As i said Sean, entombed did actually have private testing back when the basic systems were being setup.

None of the private versions I played were actually particularly playable games, ---- though Jason did stick in a surprise or two to keep us on our toes.


That's the model I stil think is best, private testing at first, then public.

beware the grue!

Dark.
----- Original Message ----- From: "shaun everiss" <shau...@xtra.co.nz>
To: "Gamers Discussion list" <gamers@audyssey.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 03, 2010 2:31 AM
Subject: Re: [Audyssey] Public betas vs private testing


well you could do what tom has done.
half and half.
We get public betas every so often but only stable ones really.
otherwise private testing.
Now something like entombed from public all the way sounds good but it depends on the game. Entombed for example is a world where public testing would probably be more suited to see what needs going in since it will eventually become bigger than it is now. Most of the major issues in the engine are done and now only content issues happen and most of these are done in fact I have not seen many bug reports released over the last bit and none this week which is a good sign. Ofcause the disadvantage with public is you can't offer any bonuses, ie free games, discounts, etc to your testers because everyone would want one.
Unless you had a prepays system like blindadreneline has though hmph well.
At 12:33 p.m. 3/01/2010, you wrote:
Hi all,

I just wanted to put a question out. What are your opinions of private testing with a dedicated team versus publicly released betas that everyone can try out? I have a new game in development now, and I am considering whether to make a public beta available similar to what Thomas Ward and Jason Alan have done. I see some pros and cons with private testing, though:

Pros:
1. Easier to manage. Since you have only a few people who are testing the game you do not need to answer the same questions or receive the same bug reports numerous times.

2. The element of surprise. With a private team, very few people know about the development and so it comes as more of a nice surprise when something new is released, where as in the case when everyone knows pretty much everything that is going on it's hardly unexpected when a game finally is released. In the worst case, some people may even have gotten tired of the game after playing the betas!

Cons:

1. Limited testing=more possible bugs. If you have a smaller team you are not as likely to catch every single bug before the product goes to release. This can result in some pretty rapid patch releases (1.0.1, 1.0.2, 1.1, etc) right after 1.0 has been put out and this obviously doesn't look too good.

2. Nagging. If everyone knows about the game while it is being developed, I fear that some people would be sending emails asking when the next version is out or wanting to know why this or that feature that they suggested hasn't been implemented. This is of course a very broad generalization and I do not in any way wish to insinuate that a lot of people do this, but there are a few cases and it might make it annoying for the developer to see the project all the way to the end. If no one except the private testing team knows about the game, then you will not get any public comments before you go 1.0 and then you are obviosly prepared to take them.

On the other hand, of course, more public suggestions means more good possible ideas for the developer to work with. Thoughts, anyone?

Kind regards,

Philip Bennefall
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