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Beta Testing


heavy liquid
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So... have any of you guys ever participated in a beta test before? I just received an email saying that I was accepted into the PainKiller multiplayer beta test.

 

I'm curious as to what I should expect. I signed up because I've really liked what screenshots I've seen, and it seems like a fun FPS. I didn't really think I'd get the offer! :)

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Ive beta tested 8 games in total now. Most if not all have been MMORPG's. Pretty much best piece of advice I can give you is to make sure you keep in mind that as much fun as you may have your there to test the product in question;). Keep your eyes open for bugs of any kind and report them suckers. In the end it will help make the game better.

 

Far too many people just jump into a beta with the express intention of playing the game as a "demo" with no real initiative to improve anything and that doesn't help anyone.

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I've beta tested everything from, games, software, routers, etc., and as Romier has stated, you need to remember that you are testing something. It's amazing that some people bitch about a certain bug to other members of the beta, but very rarely do or say anything about it to the right people. The Xbox Live beta was a perfect example of this.

 

In the end, beta testing can be a lot of fun as you get to play/test the product before most others. One more thing is to make sure you read the NDA that you'll get with a beta, as there may be certain things they don't want you talking about.

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What they said. I haven't beta tested in a while because my computer, well, blows :P. But it's good fun and a great way to not only look at something in advance but, as said, help make it better!

 

I've been selected for lots of betas but not participated in as many as I'd like because of computer issues and whatnot. The one I really regret missing out on was the Anarchy Online beta but this puppy was way past shelf life at that point.

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Okay, thanks for the input guys! I'm looking forward to participating in it, and actually being able to help make the game better.

 

Another question: How much of a game can actually change from the beta to the finished product? Will I be just reporting bugs, or are there more things that can be affected and changed in the gameplay? Or, maybe it's different for every beta?

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I've betad about 7 or 8 games at this point, and am lucky enough to be on the beta list each year for one of my favorite games.

 

The important thing to do in a beta is to express what you find. If you find a bug, let them know. That's the best advice that I can give.

 

It is different for each beta in how much change can be made. I know that I've gotten a few small features into a few of the games that I've tested on, but I know that there have been just as many features that I've suggested that haven't made their way in.

 

Glen

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The one I really regret missing out on was the Anarchy Online beta

 

Trust me Mark you missed nothing there. One of the most stressful beta tests Ive ever been in and I still bought the game at launch. ;) Its amazing to see what AO has become today and how good of an MMO it actually has evolved into. i was thinking of reupping my account for Shadowlands but I may hold off for awhile.

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The only game I've beta tested so far was Motor City Online...never once got the actual game going, even up to the final builds before they were going to start selling (and yes I reported it, after every single 18MB+ patch ;))....so, I definitely didn't purchase that one once the beta was over.

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Trust me Mark you missed nothing there.

 

Ha, well, that's good to know. The hype machine was strong on AO at that point so it sounded like a helluva good time. Better than that would be the Ground Control beta that I was selected for, where the CD arrived after the beta had shut down :P. Still I won a free copy of the game afterwards, so w00t for that ;).

 

Best experience: Diablo II stress test! Sure it was just that first quest with the barbarian, but woo, hack and/or slash!

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Originally posted by Buck+Oct 30 2003, 08:58 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Buck @ Oct 30 2003, 08:58 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Ryan FB@Oct 30 2003, 09:36 PM

so, I definitely didn't purchase that one once the beta was over.

Did anybody? ;) [/b]

I had a friend that really enjoyed that game, Motor City Online that is. I have no idea why.

 

I was in the beta for that one as well, but I just didn't have enough car knowledge to participate all that much.

 

Glen

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As long as we're bragging... ;)

 

I've been in:

 

Ultima Online (Alpha)

Ultima Online (Closed Beta)

Everquest (Closed Beta)

Motor City Online (Closed Beta)

Star Wars Galaxies (Closed Beta)

Everquest Online Adventures PS2 (Closed Beta)

 

 

UO and SWG were the only games that I wasn't sick of by the time the full version shipped, and actually purchased.

 

I've also beta-tested "AOL for Widows" software (many MANY moons ago) and a smattering of non-MMO games.

 

I'm presently in another beta that I don't know if I'll actually be able to contribute anything to, because I just haven't had enough time to do more than install it and play through the tutorial. SOE loves me, I guess. I get invitations to participate and don't even have to sign up, anymore, it seems.

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Whooter, who were you in UO alpha? In EQ closed beta? I was in both of those as well as Meridian 59 alpha/beta.

 

Always Sengir Dragon until EQ beta 3 when I went to Bappo as a guide.

 

My favorite memories during UO alpha were the final pantless invasion and escaping outside the game boundaries and getting chased and jailed by the dev team. Ended up attending the next E3 with many of the original testers and devs.

 

Early closed EQ was equally fun when there were only about 100 to 300 testers total. There were such high hopes for questing that never materialized.

 

Many of the same people were in all of the above tests. Same guilds, friendships, etc.

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I used to test (a long time ago when I was in college) for Amrosia Software (mac stuff) and Berkley Systems (the after dark folks). I haven't been in any tests since I graduated from college 7 years ago though. I don't have time for it.

 

I tested a ton of stuff for those 2 companies and it was pretty cool and found some good problems and got some good freebies.

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