Talking about Books… Part II

Hi!
As I promissed, here we go with the second part of “Talking About Books”. If you miss part One, click here.

Once again, thanks to Tom Sloper for the quite selection of literature.

Serious Games: Games That Educate, Train, and Inform
by Sande Chen & David Michael
Publisher: Course Technology PTR; ISBN: 1592006221
Book Description “Serious Games: Games that Educate, Train, and Inform” will help you learn how to take what you’ve learned in making games for fun and apply it to making “serious games”: games for education, training, healing, and more. It will provide an overview of all of the major markets for serious games. This overview will include examples of what has been done with video games in these markets, and what is anticipated in the future, including market scope, goals of each emerging market, game types offering greatest potential, the shortest route to market by category, development budgets by category, and barriers for developers to consider.
(Blog’s Author: As we are talking about Serious Games, do not forget to check my Final Paper about a Serious Game inside the Foreign Trade Area – check it out here)


 Game Design Workshop: Designing, Prototyping, and Playtesting Games
by Tracy Fullerton
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 2nd edition (February 8, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0240809742
ISBN-13: 978-0240809748
The publisher of 1st edition says: Master the craft of game design so you can create that elusive combination of challenge, competition, and interaction that players seek. This design workshop begins with an examination of the fundamental elements of game design; then puts you to work in prototyping, playtesting, and redesigning your own games with exercises that teach essential design skills.
Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams On Game Design
by Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams (duh)
New Riders; ISBN 76092-02300. 
What people are saying about this book: “This book sets the record straight as to what ‘game design’ is and why it’s important.” – Tom Sloper; President, Sloperama Productions.
Also see Ernest Adams’ website, at http://www.designersnotebook.com.
 Game Design by Bob Bates
Thomson Course Technology ; ISBN: 1-59200-493-8


The publisher says: A behind-the-scenes look at how a game gets designed and developed – from the day the idea is born to the day the box hits the shelves.

 

 
 Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals

by Katie Salen & Eric Zimmerman
The MIT Press ; ISBN: 0-262-24045-9
The publisher says: A much-needed primer for this emerging field. A unified model for looking at all kinds of games, from board games and sports to computer and video games.

 

The Indie Game Development Survival Guide

by David Michael
Publisher: Charles River Media; ISBN: 1584502142.

Ok, not much to say about this last book, but Google is there for a reason. 🙂

Go for it and enjoy the reading!

I will keep posting the other books during the week. So, stay tuned! for part III!

See ya!

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Talking about Books…

Good Morning everyone!

When we talk about the game biz, we have to understand – as I Always say – that it is an industry as all the other and you will work in a real JOB. Yeah, JOB, work, duties, tasks, etc. And like any other job, you have to keep developing yourself to build a great career and a great resume, with a lot of experience and knowledge.

I don’t know if you remember, but in an older post I said that you have to be an avid reader. And that is true. Not only about worlds of fantasy, technology, medieval or character, but about the industry itself and how it works. Or you plan to be a tester for the rest of your life???

My point is, you have to study, and study a lot. Read a lot, talk with people, discuss, and ask, research. No knowledge will come to you out of the blue.

So that’s why, once more, Tom Sloper, gives us the opportunity to make our professional life better. He listed at his site a few books that he consider recommended reading for Aspiring Game Designers and more.

Here we go with this list. Hope you guys can have the opportunity to check them all, because here in Brazil is kind of hard and most of the books we can only have access through Amazon and in the original language. (Just to let you know. Still, not a problem to be, by the way. rsrs)

Enjoy the reading!

TOM SLOPER

NOTE: these lessons are primarily aimed at aspiring game designers, but many of the concepts described herein also apply to those who aspire to other types of jobs in the game industry.[…]

Game designers are creative. So I list books on creativity — and I list creative novels about games to spark the reader’s creative thinking.

Game designers work in industry. So I list books about how to survive in industry.

Game design is intricately interwoven with what producers do (well, sort of – but I’m a designer and producer). So I list books about how to manage, and about projects.

Games do not exist in a vacuum — players use a “language” which was developed in earlier games. So I list books about the history of the game biz.

Programmers are designers too — one or two books in this list may be addressed to the more technically-minded “designers” of games.


 

Introduction to Game Development

Edited by Steve Rabin

Charles River Media; ISBN: 1-58450-377-7

Reviewer says: An introduction to all aspects of the theory and practice of game development, design, and production. The book, which can be used as a text for introductory courses or as a comprehensive reference for game developers and designers, is divided into seven independent parts. 27 leading game developers have contributed chapters. […]

Game Design Perspectives

Edited by Francois Dominic Laramee

Paperback – 401 pages, with CD (May, 2002)

Charles River Media; ISBN 1-58450-090-5.

Book Description: This unique compilation of design articles provides designers with insight into how their colleagues approach game design, where they have stumbled, and how they have succeeded. The articles are written by a diverse group of designers with a wide variety of game backgrounds. The topics covered range from proper design documentation, user interfaces, design theory, characters and storytelling, to quality management, platform- and genre-specific design issues, relationships between designers and the user community, and game development project management. If you are just beginning in game design, you’ll find new ideas to complement and compare with your own designs. Producers and managers will also benefit from The User Community and Managing a Game Development Business sections.

Secrets of the Game Business

Edited by Francois Dominic Laramee

Paperback – 338 pages (March, 2003)

Charles River Media; ISBN 1-58450-282-7.0

Book Description: Explore the inner workings of the game development and publishing industry through the experiences and insights of industry experts. These publishing executives, developers, veteran producers, designers, owners of independent studios, and academics have written a unique collection of articles that really delves into the intricacies of the business. A must-have resource for anyone interested in starting a game development studio or improving an existing one.

 
David Perry on Game Design; A Brainstorming Toolbox

by David Perry, Rusel DeMaria

Charles River Media ; ISBN-10: 1584506687. ISBN-13: 978-1584506683

The author says: It’s the biggest book on game design ever written, at over 1,000 pages long. It’s designed to help students & designers come up with innovative new ideas, and also to expand current ideas.

 

The Game Production Handbook

by Heather Chandler

Publisher: Charles River Media; ISBN: 1-58450-416-1
 

Book Description Written by a veteran game producer, The Game Production Handbook is the ultimate industry reference. It answers the questions new leads, managers, and producers have, and it gives the pros new insights and valuable tips to improve their existing processes.
(Blog’s Author: Man, as the post goes through more than 14 pages, I will slip this post.

See you guys later with the 2o part of Book tips for the Game Biz)

Tip for a Game Testing Book


Good Evening!
If you are, for some reason, reading this article is because you may be looking for some information on how to become a Game Tester or maybe looking for more information to develop your work today.
Either way, I found out at Amazon an amazing book that will surely help you develop or learning something about Game Testing.
The authors, Charles P. Schultz, Robert Bryant and Tim Langdell, PHD, are some big masters in what they do and work. Charles is an Operations Manager for Motorola’s Global Software Group and works on software testing and mobile gaming. Robert is currently Studio Director at videogame publisher Crave Entertainment, where he also served as QA Manager and Executive Producer. Tim, a veteran of the game industry, is full-time faculty in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Information Technology Program where he chairs the Game Curriculum Sub-Committee, and teaches game design and game testing.
This is just the start so you can understand how great is this book….
Ok. Authors are good but what will I learn with the book?
Here is your answer. With this book, you will learn about the roles and responsibilities of a game tester, including how to best apply software test engineer methodologies to the game industry. This knowledge can be applied by testers to help create staffing plans and schedule test tasks, as well as generate thorough and effective test cases for games. Topics include how games are made, how testing fits into the production cycle of a game, testing fundamentals, test automation, and how to test different games genres.
The book is also divided into five parts, each consisting of multiple chapters as below.
Part I – “About Game Testing” introduces the reader to game testing in terms of culture, philosophies, and the contribution testing makes to the final game release.
Part II – “Making Games” reveals how an individual contributes to the overall game project. Also includes different kinds of roles and responsibilities that are required of testers through various stages of the development and production of game software.
Part III – “Testing Fundamentals” introduces testing concepts and practices from a formal software engineering approach.
Part IV – “Testing Techniques” is a set of tutorials on different methodologies for producing tests for your game.
Part V – “More Effective Testing” addresses ways to make the most out of your limited time and resources to reach new heights in the quantity and quality of the test you can produce and run.
So, if you want to know more – and also know from where I took the text above – check out the book!
See you around!

10 Tips for a Localization Work


Good night!
Here we are with another post about Localization.
However, before we go to the text, it is important to underline something that I guess I forgot to mention. If you are willing to work over the Localization Industry, another important skill that you should have is Literature. I mean, read a lot. You have to be able to communicate yourself with other (as a QA tester) and be able to understand about different worlds, ways of speaking, environments and more.
Supposed you are going to work in a game which goes in the Middle Age. You can just go through translating everything, expecting that everything is ok. NO. You have to understand what happened in Middle Age. What was like to be a knight or a peasant, how they used to speak with each other, how they treat each other and more.
Your job as a Translator/Localization is to help the people over the worked language to have the same immersion as they would have at the original idiom. You have to pass the feeling, the anger, the happiness, the sadness of the character. Otherwise, the player would feel left out and would keep thinking that you should have done this and that, instead of playing the game and have fun.
Another thing is that you can just translate everything literally because the text won’t fit at the box because of the size of the words. That is where comes in handy the reading from the world you are working with and an understanding of the language you are dealing with. 
As I was translating Alien Shooter 2: Vengeance by myself, I had to work a lot over the same dialog to make it feel natural and not translated, check the words all the time and make sure that, even changing the dialog, the meaning of the text had to be the same. I played the game about fifty times or more to make sure that everything was according; and still, some parts of it I am not entirely satisfy.
It takes time, it is hard, it may be boring but it is wonderful to work with it if you like it.
Well, too much of speaking, let go to the tips!
Enjoy!
Thanks for the source of the text www.gamasutra.com
The days of “all your base are belong to us” style translations might be thing of the past, but localization is still one of game development’s Cinderella specialisms.
“A lot of people in the industry still don’t understand localization very well,” says Kate Edwards, chair of the IGDA’s Game Localization Special Interest Group. “Many still think of it as something done at the end, but it is as much a part of the development cycle as coding or writing or designing.”
But as the pressure for games to connect with a global audience grows, localization is starting to shed its afterthought status. When Sandra Pourmarin, localization manager at Ubisoft Montreal, joined the studio eight years ago, localization was closer in status to the testing department than the development team.
“All the localization resources were on a separate floor and worked as a service to the development team,” she says. “Now the localization project manager is under the direct responsibility of the producers and we’re on the same floor as the team. It’s a huge improvement.”
Localization is also starting to show that it’s about more than translation as developers and publishers start to think more about how their games will go down in different parts of the world.
“Everyone perceives localization as language and for the most part it is but that is not all localization is,” says Edwards. “Culturalization — thinking about the use of symbols, environments, costumes, everything that isn’t language — is also part of the big umbrella of localization.”
So how can developers and publishers make sure their international appeal is up to scratch? To find out we asked the localization pros who have worked on games such as Diablo III, Assassin’s Creed and Fallout 3 for their helpful hints. 
1. Make the context clear
Games often get translated before they are finished, so any text or speech handed over to the localization studios needs to be accompanied with detailed information about the context, says Irene Panzeri, content lead at localization studio Synthesis which has worked on titles such as Diablo III and Red Dead Redemption.
“Languages don’t share the same grammar rules. In English ‘you’ is both plural and singular, but in French the singular is ‘tu’ and the plural ‘vous’ with the verb changing accordingly. Knowing how many people a character is talking to is a common dilemma for translators.” Clarifying words with dual meanings is also important, she adds: “Does ‘aim at the tank’ mean aim at a fuel container or an armored vehicle?”
2. Let localization in early
Getting the localization team involved as early as possible can reduce crunch time headaches says Pourmarin. “With Assassin’s Creed: Revelations the localization team worked with the development team on localization earlier and it really smoothed the process,” she says.
“If we are aware of specific content that might be a challenge we can prepare for that and come up with options for how to address it rather than trying to do it in the rush time at the end of the project.
“For example on Assassin’s Creed, we had cameras that needed to move to avoid showing some nudity that would be a problem in some countries. Being able to identify that early in the process is very precious. If you arrive late on a project with those issues there might not be time to tackle them properly and that will result in additional cost and harm the quality of the game.”
3. Current events matter
Cultural attitudes aren’t fixed and current events can change how a game will be received. “When I was localizing My Weight Loss Coach for the DS, a product manager in Belgium raised a flag about the use of the word ‘pedometer’ because there had just been a lot of pedophilia cases in Belgium, and it was felt the word was too close, so we replaced it with another word,” says Pourmarin, who says Ubisoft uses its network of national offices and external localization partners to help spot these kinds of topical concerns.
Kate Edwards, founder of game culturalization consultancy Englobe, agrees that current affairs can affect how games are received: “Back in 1999, Age of Empires had a Japanese samurai on the box and Korean retailers didn’t want to put it on the shelves, because at that time Japan and Korea were at the height of one of their rows about the Takeshima/Dokdo islands in the Sea of Japan. But I think if you released that today there wouldn’t be the same problem.”
4. Impose a text freeze
To keep translation costs under control and development on schedule, Paradox Interactive, the Swedish publisher-developer behind the Divine Windand Europa Universalis games, sets and enforces a cut-off date for changes to in-game text. “At a certain point we have a text freeze, which is when our text files get sent to the translators,” says Linda Kiby, associate producer at Paradox.
“Because we want our games to be moddable, we put all our text in CSV files, as that is the easiest way of allowing people to do that, and it also means we can just paste the finished translation into the text files. But it also means that if anyone changes anything or removes a line after the text is sent for translation that can create chaos, which is why the text freeze is so important.”
5. Translators should be asking questions
Since external translation agencies don’t get to see the text within the context of the game itself, alarm bells should start ringing if they aren’t coming back with questions says Omar Salleh, game director at Tragnarion Studios, the Spanish developer of the XBLA, PSN and Mac third-person shooter Scourge: Outbreak.
“I’ve worked with some who took the text said everything was fine and we didn’t hear back until they were done,” he says. “We didn’t think too much about it at the time, but when playtesting the game with the localized text we realized that while the text was grammatically correct, it didn’t really fit the style of the game.”
6. Be aware of cultural issues from day one
Developers need to think about culturalization early on because some issues just can’t be fixed at the end of development, says Edwards. “I was asked to review Fallout 3 to see if it would be compatible with the Indian market, and because of the two-headed mutant Brahmin bulls, it was not going to be viable because India has laws that protect cows from harm.
“Those laws pertain to real ones, of course, but if it’s sensitive enough that there is a law against real cows being harmed then it is going to be sensitive to see a virtual one that is mutated and can be eaten and all that,” says Edwards.
“We did discuss whether this could be changed, but the game was done at that point, so it was a question of whether it was worth spending all that money to release the game in India. The only other thing you can do at that late a stage is to go ahead with release, and plan for the reaction it might get.”
7. Provide biographies for characters
Biographical information about in-game characters is extremely helpful for localization studios if they are casting actors to perform in-game speech in a foreign language, says Ambra Ravaglia, lead audio director at Synthesis.
“It’s important to know the characters you are going to cast, their ages, their looks, their moods and so on, since that means I can choose an actor who can manage those emotions and correctly reflect the character,” she says.
This is all the more important because localizing speech is often more complex than text translations. For instance, what would be the German equivalent of a Scottish accent compared to an American accent? In such cases having an understanding of who the character is helps localization teams figure out what accent would be most appropriate for a foreign language audience.
The differences between the actors in different countries also matters, says Ravaglia. “A 25-year-old U.S. marine in a game usually has a deep voice, but deep Italian voices are rare, so we have to keep back deeper-voiced actors for the older characters — so our 25-year-old marine would have a younger, higher voice.”
8. Work with your fans
Paradox Interactive draws on the enthusiasm of its fans to polish its translations. “Our beta testers are happy to help on the translations and often they are better than the professional translators, because they know the games and the situations in which the text is going to be used,” says Kiby.
“Because they are fans, and other fans will agree if they think something could be improved, we trust their judgement. We don’t use them for whole masses of text, though; it’s more for shorter sections of text and checking the flavor of the translation. After all, you can’t send volunteers 8,000 lines of text to go over in three weeks, and we want them to have fun.”
9. Beware of string concatenations
“While making Scourge: Outbreak, we initially made the mistake of cutting phrases into chunks, and storing text separately, so the code could string them together in the multiplayer mode to create phrases like ‘ captured flag!’,” says Salleh. “But that meant these words were being translated out of context, and the game engine was stringing them together in a way that might make sense in English, but not in Spanish or any other language. So we had to go back through every message of this type, so that we didn’t end up with Yod- speak like ‘Captured Flag! The’ in other languages.”
10. Appoint a cultural watchdog
“There’s a stage in game development where you’ve got the basic world and characters in place, and you then start backfilling it with additional content to make the world more real and complete,” says Edwards. “It’s during this stage where a lot of culturalization problems get added, because the creative folk are up against a tight deadline and just use what comes to mind so they might, without intending to, insert stereotypes or culturally sensitive content.”
One way to deal with this is to make one individual on the team responsible for watching out for content that might cause trouble. “Create a bug type in the bug tracking system so they can flag up these things and track what’s happened to them in development,” she says. “Whoever is responsible needs to ask questions like ‘Where did that symbol come from’ and ‘What was the inspiration for it’ or ‘What do the foreign language words in the soundtrack actually say?'”
So, does this tips helped you anyhow? Do you have any other tip that you may want to share? Do it! Let’s share and make it happen!

See you, guys!

How to become a Professional Video Game Tester

I found out those tips at http://work.chron.com/ and, so far for what I have seen, some of them are pretty good.

Let me know what do you think about those tips and if you have another good one that was not mentioned below.

Spare some time to read it if you are looking for an opportunity to get into this biz.

Video game testing, also called quality assurance testing, isn’t a fantasy job; it’s an actual, necessary part of the game development process. A game testing job can be a good way to get your foot in the door of the gaming industry, but it might not be as much fun as you imagine; most quality assurance testers spend their days playing and replaying the same levels to check for errors. Though it’s hard work, game testers are compensated for their efforts. As of 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor reports the average salary of a game tester at $49,000 a year.
Step 1
Familiarize yourself with computer systems and popular console technology. Testers play games on a variety of platforms, and may be asked to install or uninstall hardware or software in the course of their work. According to 25-year veteran game designer Tom Sloper, computer literacy is an absolute must for game testers.
Step 2
Play as many games as possible. Read gaming magazines; get to know the lingo and genres. Many game players stick to one or two genres — but you won’t be able to pick the types of games you test, so you should be familiar with many different genres.
Step 3
Volunteer to participate in public beta tests of games. Quality assurance testers must be detail-oriented and thorough; demonstrate your aptitude for game testing by doing an exceptional job testing beta releases. Take comprehensive notes if you encounter any bugs; play and replay all of the events leading up to buggy responses and supply detailed feedback on every game error you come across.
Step 4
Learn how to write a bug report. Find bug reports online, and practice creating reports of your own that include the three essential elements of a bug report: what happened, what you expected to happen, and the exact steps required to repeat the bug. Knowing how to write a bug report will be a huge advantage when it comes time to apply for game testing positions.
Step 5
Practice effective written communication. Game testers’ bug reports should communicate game issues clearly enough that no follow-up questions are required.
Step 6
Start your own gaming blog. Greg Off, President of game marketing company Off Base Productions, advises people looking to breaking into the gaming industry to create their own game-oriented blogs. A great addition to a would-be game tester resume, a blog shows that you are committed to games — and can also serve as a platform to network with others in the industry.
Step 7
Join a game-focused social network and make friends. According to a recent article published by CNN, only about 20 percent of job openings are actually advertised — the rest are filled by people who know employees already working at the companies.
Step 8
Participate in game art contests or game review competitions. Winning an award in either type of contest is an excellent way to get the attention of game development studios.
Step 9
Get a college degree. Tom Sloper strongly recommends obtaining a degree before applying for a job as a game tester. Game design, computer science and communications are all subjects that would lend themselves to a career in game development.
Step 10
Apply for an internship at a game company. Lauren Svenson, a publicist for EA, encourages anyone who wants to get into the game industry to seek out internships. The opportunity to meet people and make connections, she maintains, is even more valuable than the experience of working on the games themselves.
Step 11
Create a resume that highlights your education, beta testing experience and communication skills. Attach a cover letter detailing your specific interest in a game testing position and point out any activities that demonstrate your dedication to game development and testing.
Step 12
Email your resume to every game company within commuting distance. According to Tom Sloper, you will not be able to test games from home — so if there is no game company within driving distance, you may need to move. Alex Jones, a producer at Capcom, broke into the industry by sending out resumes left and right: “I looked in the back of every video game magazine and sent my resume out to all of them within a 50 mile radius.”
And what about you? Have you started your on blog or game bug report?

How QA works?


Hi!
I found out this really informing video from Trendane Sparks in youtube and he describes, in 3 videos, what is to be a QA Tester.  Think you should check it out.
Still, here are some few notes about the video that I made – if you are really lazy to see the videos. =) – of what I found out to be important.

* First thing that he says is that: “Playing video games is different from testing video games”.
* He also talks about the blackbox tester / Ender user tester.
* Expectation of quality.
* What does it takes to be a good QA?
– Be able to communicate.
– Attention to details.
– Know the perspective of other (clients/bosses/workers).
– Find where the games goes from good to better to worst and go into the details to make it better.
– Patience.
– Give positives lines about the game and stuff not only what is bad or wrong.
– Thick skin – Someone will get mad about what you said, start screaming and point fingers at you.
– Courage.
– Gamers generally understand what makes a game fun.
– Keep a list of all the bugs you found.
– They will ask you to sign a document saying that the game is ready to release. If you say no, have a great backup. Bug database.

There are two kinds of bugs.
– Subjective bugs, which are just opinions.
– Objective bugs, based upon facts.
Tell people about the bug.
Bug is something that pulls you out of your game experience.
If you find a bug and there was already reported by many other people, it may not be written well. Read it and see if all of them have the same core/context.

Do not use the word ¨should¨ or ¨shouldn´t¨. You are not the game designer. Write what you expect to happen. Be objective.
Notes: Place where you can express your opinion.
No game goes out perfect and ok. There will be always bugs.
Well, for me, as a beginner in this kind of area, I found really interesting and some good stuff that can make you think. Also, is a different point of view of what a QA Tester does and what it shouldn’t.

How To Write A Game Bug Report

Hello!

Once more, Tom Sloper gives us an opportunity to enjoy one more of his texts and experience as below.

“How To Write a Game Bug Report” is one of the many information that you can find at www.sloperama.com

Enjoy the reading!
How to Write a Bug Report

[…] In this article, my goal is to teach you how to write a good bug report. I teach video game quality assurance at the University of Southern California, one of the top game schools in the world. I’ve read a lot of bug reports in my time, and written a lot of them too. If you ever want to get a QA job at a game company, you may need to write a bug report (also called a “bug”) as a test of your communication skills.
The Bug Database

QA departments use an online database for bug reporting. There are several different tools used for this: DevTrack, Mantis, JIRA, FogBugz, to name just a few. When a tester encounters a problem in the game he (or she) is testing, s/he then writes a report of the problem in the database. More about that in a bit (that being the main focus of this article).

 
 

The Bug Process

 

Once some new bugs have been written, the lead tester (the senior tester who leads the test effort on the game) filters the bugs. That means that the lead tester reads the bugs to make sure they’re “good” bugs. A “good” bug is not a duplicate of a bug already written by someone else, it describes a real problem worth looking into, and it contains enough information so that the developer (more on what this means below) can see the problem and fix it. 

The game’s producer or project manager also filters the bugs. It wouldn’t do for bad bugs to be reported to the development team. Bad bugs waste time. 

Once the bugs have been filtered, they are released to the development team. Development leads (the lead artist, the lead programmer, the lead designer) read the bugs appropriate to their own areas of responsibility and assign them to individual developers to fix. So if it’s an art bug, the lead artist knows which artist is responsible for that art asset, so the lead artist assigns the bug to that artist. If it’s a programming bug, the lead programmer can probably tell which programmer wrote the code that needs to be fixed. 

The developer (the person to whom the bug was assigned, be s/he an artist, designer, programmer) is notified that a bug has been assigned. Then the developer opens the database and reads the bug. Assuming the bug is well-written enough that the developer understands and accepts the validity of the problem, the developer then fixes the bug, and clicks the “Fixed” selection in the database. 

If the developer reads the bug and has a question that needs to be answered in order to fully understand the problem, the developer can post the question directly in the bug and send it back to the tester. Once the tester answers the question, the bug bounces back into the developer’s court. This little game of badminton continues until the developer has enough information and can fix the bug. Hopefully, the tester provides enough information in the initial report so that no back-and-forth is even necessary. 

Once a bug has been fixed, the bug goes back to the tester who wrote it for retesting. If the tester determines that the bug is indeed fixed, he or she clicks the “Verified Fixed” selection, and the bug is on its way to being “Closed.” If the tester determines that there is still a problem, he or she “Reopens” the bug, and it goes back to the developer to try again to fix. 

There’s more to it than that, but hopefully you get the idea. The database is a communication tool that the testers and developers use to track and resolve issues with the game. 

How To Write A Good Bug

 

I can hear voices in the distance, crying “Finally!!” Well, I figured it was helpful to set the stage first. Good to have the context, right? 

A bug contains the following five main parts:

  1. Summary line (short, sweet, summation of the problem)
  2. The Actual Result (a description of what happened; the problem)
  3. The Expected Result (what you thought should happen instead of the problem)
  4. Steps to Replicate (how someone else can make the problem happen too)
  5. Severity (how bad is the problem)

Let’s examine those in detail. 

2. The Actual Result

 

Writing in first person point of view, describe the problem. Provide enough information pertinent to the problem so that anyone reading the bug report will understand what happened. Write in complete sentences. Use proper punctuation, grammar, syntax, and spelling. 

Example: 

I was playing the Dodgers versus the Zombies, at Pebbled on Downs. I was at bat, and I hit a high fly ball. The ball flew high and long, but it never came down. Instead, the ball got stuck in my onscreen score. The ball flew right into the O and stayed there.

 

3. The Expected Result

 

Now that you’ve described the problem, explain why it’s a problem. What did you expect to happen, instead of the thing that actually happened? And what is the basis of that expectation? It may seem to you that it’s a waste of time to have to explain why it’s a problem — maybe you think it’s self-evident that it’s a problem (that any idiot can plainly see why it’s a problem, and what any idiot would expect to happen instead). Well, it’s your job as a QA tester to communicate. So communicate! What seems self-evident to you may not be so self-evident to your reader. And that even extends to the basis for the expectation

Example: 

The onscreen score is an artificial construct; it’s not really a part of the physical world being represented in the game. The score remains stationary on the screen while the camera pans around the sports arena. The score doesn’t smack any sports fans in the head (the sports fans are not affected by the relative motion of the onscreen score), and the score doesn’t collide with structures in the sports arena. So it’s unexpected for the ball to interact with the onscreen score in any way. 

Now it’s dead easy for anyone reading your bug to understand what you expected to happen (and why you expected that to happen). 

4. Steps To Replicate

 

Great, so you found a bug and you’re proud of yourself for spotting it. But if the developer can’t make the problem happen, how can he or she fix it? You have to tell the developer how to recreate (replicate) the problem. Writing in second person point of view, give the developer complete instructions about how to make the problem happen, so he can see it for himself. And to really communicate thoroughly, conclude with an observation step. Tell the developer what to look for, and what he will see, when he has performed your steps. 

Example: 

The problem has only been observed when playing in Pebbledon Downs, with the Dodgers and the Zombies. Your onscreen score has to be zero, and you have to aim for the zero. It can be tricky to make this problem happen, because it requires a good strong hit, a fly ball, and a trajectory that intersects perfectly with the middle of the O in the score. But I was able to make it happen a second time by simply being persistent. I recommend using the practice mode (that way the test is not prolonged by inning changes, vampire attacks, and timeouts). Using the left stick, position the batter’s feet so that a line drawn across both shoetips points directly towards the O. Press the right trigger just as the ball crosses the 5-point line, and hit the ball, then watch as it flies. When the ball flies into the O, observe that it gets stuck in the O. 

See how that’s written in second person (I told the developer what he has to do). And notice that in the observation step I told him what to look for. 

5. Severity

 

Now that you’ve described the problem, why it’s a problem, and how to recreate the problem, you need to say how severe the problem is, and why you say it’s that severe. You can’t just say “it’s a bad bug and needs to be fixed.” You have to communicate the reason why it’s bad. And you should use the A-B-C-D scale […]. (Remember: A is worst, B is bad, C is normal, D is minor.) 

Example: 

When the problem happens, it’s quite severe, because the ball is stuck and the game can not continue. The only way out of it (other than rebooting) is to hit Start, then Quit the game. But the problem happens only on those extremely rare occasions when the ball perfectly enters the O. So I’m assigning this a severity of C. 

1. Summary

 

I’ll bet you thought I made a mistake when I didn’t list this above! The reason I put this last is that the best time to write the summary is after you’ve written the rest of the report. A summary needs to be short, and it needs to summarize the problem you’re reporting. 

Example: 

Ball gets stuck in the O 

A bug report summary is a lot like the subject line of an email. It has to be short, and it has to give an idea of what the email is about (in this case, what the bug is). You’ll find that it’s easier to write the most concise summation of the problem after you’ve already written the full bug description. 

Some Common Mistakes

 

* Non-summing summary line. “Found a bug.” No kidding! Like all these other bugs in the database aren’t bugs that somebody found? That’s like sending an email with the subject line, “Hey” – or “I wrote an email” – or “From me.” Sum up the problem! Say what the problem is. Just like when you write an email, you give the recipient an idea what the email is about before he or she opens it. 

* Too-long summary line. “The slithy toves gyred and gimbled in the wabe when the borogoves were all mimsy and the mome raths outgrabe.” Dude, just say “The slithy toves gyred and gimbled.” That condenses the essence of the problem. You can give us the details about all the excessively mimsy borogoves in the body of the report. 

* Tester as designer. “The slithy toves need to have a 5-second cooldown after gyring so they don’t gimble too soon.” No, don’t tell the developer how to fix it. Just say what the problem is. It’s the designer’s job to figure out what’s the best way to balance the slithy toves. 

* Not giving step by step instructions. Tell the developer what to do, so he can see the problem himself. Don’t just say “I did this, then I did that.” Tell him, “do this, then do that.” Give step-by-step instructions, in detail, in the second person. 

* Unclear basis for an expectation. “Usually, pressing X causes the door to open.” What do you mean, “usually”? Do you mean that’s how one opens doors in other games? Do you mean that’s how one opens other doors in this game? Do you mean doors in your home open when you press an X button? What does “usually” mean?? Be specific, dude! 

* Confusing “player” with “player character.” The player is the human who’s holding the game controller. That digital being on the screen is a character. Don’t use the terms interchangeably. 

* Wishy-washy observation step. “Then watch to see if the problem happens or not.” Wrong. Tell the developer he willsee the problem. Tell him to observe that it does happen. 

* Inappropriate use of the word “should,” as in: “After you follow these steps, you should see the bug happen.” Um, what? The bug should not happen — that’s why it’s a bug! If it was supposed to happen, then it wouldn’t be a bug. So you shouldn’t say “should” in this way. Just say “after following these steps, observe that the bug happens.” 

So that’s how to write a bug report. It’s all about communication. A little extra attention to detail in writing your initial communication can save a lot of time later on. And this principle applies to a lot of written communications, in business and in life.
And that is Tom Sloper once more helping us understanding a little bit over the game biz QA.
Thank you Tom!

Software Testing Basics – Learning to walk before you can run

Some people may say “that something you have to run, before you can walk” but I have to reply: “Sorry, Tony. This may be not the case….”
 
The website that I took this information – with all the credits, you can check it here – put the Software Testing in a few pretty good and simples steps that we can follow to be a great tester.

First of all, I have to say that, in order to be and understand what a Game Tester is and why he is so important in the Game Industry, we have to understand the true meaning behind it.

What are the basic principles of testing and quality?

All computer/video games are basically software. (Let me know if you have a computer/video-game game that is not a software). With that, to start testing games, we have to work with testing software and then go deeper into the rabbit’s hole.
Software Testing Basics: Thing One

Thing One: Testing Is Simple! Period. End-of-story. S-I-M-P-L-E. Just so we are crystal clear: Testing Is Simple.

Anyone who tries to tell you differently doesn’t know what they are talking about and may just be in the wrong line of work. Testing is simple. Always remember that. Any testing that you perform that is NOT simple is at best potentially inaccurate – and at worst wrong.

When testing software, you main goal is to clearly establish whether or not the pre-defined behavior that is expected of the software occurs when and how it is supposed to. In short: Does the software do what it should? Does the software do anything that it shouldn’t? That’s it. That’s how it starts. And that…is simple. 

Software Testing Basics: Thing Two

Thing Two: Learn and Adapt. Let’s face it, the reason that testers are always needed is that new technology continues to be developed. Do you actually think that’s going to stop? EVER?!? I don’t think so either. So, in order to keep up, you must always be learning and remain adaptable.

As the software changes, so do the specific demands on testing it. In order to keep up with these demands you must be able to learn the new technology as it is created and then adapt your techniques so that you can test it most effectively.
Software Testing Basics: Thing Three

Thing Three: You must be able to communicate clearly and accurately. When you are testing software and you find a bug (an issue, a defect, a bad result, etc.) you must be able to share your information in such a way that anyone can understand it.

When you do this, then the bug can be fixed and your project can move forward. If you don’t, then you create more work for others, waste time that people are paying you for, and are seen as a drain on the project.

You must know the fundamentals if you plan to be a QA Tester. If you want a software testing job, learn the fundamentals.

If you dream of a career in Software Quality Assurance, you will have to choose the right things to learn. Learn the terminology, learn the fundamentals and Choose Success!

Everything that I learned so far, for a fully understanding, came from basics principles. I do believe that, to understand the bug, why it happened and what is should be doing instead of not doing it, I have to know how it was programmed, what code he used to do it, how the game works on it most simple figure. As a Game Tester, know this kind of stuff, would help you to improve the way you report bugs because you can be more specific and that could even help you to make the bug happen again.

That is also what I understand as team work. 🙂

Video Game Tester: The Real Deal


Hello!
Found out this text about the QA area and some good information.
If you want more information about QA in other areas or the real deal about it and the source of this text, click here.
Enjoy the reading.

Wanted: Video Game Tester
I have seen the advertisements too. “Get paid to be a video game tester!!!” The promise that game companies will pay you hundreds of dollars to sit on your couch and play video games. 
Really? And you will be a bona fide software tester. Really?
If sitting at home playing games all day is what you’re looking for, then you have come to the wrong site. It you are serious about becoming a professional tester, I’m here to get you going.

I can tell you what my firsthand experience was when I worked as a video game tester at a large game company. What I won’t do is sell you empty promises claiming that you can make a living by laying on your couch gaming all day.
If you really want to become a video game tester, then you should know what to expect. You should know that a job testing games for a living is a very different beast than sitting around gaming with your friends all weekend. You should know how you can expect to be treated, who you will be working with, and how you can expect them to smell.
Smell??? Yes, smell…but we’ll get to that in a minute… 

The Life of a Temp Video Game Tester
Most of the big game companies hire testers seasonally. They need extra warm bodies to perform their tests to get the game finished in time to be on the shelves in time for the Christmas shopping rush and for the Spring/Summer restock.
Almost all of these hires are temps. They may even be the same temps season after season. What they are NOT: RFTE = Regular Full Time Employee. An RFTE gets benefits. An RFTE may get stock options. An RFTE can participate in offsite parties. An RFTE is subject to reviews and raises.
Temps don’t get any of this. This is due to companies’ fear of liability (look up the old Microsoft temp employee lawsuit).

If you are hired as a temp video game tester, you will not get any of the fringe benefits listed above. You will be worked as hard and as long as they can – you DO get overtime – but this does not mean that you will be converted into an RFTE.
I have a colleague that was on a testing team at a large game company where I once worked. He had been a valued and professional QA tester with his previous employer (where I had trained him) and now was working as a temp at this game company.
(Blog’s Author: According to Tom Sloper (if you do not know him, go after. It is really worthy) some cases are just “out of the box” day-by-day. You will hear a lot of people saying “It happen with one friend of mine…” or “but I know a person that…” Eventually things will happen, but some things will happen once in a life time…. Or may be really hard to happen again)
His team (Temps and RFTEs) was put on a schedule of 15-hour days 6 days a week for 3 months. This was voluntary, but all those that attempted to opt out were highly pressured and if they didn’t agree were released (California is an “at will” employment state).

The Promise: The company would throw a huge party to celebrate their achievement if they hit the date.
The Reality: The company did indeed hold quite the celebratory shindig. However, fearing liability, the Temps on the team were not allowed to attend.
The Reward: The temps were each presented with $10 gift certificates to a movie theater chain.
I tell you this story not to scare you away from working for a big game company, (Blog’s Author: Well, you are doing a pretty good job!) but simply to inform you. There are undoubtedly others that have temped and had much more rewarding experiences. You make your own choice – at least now it can be an informed one. 

Your Coworkers and You
These large gaming companies staff the majority of their Quality Assurance departments with gamers. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a gamer. But let’s be clear – a gamer is a gamer. A professional video game tester does more than just game.
Having the need to complete thousands of manual tests within a short window, these companies must hire disposable staff. You will work with temps that have no desire to be professional testers – they just want to play games and have found one way to get paid for it (at least for a short time). The company gives these employees the title of “QA Tester” – this does the Quality Assurance community no favors. (Blog’s Author: Once more, being a QA Tester/Game Tester is an important job as any other. If you don’t take this seriously, imagine if the people that tested the game you are now playing happily on your PS4 did the same?)
If you want people to game with at lunch, you’re in the right place. But if you want to grow your testing skills and take them to the next level, you’re probably not.
This is not to say that everyone that you work with will be a gamer. On the contrary, you will find coworkers who truly are developing their testing craft. But please remember that these are the exception…not the rule.
Testing is Not the same as Gaming

As rewarding and enjoyable as testing games can be, becoming a video game tester entails more than you would probably think.
IMPORTANT: Getting a job playing games is one thing, actually testing them is another. Finding bugs and reporting them, pouring over every single possible path through the game, tracking every combination available to the user, and contributing to the overall quality of a shipped product is a much more disciplined endeavor than just sitting down to enjoy endless hours playing your favorite game. 

You also may have to test a game or genre that you don’t really like. While your testing brethren are fleshing out the latest nuances of the newest networked racing game, you may be verifying that Spongebob is wearing the correct outfit in each game scene you have been assigned the responsibility for. (Blog’s Author: Now THAT would be really interesting….)

You should also know beforehand that after playing development versions (read: unstable, incomplete, and crash-prone) of your favorite game for 4-6 months (or longer), you may never really enjoy playing that game again the way that you used to. Seeing which features are left out, which bugs get deferred, and how disorganized the software development process can be might very well change the way you view your favorite games. So yes, believe it or not being a video game tester does have a few drawbacks.
(Blog’s Author: Imagine that you have you very favorite game in hand. It is really amazing to play, you enjoy this game and everything that it can offers. A fantastic open world movement and lot of character to deal with, guns, places, etc. It is a dream land because IT IS WORKING. Now, get this game and put a bunch or bugs and problems that YOU will have to deal with. Yeah, this is the real deal….)

Your Coworkers and You – Part II…What is that smell?
(Blog’s Author: I really didn’t understand this topic at first, but now I just don’t want to believe that we have people like that nowadays…)
Since your testing department will be filled with gamers, I should offer one final warning…some of them don’t smell very good. Now this is not just some rant about the lack of personal hygiene practiced by some video game players.
What I am talking about is the smell that is produced when many people:
• Eat every meal out of the company vending machines
• Game (on work premises) at every chance during their non-work hours
• Never go somewhere that they have a chance to bathe
So imagine if you will: multiple bodies covered in a stale sweat that is the byproduct of pork rinds, hot pockets, bagel dogs, and artificial cheese stuff, in a poorly ventilated space, for days at a time. This is not a work environment I would wish on anyone – especially after experiencing it myself.

But if you want experience…

All that being said, if you want to break into the Quality Assurance field, want to get paid to play games, or just want to see what the whole deal is about, by all means get a job at one of these large gaming companies as a video game tester. Securing an entry-level position is generally easier because they have the openings (at least seasonally) and have the bandwidth to hire several untrained gamers.
I don’t agree with most of their processes or methodologies, but it can be a place for you to get a start. If you plan to go this route, do yourself a favor and prepare. Check out the Testing Basics. If you really are serious about getting paid real money to play games, invest in yourself and find out what you need to know to succeed as a QA Tester.
Well, the text is quite clear about what is the deal of a Video Game Tester. I found out a lot of people talking about how horrible that is and other saying how wonderful that is. Hard to say if this is the best job ever or not. If you like what you are doing and feel completed with the job, waking up every morning happy because you are going to test games that may be your place. If you don’t, I just recommend you to look for something else.

Translation and Localization in Brazil


Hi!
Talking about Localization, we saw that this is the process of adapting the language, appearance, and functionality of a product to the public in a specific country. There are many things to take care of and this professional has to be aware of the culture and more.

Deeper into this subject, we have the Brazilian Portuguese Localization. No different from what I said before, but aiming the Brazilian public. Our biggest problem here, and the complains of many people that I talk to, are the movies. Dubbed movies are, most of the time, horrible to watch and make a lot of ears bleed if you know how to speak English. Of course not all the Brazilians can learn English – or another language – and watch the movie with the original sound, but, if they only knew what happens, they may agree with me.
Well, one example is the translation of movie titles. Let work with a really nice movie that I liked a lot because of the sound tracks – Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny. In Portuguese, the translation of that is “Tenacious D – Uma Dupla Infernal” (In Portugal is it call – Rock dos Infernos – En: Rock from Hell). So, let supposed that the movie was released in Brazil and we had to translate to English. The name would be “Tenacious D – An Infernal Double” or “An Infernal Couple”, something like that. Wouldn’t that sound pretty weird?

Now, assuming that the movie is about 2 guys that are looking for a magic guitar pic, why wouldn’t translate the title to “Tenacious D – A palheta do Destino” (Original English name: Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny).
Well, that’s because that wouldn’t be so good as “Uma dupla Infernal”. If you research and check the movies here in Brazil, most of it has really different names and that is because of Localization.
I started to understand why they give such names to the movies that would sound so good also in Portuguese. Brazilian people are not used to these kinds of names and, to reach most of the population, they have to call that. According to the online newspaper ultimosegundo.ig.com.br, only 2% of the Brazilian population knows how to speak fluent English. Then imagine you releasing a movie here In Brazil with the original title. And more, most of the Brazilian people are not used to the kind of music that is played on the movie. Hard/Heavy music are some styles really hard to get into the Brazilian culture. So, that’s why – and for other reasons – that they had to change the name.
I have to say that really makes me feel bad, because, when talking about music, it is a pretty good movie, but I have to agree that it wouldn’t reach so many people with the original title translated.
There is where we come with the localization. Not only on the movies, but in games. If you do not do a really good job, not only translating but localizing, something in the game will be out of tune for the Brazilian public and it make take you game – which can be amazing – to a disaster just because you didn`t do a good job.
Another think about it is how you translate and how you localize a specific game to a specific public. But I will try to talk about that in another post.