Hello,

The business, productivity, and AT programs which I have alpha and beta tested were typically in the multi-hundred to few thousand dollar range. For these products, beta testing has always been quite intensive; usually lasting at least six months and requiring considerable time commitments. In many cases, we use the solution on our business machines to give it real-world challenges. Whenever bugs crop up, we file detailed reports on how to specifically reproduce the bugs. When bugs are intermittent, we dig for them while still using the software normally. In other words, one of the things we do is try to crash the programs and report exactly on how we caused the crashes.


I have done this through a private business, while working for a university, and as a private consumer. In all cases, this is what private alpha and beta testing consists of, and the developers always get their money's worth for the software. If we charged, it would cost significantly more for the service (the company which trained me now only alpha and beta tests for large corporations and charges for their services). It was in the late 90's when I worked with them and was taught. I never became as intense as they are, but I always use the principles they taught me.

David Chittenden, MSc, CRC, MRCAA
Email: dchitten...@gmail.com



Philip Bennefall wrote:
Hi David and Dark,

I also think that the final price of the product has an impact on this decision. What you are essentially doing is paying the beta testers for their work, and so let's say that the game will sell for 25 or 30 dollars then that's probably a reasonable amount to give in return for testing which in turn would most certainly warrent a free copy. If, however, the game or product sells for $150 then I would argue that a free copy is too much payment in most cases. If the testers spend a year running the program over and over again then it probably is not, but in most cases I'd say that it is and then a price reduction would be in order instead.

In short, one has to decide what one as a developer considers to be a reasonable amount to pay for testing and if this covers the cost of the game, give it out for free and if it does not cover it, give a reduction.

Kind regards,

Philip Bennefall
----- Original Message ----- From: "dark" <d...@xgam.org>
To: "Gamers Discussion list" <gamers@audyssey.org>
Sent: Sunday, January 03, 2010 12:25 PM
Subject: Re: [Audyssey] Public betas vs private testing


No problem David.

Like everything else, it's up to the developer, I was just pointing out that it was not a necessary condition of private testing that the developer has
to give away 5 or 10 coppies of the game for free.

It does seem reasonable with business software and the like, --- sinse A,
the markit can stand it and B, the testing process itself wouldn't
necessarily be enjoyable to the tester.

Beware the grue!

Dark.


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