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3TATUK2

Non-Developer Betatester Source?

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3TATUK2    714

Does anyone have any decent suggestions on how to get betatesters for an indie game that aren't necessarily developers?

 

Ie, at a stage that's too early to even put on steam greenlight.

 

Something like a "betatester community" would fit the bill, but surprisingly my searches show no results.

 

There are plenty of game and company-specific outlets, but no "general gamers betatester community".

 

Again - this seems surprising?

 

I guess the closest thing would to be a betatester of early access games on a platform like steam, but that doesn't completely cut it.

Wouldn't there be a lot of interest in having a group of folks who are willing to just test entirely unhread of startup game projects? For the sake of curiosity and potential?

 

If you happen to actually know of "the one rare" source which might be congruent with this, please do tell.

 

Open to all other ideas aswell.

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Talroth    3247

If you are really serious about the project then you can always [i]hire[/i] testers. It will cost you a chunk of change, but it can be really worth investing in experienced testers who can look past what the game is currently and help you point out problem spots early on. This is especially true if you happen to be doing mobile app development. (Sculpin QA for example has multiple copies of every model of apple mobile device in house with most versions of iOS installed. Plus most of the popular android devices.)

 

Even if you are only able to contract a few hours at a time it can be worth it. You don't have to go chasing after a testing house to give you feed back, and a bad release put in the hands of a testing house isn't likely to have a negative impact on public opinion if you've screwed something up as they're bound by NDAs. 

 

Good luck.

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frob    44915
Seconding the vote for good professional testers if possible.

Unlike people who dabble in the game they will generally push the limits of the designs. This can mean exposing serious design flaws. It can also mean stress testing areas of the app you never thought of.

Real examples from The Sims: testers noticed that rugs have height. They could place thousands of rugs down on the terrain and watch as each one adds a tiny bit of height; even though you can make a tall ramp it doesn't function as a ramp, not allowing you to walk up in space to the height of a table or the height of another floor. Another example, completely filling a lot with hundreds of trash cans, or building maximum-sized buildings completely filled with objects or only allowing limited maneuverability. Then when sims are moving through the maze, pause and change the path. You may not think massive numbers of objects is real behavior until you see youtube videos of people building maximum size lots, building the maximum number of floors on the lot, and then turning the entire place into a mini-community with stores, gyms, food courts, museums, libraries. Or videos of people making complex spirals and pathways and posting on youtube as the Sim takes several hours of game time to travel the path. Testers would discover problems when they do obnoxious things like locking dozens of sims in a room with nothing to do but use that one object, intentionally killing many sims by lighting them on fire while sleeping or in the tub, finding other ways to make contradictory states, or otherwise pushing limits far beyond the normal social player. These conditions that players love would probably have badly broken the game if not for dedicated, professional testers who push the limit of what is allowed.

I could name off several game testing facilities, or you can google to find those. Good testing requires serious effort and a deep understanding of the designs, and that usually means payment.

If you cannot afford professional testers, hunt for the griefers and trolls. Pay special attention in your hunt for people who will attempt thousands of variations just to find a single tiny exploit or annoyance. Players who stay within bounds usually don't encounter problems, you want the people who will push the limits hard and intentionally try to break things. Maybe post it on 4chan. ;-)

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I'd kill three birds with two stones:

 

Stone A: Post on an art forum

 - Bird A1: Get testers

 - Bird A2: Hopefully some of them will contribute art

 

Stone B: Post on a gaming forum

 - Bird A1: Get testers

 - Bird A2: Hopefully some of them will eventually buy the game

 

Once you find your testers, you can use devsofa to limit access and build relationships with individuals who are committed to testing your game.

(devsofa is not a community where you can find beta testers - it's a site that allows you to coordinate with them once you find them)

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Tom Sloper    16040

This has been moved to business?
 Err?
 I didn't intend for paid testers - so it's not really business related. Heh.


It's a business/legal topic because you're expanding the people who are involved in your project, and because you're essentially asking a marketing question. Beta testing is essentially a marketing matter. Marketing is a business topic.

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