Game Development Books
Shipping Greatness: Practical lessons on building and launching outstanding software, learned on the job at Google and Amazon
By Chris Vander Mey
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Game Testing: All in One
Published August 2011
Amazon.com Sales Rank: 1,030,960
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
An updated version of the bestselling, Game Testing All In One, this book equips the reader with the rationale for vigorous testing of game software, how game testing and the tester fit into the game development process, practical knowledge of tools to apply to game testing, game tester roles and responsibilities, and the measurements to determine game quality and testing progress. The reader is taken step-by-step through test design and other QA methods, using real game situations. The book includes content for the latest console games and the new crop of touch, mobile, and social games that have recently emerged. A companion DVD contains the tools used for the examples in the book and additional resources such as test table templates and generic flow diagrams to get started quickly with any game test project. Each chapter includes questions and exercises, making the book suitable for classroom use as well as a personal study or reference tool.
GDNet Staff Review:
Professional game testing should be a topic with more books than are currently devoted to the topic. After all, most entry-level programming jobs are more about testing than writing code. And this fact is doubly true for games. Games have a large audience, and games typically stretch machine capabilities more than other applications. While testing is the job usually pawned off on new-hires, it should be the most important job on the project. But game testing is just not a "sexy" enough topic to warrant much literary attention, so the few game-testing titles in existence deserve scrutiny.
Game Testing All In One Second Edition is the latest edition of the publisher-hopping "All In One" series by Mercury Learning. And for once I don't take offense at the "all in one" moniker. Books that claim they can teach you everything you need to know about C++ for programming a complete 3D game and somehow clock in at under 1000 pages are lying. But Game Testing All In One is refreshingly complete. It progresses logically through the philosophy and methodology of testing through the standard limit-testing and platform-testing and "monkey testing" as I prefer to call it, all the way through making exhaustive and deep tests using formal test designs and automated testing tools. Because, as any software developer can tell you, actually finding the bug is only a small part of the process. Automated testing and detailed bug reporting will are necessary to make that bug actionable.
This is on my short-list of books that I'd recommend to people going to school to learn game development. Testing is quite often the stepping-stone to bigger things. And being able to distinguish yourself in testing is the way to get ahead. And, to be honest, almost every testing department I have ever experienced has been an afterthought at best and nonexistent at worst. If you understand the formal methods behind finding and duplicating bugs, and you can proclaim the program or your piece of the program as being bug-free beyond reasonable doubt, then you have proven your usefulness.
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