Author Topic: Best tips to test your game?  (Read 363 times)

Best tips to test your game?
« on: 13 Jan 2021, 04:41 »
Hello all, this is not really a technical question but I hope this is still the right place to put it.

I am busy finishing my first AGS game so I do a lot of testing to polish it. I just run the game and note down the little changes I want to do, fix them, play again, etc, until it will be good enough for me to show it around. So I am asking myself the question: what are you guys best tips to test a game? What method do you use and what works best for you?

Re: Best tips to test your game?
« Reply #1 on: 13 Jan 2021, 04:59 »
First advise is to give it to someone else to play (aka beta testers). There's a psychological phenomena when game authors tend to play the game very certain way, because they ofcourse know how it should be played. Your players won't be that aware and their playstyle and even order of actions will be different. They easily get into situations which you did not predict, or get confused over things that you thought are obvious.
They will also tell you that controls are terrible, and note a lot of tremendously irritating things that you thought are not worth addressing.

Regarding testing itself, I usually make a list of actions which you may take on a particular screen, and then start doing those actions in various orders (reloading previous save when necessary).
Then come the puzzles that span across many rooms, and the range of testing is extended.
Priority is given to playing the game as distant from intended walkthrough as possible, because this gives more chance to find something that developers missed.
« Last Edit: 13 Jan 2021, 06:33 by Crimson Wizard »

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Re: Best tips to test your game?
« Reply #2 on: 13 Jan 2021, 08:13 »
What are you trying to test specifically?
- That you have no bugs in your GUI, or your special options, or sound, or anything custom you might have programmed?
- That you don't have missing interactions / deadends in your game?

The first one can be tested with standard code testing methods.
The second one can be tested in two ways :
1) having as many people play your game as possible
2) having default interactions for when you forgot to program an interaction.


 

Re: Best tips to test your game?
« Reply #3 on: 13 Jan 2021, 10:49 »
THose are actually good insights, thanks guys.

In fact I already ran the game a few times (it's not that long a game) and it's not GUI or coding errors I worry about (I used the default GUI and just amended it a bit), the debugging is pretty efficient for mistakes such as forgetting a semicolon or whatever. I worry more about having some little things that do not appear correctly or display at the right time, etc.

But you may be right that I need to show the game to people to test. I still don't have the welcome screen and the ending scene but the game itself is complete so I guess I will open a topic somewhere else to ask for volunteers to test it.

In the meantime actually if someone else has good advices on testing, please keep on posting!

Re: Best tips to test your game?
« Reply #4 on: 13 Jan 2021, 11:26 »
You can use the recruitment board to find beta testers.
Fail at Floaty Rog' now!  still having to deal with what games are going through

Re: Best tips to test your game?
« Reply #5 on: 14 Jan 2021, 06:04 »
Another question: how do you test a long game? Is there a trick to avoid having to start the game from zero each time you test it? What's your method?

Re: Best tips to test your game?
« Reply #6 on: 14 Jan 2021, 08:44 »
AGS already comes with a debug mode, for instance you can use Ctrl+X to jump to a room, or Ctrl+S to gain all inventory. If you need to also set global variables and the like, you have to do so manually; just implement a setup function that puts your game in the state necessary to test the part you're working on and call it in game_start().
Fail at Floaty Rog' now!  still having to deal with what games are going through

Re: Best tips to test your game?
« Reply #7 on: 14 Jan 2021, 09:59 »
Oh I did not know the debug mode had all these options, I will look it up, thanks a lot!

Matti

Re: Best tips to test your game?
« Reply #8 on: 14 Jan 2021, 14:36 »
And don't forget to disable the debug mode before publishing the game  ;)

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Re: Best tips to test your game?
« Reply #9 on: 14 Jan 2021, 23:51 »
A good way to do it, is creating a debug GUI, so you can switch variables on/off, or set starting points with all the variables correctly setup.
You can add a key combination to call in the GUI at any point of your game. And if you set it under a debug mode on IF statement, it'll be automaticly off once you turn off debug mode before releasing your game to the final players.
 
If you create a debug GUI don't forget to let your beta testers know about it, so that once they have run their first play, they can use it to test specific situations.
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Re: Best tips to test your game?
« Reply #10 on: 16 Jan 2021, 04:59 »
Thank you all, these are really very interesting tips!

I will use some of them, and remember the others for future projects.

I have made a thread in which I invite people to test my game if they want to: https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=58749.0

Thanks a lot!

Re: Best tips to test your game?
« Reply #11 on: 16 Jan 2021, 05:39 »
For larger projects, using an issue tracker may make communication between testers and developers much easier. There may be free of charge options for small teams out there.