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.
- Announcements and Beta Testing sub-forum at intfiction.org.
- IFCollab is a directory page where people may sign up to offer their help as programmer, writer, illustrator, beta-tester, and so on.
- AIF Beta-Tester Roster helps AIF authors find beta-testers.
Sites that are no longer active:
- IF Beta Site (archived) was a site that helped authors find volunteer beta-testers.
- IF Betatesting List (archived) was a mailing list for the IF Beta Site.
- if.game-testing.org (archived) was an IF betatesting site created by Juhana Leinonen. It was in operation from May 2009 to March 2016. Features included an RSS feed, email subscription services, and links to betatesting articles.
- Game-testing.org shutting down - Shutdown announcement.
Tips for testers
- Beta-Testers I Have Loved (archived) by Neil deMause for XYZZYnews #8.
- Oh No! Beta! Tips and Techniques for Beta-Testing Games-in-Progress (archived) 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.