Test Automation Challenges in the Gaming Industry

Brett Roark, Blizzard Entertainment

Gaming is a multibillion-dollar industry, and good testing is critical to any game’s success. Game testing has traditionally been black-box through the client—a method clearly insufficient with increasingly more complex software incorporating 3D physics, thousands of linked and interacting assets, large databases, and client-server architecture. Automation is an obvious answer, but how do you automate when the user interface is an immersive virtual environment, the data is as vital a part of the software as the code (and actually more likely to create bugs), and the games themselves are often built specifically to prevent automation? Brett Roark describes how Blizzard Entertainment is meeting this challenge by using automation to tame complex asset pipelines and building custom tools that make each tester more efficient. Take away a deeper understanding of the unique complexities of modern game testing, see why they require fresh and creative solutions, and consider how these solutions might apply to non-game testing.

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