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Getting in on the Ground Floor
I’m a behind the scenes kinda guy. I love the making of specials on DVDs. I read books where writers talk about how they created their works. And I beta test games. The earlier I can get in, the better. I’ve been designing my own games for a few years now, and early testing really let’s you see how a game comes into being.
Many players get into beta to play an eagerly anticipated title before the masses. Some to play for free. Those folks don’t really contribute so much to the process. Real testing is not for the feint of heart. Real testing involves spending your game time doing things that aren’t always fun.
In the early days of Vanguard, I spent nights trying over and over to break a starter quest line. Make a character, do the same freaking story again and again, knowing it would fail, but trying one change at a time and writing down how it failed. I kept a notepad at my desk and wrote down every bug I found, then I tried to recreate the bug over and over to pin it down. Then to top off the night, I would write up my results. Boring in a lot of ways, but it was worth it to see the world go from a blank page to a finished product. To experience a combat system that sounded awesome on paper but which lacked fun. And the see it get ripped out and replaced. I felt like I was a particular that game, not just a player.
Why do I write about this? Well, if you are interested in how mmo’s develop, if you want to help shape a new world, you can get in on the ground floor of DangerLands. Our beta is open to anyone, and we know that most folks will just be tourists who pop in, say hmmm, andnthrn never look back, but some folks will join us and have a stake in seeing the game grow to release and beyond. Join the community.
Do you beta? If so, why? If not, why not?