I’m spinning off a discussion about providing beta feedback in general, so I don’t spam the Waywalker’s thread too much on what’s a general topic.
This isn’t a clarification of the rules found at http://www.choiceofgames.com/forum/discussion/700/new-to-the-choice-of-games-forums-read-this-first-seriously#Item_2 on how to beta games.
Beta-testing shouldn’t be about getting a free first look at a game. It’s an attempt to help the author improve the game. If you find nothing wrong with it, then you should at least mention that.
I was surprised when I first asked for beta-testers that out of the ten people who responded, and were given the link to my game, only two actually provided feedback. The rest said nothing. That made me have a number of questions as a writer as to why they didn’t actually respond to me. I did later discover some had played the game and just hadn’t said anything.
So maybe, if people are having problems finding out what to say about a game we can provide a list here of tips to help people provide feedback. I found one of the best games to test was when I had a list of points that the author wanted feedback on. I found that focus helped a lot.
I think that any feedback is better than no feedback. Even if you’re telling the author that the first page is too difficult/uninteresting for you, and that you didn’t play the game. That can tell there’s a problem. Same as if you just provide feedback saying that you really enjoyed the game, although try to mention what your favourite part is, so the author can at least know what they did right.
So game creators, what do you look for as feedback? What’s useful?
Beta-testers, what would help you give better feedback on games? If you don’t provide any feedback at all what are your reasons and what could encourage you to say more?