I’ve been a tester for for several COGs both officially and unofficially and I often feel like I haven’t put in nearly as much effort as I should have. Especially on the ones I actually had to ask for access to. I really like getting to participate in the development process because I have no penchant for coding, so it’s about as close as I’ll get to actually making my own game, but man can it be a slog when you’ve read through the same pages fifteen times in a month. But maybe that’s just me.
Music is fun, I guess. Also trying different paths. If you know that another tester is going to try this or that then it’s fun doing the opposite. It’s what these forums are good for.
Back when I could concentrate on testing I played through the game a couple of times maybe.
You could try try to break the game, picking odd combos or try to lose.
Then I read the code. By reading the code I can spot errors that way much easier. I won’t catch everything that playing the game will, but I’ll also spot some things that playing the game doesn’t show.
If new drafts were uploaded I’d ask for change logs of what was changed because I know that otherwise I’m not much help.
Some techniques I use:
1: dialogue with the developer helps provide insight into what I’m testing - this will provide motivation to help them accomplish their goals.
2: Look for small non-mentioned improvements - there are always little tweeks that never make it into the patch notes, a treasure hunt looking for those things is a fun activity.
3: Look for direct contributions in each build. It is neat seeing the tweeks you help bring about.
4: Music will help the mood
5: Multiple play sessions near each in time give you insight into the project. Especially if you do not spoil the game by looking at code.
6: Looking at the code of the final beta can be used as a reward to yourself for insights.
7: Use your own creativity to put different spins on the parts you read… mentally change up the dialogue and see how it would work… etc.
I have other methods but they vary with developer, project, publisher and time-line for testing. Intense rushed testing is always draining.
Also - the silent CoG testing method for official games is hard for me to get used to. I have been dealing with developers for a very long time and I thrive on getting to know them as people and sometimes friends.
waves Hey. I’ve actually been talking about this very thing recently. Editing is really stressful for me… partially because of the very thing you mention. Partially, because, if I’m testing/editing, I’mma do so -right-. One thing, though, that makes it a little easier, I find, is if the author is willing to grant you access to the raw code. It helps cut out repetition in reading, though it can make it harder to keep track of the story order, depending on how it’s set up. But it definitely cuts down on that ‘fifteen times through the same stuff’ type of slogginess.
I admit… I admire people who go through things over and over again for the sake of helping someone else out. @Lycoris and @Eiwynn have both done fantastic jobs testing for me in the past, and by comparison I stink at it. It’s hard for me to give a game more than one play-through, oftentimes. A couple or a few might not be too bad, but the dedicated repetition required for true testing is not a job suited for everyone, I think. And I admire the people who can do so.
The people who play my game over and over just to find all the content in it… they really truly rock my world. But it’s also a LOT harder to both test, and write. Just like it’s hard to write multiple projects at the same time. One takes away from the other.