Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Baseball, the land of two thousand combinations.

I test for a fairly large publisher in California. A while back, we had a children’s baseball game in for testing. Since we had many larger projects at the time, I was the only one assigned to the game.

Near the end of the project’s test cycle, I was assigned the duty of testing team combinations and marking down results in a checklist.

This meant I had to test all teams (there were over forty) against each other, and each team on each field - of which there were around a dozen. This equated to roughly two thousand different combinations, of which I had to test each and every one.

For well over a week (of ten hour days) my entire shift was spent choosing a team, choosing an opposing team, and then playing a game of three innings to ensure it stayed stable. Remember that this was a child’s baseball game, so the gameplay was extremely simple. It got to the point where I could win games without even looking at the screen, just by memorizing the timing of button presses. By the time I was only a quarter of the way through the checklist, I started having horrific dreams about this game. Eventually I managed to finish all two thousand-something entries on the checklist, and I felt like a million bucks.

The next day we received a new build of the game, and I was asked to start the checklist over again.