Hi there folks! I have a new collection, called [Insert Name Here Once I Think Up A Good One]!!! Basically, it's where I play beta games, review beta games, release sneak peeks of beta games, and tell you about upcoming beta games! Wait... what did I just say?
Allow me to elaborate! A beta game is a game still in development! The stages are pretty simple.
Pre Alpha Release
The Pre Alpha Release is the first legs of the game. There are rarely any graphics, and most everything is either a white block, or an invisible block of nothingness. The photo above is a very well developed Pre Alpha game. You usually aren't allowed to interact with anything, including doors, and NPCs, both of which don't usually exist yet. The buttons are usually messed up, as is the controls and sensitivity. It is rare to see a Pre Alpha game open for testing.
Next comes the Alpha Release. Sometimes Alpha games will be open to testers, and landscape is often added at this point. The water might also be added, but it doesn't always actually DO something. It might just be counted as air, or a totally solid surface. NPCs aren't able to interact in most cases, and it is extremely glitchy. Textures are often added, but with VERY little detail, and everything is still pretty blocky. You don't get the luxuries of trees or grass.
Finally, we have gotten to the stage in which there is the odd tree, sometimes grass, and slightly better textures... You can finally interact with NPCs, and vehicles, and it looks prettier. Water will actually have an effect on you, and now you have a health bar! Look at you go! However there are plenty of glitches still (like... a lot), and the graphics aren't exactly up to snuff. You can find plenty of designers who need testers, to tell them what to fix, which weapons are super over powered, and which NPCs go flying 1000 feet up whenever you try to say hello.
Congratulations!!! You've made it to the end! NPCs work, and look more beautiful than ever, the grass flows in the evening breeze, the sun gives a marvelous glow to the clouds, as the animals graze in the pastures just outside of the beautifully intercut town. Yes, this is when the game is made public, and people can download and play it, glitch free!!!
But... hold on a moment Alex... there are letters beside some, that go "CBT", and "OBT"... and why can't I test some of the games!?! It won't let me download it!!! WHAT GIVES!?!
Well... you see... the "CBT" stands for "Closed Beta Test", and the "OBT" stands for (you guessed it) "Open Beta Test"!
Open Beta Testing
OBT is where the developers allow anyone to test it! They just post up a download, and then let people play away. It usually isn't advertised many places, because they want to save all the hype for the Code Release, however an OBT allows many people to test it, sifting out more of the bugs.
Closed Beta Testing
CBT is where there is a limited number of positions available for beta testers. Bigger games, with a lot of hype will usually go for the CBT over the OBT. They often forbid screenshots, live steaming, etc. because they want potential buyers to still be interested. Beta testers often serve as a little peek to the public on how amazing the game will actually be, often adding to the already maxed out hype for the game.
But... ALEX!!! I wanna test a game, but it's a CBT!!! ALEX!!! FIX IT FOR ME! I wanna test it!!!
Okay! Okay, okay! Many CBTs will have an application on their website. All you need to do is have a good enough application, and you will be accepted! Developers look for qualities such as experience in beta testing, knowledge of the type of game, and, of course, what you're playing on (High end PC, low end PC, Mac, etc.)
Sometimes developers will hold contests for "beta keys". Beta keys are often a bunch of random letters put together, and will grant you access into the game. See example below. Beta Key: G85NQM39GYZ2A
So now that the boring part is over, head on over to my next card in this collection! CLICK THIS FOR COOKIES!!!