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Guildhall Producer Series, Part 3: Issue Manager for Bug Tracking
by Benjamin Roye on 11/15/12 04:42:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

I am pleased to work currently as a producer for three 2D student-created games at the Guildhall at Southern Methodist University. Each team consists of four underclassmen and I. 

Revenge of the Dragon King is a game based on Journey to the West, one of Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. The Dragon Ball manga is also based on the same novel. In Revenge of the Dragon King, players control the Dragon King in a side-scrolling “bullet-hell” game—a game where players must move about the screen in a cautious manner to avoid the bullets of enemies. Raging Sushi: Enter the Roll is a side-scrolling beat-‘em-up in the same vein as The Simpsons Arcade GameTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, and ­X-Men arcade game where players move about the game screen in a pseudo-3D manner. Salvage Runner is a game that looks like Galaga in an asteroid field, controls like SkiFree, and plays like a “bullet-hell” game. In Salvage Runner, players try to dodge asteroids and debris while outrunning an oversized antagonist who constantly pursues the player.

These three game projects serve as the first time that many of the team members have been exposed to bug tracking. This blog post demonstrates a tutorial from Raging Sushi: Enter the Roll's Asset Development Plan for helping team members navigate to Issue Manager, and open, resolve, and close bugs.


ISSUE MANAGER FOR BUG TRACKING

 

Raging Sushi: Enter the Roll Logo

 

Dan Irish, producer of Myst III: Exile and author of The Game Producer’s Handbook, believes that quality assurance and gameplay testing are the two most important steps in the software development process. In The Game Producer’s Handbook, Irish explains further: “Quality assurance and gameplay testing ensure that the product works as designed and that it provides sufficient functionality, usability, and fun to be attractive to critics and end users alike.”

In the industry, Irish notes that the producer usually takes on the role of bug resolver. The producer’s role is to listen, learn, and provide resolutions for reported bugs. The assistant producer usually assigns bugs to the right team member or team lead.

In practice at the Guildhall at Southern Methodist University, in the larger-team capstone games and especially in smaller-team games, most if not all team members test the game weekly until Beta begins and extensively during Beta. When a team member finds a bug, they report it by using IssueManager. Below, an excerpt from Raging Sushi: Enter the Roll’s Asset Development Plan demonstrates a tutorial for navigating to IssueManager, opening a new bug, resolving the bug, and closing the bug.

Quality Assurance Plan 

Component Testing

  • Testing of individual features
  • Testing by single person
  • Make sure it works before integrating with other components

 Each team member adheres to the applicable approval process as outlined in the Asset Approval Process section.

Integration Testing

  • Put everything together on one system
  • Have everyone in group do initial testing of integrated system
  • Resolve crash problems immediately
  • List other issues to be worked on for next integration

Build Plan 

Day 

Time

Tasks

Wednesday at the end of Core Hours

12:30 pm

Asset Lock for art and programming

Thursday

7:30 pm

Asset Lock for level design

Thursday

8:30 pm

Team wide testing and bug fixing session

Issue Manager

Issue List

Connect to Network Bug Testing Database

  1. Navigate to http://ghsrv3.ecsrv.smu.edu/c19_Xi_Gaming
  2. Username: First initial and last name; e.g. broye 
  3. Password: xxxxxxxx

View Your Issues

  1. Select the “Assigned to Me” link from the Bookmarks box
  2. View the table with the issues assigned
  3. Complete work on issue and testing of work
  4. Update issue Status to Compl&Tested

View Issues

Add a New Issue

  1. Select the “Add New Issue” link
  2. Enter data into all the fields
  3. Check to make sure it is assigned to Administrator
Add Issue
 

Administration of Priority Assignment

  1. Administrator assigns issues to appropriate developer
  2. Administrator assigns issues a priority


Administrator Assigns a Priority
 

Administration of Issue Closing

  1. Administrator confirms Compl&Tested issues are fixed
  2. Administrator updates issue Status to Closed

Administrator Closes Issue


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