That's more like Beta testing than focus group testing
yes, i was originally going to use the term beta testing, but was afraid of causing confusion, as there seem to be varying definitions of alpha and beta testing.
so here's where i'm at:
First, the game is a new version of a proven hit. The original version of the game was featured on one of the three major network's local evening news in the Nation's Capitol as a last minute Christmas gift suggestion (without my even knowing it!). By version 1.3 it had become so popular that it became a target for crackers. So no real need for focus group stuff. The game has been largely completed except for final improvements to graphics and audio, and implementation of a few high level things like optional quests and such. The game has already been tested and debugged in-house, as well as play tested. Bugs are very against my religion, so the list of "bugs" in the game consists of about a dozen minor imperfections in the current graphics that do not affect gameplay, and all of which i could probably fix in a single day. Usually at this point I have some people I know who are interested in trying out the game, and I run a sort of long term private beta(?) test program from now until release (in say 3-6 months). However this time, I don't have anyone lined up. and need to find testers. I'm not really looking for people to find bugs for me. As developer, that's my job before I can honestly declare the code to be done. I'm more looking for folks to try it out, and see what they think. Usually from these private betas all i get is "works great! cool game! when's the next update? whats going to be in it?". granted, not much, but it tells me i'm doing my job correctly, and there are no issues of any kind. basically, as long as i get that type of feedback (no bugs, fun to play, still playing it, want to continue to play it, looking forward to the upcoming features, etc). i know everything is going ok. Also, i do occasionally get some useful suggestions, which of course are invaluable.
So, now that i've hopefully made myself a little clearer...
1. what should i do?
2. how should i go about it?
3. what should i watch out for?
4. in potentially releasing the game into non-trusted hands, what level of DRM protection should i include?
Edited by Norman Barrows, 25 August 2013 - 12:31 AM.