My first testing gig was on a turn-based strategy game. After a couple of months, I was getting really good, but the scenarios that were part of the main campaign were very hard. We had to save often and reload regularly just to get through some of the initial scenarios.
During one particular scenario, I’d been reloading, and reloading, and reloading, trying different permutations of whatever options I had, but I couldn’t get past a particular point. At the same time, I’d caught some kind of flu and was starting to feel it in the back of my throat. After almost a whole day of just trying to get past this particular scenario, I went home, feeling sicker and sicker as the day wore on.
The following night, my fever reached its highest point, while at the same time, my mind kept ruminating over the scenario I couldn’t get past. During one of my fevered dreams, I found the solution to my problem, and I got past the part of the scenario where I’d been stuck, at work. I woke up immediately after and realized that the solution I’d dreamed would actually solve the issue was having in the real world.
I hope some QA managers and game producers are reading this. Sleep is not just “time when your people aren’t working.” Sleep, and especially dream time, lets the brain process what it’s done and learned during its waking hours and rearrange all this information in various configurations, leading to new solutions and better productivity.