Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Guest Writer Nora explains testing!

QA Lead Nora is in charge of all of the testing that goes on at HI, here’s a great explanation into what exactly ‘testing’ is:



Here at Her Interactive, we’re obsessed with perfection. Before we release a game into the wild, we want to make sure that every detail is in place. The diverse backgrounds of our team members really come in handy here—we’ve got art history experts who can comment on architecture, a master birder who can tell us whether those bird sounds are realistic for the part of the world in which our game is set, and plenty of science and technology buffs. But what about the nuts-and-bolts stuff, like making sure the game works on the types of computers our players use, and making sure there aren’t any crashes or other technical problems? Well, that’s where the QA team comes in.



QA stands for “Quality Assurance”, and that’s also a pretty good description of our goal: we want to make sure that our games are as high-quality as they can be in every aspect. The QA team here at HI consists of the QA Lead (that’s me), and of testers. Here’s a picture of our hardware lab, where the testers work on a variety of different PCs:


DSC00057



While testing can be a really exciting job, it’s more than just playing games. Testers complete “test passes”, where they examine every detail of a certain aspect of a game. For example, today one of our testers is working on a conversation pass, where she’ll check every possible conversation option in the game against the script to make sure that the sound is working correctly, that choosing each line of dialogue leads to the correct scene, and more. Within each test pass are “test cases”, specific items like “see what happens if you complete a puzzle but try to back out before picking up the item you’ve won”.



There’s even more to testing, like automation (see what happens when you use a special program to automatically play a certain puzzle 100 times in a row or to get a really high score, for example), but that’s probably a topic for another post!



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Thanks Nora! :)


Hey Sluethers, have anyone of you tried a “test pass” any ND game before?

6 comments:

Coralie said...

Sort of, every time I play the game I try to ask a different question, or give a different answer then the time before. But I haven't tried every way possible, so I guess not!

Thanks for letting us know all about the testing, Gina! :D

Phoenix Star said...

I WANT THOSE POSTERS

Heh heh

I guess I've tried "test passes". Sometimes I replay games looking for specific things. It's really fun!

Gwen said...

I guess I've tried something like "test passing".. Cool posters! Love 'em! :)

giftedgothic said...

The one time HI held a contest in which if you could get one of the Hardy Boys to say a certain line in CAR, you would receive a prize. I played CAR so many times just to try to get them to say the line, only, the contest was cancelled because they found out you can't access it in the game. Needless to say, I haven't played CAR since. haha

giftedgothic said...

Oh, and yes, the posters! Please sell them or have a contest! I want one soooo bad.

Anonymous said...

I totally think those posters would be marketable. It would be awesome if those could be sold in the HER Store! I think I've played TRN so many times I could recite everyone's dialoge... oh, the joy of being an ND fan!