QA how much manpower, time and money should be invested? (two)

Money manpower time game development

youxibang· 2016-06-27 22:14:37

Author: Lachance

Mathieu project planning is the most important and most difficult step in the development of electronic games. It will try to define the scope and function of the game by working hard, time and money. I will share with me and our team on how much manpower, time and money are used by QA to measure the amount of time and money. The most basic external rules

we rely on is:

10% rules

QA/ debug development rules of

we use the main internal skills is "puzzle skills", which includes:

game content overlap function

"multiplier method" (i.e., positive and negative QA / ratio influence elements)

in the first part of the article we focus on the calculation of QA need to invest much manpower, time and money to the basic external rules. And today we're going to turn to what we used to be the main internal cause: "the puzzle".

again, before I start, I want to state that the content is applicable to all the QA games.

I will be a puzzle skills method named "puzzle skill" is because if the effective application of this technique, you have all the gameplay features and content into smaller components and re integrate them to show the main part of the required content. Once formed, this puzzle is your QA strategy. You can use the QA policy to execute the QA plan and eventually use the QA plan to implement the test case.

Full QA flow (from Gamasutra

) as mentioned above, it will be based on the specific sequence of game content, function overlap and multiplier method "includes. In order to make a better description of the game and the project as a case study. Again, on the example, you don't need to have the complexity, performance, the first party to issue a certificate, and so on. Let's assume that the other teams will be responsible for the work.

now let's make an in-depth analysis!

step 1: game content

first lists all the content / function of the game as well as the completion of the content of 100% to spend much time. Need to pay attention to is that I have just started to do not go too much detail. First you will waste a lot of time, and then you should leave more details to the QA plan and test cases.

in the example below we have such a game:

can be completed in about 5 hours

to spend 2 hours to be able to see all the UI features, including interactive menu

to spend 10 hours to collect all the feasible items

to spend 24 hours to obtain all the achievements of

and so on.

let us have the information to create the following chart:

Puzzle step 1 (from Gamasutra)

tips: you also need to pay attention to me at the bottom for destructive testing to add a line. This is not a game feature. Destructive testing is a kind of no script / exploratory test, usually for a particular test. This type of tester can use your intuition and intelligence to master how to break the game in the context of what you don't expect. These testers can see the different features of the game and easily combine different content together to create unexpected content. I'm not going to make a more detailed description of this, but I hope you will always be able to set aside some time for destructive testing.

step 2: function overlap

next, look at your list of features and look at the test can be at the same time, easy to cover what. In the following example, you will need to complete the "process" and "collection" in order to accomplish "achievement" ". They will be repeated in 3 parts, so if you don't do that, you will waste your time in the same content. About "audio", let's assume that all the other features have 100% of sound and music - all we need to do is to make the test audio as another check object. We have reduced the total 58 hours to 41 hours in the chart below.

Puzzle step 2 (from Gamasutra)

in the last step 3: multiplier method using positive and negative multiplier method of your game function.

multiplier method refers to any test can improve the productivity of content (e.g. game effective debugging or cheating function, the game without any large obstacles, provided to the QA team like GDD or reference documents helpful reference).

refers to any negative multiplier method will reduce the productivity test content (such as random or generated content, including program generation, or the game has large obstacles, the QA team has no clear information or instructions, many people need more people to participate in the game to check etc.).

in the following example let us assume that the development team provides a framework based on cheating / commissioning requirements, the achievement time reduced by 12 hours, but there are also some random enemies so will increase 3 hours to encounter all enemies of the game. We also save another 9 hours. That is, compared to the first 58 hours, we will eventually shorten the time to 32 hours.

Puzzle 3 step (from Gamasutra

) although cheating / debugging function can help the QA process, but you must consider if you do not want to release candidate (RC) included the content you will need some tests are not in in the process of testing using them, especially near the deadline RC. Mainly because of cheating and debugging features may hide some important problems (such as skimming some of the main obstacles) or create some of the content should not appear in the non debug architecture.

next step

now you solve the basic puzzle and understand how much time it takes to process the first process. As previously mentioned, you can now use this information to define your basic QA strategy, create your QA test plan, and provide a QA test case for your testers. Based on the complexity of the game, the project, or the situation you are facing, you need to focus on the other.

the next step is to use project restriction patterns in your game project ". The most widely known model is the three dimensional constraints or the iron triangle, and the latest version of the update is not so well known model is the project management star.

on some examples of the use of this model:

clear your time frame and budget, usually every development time and budget.

clear your quality / content complex requirements, usually per game content and your team's quality expectations (how much content in the game? What types of tests do we need? What is the threshold of our quality? When will we think the game is "good enough"?.

make sure you can do the above two points, if not you should try to make the best decision in time range, which is about QA and your other games you want to spend much cost, how much you want to transfer the content and how to pass the content. (if you do not have the time or money to test your game, you may not have enough time or money to add audio, creating music, creating art assets, translation games and so on, or you may want to take to reduce the content of the game / quality).

clear you need and want to carry out the QA support process (such as a consistent team, each stage of the team or the cyclical change of the etc.).

based on your time frame, budget and quality / content requirements and project stage to identify the team size.

if it is cyclical, clear how many QA cycles you need and how long it will be.

if it is applicable, clear the contents of each project cycle or phase. For example, audio and UI in the beta test is not performed before and can not be detected in the alpha test before testing 50% of the content per week, in the /RC test beta phase 400% per week to detect the content and so on.

more different things depending on your project characteristics.

below is a puzzle I created in a AAA class game a few years ago /QA strategy. All of the functions and features of the type on the left, and then is the time and date of implementation, and the weekly coverage of each project phase, the alpha test before the execution and the DLC run, etc.. From the chart, we can see the average number of tests needed per week, the average number of participants per day, as well as the QA time and cost required for the project.

Puzzle AAA (from Gamasutra

) as you can see, if your game planning and development is very complicated, so the work will become complex. But don't worry, I'll discuss these steps later in the article. We will further focus on the management of shared interests and the concept of Pareto QA, which can help you better determine the quality of the game standards and according to KPI to decide when to end the QA process. I hope all of this will give you real help!

(this is a game state / compile refuse not to retain any copyright forwarding, for reprint please contact:

How much people game), time and money should QA take Part2

by Mathieu Lachance

Project planning is? One of the most crucial and difficult steps of a videogame development project. It sets the scope of the game and its features and, through those, the amount of effort, time and money that is planned for it. With this series of entries I ll share a couple tips "and techniques my team and myself use to calculate how much people, time and money QA should take.

The most basic external factor rules we rely on are:

The 10% rule &

The QA/Debug Dev rule

The main internal factor techn Ique we use is the "Puzzle technique which" considers:

Game content

Feature overlaps "&

Multipliers" (Positive and negative QA project/ratio influencers

In Part1 of) this article, we ve looked at the basic "external factor rules we rely on to evaluate how much people, time and money QA should take (The & The 10% rule QA/Debug Dev rule). In this Part 2, we ll look into the main" internal factor technique we use: the "Puzzle technique".

And, again before, I start and get the question: Matt Does this apply to Dev! QA or Publisher QA? Or outsourcers? This applies to all, videogame QA

The Puzzle! Technique

I 've named this method "Puzzle technique" because to apply it properly, you have To cut out all of a game s features and content into "smaller and smaller pieces and then reconstruct all of them to provide you with a big picture of the required work. That puzzle, once built, will be your QA Strategy. You can then use that QA Strategy to feed your QA plan and then, finally use, that QA plan to feed your testcases.

As mentioned before, it considers the game content features overlaps, and multipliers, in that specific order. Let s take the example of" an oversimplified game and project for the sake of the process explanation. And again, for the sake of the example, you do not need to do any Compatibility Performance. First Party Publishing Certification, or any other type of testing than Gameplay. Let s " Assume another team will cover the other parts (If you want me to cover strategy and execution of some of these other features, we ll do it in other "posts..

Let s") delve in

Step 1: Game content

First! List all of the game s content/features and how much "time it would be necessary for a normal user to see that content. Note here: 100% of I d suggest to not go" too much into details for the first pass. Firstly because you ll spend too much time "and overthink it for nothing, and secondly because going into details should be saved for your QA Plan and then testcases.

In the below example, we have a game that:

Can be completed in about 5h

Takes about 2H to see all UI functionalities, in Menu interactions

Takes about cluding 10h to collect all available items

Takes 24h to complete all achievements


Let 's populate the below table with the information we have as of yet:

1Free tip: You ll also notice that I "added an extra line at the bottom for destructive testing. It s not a game feature." Destructive testing is a type of unscripted/ exploratory testing which is usually reserved for a very special type of tester. The type of tester that is able to use his gut, instinct and smarts to know and feel how to break the game, outside of your plan and testcases. The type of tester that sees different features in a game and can easily put together to make 1 and 1 something unexpected happen. I won t go too much in "details here as I could have an entry solely for scripted vs exploratory (including destructive testin) G, but, always, ALWAYS, reserve some time for destructive testing.

Step 2: Feature overlaps

Secondly, look into your list of features and see what can be covered simultaneously, easily and naturally by a tester. In the below example to complete, "Achievements", "you ll need to complete" Progression "and" Collectibles "naturally, so we can reduce those to 0%. They have repeat coverage in all 3 sections so if, you don do so you 't' ll be wasting time on the same content coverage. Regarding" Audio "," let s assume that looking into all other features will allow to hear 100% of sounds and music we need to do - all is to instruct testers to bug audio as discovered2. Per the table below, we ve already reduced the requ " Ired total time for a full pass from 58h to 41h.

Step 3: Multipliers

Finally, apply positive and negative multipliers to your game features.

Positive multipliers are anything that increases the productivity of the testers (e.g. efficient debug or cheat features within the game, no major blockers within the game, effective and useful reference material given to the QA team like the GDD and/or walkthrough docs, etc..

Negative are anything that) multipliers decreases the productivity of the testers (e.g. random appearance or generation of content - including procedural generation, presence of major blockers within the game, no/unclear/contradicting information or instructions given to QA team, Multiplayer checks Requiring multiple people, etc..

In the below example), let s say the dev team "provided a build with cheat/debug commands that allows for easy progression, reducing" Achievements "time by 12h3, but there s also some random enemy" encounters that adds about 3H to see all enemy content in the game. We saved another 9h. 32H total instead of our original 58h.

3Even though Cheat/Debug features usually helps QA progression, please take in consideration that you may want to take them out at some point if you don t plan to publish with "them included in your Release Candidate (RC) build, and you may also want some testers to not use them while testing throughout all the time, especially when nearing RC. The main reason be Ing that active Cheat and Debug features may hide some important issues (e.g.: jumping over major blocker or new ones appear) make that wouldn t be present in a 'non-debug build wouldn' t require which, any fix (thus wasting your testers' and developers' time.

Next now have your) steps

You base puzzle done and know how much time is needed for 1 full pass. As shown previously, you can now use that information to present your base QA Strategy, build your QA Test Plan, and from that build your necessary QA Test Cases for your testers. Depending on the complexity of your game, project or even situation you re in you may need. "To look into a few other things.

The next steps, if applicable, are to apply the "Project Constraint Model" to your game project. The most well-known model of it being the Triple Constraint or Eternal/Iron Triangle, and its newest/updated and lesser-known counter-part, the Project Management Star.

Some examples of that application:

Defining your timeframe and budget, usually per your development timeframe and budget (see Part1 of this post.

Defining your quality/content coverage requirements), usually per your game content plan and your team 's quality expectations (How much content is there in our game What type of testing do? We need? What s our quality "threshold When should we consider the game?" good enough ".

Make sure the?) two above points are aligned, and if not, making as m Uch of an informed decision as you can regarding your timeframe, how much you want to spend, the amount of content you ll deliver and the quality of 'the content you' ll deliver, for QA but also all other spheres of your game (if you don t have money nor time "to test your game, you might not have enough time or money to also develop, add in audio, create music, create art assets, translate your game, etc... And/or you may want to scale back on content/quality.

Defining QA support coverage) the process you need and want to apply (E.G.: constant team, fluctuating team per phase, cyclical rounds, etc..

Defining your team size based) on your timeframe, budget and quality/content coverage requirements and project phase.

If cyclical, defining how many rounds of QA you "d need and when.

If applicable, defining the coverage requirements per project rounds or phase. (E.G.: Audio and UI not implemented and can t be checked before Beta", Checking of content per week in Pre-Alpha 50% vs. Checking 400% of content per week in Beta/RC etc.

And more depending on your) project 's specificities.

Below' s A partly censored Puzzle QA Strategy I had built / a few years ago on a AAA title. All features and feature types on the left, then coverage times and implementation dates and then of coverage per week per% ratio project phase, from Pre-Alpha to Post Release support and into DLC work. From there, we could know the amount of necessary tester-days per week per phase, and thus average amount of testers per day and the exact amount of QA, time and money necessary for the project.

As you can see above, if your game and your development plan is complex, the work for this will get complex as well. Don t worry I will ", cover some of these Next Steps in future entries. In my next post we ll look at stakeholder management as' well as The QA Pareto concept, which helps you decide the quality level of your game as well as when to close a QA project based on pre-defined KPIs. I hope you enjoyed the post and found it useful And, as always! Feel free to leave any comments and questions and I ll try to answer as' best I can.

Also. 2 BIG NEWS for those courageous enough to have read through the whole article

News #1: For those interested! In meeting me and some of my colleagues next week, we will be in Barcelona, Spain for the Game QA & Localisation Europe Conference from June 28th to 30th 2016 AND we have 5 free client passes to give out. Message me rapidly if you re interested in getting one "of these passes

News #2: My colleagues! Nicolas Liorzou Henry-Biskup & Stefan, will be speaking about Tips on shipping a world & Tricks class indie game: the Publishing-as-a-Service option and Finding "the Awesome" All Day Long at Mexico s Campus Party next week "also. If you have the chance I highly suggest dropping by to d see their presentation!

Until next time! (source:gamasutra)

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