Today’s DD will bring a little light on QA work, and give a glimpse of odd and interesting bugs the team struggled with throughout the development of Stellaris. My name is Chandika, and I work as Embedded QA on Stellaris, alongside with Leo Larsson and Obidobi (partially). We are part of the Development Team, but we also have Central QA working with us. They are not assigned for any project for good, as they are working with all our titles.
For a deeper and detailed explanation on how Quality Assurance department works in Paradox Development Studios please check this Dev Diary written by Distantaziq, Embedded QA on Hearts of Iron IV.
Although QA job is not just reporting bugs and issues we find, this is what we are known for, bringing programmers to tears and despair. Also, it is the most visible part of our work, as you can see below.
Very first bug ever that has been reported on Stellaris was, you could say, pretty important. Courtesy of MrNibbles, who found out that there was no Exit or Quit Game button present in game at all. Perhaps it was by design? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Jormungandur: "We didn't see a need for the player to be able to stop playing"
Migrating hair, clothes and other things
Throughout the life of Stellaris, many aliens seemed to have their own will to change looks. Some would say it’s the hottest spring/summer 2016 of the stellar fashion, and as a matter of fact, it wouldn’t be that far from true.
This Reptilian was called Fabalien in our QA team. We even made our own Emoji in the chat we’re using at work. It’s fabulous!
Scientists sometimes would change their clothes, depending on which alien empire they would encounter.
Socially awkward Molluscoid would creep through the window while having a conversation with you. Don’t make eye contact!
Naming your empire
Let’s say you wanted to name your empire with one letter. It would be a pity if it wasn’t visible on the map, right?
I mean, one letter can be easily missed in the vast Galaxy full of wonders.
You gotta make sure other empires treat you seriously, Q.
Space whales preparing for war
Purely a graphical bug where Space Critters, Whales and Amoebas decided to look a bit more intimidating than usual.
Look at this kaleidoscopic galaxy! It was a result of instant rebellions that AI could not handle.
Tough love of planets and their satellites.
Some Space Amoeba corpses would display in Galaxy View. And they are huge.
Of course, being a QA is not playing games all day and occasionally reporting something that made your playthrough unpleasant. We are most famous for the ridiculous screenshots we capture, but it’s actually just a small part of our job. Our responsibilities include (but are not limited to): analysing risks of the project, keeping track of our internal database of issues, which also means regression (verifying if the issues previously reported were fixed), and giving continuous feedback on the project (what works well, and what should be changed). We are doing a number of different tests that would narrow the issues down, check if all the features are in and working etc. We have scheduled multiplayer tests twice a week, as well as exploratory testing that would help us focus on long game.
All things considered, there is never enough testing for the project, especially games like Stellaris, where anything is possible. That’s why I would like to thank our dear betas for helping us out a lot and doing all sorts of testing for Stellaris. Without you it wouldn’t be the same!