Experiences in Teaching and Learning Video Game Testing with Post-mortem Analysis in a Game Development Course
Abstract: Video game testing is an important topic that is taught in game design and development courses, including quality assurance (QA) testing (testers look for game “bugs” or game software errors) and playtesting (testers evaluate gameplay and analyze how fun the game is). Testing is a valuable activity done in game development projects, because it can uncover game user interface (UI), interaction design, gameplay and software problems. Video game post-mortems (structured documents describing what went well and what went wrong in past game development projects) are widely read in the gaming industry. They explain game development activities, including how testing (or the lack of) was conducted in the projects. Students from a game development course taught at undergraduate computer science level analyzed published post-mortems, including the identification of testing practices. The post-mortem analysis was a very relevant educational activity, engaging students in knowing how testing is done in the gaming industry and what testing problems, among other aspects, occur in real-world game development projects. Further work includes devising other pedagogical activities such as running practical in-class game testing exercises and letting the students write their own post-mortems about their course projects.