Today's Gamasutra educational feature, part of the expanded Gamasutra Education
section of the site, shares the testing process of DigiPen Institute of Technology's nascent student game Toblo
Student Steve Chiavelli offers advice learned by Team Toblo and methods for testing a game in the following extract:
"When approaching a scheduled test date there are a couple things to keep in mind. Most importantly, avoid adding new features less than twenty-four hours before the play-test. Spend that last day ironing out any show-stopping bugs or crashes that have popped up, not introducing new ones. We knew to avoid such things going into our tests, but frequently went against our better judgment. Keep in mind that a new feature which seems absolutely necessary to implement at the last minute has high potential to ruin the entire test. We made this mistake quite a few times, the most notable being when our new flag capturing logic prevented testers from even capturing the flags!
Another pre-test precaution to consider is disabling any features which are not yet ready. Like moths to a light bulb, testers will almost always focus on the things that are obviously not working. Rather than give feedback about the things being tested, they are going to give bug reports. This is rarely the type of thing testers should be worried about. Taking a few extra minutes to get those features out before the play-test will save the frustration of sifting through useless feedback later on."
You can read the full Gamasutra educational feature on the topic
to find out how Toblo
went over at the Northwest Games Festival (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).