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1035205 Posts in 41761 Topics- by 33352 Members - Latest Member: Jamie Anthony

August 23, 2014, 01:28:24 AM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeDesignHow to find (safe) playtesters?
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teoma
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« on: December 17, 2012, 12:49:02 PM »

Working on a casual game right now.  Where do you guys get playtesters you can trust?  Mostly I'm concerned that another company might take our alpha stage prototypes and finish a near identical game soon after (or even before) ours is released. 

Just getting friends to test it isn't the best solution, since I want unbiased feedback.  It seems like a problem every developer would face.  Were it an 'indie' game I wouldn't care so much, but casual games are very prone to blatant cloning.

Any ideas? 
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Aik
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2012, 10:47:29 PM »

Isn't this what a non-disclosure agreement is for?
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teoma
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2012, 12:51:25 AM »

Yeah, but a NDA is only useful if you plan on enforcing it, I don't really want to sue playtesters.  That, and it would be difficult to establish that a disclosure took place.

My main thing is that I don't want the game cloned before we have a chance to get to market. 
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Schrompf
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2012, 02:21:33 AM »

Is this your first project? I got that impression because one only fears thieves on one's first project. When working on the second subject you mainly fear that nobody out there gives a fuck about your game.

Maybe do the "hallway test" like some people suggest: step out of your door and get the first human walking by to try your game. Chances are pretty slim that she/he is a secret agent looking for unfinished games to sell the idea to a company capable of reworking and finishing them faster than you.
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Let's Splatter it and then see if it still moves.
Muz
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2012, 02:45:32 AM »

Lol, yeah. I doubt anyone would steal it. It's more unlikely than someone grabbing your money as soon as you take it out of the ATM - it happens, but not often enough to worry about, and the damage is recoverable.

Chances are that your game's already 'cloned' Tongue Ideas and designs in the casual market aren't all that unique.
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teoma
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2012, 01:03:05 PM »

Quote
Is this your first project? I got that impression because one only fears thieves on one's first project. When working on the second subject you mainly fear that nobody out there gives a fuck about your game.

Yeah, I know, I know.  It's my first commercial-oriented project that I'm directing myself, not the first I've worked on.  I've said prettymuch the same thing to alot of other guys I've worked with. 

I have a friend that's involved in alot of parenting groups, it might be a good place to start to find test subjects.  It's a 'mom gamer' type of game, and I seriously doubt they frequent warez sites.
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Wilson Saunders
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2012, 02:16:43 PM »

Look at it this way. It took you X amount of time to get the game to its current state. After play testing it will take Y amount of time to refine the game to get it ready for production. If some company wants to steal your idea they will have to spend X+Y time to get the product to market where as you will only have to spend Y time. Most of the time if any one steals an idea they do it after the idea has had some success.
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eigenbom
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2012, 02:59:50 PM »

I disagree, it can take a company Z<X+Y amount of time to clone an idea and make a poor implementation, but if the idea is novel and fun they will seriously damage your possible income. So, if the idea is the next best thing, keep it to yourself until you release the game. However, you still need a certain amount of faith that your (unpaid?) testers won't steal the idea, but probably most of the people here wouldn't do that, due to morals, resources, whatever.

Another idea is for you to go out and test a bunch of iOS games for other developers, and then get them to test your game in return. That way there's sort of a mutual trust involved in the arrangement.

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Oddball
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2012, 03:10:37 PM »

Why are you getting Zynga employees to test your game? Stick to using non developers and developers you trust as testers and you'll have no problems. Besides, these cloning dev farms only clone a game after it is shown to be successful. They are all about risk aversion so they only clone already successful games.
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Erobotan
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2012, 06:09:30 PM »

In my case, I wouldn't worry about people cloning my game .. because my games is a clone itself lol (it's bareknuckle, golden axe, and Oboro Muramasa combined in one package .. but with less stuff obviously since there is no way a one man army like me can beat Sega/Vanillaware)
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teoma
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2012, 06:35:44 PM »

It's funny, now that I think about it there really isn't that much to steal in this project.  It's a little novel, but not that novel.  Honestly anyone could come up with an idea that's just as good or better within a few minutes.  It's more the implementation that counts... I'm really trying to make this one polished, while still staying on schedule/budget.
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