Open vs closed betas. Thoughts?

No no, he’s saying you’re not and to flag it if someone calls you that.

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I have interacted with you and you are great and passionate with your work. Also you have great fans dedicated and funny well done. The problem is they don’t like people that don’t like certain stuff they love post comments. You are doing ok for you.


No I am not calling you a troll.

Yes, precisely. :slight_smile:


Ah well still I won’t compromise my integrity and sincerity To appeal some authors ego. So I remain shut up and I will post when game hit market in the few occasions of the wip reaching something. Those authors that have big ego and not tolerate any other opinion normally never go far and wip dies in few seconds.

I am trying be more political correctness but no way I will stop compromised to be sincere with my opinions and views. If you published something you have to accept that people had opinions that are not entirely appraisal

Maybe I’m just weird, but I get a bit nervous if no one has any criticism :confused:

Anyway as everyone has said, the proportion of people who give feedback of any kind out of the total number of people who read will be small - and a closed beta will reduce that even more. I’d say at least open test a part of it.


It’s not so much about political correctness as it is about destructive vs constructive feedback/criticism. You could say you hate how something is handled and still be constructive about it. Destructive feedback would include, but is not limited, to saying you hate something or how something is handled without actually specifying why you didn’t like it or what could be done to improve it. Otherwise, the only thing that’s done is saying that something is ‘bad’. The author might then try to correct the ‘bad thing’ without having any idea how to and either somehow make it worse or change it to something that still doesn’t satisfy the provider of the feedback. Either way, without adding something to steer the author in the right direction, feedback can quickly turn destructive as it can easily be misconstrued as calling something out/bad for the sake of calling it out/bad.

This article does a good enough job explaining the difference between the two types.

Anyways, about the topic itself, I’d have to side with @Eiwynn here. I think it’ll ultimately have to be a decision made by the development team and/or the author. A closed beta group might get you more specialized feedback, but it’s a small group of individuals that might not be able to see everything. You’ve also then got to consider that all of the participants tend to have their own forte when it comes to feedback. If you do a private beta group, it’s usually best to try and make sure you have a varied enough group of testers that can accurately test all facets of the game.

If you have an open beta, you might have a larger group of people looking over the game and providing feedback, but I’ve often found that these kinds of groups tend to devolve into discussion groups rather than testing groups. Authors can still draw value from them (unless it devolves into what kind of clothes X or Y might wear :joy:), but the feedback tends to be less specialized than what you might get in a closed group. You might also encounter a situation similar to what happened with ZE:SH. I still remember the one individual that asked why they had to pay for the full game when it had “previously been free”.


My feedback is constructive as I always said what I believe a think could get improve and why something is bad in my opinion. Say something is bad and not offered anything more than that is stupid and doesn’t help anyone My problem is I am too direct in my writing lol

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No, but I’ve seen people waltz into WiPs just to point out what the game doesn’t have (or what it does have) and how that somehow makes it bad or unoriginal. A+ feedback right there. :joy: But, that’s a whole 'nother topic and I’ve got to run for now.


I think I’ve mastered the Art of the Beta Test. :slight_smile:

I don’t like Open Betas. For one thing, you get a hundred people catching the same first couple of errors and then missing the rest.

Me, I prefer to run Closed Beta Tests in waves. I give the link to about 10 people who can reply quickly. After I fix their issues, I slowly invite more people as my inbox becomes empty.

This way, I can keep getting fresh eyes instead of having everyone spot the same couple of errors. Those that come in at the end of the beta will have less errors to find, but that’s okay.

I also reply to every single email/feedback that is sent to me. Yes, that’s 80-something testers and sometimes 10 emails a piece, but I think it’s worthwhile.

The only downside to this method is that you might get a big awesome idea/feedback later in the process, which means more devastating changes to make. But for me, I don’t like anyone to see my work until I’m ready to share it. I don’t share my WIPs. :slight_smile: Personal anxiety, I guess.


@Snoe, I will be doing something like this. My plan is to keep CCH Part 2 as open/public through about the 75% mark, and then take it to private review/testing for the last 25% through final beta testing.

Edited to add: And I like using the Waves approach @Lucid mentioned, for the reasons he put forward. It worked great with testing last time. (hopefully taking Wave 1 folks this summer!)

And @Jacic, to answer your question more directly, for me the CCH threads have been INVALUABLE. Folks have given sooooo many creative and thoughtful suggestions over the past couple of years. I think the feedback is making Part 2 a much stronger game. I am learning from them.


As others have stated both formats have their advantages and disadvantages.

Given my preferences, though, I tend to lean toward closed betas, but having a large enough group to provide different viewpoints. Yes, a smaller group has a greater chance to hit ‘groupthink’, but you don’t get deluged by a swarm of people, especially ones who miss the first bit.

The other thing, as @Lucid said, if it seems like the writer is actually paying attention (say with personal responses/PMs, etc.) then the testers feel more invested in a game. Of course, this runs the risk of alienating them if you make a change someone doesn’t like, but that is always a chance.

As for public testing, that then tends to occur near the end when one is mostly looking for bugs, spelling errors, etc.

And I understand @FairyGodfeather’s concern about an overly critical contingent on the forums, and how that can poison prospective people from creating works. Yet, I’ve also seen authors who can’t even handle minor criticism, and in this case I do think those writers need to learn how to handle when such things pop up; if nothing else, seeing reviews on Steam, various storefronts, etc. might be enough to decide not to make anything ever again.

It is very easy for someone to get defensive about their work; most people do put a lot of time and effort into it, but the writer also has to recognize their stuff won’t resonate with everyone…and the more niche the topic, the more likely people aren’t going to care for it.

In a way, a closed beta can actually help in that regard, especially if someone is starting out. Sort of like how authors may have a close circle of fellow authors to critique things.


I think that this is possibly the wrong way around, really. I feel that you really need a bit of experience to actually do a closed beta properly. You have to choose your beta testers, and the better beta testers won’t necessarily be the first ones to ask about it, and a new author wouldn’t know Mara from Eiwynn. Similarly, you’d probably need to have a good enough demo to entice people in, and early on, too, and I know it took quite a while for my WIP to actually entice people in.

I would suggest that a beginning writer put out a good chunk of the story as an open beta before they decide whether to do the rest as a closed beta or not.


I agree but I am scared to do a open beta again knowing how is the public now lol. I will be torn to pieces and without testers

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Hey! Fashion is important and some authors are more specific with it than others, the kind of authors who like to provide very detailed descriptions of what their characters (tend to) wear (and where the school even has a “fashion club” the mc can visit) are naturally going to get more feedback on those things.
Similarly if “Choice of the tailor” ever gets made I’d be expecting good descriptions and lots of options. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

In still other wip’s cough, XoR, cough, while they are less detailed in the description of individual characters the clothing has more (and different) cultural and class connotations that are unusual, unique and generally deviate from our world. In those cases there are also very valid reasons to discuss those things.
Then there are wip’s that barely mention fashion at all (though there almost always seem to be one or two standout characters in that regard) and are set in vaguely “contemporary” settings, where clothing is generally dull and “as expected” for most readers. The only thing I tend to ask there is if it might be possible for my mc to defy the dull, dull conventions (too).

Yeah, I like this set-up less, English being my third language and I often don’t feel confident enough to even offer that kind of feedback, except when the errors are either very obvious or very (unintentionally) funny, when I’m so obviously outclassed by all of the native speakers. So those kinds of tests tend to make me feel utterly irrelevant.

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Honestly, I think you’d be the best author for that one. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Men’s fashion only though, I don’t actually care that much about women’s clothing, so I’d only be average there. :wink:

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If I were a new Hosted Games writer, I’d do an open beta until I developed a following.

Once a following is gained, a limited open beta for part of a new game may help to gain insight of big-picture issues. Also, it is like early marketing of a game.

Otherwise, closed betas are best.


Well you have my thanks for keeping the Zombie Exodus games to open beta’s (for now).

Alsoooo, sprichst du Deutsch? Ich auch, aber ich bin nicht sehr gut, weil ich in 4 Jahre nicht so viel Deutsch gesproch hab’. Es ist sehr toll, dass du Deutsch sprichst, weil ich mehr Praxis brauch’. :wink:

That being said!
I, personally, have two separate betas/alphas going on at any given time. I give a longer beta to a private group of people and a shorter one publicly. This is in hopes that the people I know IRL, who read it first, can catch any bugs and tell me of any continuity errors before it comes here. For instance, with Citadel, I have a ~20k private alpha that 3 of my IRL friends are going through right now. Publicly, I have a ~2k alpha. I work on it in chunks like this to try to weasel out everything, because I’m a huge perfectionist. It makes things take way, way, WAY longer on my part, but I really do try to put the best version of myself out there for people (and what is writing, but the most intimate parts of yourself?)

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Hallo! Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch. Meine Oma ist Deutsche, aber meine Mutter hat in England geboren. Ich finde Deutsch langweilig. Es ist eine hässliche Sprache, aber es lustig ist. Lustig! Donnerwetter! Innerer Schweinehund! Staubsauger! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: Ich spiele gern Videospiele auf Deutsch.