Leveraging QA

giving a potRight now, the game is undergoing internal testing while being finished. Most of the bugs are easy to deal with: fix a typo, clarify something that’s unclear, fix a logic error, or make sure advice and recommendation match.

One that came in today had to deal with being unable to proceed after having decided to give gifts, when your clan had no goods to give. The specific script was

[ChooseYesNo("Do you take a gift?")]
yes: {
    w = ChooseGoods(“What do you give to them?”)
    TransferGoods(otherClan, w)

Normally players who have no wealth wouldn’t be choosing to gift, and it wouldn’t be a problem. But of course part of QA’s job is to test the boundaries.

It would be easy enough to fix this scene, but this has the potential to be a wider problem. ChooseGoods is used fairly often. Any of those situations had the potential of failing, too. One answer to that is to do a code sweep, searching for all occurrences, and making sure they are conditioned. But that’s a manual step, which means it can be prone to error (especially if there are lots of places).

Another is to have the computer do this. We already have a unit test that exhaustively runs scenes. So I set goods to 0 in this test, and found six other problem scenes.

So human QA gives the best results, but automation can give decent testing over the entire game, and it’s easier to set up certain conditions (usually a clan doesn’t stay at 0 goods long, since crafters and traders are continually making more).

Author: David

Creator of Six Ages and King of Dragon Pass

8 thoughts on “Leveraging QA”

  1. Everything I’ve learned in my career as a gamer tells me to never be overhyped for a game.

    But here I am, checking every blog post, counting the seconds until Six Ages is released!

  2. If it makes you feel better Sil, I’m right here with you, checking in almost daily for new blog posts.

  3. Yeah, checking in every single day. Played KoDP over and over until memorizing every scene’s outcome and still continuing to play it. Can’t wait for Sixages to be released. Take your time with finishing the game, I bet its gonna be a great game

  4. For those checking in daily, you can use the RSS feed (the Entries RSS link is at the right near the bottom)… Or follow @SixAges on Twitter.

  5. As I recall, KoDP went through quite a few bugfixes. I’m assuming the testing is an attempt to avoid this in SA. Best of luck with that!

  6. Haven’t checked up on this blog in some time, nice to read there’s progress! I’d always thought the name “6 ages” was just a working title, but apparantly it’s here to stay.

  7. P.S. Although King Of Dragon Pass is still my all-time-favourite game, on any platform, there is one thing that could be improved, and that’s the game ending. It was always the same series of events, including the same choices to be made, leading up to the unification of Dragon Pass. Of course, you’d either be the one getting married to the Horsespawn leader, or the one standing in the back of the crowd of that wedding, but still, it felt like going through the motions after the second run. It would have been much better if the game had had more diversity in its end scenarios. I hope Six Ages rises to the occasion.

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