Any reason not to post a game file for testing publicly if the game isn't for a comp?

… like the topic says, is there any reason not to publicly post the game file in a thread asking for testers if the game isn’t for a comp? I never see anyone do that, so I wonder if there’s a reason.


I probably wouldn’t, just so the unpolished beta version wasn’t out in the wild for all to see. I’d just want to restrict it to testers. Can’t think of any other reason why not.


No reason, it’s up to you.

I vaguely remember long ago people had talked about a “workshop” category.

One option is you could post in the Lounge, which just means it’s only seen by regulars.


Paradoxically, I think games posted publicly actually get less beta testing. For one, psychologically (at least to me) games always appear more desirable if they’re ‘secret’. For another, a lot of new authors post games publicly for testing, since they’re usually not interested in competition, so it can have some associations with lower-quality games.

But I think a bigger thing is that if the game is public, it’s easy to think, “Oh, I’m sure someone is already testing it. Probably lots of people No point in me signing up, and I might as well wait for the real game to come out before I try it.”

But these are all just based on social norms, which change all the time with different groups of people. Maybe in the current state of the forum, with this group of people, it could work; you could always try it.


If someone posts a request for testers and I respond via PM, I feel like I’m in cahoots with the author and some unknown fellow testers.

We’re working together to get a game in the best possible condition before showing it to the public. Does wonders for the motivation, feeling part of a secret conspiracy…


Thanks to all! The reason I’m thinking about posting it publicly is that it’s a 2-player game, and I’ve seen how hard it is for people to work that out. If it’s just there, it seems like it might be easier for testers to schedule play times.

But the advice is unanimous not to do that, so I won’t.


I’ve seen this done on Facebook groups and there never seems to be any follow-up. I imagine that most people would see it as an invitation to play a new game, but not actually test it or provide feedback. If people have to PM you to get the link, then you know they’re interested, you know who they are, you can follow up and they have made a moral obligation to you. Otherwise, it’s anonymous.


For multi-player games, maybe you could ask some of the meetup groups if they’d be interested in testing it? Posting it publicly might not make it any easier to find someone else to play with.


Don’t forget about the time zone differences. You could perhaps get people to specify their country and time zone. You could then pair them up and it’s up to them to sort out a convenient time. Otherwise, potential testers would not know who the other potential testers are or how to contact them.

I’ve never played a two-player adventure, so I have no idea what this would look like or how it would work in practice. You’ve now got me curious. Do both play simultaneously (somewhat like Club Floyd) or do they take it in turns? Do they play competitively or cooperatively?


Clubfloyd has been open for some testing sessions for Spring Thing.

Maybe they’d be interested to take on a multiplayer?


public ßtesting is common in the Opensource community, but in the IF community the issue is that there’s two different level of IP, the coding and the narration, intermingled in the same file; The ideal license remain the informal “Zarf license” (roughly, “the coding is open source, but the narration is mine”)

but another point can be termed “beta testing the narration” (whose in my case, and of all non anglo-saxon IF dev/writer colleagues, is also “proofreading from someone of English mothertongue”), and is known to give interesting surprises to the developer/writer (I always read the ABOUTs of works with release => 2, often there’s very instructive list of changes & additions from player’s feedback)

with this came another point: here ßtesters often are people whose known well the capabilities and limitation of parsers and IF narration, and can overlook what I term “creative low cunning”, lacking better term (that is, in the aforementioned I found something things like “added a new solution to the puzzle X, thanks Y !”, where Y is a name/nick NOT in the “thanks to ßtesters” in CREDITS…)

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.


I’ve been bopping the idea of a 2-player parser game around in my head since The Last Night of Alexisgrad came out in IFComp. What I settled on was two separate games that “talk to” each other, so each player has their own game file. One of the big challenges of this is how to keep each player busy while waiting on the other, and I don’t know that I’ve done a good job.

In fact, the game is more of an extended demo, with a disposable, wafer-thin plot, because I was just interested in seeing if I could make the mechanic work. And honestly I have no idea if it does, or if it’s any fun at all. It might be a failed experiment.


Then definitely worth discussing on here - it’s a prototype rather than a full game.

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Whoa, never heard of this before. For others benefit, I found this message where Zarf explains it:


An advantage to open beta-testing is that potential testers can take a look at your game before they commit to testing, and see if it is something they are interested in or worth getting involved in.

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