What should a good beta tester do when they're testing your game?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by Lord KJWilliams, Aug 24, 2019.

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  1. Lord KJWilliams

    Lord KJWilliams Member

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    I have some questions about beta testing games, and beta testers ...

    • In general, what type of things does a beta tester look for to find faulty programming?
    • Do beta testers use a systematic list of things to check for all purpose testing, or does the beta tester tailor what their going test depend on the game ( or software ) ?
    • How does a beta tester know if the problem of the game is caused by some incompatibility of their computer? For instance, some manufacturers of branded computers use OEM motherboards with built-in graphics and sound electronics that are run of the mill low budget computers that are not designed for high performance. In addition, the hardware of these brands are designed with special drivers made by other companies that are not compatible with any kind of hardware upgrade, making any such upgrade only possible from the manufacturer of the computer brand. ( e.g. Dell, HP, eMachines, etc.. ). Some software products that depend on specific hardware features can not be fully compatible and run with impaired features that are unknown to the users of these types of low budget computers.
    • What if the game is online only, what changes in the way a beta tester looks for errors?
    • What are the limits of beta testing - what cant a beta tester do, that would be considered beyond the scope ( e.g. comparing performance of a game between two or more different types of computers that is made for , PC and MAC, OR ...OS based issues between Windows 10, MAC OS, and Linux types, such as Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, and etc.) ?

    Any other help also appreciated...

    Thanks
     
  2. curato

    curato Member

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    If you are testing your game you want to do two different types of testing. First play you game the way it should be played in you mind a bunch to make sure it doesn't crash but everything plays silky smooth. Second, you want to play and try to do everything that you would never do. Run off the main path, mash buttons at times your would never push them, force the screen to minimize and bring it back. People will do that second thing a lot and it will crash on them when it would never crash the way you intended it.

    If you can get a big pool of beta testers, having a wide variety of hardware and operating systems is great. If you can get enough you can pin down issues with particular setup and find a work around or dial them out of the advertised specs. Hard in the indie game to get that many testers though.
     
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  3. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    Good beta testers don't color their forum posts in stark yellow so people's eyes get hurt reading them :p

    Nah, but on a serious note, a beta tester doesn't look for faulty programming, they look for faulty systems: enemies getting stuck in walls, levels being too hard or confusing, tasks taking too much time or not being fun. These issues might be caused by programming OR design. If something lags really hard on a beta tester's PC, it's a sign you've got optimization to do even if it's technically their fault (assuming their HW is up to date and in your recommended system requirements).

    Also note that there's a pretty big span between professional game-breakers (trying to find ALLLLLLLLL the bugs and knows a lot of common tricks and programming etc) and "normal players" that just play the game and tell you what happened. It's good to get a bit of both (you want to see if new players react to the game as expected, not getting stuck on early puzzles, etc, but they won't push the game to its limits)
     
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  4. Lord KJWilliams

    Lord KJWilliams Member

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    Oh that was my GF's idea. She always highlights everything she wants me to read in different colors because ,".. humans are the only species on the planet Earth that can identify all the colors of a rainbow.". She said that to me. Why not use colors in text if you can?
     
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  5. EvanSki

    EvanSki King of Raccoons

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    1. play the game like a gamer
    2. try breaking/exploiting the game
    3. derp around
    4. play the game, quest, story, ect
    5. WATCH THEM PLAY AND HOW THEY DO THINGS
    6. Dont let the tester be part of the dev team cause devs know how to play the game, you want that fresh eyes playing the game
     
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  6. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    That's wrong, most birds can see ultraviolet so they can see even more colors than humans can. Many mundane-looking birds has ultraviolet patterns that only other birds can see.

    This, so much this ^
    Feedback is useful, but watching every step of someone's thinking process and not just the end result is invaluable, especially when finding design issues (things being too confusing)
     
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