Integrating Beta Community Testing into Development using Gamification

W1     Start Time : 09:45     End Time : 10:30

The journey started with an unused beta server and a relatively high amount of issues which were found after live release. In the first step we staffed the beta team with very active members who knew the game very well and had a sixth sense for bugs. We also introduced missions which gave a testing focus on specific parts of the game including a rough explanation of new features. During the time boxed missions players could report bugs and for valid bugs they got a bonus at the end. To be a valid bug, the report needed to follow a specific template to provide all necessary information and it had to be part of the scope of the mission. At this point we were already utilizing Gamification by using three different game mechanics: Discovery, Bonuses, Countdown. Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems and increase users’ self contributions. As a first result the issues found before live release increased, but the turnover rate among the testers was quite high.

As there are many more game mechanics which are already a success in our games, we thought it might help for motivating our testers as well. Hence we thought about a level system with achievements where players gain points for bug reports to accomplish new levels. A leaderboard shows the progress of all participating players and also the achievements on the next level. We also introduced so called Seasons which are running for three months, where a player can get even more bonuses and achievements. After the first months we can already see that the turnover rate is decreasing.

As the journey went on, we got very dedicated beta testers who kept on testing. Also the quality of the game increased by finding and fixing more issues before the live release, and the percentage of live issues was reduced from 50 to 25 percent.

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  • Speaker

  • Jana Gierloff - Senior QA Technical Tester, InnoGames, Germany

    Jana Gierloff was born in 1985 in Karlsburg. After studying a few semesters mathematics in Magdeburg, she took a position as Co-Community Manager at InnoGames. With 150 million registered players, InnoGames is one of the world’s leading developers and publishers of online games. Early 2013, Jana moved as a game tester to Quality Assurance for the classic game “Tribal Wars”. Since 2014, she looks after the highly successful game “Forge of Empires” as Senior QA Technical Tester.