The Fall 1984 issue of The New Zork Times mentions a tester, though only by first name:
I had my first encounter with a professional play-tester two yars ago, when I was writing Starcross. As I worked, every so often my concentration would be broken by a horrible cackling laugh from a few doors down the hall. Jerry had found another bug.
I don’t have the issue in front of me at the moment, but there was an interview with Dave Lebling in the May 1987 issue of Your Computer where Dave Lebling stated that
… and then about a month before the game’s ready to be finished someone, and it’s often John Palace who is the manager of the Interactive Fiction group and is an ex-editor, reads through the games and looks for spelling mistakes.
The Moonmist InvisiClues mentions some testers:
The authors thank the Moonmist testers at Infocom: Tomas Bok, Gary Brennan, Amy Briggs, Max Buxton, Liz Cyr-Jones, Suzanne Frank, and Matt Hillman. Numerous “outside” testers also gave us their valuable input.
As does the Leather Goddesses of Phobos InvisiClues:
Testing: The primary testers for Leather Goddesses of Phobos were Tom Bok, Gary Brennan, Amy Briggs, Max Buxton, Liz Cyr-Jones, Suzanne Frank, and Matt Hillman. In addition, dozens of “outside testers” deserve praise for their help.
Some of the games have more-or-less hidden in-game credits.
A Mind Forever Voyaging:
As a former playtester, I can say with authority that the testing of A Mind
Forever Voyaging was superb. I appreciate the efforts of everyone who tested,
especially Amy Briggs, Gary Brennan, Tomas Bok, Max Buxton, and Suzanne Frank.
Gary Brennan Amy Briggs Suzanne Frank Max Buxton Liz Cyr-Jones
Gary Brennan Max Buxton Liz Cyr-Jones Jacob Galley
Tyler Gore Matt Hillman Katie Kendall Martin Price Joe Prosser
Steve Meretzky Tom Veldran Steve Watkins
Kurt Boutin Gary Brennan Amy Briggs
Liz Cyr-Jones Craig Fields Jacob Galley
Adam Glass Tyler Gore Matt Hillman
Shaun Kelly Adam Levesque Patti Pizer
Joe Prosser Steve Watkins
Quality control by Patti Pizer, Shaun Kelly,
Steve Watkins, Adam Levesque, Christian Anthony,
Liz Jones, Adam Glass, and many others
Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur:
TESTERS (Alphabetically by first name)
Adam Levesque, Amy Briggs, Avril Korman, Byron Goulding, Duncan Blanchard,
Elizabeth Langosy, Jacob Galley, James Bates, Joe Prosser, Liz Cyr-Jones, Patti
Pizer, Peggy L. Bates, Richard Bates, Shaun Kelly, Steve Watkins, Stuart Kirsch
Arthur also has this adorable easter-egg in the “CYR” shape-shifting spell:
For a brief moment you assume the form of the lovely and talented former goddess
of testing, but then the magic fades and you return to your previous, less
An early version of the Journey source code has some in-game credits that read, in part:
Coordinating both the illustrations and the testing effort was Joe Prosser, who was ably assisted by Craig Fields, Patricia Pizer, Tyler Gore and Kurt Boutin, all from Infocom’s testing department.
I think the Infocom Cabinet contains some tester feedback, both internal and outside, but I haven’t checked if it mentions any names.
It’s also funny how many Infocom employees are hidden within the games and their packaging. Ballyhoo has the Amazing Genatossion Brothers, A Mind Forever Voyaging has the Veldran Hotel, etc. The Border Zone hints for chapter three even asked you if you had tried “figuring out how many Infocom people live in the Gribnitz apartments”.
Where did Tom Schafer and Janice Eisen come from? I can’t find those.
Also, Chip Hayes posted on RGIF back in 2001 that he had been one of the outside testers. He provided patch files for the Gamma versions of Trinity, LGOP, and Hollywood Hijinx, which are in the archive.
I’ve been keeping a text file on my laptop of the names as I’ve been finding them. If I’m honest I can’t remember, which isn’t great! As I add names to the text file I also make a note of whether I’ve tried contacting them, by what means and whether they have responded or not.