However, no matter how many QA Testers a game has, sometimes it’s a beta that’s really needed to eliminate bugs and problems. Indeed, it’s something that’s particularly important for MMOs and Planetside 2 developer Sony has label beta testing as critical for that genre in particular.
“For MMO games beta is critical. There is a lot we can do to test gameplay and mechanics in studio, but getting the massive scale needed to ensure the game really works requires getting real players in.” Sony Online Entertainment’s Creative Director Matt Higby told NowGamer.
“It’s also critical to determine if our player progression curves are too punishing or too lenient, find exploits, balance issues and so on. Beta for us as a company is an incredibly critical phase of development.”
Higby also told NowGamer that during the Planetside 2 beta, Sony will be keeping a close eye on player feedback and that big betas have great benefits to game developers.
“Once we get to beta, we’ll be looking both at players’ direct feedback via bugs and message boards, as well as analyzing data that will be collected and aggregated.” he said
“The biggest benefits to a big beta are load and stress testing, testing across a diverse collection of hardware configurations, getting large sample sizes to determine if weapons and vehicles are balanced, and so on. We won’t be shipping anything until we’re all proud of it.” he added.
Train2Game students can apply for a place in the Planetside 2 beta here.
The Train2Game Blog has previously posted about the importance of beta testing, with Star Wars: The Old Republic developer Bioware stating that beta testers can really help with game development.
Beta testing is an excellent way for Train2Game students, especially those on the Games QA Tester course to practice their bug hunting skills. Not only that, but in an interview with the Train2Game blog, Trion Worlds Senior QA Tester Karl Tars said that beta testing is potentially a way to get into the industry.
So Train2Game, are you looking forward to Planetside 2? Do you agree that beta testing is critical to the game development process?
Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.