Streamlining Bug Reporting: An In-Game Solution


Drawing from my experience with a game that successfully implemented an in-game bug reporting feature, I’d like to propose a similar solution for Age of Empires II (AoE2). This feature significantly improved our bug reproduction rate and made the reporting process incredibly user-friendly.

Here’s how it worked:

  • A “Report Bug” button was always visible on the screen, making it just a click away.
  • Upon clicking, a menu appeared where you could:
    • Categorize the bug
    • Provide a brief description (limited to 500 characters)
    • List steps to reproduce the issue, if applicable
  • The backend then collected all necessary in-game data.

I believe AoE2 could benefit from a similar feature. Here’s how it could work:

  • When you pause the game, a button appears in the menu to report a bug.
  • Clicking this sends an automatic message to your opponent, indicating that you’re momentarily occupied with reporting a bug.
  • You then:
    • Select a category for your bug (e.g., Pathing, Units, Unit Creation, Buildings, Upgrades, Projectiles, etc.)
    • Write a brief summary
    • List any steps to reproduce the bug, if applicable
  • On the backend, the bug report is sent along with useful information and a timestamp. Developers can then refer to this timestamp in your game to witness the bug firsthand, provided the games are recorded.

If there are concerns about the volume of bug reports that might get sent due to a feature like this, there are very decent “AI” tools that can sort out the information that’s not a bug report. Such as claims that a player is cheating, or that someone got wrongfully banned.

I really believe in this method as I’ve seen how well it works - and how easy it is to use for end users.

What you are suggesting is a test environment feature.I dont think a production environment should have something like send bug report.ideally a finished product should not have any bugs at all.

It is a production environment feature. All software has bugs.

Yes all softwares has bugs but is it the paying customers job to report each and every bug?

I am not sure that’s the point I am making. The suggestion I’m making gives the customer a better opportunity in my opinion to report frustrating and unintended bugs. Which makes the developers more efficient when fixing bugs, and in turn we get a better game.