Ever since moving into our new office, we’ve considered what we could do differently in our normal development process to improve the final released product. Recently, due to misfortune and bad planning more than a decisive pre conceived idea we decided it is time we put alot more effort into testing our products much more strenuously before releasing them to our audience. In this case our ever trusting players of our online mmorpg title, Street Crime.
We had let them down due to the announcement of a long anticipated feature being delayed by 3 weeks due to a lack of thorough stress testing along the way. Due to the nature of the feature and the sheer size of the update it’s a tricky beast to tame. So we decided to make some changes to the way we fundamentally go about releasing big updates to our online projects, particularly our online games.
A few of the steps we are now undertaking are the following.
We now have slave drives backing up much more reguarly our database, to make sure that if we are forced to roll back the game due to a bug or problem it will only be at most an hour behind the current time of the problem! So generally the benefit here, is increased replication of game data and the frequencies at which this data is taken.
We’ve added a staging server to our armoury. This allows us to put the code base in the exact environment it would be operating within before it goes live. Very handy indeed. Especially if the root of the problem is just a pesky inclusion path.
Now that we have our little office which although little can easily house 12 or so people, we have the decided to make use of the extremely useful option of in house testing. In the normal codathon / gamathon tradition, we’ve invited friends and acquaintances to join us in a night fuelled mostly by junk food and sugar, to help test our game feature before it goes live. The benefit of this is that people don’t all think in the same ways, people will try to do different things, especially from that of what we in house do. So after a strenuous evening of testing we are likely to find more of the problems which otherwise wouldn’t have been found out until it was either too late or more of a pain to fix.
Our first testing evening is taking place this Thursday from 7pm onwards, there will be free Pizza and Cola for all amongst other nibbles, and a chance to see what goes on behind the scenes. If you would like to join us RSVP via our facebook page Facebook page. Of course, you can find directions to our offices on our website under the contact page.
For those unable to attend but still interested to see what happened that night, check back at our blog next week and we will post up all the photos and results of the evening.