Game Development Reference
the game at regular intervals and have caught most of any dialogue or story
problems that could otherwise end up as bugs.
For those who have never been involved in the testing of a game, good
games testers will try playing through the game in ways which specifically
look at possible ways to 'break' it.They will play small sections over and over,
trying different combinations of actions and change the order each time they
play through. This process will test the logic structure and flow of the story
and dialogue very thoroughly and any weaknesses will be thrown up as bugs.
Writing bugs can vary from simple spelling or grammatical mistakes to
whole scenes that do not make sense because of the order of play. Spelling
mistakes are easily corrected, although if you have created a number of
original words, particularly names in a fantasy epic, say, you need to be sure
that there is a consistency of spelling throughout the game. If the game has
a team of writers, it is important that they all spell 'Zorak' in the same way
or players could think that there are multiple characters with similar names.
Dialogue, particularly when tested before the voices are recorded and only
seen as on-screen text, can be a source of bugs which the tester thinks are
grammatical errors. If a character has a stylised way of speaking - and many
people do - you may be ignoring the rules of grammar to write their dialogue
in a convincing way. If bugs are thrown up in this situation, you probably
need to write a note explaining this and have the bug closed.
Sometimes dialogue bugs can be attributed to the variables controlling the
scenes. If the player constantly triggers the same snippet of dialogue from a
character when it is clear that the conversation should be moving on, then it
is probably because a variable has not been set in the script.You may never
see such a bug in your report as they are usually handled by the designers,
but if you do then it will be something you should discuss with the designer
or implementer working on that part of the game.
Where a bug throws up the need to change a scene because it does not
make sense, or fails to convey the right meaning when played in a different
order, the changes you undertake must be handled with care and the con-
sequences worked out completely, ensuring that other scenes are not affected
adversely as a result of the change. It is very possible when fixing this type of
bug that you actually create more bugs as a consequence.
Where your change requires alterations to the logic structure of scenes or
additional small dialogue interchanges, be sure to work with the designers
involved to ensure that they are aware of all of your changes.This also applies
if you are part of a writing team if the modifications have a wider ranging