woensdag 27 juli 2011

The zombies are coming..

Hello!

Time for another blogpost today. First of all I want to bring some good news.. Our zombie shooter is nearing completion, it is almost done! Last week we did some playtesting to find and fix bugs and glitches. But we actually couldn't stop playing the game itself! Stay tuned, the trailer is coming soon ;)


  
Screenshot Zombie Shooter


The playtesting, or QA (Quality Assurance), is very important. A game, when released, should work. And not just be filled with bugs. During this process bugs are found and listed to be fixed after the QA session. If someone encounters a bug while testing. He or she creates a so called 'QA Ticket'. The bug or glitch is explained in the description of the ticket and also the steps to reproduce the bug are written down. This in particulary is important, because the programmer who's going to fix the bug can reproduce it for debugging. Imagine something very simple like this:

Problem: The sound isn't muted when pressing 'Mute Sound' in the options menu.

Procedure: 1. Start the game 2. Go to the 'Options' screen 3. Clik the 'Mute Sound' button.

This is a straight forward bug, and probably not so hard to find and fix. Bugs that occour during gameplay are much thougher to reproduce. Sometimes the player needs to be at a specific location within the game world. If so, we add a screenshot to the 'QA Ticket'. So the programmer can go to that location in-game, and follow the steps to reproduce the bug. Instead of starting a process of 'Trial and error' just to reproduce the bug in the first place.

The next step is to fix the bugs ofcourse. First the blocker ones, the bugs that cause game freeze's or prevent the player from making progress. What I mean by 'Making process'; A gate for example that should open after some actions, and it doesn't. The player is then not able to walk through it towards the end of the level, and thus not able to finish the level. Then the other critical bugs are fixed. Such as sound/music bugs, graphic issues, getting behind the boundaries of a game level where the player shouldn't be etc.


If the blocker and critical bugs are fixed, a new QA session is behing held. The QA process starts again until the game is ready for release.


Happy QA'ing ;)!

-Joep

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