Test automation is received with great enthusiasm by many in the game industry. Yet given many of the unique challenges faced in game development, is it a useful tool for creating quality games?
Using real-world examples from the development of the Dragon Age and Mass Effect series of games, this talk examines the perceived vs. actual ROI of test automation, as well as its potential pitfalls. More specifically, this talk will show that many of our base assumptions, that manual testing can be effectively reproduced with automation and that doing so will reduce costs, aren't necessarily true.
Finally we'll look at some of the sensible approaches to automation and test-technology that BioWare has employed. This includes Tools-Assisted-Testing that augments the testing process and turns all testers into "rock stars" and applying automation at earlier stages of development to prevent defects outright, rather than just detecting them.