Bugs in Games

Why do games have bugs? Or for that matter, why does any software have bugs? I remember when I first started working in QA and I was in a training session the teacher said, building software is unique. You can build a brick wall, take out a brick and the wall will stand. With software you leave out a line of code, put a comma in a wrong spot, or misspell a word, and you get a bug. This is why we test.

Word Watch was released after the longest and largest testing effort to date. Despite its small appearance on a PDA it is very sophisticated and complicated code. Yet all the thorough testing that was done, a bug made its presence known. In Word Watch after you finish a game you can tap anywhere to go on. Or so we thought. In some situations if you tap on the graffiti area and you have reached a level that will put you on the High Score screen the game will freeze, on the High Score screen. But didn’t we test for that? We sure did, several times. But not all Palms are equal. In fact the code we used was in all our games and has never presented a problem. But combined with a recent device and a newer Palm OS the game hangs.

It took some time to figure out the exact combination, but once found it was fixed and verified. The fix resulted in a new build of Word Watch which can be downloaded off our web site.

Have you ever run across a bug in a game? Post a comment about it.