GDC organizers have revealed sessions for the first ever QA Summit at the March 2013 conference that include Riot Games on rapid test iteration, BioWare on QA and development team integration, and a panel on test automation with VMC Game Labs, Sony Computer Entertainment America, and The Walt Disney Company.
The debut summit based around Quality Assurance in games will discuss “new and/or current tools, processes and organization methods being used in in QA today and to show how QA is an integral part of development”, and is advised by notables including Double Fine’s Daniel Pangelina, EA’s Mario Vasquez, and VMC Game Labs’ Ben Wibberley.
Taking an in-depth look at these sessions, BioWare’s Tulay Tetiker McNally and Arone Le Bray will explore the working relationship of their QA and development teams in ‘BioWare QA – Partners in Development (Embed Model).’
In particular, the BioWare team will show how this QA model applies to the narrative creation process in Mass Effect 3 and how QA spot issues early on. “This made it easier to avoid costly changes in content at later stages of development, and ultimately provided the end user with a better experience.”
Riot Games’ Benjamin Seifert will pour out a torrent of QA information in It’s Raining New Content: Successful Rapid Test Iterations.’
Riot’s League of Legends faces an ongoing QA challenge, since it continuously delivers new content and features to its player base. Seifert will show that while traditional QA models may fail to adapt, Riot tackles this problem with “a three pronged approach: utilizing our specialized skills and knowledge, having diverse and frequent feedback loops, and automation.”
While Riot’s lecture will touch on automation, the following panel with Linda Lemieux (VMC Game Labs), Brian Buhr (Sony Computer Entertainment America), and Steve Fowler (The Walt Disney Company) will focus on it: ‘Automation in the Technically Challenging World of Game Development.’
QA test automation has very specific challenges in games. The panel will discuss ways to address those challenges, offering “strategy techniques, best practices, and test automation framework considerations and design.”
In addition, GDC organizers are reminding potential sponsors of game sector-specific Summit Sponsorships. These sponsorhips can help sponsors reach targeted developers in areas such as Free to Play Design & Business and Smartphone & Tablets.
For more information on these sessions or others in the show’s growing lineup, check out GDC 2013’s official Schedule Builder, which has added tens of talks over the previous few days.
More talks will debut in the near future, and all of the above summit lectures are accessible with GDC 2013’s two-day Summits, Tutorials & Bootcamps Pass. Discounted Early Bird registration for all passes is now open on the show’s official website. GDC 2013 will take place March 25-29 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.