Test It Out

I managed to get into the Beta Test for the next World of Warcraft expansion last weekend, simply by being signed up long enough to qualify. As a tester, not only do I get a free, early look at the development of the next big multi-million selling game by Blizzard, but I also have the entertaining task of testing for and reporting any bugs, glitches, or issues that the game may have in this early testing phase. Its not like it’s a job that pays, but as the price for a free early look at an amazing game I’d say its pretty worth it overall.

Blizzard has the right idea using its existing playerbase to test the game. Who better to test than the players, who know the game inside-out already? And its not like they have to pay them, either!  Not a bad deal considering it is one of the more time-consuming and typically arduous stages of the production of a game.

In any software application under development, the testing and proofing process is of utmost importance. Most bugs and issues don’t pop up until after the software, interactive video game, virtual reality simulation, or website has been put under hard use. Even then, some issues don’t occur until they are encountered on certain types of hardware configurations, run in certain web browsers, or viewed using a specific type of monitor. When developing virtual medical simulations, medical websites with interactive instructional video, interactive training tools, or any number of the other pieces of development software we work on at DDA and DDA Medical, we always make sure to run them through rigorous testing not unlike that found in WoW’s beta tests.

So while the overall scope of a project involving the simulated removal of a patient’s kidney may not be the same as running a 12 million user multiplayer environment, you can bet that our team will be testing those with as much attention to detail as possible!