Seahawks-Tested (Almost)

A game player tries to score 1000 points in Madden NFL 25, but instead finds a defect at a common point:

About 10 minutes into the game, I had scored 262 points. The above score is actually wrong. We’ve run into this problem before: once you get to 255 points, Madden stops counting correctly. Not that it doesn’t try.

At the bottom, it says the Seahawks have scored 255 points. At the top, 266. Neither was correct, and I was pretty amused that a computer could attempt the most basic of tasks — addition — and come up with two kinds of wrong.

From what I saw of the actual Superbowl yesterday, this is uncannily accurate.

Remember, friends, in QA numerology, 256 is a magic number. You should try it out even when there’s no explicit boundary stated for an action or a variable. Along with magic numbers like 1025, 65537, and other talismanic digital sequences.

(Link via tweet.)

2 Responses to “Seahawks-Tested (Almost)”

  1. IBreakCellPhones Says:

    I once found a shopping cart that stored quantities as floating point numbers. When you test boundaries, don’t forget to test big. REALLY big.

  2. The Director Says:

    Oh, absolutely.

    That said, knowing the length of different variable types and using those values as your boundaries, you can uncover issues and give your developers a better idea to look for. If it’s breaking at 1,000,000 characters, that’s one thing; but if it’s breaking at short integer + 1 length, that indicates they should look for a short integer somewhere.


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