors.
In the description, be sure to include all of these details: who (Fighter character), what
(on top of interior wall), where (in training hall), when (after visiting spell trainer),
how (jump). Then, describe how you were able to remedy the situation, if at all, and
add any things that you tried to do that would not reverse or undo the effects of the
problem. This serves two purposes. First, it helps the project leaders evaluate the
importance of fixing the bug. Second, it gives the developers clues about how the prob-
lem happened and how they might go about fixing it. It also establishes the minimum
criteria for your testing later on when you need to verify that this bug was properly
Another way to describe your defect in detail would be to provide a step-by-step
description of how you found it. Don't start from when you turned the computer on,
but include the steps that are relevant to reproducing the problem. So, an alternative
description for the Neverwinter Nights bug would be:
Create a Fighter character. Go to the training hall and visit the spell trainer.
Leave the spell trainer's room and jump up onto the wall across from his door.
The character can move around along the wall but cannot jump down to
resume playing the game.
You should also include information about any additional places you looked for the
problem where it didn't show up.