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Toolkit of Trade

Flash programs of all stripes can be difficult to test because few common testing programs are able to interact with Flash. To make things more challenging, zOMG! is a Flash MMO that is unlike many regular Flash programs. Because of this, the QA team uses a variety of tools to help us test zOMG!.

Follow me as I describe the most common tools and resources that QA uses in order to test zOMG!! User Image

  • Stopwatch
User Image A software stopwatch is a tool we use very often. Stopwatch programs are incredibly useful in helping us determine both whether a time limit set by the programmers is correct and seeing how long a particular action takes to perform. We also use timers as a means of estimating how long it would take a player to accomplish a certain task or reach a certain point.

  • Excel
User Image Many people view Excel as just another boring productivity application. To us, Excel is a data-crunching powerhouse that is able to help us make sense of raw data by identifying patterns, creating a variety of graphs and making predictions based on existing trends. User Image
Whenever QA has to gather data as part of our test or are asked to provide data for further development we turn to Excel as a way of organizing ourselves and drawing important conclusions from our findings.

  • HTTP Traffic Monitors
User Image Finding a bug is usually simple - figuring out why it's occurring is often the part that keeps us up at night. Because of this we often use traffic monitors to help us see whether a bug is occuring because of an error in the code or because the file that is required is simply missing! On rare occasions we make use of stand-alone monitors that expose more communication between the player and the game server in order to identify (or rule out) possible causes of an error.

  • Flash Player Logs
User Image Since QA helps programmers manage game changes from early stages to completion we have to be on the lookout for any Action Script errors that may pop up during testing. To this end we make extensive use of Flash Logs on all of our machines in order to capture errors as they occur. The best part of Flash Logs is that they retain information about errors even if our browsers freeze or crash completely! User Image
This allows us to report a bug and give the programmers a significant advantage in tracking down the bug by providing the exact error message that preceded the glitch.

  • Screen Recorders
User Image I'm sure all of you have heard the famous proverb: "畫勝千言". The same often applies to our work as a properly annotated screenshot can properly illustrate a situation quicker than many paragraphs of text. On top of training our lightning-fast jabs of the PrntScrn key we sometimes also use screen recording programs to make short videos to help illustrate a particular bug or phenomenon. This can be very helpful since one of our biggest goals is giving the programmers as much relevant information as possible so they can track down and fix the bug we encounter.

  • Beta Testers
User Image Last but not least, Beta Testers are by far the most powerful testing resources we have available to us! Whether part of the SCAS guild or a regular player, everyone does their part in helping us catch bugs that we may never see due to time constraints or resource limits. Given deadlines we can only try a set number of approaches or tests on new features and changes. We carefully read the forums and your bug reports so we can catch any major issues reported by our users. Thank you! User Image

I hope this week's "Behind the Scenes" gave you a glimpse into the tools and resources we rely on to bring you the best possible zOMG! experience. We'll be on hand to answer your questions. Stay tuned for next week's episode where we will cover the methods and approaches QA uses to test each new zOMG! build! User Image

Previous topics:
zOMG! Behind the Scenes - The Great Cycle of Builds
Podium's avatar

Lonely Man-Lover

13,900 Points
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That face means you made me feel like a computer noob.

Second post~

And all right!! Late night reading. ;D

@Edit: Now that I've read through it. Thank you for continuing this. I've always had a fascination with how stuff works, or at least the process that something goes through to reach its final outcome.
gataka's avatar

Familiar Lunatic

Yeah! I was about to head to off sleep. WITHOUT MY FIX. *twitch*

Great thread once again, Kuzuan. : )
Stopwatches are pro. cool
millishandra's avatar

Invisible Pieslinger

good information thank you
Ah, so that's how all those bugs get squashed. ninja
Sabin le Rose's avatar

Shameless Enabler

Beta Testers rock.
Dalia Royce's avatar

Buggy Glitch

The error log must be overused.
If only everyone knew what awesome super secret stuff they do in SCAS is, their minds would flip up over and out the window.
i am with u all the way's avatar

O.G. Hunter

Yay :'D

Edit: I love the emotes you use. xD Would you mind giving me a full list of them for use on MSN and more?

Great stuff to know! Makes me very curious about this "SCAS" guild.

Edit2: How were the people chosen for the SCAS guild? O: What qualifications are there needed? Or are we not allowed to know?
That face means you made me feel like a computer noob.

My explanations were brief and I'm more than happy to answer any questions : )

Keep in mind: it's also possible to click on the screenshots for a slightly bigger picture!

As an aside, try to guess what is portrayed in each of the screensots present in this image included above! I will post the answers (along with a brief description of the issue) on Monday!
Exiled Puppet's avatar

Shy Raider

As an aside, try to guess what is portrayed in each of the screensots present in this image included above! I will post the answers (along with a brief description of the issue) on Monday!

Thanks for posting this thread!
That link didn't work at first for me, but now it does.
Is it supposed to be so small? I can hardly see what the pictures are. @_@

I do see the Sweetheart ring on the second row, fifth spot over.
I assume that's for the "pixel glitch"?

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