A Guide to Securing a Beta Invite

Posted: September 20, 2007 by Kendricke in General Game Concepts, Preview

It’s that time of year again. 

Here in Minnesota, the last vestiges of Summer’s dusk can be felt through the gentle turning of the leaves as the crisp, sharp chill of Autumn’s early twilight begins to take a firmer hold.  For many in the state, it’s time to start stocking up on cords of wood to prepare for evenings spent with a few crackling logs in the fireplace.  We take sweaters and jackets out of storage and start to put away most of our t-shirts or shorts.  Boats are pulled from the lakes and made fit for storage for the long months ahead. 

And across the country as a whole, email is checked nightly for those all important Beta invitations.  Here’s some sure fire ways to help secure yourself one of those coveted spots…

1.  Make lots of posts on forums about past beta tests. 

In particular, you’ll want to point out how many beta tests you’ve been in before for other games.  If that doesn’t work, point out how much you can help out in this beta test.  If that still doesn’t work, start pointing out how you’ve never been in a beta test for this company before and you really think that’s not fair AT ALL.  Then, like a drunken frat boy the morning after, make a new post apologizing for that last post and point out again how mucch you can help out in this beta test.

2. Threats work.

Oh sure, moderators and even developers might tell you that threats are against forum rules, but those rules don’t apply if you’re trying to get into a beta test.  If you don’t have your beta invitation within 48 hours of applying, you should point out how you’re not sure you’ll even like the game if you don’t get a chance to experience it up front.  …and point out that if you don’t get to experience the game for free, you can’t know for sure that you’ll want to buy the game.  Then, make a post saying that if you can’t get into beta, you won’t buy the game.  That outta do the trick.

3. Join an uberguild.

So you’ve heard “Uberslayers of Doom” gets into beta tests, right?  Great.  Go apply to join them.  When you do, explain that you’re looking to join a guild that gets into beta tests so that you can help them test.  They’ll be sure to let you join if you explain how much you can help out in this beta test.

4. Rant about uberguilds.

So you can’t find any uberguilds to join that can help you get into the beta test?  No problem – start up some posts on the forums about how unfair it is that “uberslayers of Doom” get into beta tests while other guilds don’t.  If possible, mention buzzwords about “conflicts of interest”, “unfair competition”, “worldwide firsts”, and “developer strats”.  That works every time.

5. Apply early.  Apply often.

Still not in the beta within 48 hours of applying?  Must be a problem with their beta acceptance system.  I recommend applying again.  In fact, you should probably apply with multiple email addresses each day till you finally get in.  To help increase your chances, mention the technical difficulties you’re having with the application system on the technical forums for the game.

6. Developers love Fanbois.

Send direct emails or PM’s to developers telling them how much you love their game  and can’t wait to actually see it.  Since the developers really want to hear good feedback from players like yourself, tell them in detail everything you like about the game in this message.  While you’re at it, tell them you’ve been playing this studio’s video games since you were 6 years old – so that will convince them how much of a good tester you could be.  Tell them childhood secrets and how much you like their pictures online, just to be safe.

7. Developers love money.

On the forums for the game, explain – preferably in microscopic detail – exactly how much money you’ve spent on previous games made by the same studio over the years.  Point out how you’ve been a loyal customer with 7 accounts over the past umpteen years and you’ve bought every single expansion for every account.  Ever.

8. Bash other games.

Because the developers are very loyal to the project they’re working on, a good way to get their attention is by bashing on other games.  Make lots of posts on the game’s forums about how you hated game X or game Y.  This works better if you add in lines that show how the games would have been better if the developers on those other games had actually “listened to testers” in the first place.  If you find out that one of the developers for this game worked on game X or game Y, point out how you think it was management that screwed up by telling the developers what they could or couldn’t do.

9. Beg.

Nothing says “quality tester” like a few good posts on the forums filled with “pick me for beta, PLEEEAAASEE!!” 

10. If you blog, you must be “Press”.

Didn’t you mention the game in your Myspace blog last month?  OMG NOWAI! That totally means you’re “Press”.  Immediately send an email to the studio producing the game and link back to your article, explaining how you should get in to help review the game early on for your “audience”.  You’re sooo in.

  1. “For many in the state, it’s time to start stocking up on cords of wood to prepare for evenings spent with a few crackling logs in the fireplace.”

    You make us sound like a vast Amish community, Ken… which isn’t far off from the truth, I guess. 😉

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