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Guide to Beta-TestingTopic%20Title
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So, beta-testing could possibly be the most boring part of making a case. Basically, what you do is go through your game and play it over and over and over until it reaches a quality that you are satisfied with. You need to find bugs, spelling errors, grammar errors, plot holes, and all that fun stuff. Oftentimes testing the game can last just as long (or longer!) than actually coding it.

However, it's also one of the most important parts of making a case. This is when you fully review your own work and decide how to make it the best it can possibly be. The more you test your game, the better the end product will likely be. Simply put, beta-testing is an essential part of making a fancase.

In case that wasn't clear enough...


I cannot stress this enough. No matter how eager you are to release your case, DO NOT DO IT without properly testing it first. What do you really want people to play? A good game that took a while to make? Or a bad game that was released a few weeks earlier? If you were a player, which would you rather have?

If you don't beta-test your case, then you will inevitably leave in several mistakes that could have easily been fixed. Think Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing (perhaps an extreme example, but you get my point).

If you're fine with it being a stinking pile of poo, then feel free to not test. Just be sure to expect extensive negative criticism from your players.

It's also important for you to have others test your case for you. This way, you can get a variety of opinions and suggestions for improvement. Other people are also often able to more easily notice problems that you wouldn't. Many times writers (myself included) find it hard to see mistakes or logic errors in their own work. Outside opinions help remedy this.



So what does this incredibly important process involve? Well, first you should play through the game enough yourself until you get it to a point where your testers could also play it without running into any game-breaking errors. Not all beta-testers are experienced coders, so they may or may not be able to figure out how to proceed if they run into something big. Once you've done that, you can recruit people to test for you.

I personally usually have three or four other people testing my cases. It gives you a decent range of opinions, while still keeping it small enough that you don't have half the forums playing your game before it's officially released. Most of the time they are people who've already helped with my game, as a sort of thank you. If you personally think this number is too big or too small, feel free to adjust it to fit your own game's needs.

You can either put out an open application for testers or ask specific people. I've worked with several people in the AA fandom whom I would consider to be good testers. Generally, people who have already worked with fancases will give good feedback, because they already know what problems to look for. However, there are also many people who've never touched a fangame before but still know how to give good feedback.

Make sure that your testers know what to look for. You want good feedback, so if they should keep a lookout for specific things, let them know.

It's okay to beta-test a game without all of the artwork completed. You can just use placeholder images. Let your testers know beforehand that not everything is complete. Then while you're waiting for their responses, finish up the artwork.

I personally don't generally give my testers deadlines. We all have lives outside of Phoenix Wright and many people are busy in real life. Whether you set a deadline or not is up to you though. Be generous though. This is fan fiction; nothing here needs to be on a strict schedule.

While you're waiting for the testers to respond, don't just spend the time twiddling your thumbs. Use this time to finish anything you need to or make improvements to your game.

And of course, be sure to thank them once they've finished.

Your goal is to give decent feedback to the creator. Think of anything you can for how to improve the game. This is not just an opportunity to play the game before everybody else. You need to be helping the creator make this game as good as it can be.

And if it's already a good case, don't just say "Hey, your case is so awesome! I literally can think of nothing to improve it!!1 Perfection!!! :karma: :franny: :edgeworth: "

If you do that, then you fail as a tester. There is ALWAYS a way to improve. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to make the game shine.

Make the changes they recommended. For plot changes, you are not required to make every single change. This is your game, not theirs. If you think a change might alter your game too much from your vision, then don't do it. However, do keep in mind that if a tester thinks something can/should be improved, then many of your players will probably think the same thing. Don't ignore everything your testers suggest. Otherwise, there was no point in testing the game to begin with.

Once more...


You should have a good reason for passing over recommendations. Would the change conflict with a future plot point? Okay, don't change it.
Would the change make one of your OCs do something you know they wouldn't? Okay, don't change it.
Do you just not like the change because it would require you to put a bit more work into rewriting a scene and you prefer to be lazy? If that's the case, then it's maybe a good idea to just suck it up and make the change.

Once that's all done, run through the case one final time to make sure that everything still works. Then go ahead and release it.

Even with you and a few other people testing, your players might still find mistakes. That's no one's fault. It just means you and your testers are human. Just imagine what it would be like if nobody tested the game in the first place.

tl;dr version: Don't be lazy. Beta-test the game so it's not crap.

Anybody else who has advice on this important step to case-making, feel free to leave your input.
Re: Guide to Beta-TestingTopic%20Title
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The one with many faces

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Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:33 am

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Hey Ropfa

I wonder if it's okay to either link or copy word-for-word (and link back to CR) this guide for AAO. Even though I cover this topic in length in my comprehensive guide for AAO, I believe there should be a guide for this in general. For God knows why, many newbies on AAO don't betatest their case, and, as a shocker, IT'S EASY TO PLAY TEST YOUR OWN CASE BEFORE GOING INTO BETATESTING!

Also, the example you gave for a game that could have been fixed... I think Sonic '06 would've been a better example. Big Rigs is a bit obscure.
Re: Guide to Beta-TestingTopic%20Title
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Gender: Male

Location: In a courtroom, for some reason

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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:00 pm

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Absolutely, go ahead and spread the word.

And for those who aren't in the know of what Big Rigs is, it's either the worst or the greatest game of all time.
Re: Guide to Beta-TestingTopic%20Title
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Ace Culprit

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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:57 pm

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A big thanks for this helpful thread Ropfa! Your guides really help me out in casemaking
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