Hi everyone. Programmer Kenji Saito here again.
For my second post, I thought I would give some insight into bug checking.
The minute a programmer hears the words bug checking, or debugging, they will launch into a thousand-yard stare. For programmers, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this is where their work truly begins.
Just for those who don’t understand what bug checking is, let me explain:
Bug checking is the process of fixing the errors caused by miscalculation or faulty design (bugs). Also, depending on the game, bug checking may also include making sure that the game is performing up to specification.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Bayonetta was an incredibly large program to create, which means that it required an incredibly long time and an incredible amount of effort to debug. Once Bayonetta had all of its features in-place and was finished as a game, it took two months to check for bugs. To give you an idea of the people involved, checking included all the members of the development team plus numerous Q&A testers outside of the company, all working approximately 10 hours a day. And the number of bugs… Well, let’s just say there were many.
Then there is another type of bug to rack your brain upon. Kamiya-san likes to change the game design by calling these issues bugs. This type of bug easily falls into the top three things a programmer never wants to hear. By adding things at the very end, it may make the game more fun, but it may also be adding on the number of bugs as well. Decisions have to be made as to whether it can be done, and those tough calls continued on for days and days. Bug checking is soul-crushing work. Really. It is.
But if you don’t work hard at bug checking, you will see issues result in the level of quality of the game, so we regard it as highly important. Bayonetta’s development team worked very hard to pay close attention to the details, whether it was bug checking or otherwise, in order to raise the quality of our game and make something truly special.