The process of allowing people other than the author to play a game that is otherwise essentially complete, for the purpose of discovering flaws and bugs before the official public release.
Beta-testing is an IF form of usability testing, which also helps the author identify what parts of a work-in-progress the players enjoy most.
Where to find testers
- See also: Category:Testers.
- IFCollab is a directory page where people may sign up to offer their help as programmer, writer, illustrator, beta-tester, and so on.
- IF Beta Site helps authors find volunteer beta-testers.
- IF Betatesting List is a mailing list for the IF Beta Site.
- if.game-testing.org is the newest IF betatesting site, created by Juhana Leinonen in May 2009. Features include an RSS feed, email subscription services, and links to betatesting articles.
- AIF Beta-Tester Roster helps AIF authors find beta-testers.
Tips for testers
- Beta-Testers I Have Loved by Neil deMause for XYZZYnews #8.
- Oh No! Beta! Tips and Techniques for Beta-Testing Games-in-Progress by C. E. Forman for XYZZYnews #8.
- Suggestions for Testing by Emily Short. Covers both the tester's and author's side of the issue.
- (An earlier version of the above article, Some Suggestions on Beta-testing, can be found mirrored at the Internet Archive.)
- Things I Learned During Beta: 2010 Edition (plus Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4) by Matt Wigdahl, 2010.