Bugging Out: Quality and Bug Testing in Sentience

There’s nothing quite like booting up a brand-new game for the first time. You wander into your first character hub when suddenly… boom, a t-posing NPC. Yikes. Bugs and errors are a reality in the world of game development. Developers work hard polishing the game before it is released to players. This is a huge task and requires plenty of team effort striving for perfection while maintaining deadline, budget, and cashflow constraints.

Games undergo thorough Quality Assurance (QA) and bug testing before release. Currently, the team at Red Meat is testing Sentience in order to exterminate as many bugs as possible for the PC Early Access launch on February 25, 2021. With a background in game testing, Lead Designer Curtis Collier is no stranger to the extensive journey required for proper QA. A major challenge is in fixing one bug and unintentionally creating another that also needs to be fixed. Code can be quite fickle, and every line, number, and character serves a purpose, meaning that even things that seem like simple changes can have a ripple effect.

Clear communication between developers and the QA team is the key to a successful process. The QA team, often external contractors, follows the guidance of the devs in terms of what areas to focus on and what to look for. Curtis elaborates that it’s also necessary for the QA testers to be thorough and detailed in their reporting. If they can’t describe explicitly where and what the bug is, how is the team supposed to find and fix the issue? Bug testing and fixes aren’t just limited to the QA team. Beta testing and internal testing are also huge factors in prepping the game for release. The team sits down as often as possible to play new and upgraded builds of the game to iron out all the finer details in time for release!

Keep your eyes peeled for our next entry into the Sentience Developer Diaries series where we’ll be sitting down and chatting more about the game and it’s upcoming release with Curtis. 

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Sentience is coming to PC Early Access on February 25, 2021! Wishlist it now on Steam. PlayStation (PS4/PS5) and Xbox (One/Series X) will be coming later this year. Stay tuned for updates.

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