Friday, December 15, 2006

Response to a Question

The requestor of this information wishes to remain anonymous. The question posed was what games have I tested and how do I get accepted into said games? This list is not comprehensive, I don’t remember everything I’ve tested throughout the years.

Risk Online
Anarchy Online
World of Warcraft
Dungeons and Dragons Online
World of Warcraft (I put it twice because I really like it.)
Saga of Ryzom
Diablo 2
Faces of Man (or something like that, it was horrible)

Things to remember: (And some etiquette to beta testing)
1.) Beta tests are not for free play, they are mainly for troubleshooting
a. Reporting Bugs
b. Suggestions
c. Gameplay/Environment Issues
Even though you’re playing a game, it’s not all about fun and games; you’re there to facilitate improvements and changes in the game. If you don’t report bugs people will stop accepting you into beta tests. Most companies do check if such logs and reports are available.

2.) Know when to recognize a bug
a. Know how to use an imaging program
b. Dabble into programming
Imaging programs helps for graphical glitches and visual bug representation. Screen shot submissions are sometimes required when performing submissions but even if it isn’t you’re better off showing someone than just trying to explain in words. Programming isn’t entirely necessary but I can look at an error message and generally tell you what is at fault.

3.) Always be truthful in testing
a. Report all bugs, no matter how minor
b. Never lie on an application
c. Give feedback, and give it honestly!
d. Remember that you’re in a BETA
Never lie on your application. A company will not want everyone with the same vanilla configuration on their machine and indeed sometimes those with the uber-mega-self assembled machine will get rejected in favor of someone with lower end hardware to give more of a variety of testers. DO NOT FORGE A LIST OF GAMES, never ever do that. It's hardly even a requirement but when you have done some testing, it helps a bit. When you find a bug, report it through the proper channels (ether in game or in the forums) every little bit of input and detail counts for these guys. When asked to give feedback (or even when you’re not asked, give it anyway) be honest with your answers. If you didn’t like the quest that’s fine but why didn’t you like it? Think about your answers before you type (I know that I suffer from keyboard Tourette’s syndrome from time to time too). Always, always remember that you’re testing a game that is not completely finished, hence BETA, ALPHA, etc. Some things may not work, there will be disconnects and patches and waiting and LAG from hell. Don’t get all bent out of shape.

Programming is not a precise art, the wrong punctuation or word can mess up an entire game. Don’t bitch about things not working or patch downloads, etc. There are good reasons for it. I program and from a developer point of view it stinks. I take my hat off to those that do it full time successfully.

No comments: