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Beta Testing Techniques.


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#1 ShadowTiger

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Posted 07 October 2003 - 01:02 PM

For those of you who are testing other people's quests, there should be a certain method to follow to make both your lives, and the quest maker's life a little easier. First of all, how many of you think that this should be pinned? I would be more than happy to do it. I just want a census first.


Setup:
1. Create a separate folder inside your ZC folder on the hard drive. This makes organization much easier.

2. This is merely a sub-note of #1. Copy and paste the ZC files, (zelda.exe, etc.) .. Well, actually, copy the ZIP files they came from, the .exe files that unzip the files to the designated folder. Copy THOSE, along with that the ZC Support Archive. Unzip all those, and make your own zelda station directly for that quest alone. This also means that any screenshots of bugs that you make, (F12) will end up in that folder.

Snapping Photos:
3. When you play the quest, if you see a bug that you have to report, or something which seems out of the ordinary, press F12 to take a screenshot of the scene. If you had followed steps 1 and 2, the file SHOULD have popped up in that same folder, and is easily recognizable.

File Organization:
4. Organizing your bug reports can be a big hassle, but you'll see the results when they're all done. First of all, get a program like IRFanview. If you have an average computer, (I have a PII 300 MHZ PC, and it works quite well.) the image should load quickly, and it'll save you quite a bit of hassle.

5. (This point isn't so much as a step, as an explanation of step #6.) When organizing your files, you should probably classify them in terms of what kind of error they are. This has two major advantages. It separates them into the kind of bugs which need to be fixed, and which don't need to be fixed. There are a few kinds of bugs that there are to report. I'll explain each below.
  • MAJOR - Impedes the player's progress severely. These are the most important bugs.
  • Minor - Similar to the above, but the player can finish the game even with those in.
  • Graphic - When there's something which doesn't look right, such as a grass edge on a stairs, in a desert.
  • Layer - If you can walk under something that you're not supposed to be able to. Also applies to graphic errors on layers.
  • Scrolling - If you scroll to the next screen, and you get stuck in a wall.
  • Text / String - There's something wrong with the text, or a spelling or grammar error.
  • Undercombo - Fairly self explanatory. Any undercombo that isn't what it's expected to be.
  • Warp - A tile or side warp that doesnt' lead to where it's supposed to be, or doesn't do anything at all.
  • Walkability - This area is unwalkable for some reason. This probably has to do with layers, but they're 2 separate things.
  • Combo - The wrong kind of combo is used, or there's a strange type of combo there for no real reason.
6. When you're done with the testing for the moment, go to your folder you set up. Go to zelda001.bmp, and open it up. See what it is. Depending on the kind of error that it was, close the file, and click once to highlight the file, then click again on that same file to rename it. (DO NOT double click. It opens it. Do a click, ... click.) So rename it to the type of error which it was, then place a number of the occurrance of the error next to it, such as Undercombo 1, and the next file is called Undercombo 2, and the next file is called Layer 1, etc.

7. If you wanted to be really nice to the quest author, you would crop out the image to remove the stat bar (life, magic, keys, etc.) on top of every screen. This isn't at all necessary though.

8. Zip up the file, and put it up somewhere to store, like http://filespace.brentdax.com or www.freewebz.com to keep. Then, either PM the file to the quest author, or put the file where the quest author tells you to.


If I missed anything, or you have a suggestion, feel free to add it here. icon_wink.gif

#2 phil

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Posted 07 October 2003 - 01:30 PM

1.I play the quest.
2.Take pictures.
3.Open up microsoft word.
4.Import a picture.
5.Underneath of it I type whats wrong with the screen.
6.Repeat steps 4 and 5 until I'm outta pics.

#3 Nick

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Posted 07 October 2003 - 02:55 PM

QUOTE(BH4 @ Oct 7 2003, 03:02 PM)


  • MAJOR - Impedes the player's progress severely.  These are the most important bugs.

  • Minor - Similar to the above, but the player can finish the game even with those in.

  • Graphic - When there's something which doesn't look right, such as a grass edge on a stairs, in a desert. 

  • Layer - If you can walk under something that you're not supposed to be able to.  Also applies to graphic errors on layers.

  • Scrolling - If you scroll to the next screen, and you get stuck in a wall.

  • Text / String - There's something wrong with the text, or a spelling or grammer error.

  • Undercombo - Fairly self explanatory.  Any undercombo that isn't what it's expected to be.

  • Warp - A tile or side warp that doesnt' lead to where it's supposed to be, or doesn't do anything at all.

  • Walkability - This area is unwalkable for some reason.  This probably has to do with layers, but they're 2 separate things.

  • Combo - The wrong kind of combo is used, or there's a strange type of combo there for no real reason.


I would probably jump for joy if I ever had a tester be this in depth for my quests... but from common knowledge, I mainly get 4 kinds or reports.

1.) Game stopping bugs.
2.) Minor bugs
3.) Difficulty level too great.
4.) No report to begin with.

#4 Peteo

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Posted 07 October 2003 - 03:35 PM

Just when BH4 stops testing, he posts this great thread. icon_smile.gif

Really good tips for testers, or peole who want to be testers. Fortunately most of my bugtesters give me big zip. files with lots of pictures and an explanation of the bugs (sometimes in the picture itself which is the best way IMO).

Oh, my little tip: If you have a big testing team, you should have an account at some file storing page where all the bug reports would be uploaded and give acces to all your testers so they can check others' reports and see what bugs have been found already.

#5 ShadowTiger

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 05:36 AM

QUOTE
Just when BH4 stops testing, he posts this great thread. icon_smile.gif
And I leave it, as my gift to you, Petoe. (Which, believe it or not, was actually intended for that purpose initially.) Yeah, I miss the quest, Petoe, and I regret not being able to test to my best in the end. And I was going to use this method to help you. I mean, it only takes about ten minutes, assuming of course that you're very close with your computer. icon_snide.gif I love this method, and I hope the quest makers would too. icon_wink.gif

I mean, if they accept you as a tester, it's only natural to return the favor. Quest testing should be a priviledge, not a natural right.

#6 DarkFlameWolf

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 08:13 AM

I love you BH4. icon_smile.gif Can you test for me? icon_wink.gif

#7 ShadowTiger

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 09:20 AM

Umm... If I can quit work for the tiles of Lost Isle, I'll be happy to quit. I mean, sometimes, testing doesn't take all that long. (BTW, up to that point, I filled the Buffer, and was typing from feel. icon_bounce.gif )

Really, testing doesn't take all that long. I mean, how long can a quest be that it takes a long time? I assembled about thirty bug reports for Sabotage Dragoon in a mere half hour, and that was just by playing. icon_shrug.gif Imagine what I could have done if I had more time before I had to quit for the weekend. icon_eyebrow.gif Wow. It's a big works.

Also, I would like to add, what Nick said forms a sad little generalization about testing. If that's all that testers should do, then please, PLEASE, revise your methods to suit the preferences of the quest author. It's only fair. :blush:


EDIT: BY THE WAY.... I would like to recommend a new method.

What do you all think about assigning testers to a specific area? It can work better that way if you think about it.

#8 Peteo

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 10:29 AM

QUOTE(BH4 @ Oct 8 2003, 05:20 PM)
EDIT:  BY THE WAY....  I would like to recommend a new method. 

What do you all think about assigning testers to a specific area?  It can work better that way if you think about it.

I don't think that's a good idea. The more testers go through the same part, the better the results. And your method would just upset people (at least I'd think so).

#9 ShadowTiger

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 12:56 PM

..hm. You're probably right, Petoe. Still, the Quest author should reserve that right if he/she's going to let that person test. Again, it's only fair. icon_shrug.gif

#10 Breadguy

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 02:42 PM

I like the Idea, I think I will try it out.

#11 HappyPuppet

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 04:16 PM

While this thread is made, I should submit the PHP script I use to make really organized bug reports (I made it while testing Petoe's quest just before my giant resignation, what a waste icon_frown.gif ). Then you'd all probably be really happy. icon_biggrin.gif

#12 ShadowTiger

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 05:25 AM

Sure. And thanks for pinning it, .. someone. icon_odd2.gif I was about to, but I wanted feedback. ('Tis a democracy in yon walls to the naked eye..)

So what does this php script do, rather, how does it organize the reports? icon_smile.gif This would be interesting to see! icon_kawaii.gif

#13 FlameArrowStar

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 09:02 AM

Great guide, BH4.

#14 ShadowTiger

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 09:21 AM

Yes, thank you very much! icon_kawaii.gif But who here will actually use it? icon_eyebrow.gif And that is my question to you all.

#15 rexlaninetales

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Posted 22 April 2004 - 05:45 PM

I will use it! But, right now, I've only been invited to beta test my own "EOV" quest. I can skip the snap shots since I'm the only beta tester for my quest. Sorry guys/gals, my boy friend is my beta tester for now and I get to watch him get clobbered by Xavier! Mwuahahaha! Anyway, I'll invite some beta testers once my quest gets further along. I am embarressed to show it off right now because I've seen what some of you did in your quests and they are far superior to my works (and I've been working on the blasted quest for almost 2 years). The only thing I am proud of is that 95% of the stuff in my quest is completely customized (most of the tiles, all of the enemies, all of the weapons and items, and of course, all of the midis). As I become more adroit in layering and triggering, my quest is expanding exponentially.
Stay tuned for EOV.

Edited by rexlaninetales, 22 April 2004 - 05:47 PM.



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