How To Get Beta Testers

Yay! We Are In Beta!

When ZuluOneZero published NumBlocks on the Google Play Store we went through the requisite development phases.

The game has been released now – have a play:
NumBlocks published on the Google Play Store for Android.

Click to Play:

Also on the Amazon Play Store for Android and Kindle.

Click to Play:

This was our first app that we thought looked good enough to give away to real users.
I was very proud of the artwork and how the game played on screen.
It’s a simple no-frills game but it was a perfect test platform to scope out what’s required to get a game published.
Which incidentally is a little daunting but in reality the whole process of publishing a game on the Google Play Store was pretty easy.
The Google Play Console was easy to use and there were plenty of official and community references to help us through it.

Uh Oh … Problem …

We went through several development iterations and found a revision that worked on most Android platforms.
We were running Unity 5 and targetting all mobiles above Android API 15 4.03 called “Ice Cream Sandwich”.
Not being a big shop our test devices were old personal phones that were around this API version. It was running well and looked great an a VM but once we started using our physical test devices we found a few issues dealing with different screen resolutions and one phone didn’t have enough resources to run the random number generator so that the same numbers kept spewing out.

Then we upgraded to Unity 2017.1.0f3 and lost support for those older API’s. Oops no more supported hardware to test on! We really needed to get some Beta Testers who could trial the game on a variety of different platforms that we couldn’t access. We could test thoroughly with virtual machines but as we found when testing on real phones there are some things about how the game looks and plays that can only be reproduced on the real platform.

Solved! (Not!)

So our marketing team (Harmony and Felicity) and I did some research on recruiting Beta Testers and we quickly realised that we couldn’t affort to pay for the service.
We did find a wealth of paid services out there which I’ll list below in case someone can make use of that information.

Not all of these services were paid but most of them required some sort of effort or buy-in up front that we couldn’t match.

http://appstorm.net/
http://appuseful.com/app/add
http://betacandy.com/
http://betali.st/
http://betalist.com/
http://betapage.co/
http://betatesters.io/?utm_source=InstabugBlog&content=betatestbeginnersguide
http://erlibird.com/

Ready to introduce your startup to the world?


http://makeuseof.com/
http://market.thenextweb.com/
http://momb.socio-kybernetics.net/

Contact us


http://quora.com/
http://startupli.st/
http://startuplift.com/
http://web.appstorm.net/
http://www.betabound.com/
http://www.betabound.com/announce/
http://www.mob4hire.com/

Submit Your StartUp

Submit

Submit Startup


http://younoodle.com/
https://betafamily.com/
https://feedmyapp.com/
https://inspiredbeta.com/
https://www.topcoder.com/
https://www.usertesting.com/
https://www.utest.com/

Social Media Save Me!

So we turned our attention to the online communities that might be able to assist us.
We did some more research and found that social media is literally teeming with sites and groups that want to Beta Test your app. Awesome. Problem solved.

We published a Beta version of the app on the Play Store and mocked up some Beta Testing campaign ideas along with a set of goals that we had for Beta Tests. We were looking for technical testers as opposed Marketing and I can tell you I was pretty excited about getting some feedback on the game. When we pubished the Beta version of the game we could choose a number of Beta testers that the game would be released to. The interface gave us a minimum of 1000 users so we went with that and given the number of social media sites we found thought that this didn’t sound all that unreasonable.

This is a brief list of the social media sites and lists and groups that we advertised for Beta Testers on….

Google Communities:
Android Beta Tests
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/109783274236354693762
Android Game Developer
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/107240075790372473394
Indie Game Developers
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/116817422244345691332
Game Developers
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/100673606633986699530
Game Developers
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/101640237427303194102
Game Programmers
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/102656807509358954492
Mobile Game & App Developers
https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/107514033174068960125

http://www.reddit.com:
/r/TestMyApp
/r/alphaandbetausers
/r/AndroidAppTesters
/r/startups
/r/betatests
/r/androidapps

https://twitter.com/:
search?q=%23Betatesting%20&src=typd
search?q=%23Betatesters&src=typd
search?q=%23Testmyapp&src=typd
search?q=%23Indiedev&src=typd

We even did a big call through our Facebook Page and Blog.

Big Reveal!!!

Guess how many Beta Testers came flocking to try out our great new game…..

None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Not one.

We checked around the boards on these sites and groups and actually found very little actual Beta Testing going on.
After a few weeks of interacting with these communities and even testing a few apps ourselves thinking that we might get some kind of Beta Testers Karma we still found that no-one really wants to test your app (unless maybe if you are building a huge free MMO that’s going to be awesome – anyone doing that?).

Free Advice!

So there you have it – Beta Testing using social media groups doesn’t work. You don’t get nufin’ for free in life.

So my advice to you is that if you don’t have one already, start building an email list now. For a startup game dev studio with no support framework it’s pretty hard to come by free help when you need it. Ideally, start collecting email addresses before you even have an app, and keep at it! Because even a handfull of Beta Testers is better than none.

The Five Games in Ten Weeks Challenge!

Some months back I went to a local presentation by the Unity champions at The Arcade (a collaborative workspace specifically for game developers and creatives) in Melbourne.  It was one of those “learn about others and gain insight into one’s self” moments.  One thing I picked up from one of the presenters from Hipster Whale (makers of Crossy Road) was that when they were developing a new game they tried to keep the proof of concept to a two week period.  Some time later with this in mind I presented to myself the “Five Games in Ten Weeks Challenge!” to see if I could really push out five different games in ten weeks.

Five Games in Ten Weeks

Continue reading

New Game! Peace Run

Hi Zulu here  – We started work on a new game this week called Peace Run.  I wanted to do a continuous runner and really liked the idea of having a line drawing animation that looks like the player character “grows” out of the line.  The runners will be animal silhouettes like the dog shown here.

Doing the frame by frame animation has been really fun but it took a lot of trial an error to get to this point – which as you can tell isn’t perfect yet.

All the artwork was done in GIMP 2 and the game design is in Unity3d.  We used a simple animation script to play the start of the walk sequence.  I can’t wait to get this puppy into a run and a full sprint.

BETA Testers wanted! NumBlocks

Hi Zulu here – we just got our latest game NumBlocks into the Play Store and have opened it up for Beta Testing.

https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.ZuluOneZero.NumBlocks

NumBlocks is a fun numbers game that’s easy to learn but hard to master.

This is our first game in the Play Store and is a great test bed for us.

We wanted something small and simple that looked good in action and was fun – NumBlocks was our answer.  It was the front runner to our “Five Games in Ten Weeks” challenge and broke a lot of new ground for us.