In a new entry for the Platinum Games blog, a programmer details the process of creating an automated bug checker system for Bayonetta 2.
Morita states that he was considering this method of bug testing back when Bayonetta first came out, but was finally able to implement in the second game. The program was mainly used to test for collision bugs, although it also aided in finding freezing bugs as well:
In total, the tool has accomplished beating Bayonetta 2 40 times in a row. In actuality, it could probably go a lot further, but by the time it’s played that long, we’re ready to add fixes and update old data, so we have to turn it off once, refresh our data, and then start it up again.
The overall setup is simple. Whenever Bayonetta gets to a cone, she performs a pre-determined list of actions for that cone in order. When she’s done with everything, she moves on to the next cone.
The tool was used in various ways. I used it for repeating specific actions under individual staff members’ development environments, and I would refresh the data and put the game on autoplay before going home, so basically I was going around asking everyone: “Hey, if you’ve got a PC/dev kit to spare, can I use it?”
Then, when we came back to work the next day, we’d find the game frozen after trying to do this or that, thus helping us discover a lot of bugs that might’ve taken a long time to find otherwise. Next project I hope to make an even more improved version.
Quite the interesting process, and very efficient to boot. As Morita elaborates, using the program gave the developers time to focus on various other aspects of game development.