The end of bugs in video games? Microsoft wants to avoid the cases of Cyberpunk 2077 and Dying Light 2

The end of bugs in video games?  Microsoft wants to avoid the cases of Cyberpunk 2077 and Dying Light 2

game news The end of bugs in video games? Microsoft wants to avoid the cases of Cyberpunk 2077 and Dying Light 2

No Man’s Sky, Fallout 76, Anthem, recent video game history is littered with pages listing published work in subpar condition. Dented, even cracked, they’re being trashed some more on social media with big boosts of killer video clips posted by upset shoppers. If the wheels of the video game industry sometimes feel seized, many safeguards are nonetheless put in place to prevent industrial disasters. On the side of developers, publishers and manufacturers, the search for bugs and various problems is essential. Contrary to popular belief, verification procedures are numerous. From alpha to post-launch patch, we go back to the steps that normally ensure the smooth running of our game development.

Bugs tracked by professionals

With titles like Fallout 76, Anthem, Cyberpunk 2077 or Dying Light 2: Stay Human, the recent history of video games has focused on projects that deserved more time -or expertise- to come out in acceptable conditions. If they are the misfortune of players sometimes forced to wait for a patch to continue their game, they inspire joy from content creators who expose them on social networks, generally hilarity. Despite the many security measures in place, the video game industry often gives the impression that its gears are racing.. On the side of manufacturers, publishers and developers, the search for bugs and various technical problems is essential. No actor wants to be the cause of an industrial disaster that will be laughed at around the world because of a cracked code.

In the world of video games, however, verification procedures are numerous. In addition to milestones frequent, we count the indestructible CRT, by “Technical Requirements Checklist”. This mandatory presentation lasts a big week and is used to uncover strictly technical bugs related to product stability during specific events ranging from long hiatus to profile management. It also ensures that the Trophies/Achievements are unlocked, or that the texts are displayed without error in the different selectable languages. However, this certification is not there to track bugs that would spoil the gaming experience. This task is rather entrusted to the QA testers, who, throughout the production phase of a title, are in charge of detecting what doesn’t work and notifying the developers capable of correcting the problems. encountered when assigning such errors. The Playtesters, meanwhile, aim to make teams aware of game design flaws such as too many enemies, wacky rules, hard-to-read levels, or poorly placed checkpoints.

The end of bugs in video games?  Microsoft wants to avoid the cases of Cyberpunk 2077 and Dying Light 2The end of bugs in video games?  Microsoft wants to avoid the cases of Cyberpunk 2077 and Dying Light 2

Artificial intelligence to the rescue

The end of bugs in video games?  Microsoft wants to avoid the cases of Cyberpunk 2077 and Dying Light 2

Despite all the procedures put in place by the publishers, the big games continue to experience launches interrupted by more or less important technical problems. The day one patch, which was just a patch before, has become increasingly essential to prevent a work from being completely broken when it is released. Players regularly feel betrayed, taken over by beta testers forced to report bugs if they want a satisfying experience. When faced with broken applications, buyers indulge review the bombardment while asking for refunds. A situation that could be avoided in the future according to Matt Booty, the head of Microsoft Games Studios. Interviewed at PAX West 2022, he outlines his views for the years to come. “One of the biggest differences between a game and a movie is if you’re working on a movie and they say, “Let’s edit this ending, let’s edit this, let’s cut this scene.””, normally does not break the beginning of the film. But in a game that you’re about to release, a designer might tell you “i have this little feature i will just change the color on this thing”. And now the first 10 minutes of the game doesn’t work properly anymore.

Every time something new comes into a game, the entire game has to be tested from one side to the other. Matt Booty, Head of Microsoft Game Studios

The end of bugs in video games?  Microsoft wants to avoid the cases of Cyberpunk 2077 and Dying Light 2The end of bugs in video games?  Microsoft wants to avoid the cases of Cyberpunk 2077 and Dying Light 2

With these words, Mr.gamesMicrosoft reminds that it’s easy for a designer to break a game by changing a feature, or just wanting to fix another malfunction. The former world vice president of Midway goes further. “There is a lot going on with AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) right now.” explains Matt Booty. He continues: “what I always say when I meet AI people is: “help me figure out how to use an AI to test a game”.

I would like to be able to run 10,000 instances of a game in the cloud. So there would be 10,000 copies of the game running, with an AI spending all night testing the game and sending back a report in the morning. It would be a transformation. Matt Booty, Head of Microsoft Game Studios

Although some players have taken the words of the technician for science fiction, it must be recognized that machine learning has come a long way in recent years. Additionally, on August 6, 2022, Lucas Pop explained having used original testing processes in this direction for their Papers Please game. He used a debug function to load one day, seal documents, shoot attackers to make sure there were no memory leaks. The creator added that this system was improved on the occasion of the migration to mobile devices of its famous software thanks to a real “virtual player””. The script could then play up to 20 game endings starting with the title screen, win all the tokens, or even play a few minutes in Endless mode.

Creating this system took at least a good month of initial work and a fair amount of maintenance. It’s quite a long time, honestly, but developing and using it has allowed me to find and fix countless bugs in the game. Lucas Papa, creator of Papers Please, Return of the Dinn Work

It now remains to be seen to what extent artificial intelligence will be able to help studios improve complex games set in gigantic open worlds, and whether this evolution will actually ease the workload of QA testers… or replace them, at least. finished.

The end of bugs in video games?  Microsoft wants to avoid the cases of Cyberpunk 2077 and Dying Light 2The end of bugs in video games?  Microsoft wants to avoid the cases of Cyberpunk 2077 and Dying Light 2

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