In today's main Gamasutra technical feature, Nihilistic lead gameplay programmer Mark Cooke (Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects
) guides us through Nihilistic's approach to building a test system which, as he puts it, "lets a machine do the repetitive and time consuming tasks."
In his introduction, Cooke explains:
"If you are working on a software project that is any larger than the most simple of applications, you need a build system and some form of automated testing. If you are working on a game project for a major console, you need build and test system to save your developers time. Let a machine do the repetitive and time consuming tasks, not your developers who have better things they could be doing.
This isn’t just about saving programmer time either - all disciplines can benefit from robust build and test systems. At Nihilistic Software, we have spent a comparatively small amount of time creating automated build and test software in relation to the large amount of time and stress saved from having these systems in place. Our build system is currently in use on its second commercial project. It was used to ship our last title, a tri-platform PS2 / Xbox / GameCube game, and is currently in production use in our upcoming unannounced PS3 / Xbox 360 title.
This article will outline the system we use, in the hopes it can be helpful to other developers in creating their own build and test frameworks, consequently improving the quality of their games by giving back more time for the important task at hand - making great games."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature
for more on this fascinating technical subject (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).