I guess it's not technically "beta testing"

How do folks around here feel about beta testing works in progress? Is that something you’d like to do or is it frowned upon?

EDIT: final sentence above ends with preposition, should read “…or something upon which it is frowned”. that is all.

First, check out the link in the sticky post at the top of this subforum.

If you want someone here to beta for you, I’d recommend that you post something about your game (such as approximate genre, length, and level of difficulty), what kind of testing you’re looking for (bug catching, grammar check, narrative feedback, all of the above?), and on what kind of schedule (notably, are you looking to enter this year’s Comp?).

It’s something I certainly recommend. Getting one or a few people to do early beta testing, “alpha-testing” or “design checking” or whatever you want to call it can be extremely helpful. (I speak from experience.)

And about the thing about ending on a preposition. “This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put.” (See The Language Log for further reading on that.)

Oh and I should actually read what you wrote. :stuck_out_tongue:

As for works-in-progress, there are definitely people who will do that, and it’s a good sign that you want it. Testing WIPs is great for feedback about pacing and narrative, though probably less helpful for squashing bugs. Just make sure you’re clear with your testers about which parts are in-progress.

Indeed, as Tove says, you’ll want another group of beta testers to come in later to catch bugs and such things. The first testers will be either worn out or (like you) too close to the game for that. (Not to mention that different testers find different kinds of things.)

Cool! I think I need to get a bit more content into this piece before I start asking around, but it’ll be sooner rather than later.

Re: Language Log, I love analyses like those! (But I haven’t read nearly enough Language Log.) The only good reason to cite prescriptivist rules truly is for the purpose of making up increasingly goofy sentences.

Yeah, it’s a good idea. It does require rather different kinds of feedback, though, and it’s not something that happens quite as much; we have a nice established format for how to betatest, but alphatesting is vaguer. It’d be a really good idea to provide specific guidance for your alpha tester(s) on what sort of things you’re particularly concerned with. Betatesting can be nerve-wracking – if you haven’t worked with someone before it can be difficult to work out the sort of things they’re concerned with improving, and what will just annoy them – and alpha-testing can be considerably more so. The more you put your testers at ease, the better.