Preventing Bugs: The Dark Matter of QA

Notes on a roundtable discussion at GDC 2019 Run by Chris Rando (@Rodneysquint)IGDA QA communityQA Mixer first floor of Marriot MarquisHow do we articulate how QA prevents bugsBug preventionDoing acceptance testing—QA sets the criteria to decide when something's done (rather than just doing some testing when the devs say it's done)QA involved in game design … Continue reading Preventing Bugs: The Dark Matter of QA

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Decorticating “Dead Cells”: A business & marketing deep dive

Notes on a talk by Steve Filby of Evil Empire & IndieCatapult, formerly Motion Twin at GDC 2019 BackgroundMotion Twin did F2P browser games, tried to move to mobile F2P/premiumThrew out everything to make Dead Cells for PCLeft in 2016 to start marketing agency Indie CatapultStarted Evil Empire recentlyHow we made Dead Cells a hit … Continue reading Decorticating “Dead Cells”: A business & marketing deep dive

Automated Testing of Gameplay Features in “Sea of Thieves”

Notes on a talk by Robert Masella (@ZipLockBagMan) of Rare/Microsoft Studios Wanted automated testing on all parts of the code, incl. (notoriously difficult to test) gameplay featuresChallengesComplexity from open world designConstantly evolving game-as-a-serviceWanted to cut releases in a week... can't spend weeks on testingWhy use automated testingManual testing slow, unreliableSubtle bug in AI behavior gets … Continue reading Automated Testing of Gameplay Features in “Sea of Thieves”

“Marvel’s Spider-Man”: A Technical Postmortem

Notes on a talk by Elan Ruskin of Insomniac Slides (PDF)Engine began life in FuseMuch more open world than they've used before (5 km across)154MB of source code (.h and .cpp)Frame breakdown33 ms/frameGPU renders 1.3333 frames behind the CPUPost-processing happens at the start of a frameMain thread3 ms streaming asset setup/teardown, initialize/destroy actor10ms update gameplay … Continue reading “Marvel’s Spider-Man”: A Technical Postmortem

Automated Testing Implementation Roundtable

Notes on a roundtable talk at GDC 2019 Again, see autotestingroundtable.comHow do you define a sufficient level of test coverage?Aim to cover 95% of the weight of the code based on what gets run/used the mostCover the hotspots/inner loopsAdd tests as a part of every refactoring, bug fixBest place to start is to figure out … Continue reading Automated Testing Implementation Roundtable

Bridging the Open Source and Game Industries

Notes from a roundtable session at GDC 2019 Linux Foundation provides a safe third party ("neutral home") to hold all the rights to software so that competitors can collaborate and not worry about getting screwed Game industry has lots of semi-open licenses (e.g., VR headsets, Khronos, etc.) Academy Software Foundation: Wanted to standardize tools across … Continue reading Bridging the Open Source and Game Industries

Design by the Numbers: Using Data for Good

Notes on a talk by Evan Losi, lead game designer at Scopely Play tests only take you so far Capturing analytics Track everything—every time a player does anything Everything a person interacts with Which screens they open What activities people take Resources (what players earn and spend) Look at the aggregated data Key metrics/KPIs End … Continue reading Design by the Numbers: Using Data for Good