Bug Tracking System Recommendations?

It’s getting to be time for me to open the game up to a few testers (exciting!), and of course eventually I will want a whole bunch of testers to beat on the game.

Keeping in mind that I am a fairly non-technical guy, can anyone recommend a simple bug tracking system that I can use to keep track of bugs as they are reported (and hopefully killed).



If memory serves (it’s been a couple of years), I used to just make a text copy of the tester’s email message. At the top of each paragraph or section, I would add FIXED as I took care of the problem.

One thing that will help enormously is if you ask your testers to please save a transcript of each and every play session and send you the complete transcript. I used to have a regular tester who simply couldn’t be persuaded to do this. He found bugs that nobody else found – he was a great tester – but not having a transcript to read made my life more difficult.

Reading through the transcript gives you two advantages. First, you’ll spot things as bugs or mistakes in the text output that your testers didn’t think to report. Second, you’ll be able to track the exact context in which a bug occurs – useful because you may need that information in order to reproduce it.

Yeah, I just keep a text file of bugs (summarized as one-line notes). Mark with a checkmark or drag down to a separate part of the file when fixed. It’s embarrassingly low-tech but it works.

A nice thing about the full transcript is that you can search through for “I don’t see any such thing here” or “I don’t recognize that verb” (or TADS equivalent error messages). Gives an overview of what people are trying that didn’t work on the first try.

So far I’ve been putting FIXED next to individual issues in a transcript, along with easily searchable symbols/characters (if the tester hasn’t already done so) so I can quickly find them again. Bitbucket has an issue tracker if you want something more formal. Or there’s always a spread sheet.

Textfyre used transcripts to debug, but also tracked all changes in comments in the story file.

Thanks, all! It sounds like simplest is best. --Bob

If you like to work like a pro, I would recommend Redmine. It works well with git in case you’re using cvs. But you need some basic shell experience to get it running. I found it worth the effort for my projects at college.

If I were non-technical and needed some kind of issue tracking, I’d give trello.com a try.