CS/INFO 4152: Advanced Topics in Computer Game Development

Assignment 14
Closed Beta Release

Demo: Monday, April 18th at 11:15 am
Due: Saturday, April 23rd at 11:59 pm

Your fourth presentation is your "closed beta" presentation. In order to get your development going quickly this semester, we moved up the production schedule and split the single beta release into two. With that said, the difference between betas is a bit artificial. As for any beta release, we are expecting a clearly recognizable game. In particular, we want at least four playable levels of clearly varying difficulty.

In addition, closed beta should be finished enough that you can start getting extensive feedback on your game from your close friends or residential hall mates. It should be playable by people who are forgiving of a clearly unfinished piece of software. This is different from public beta, where the user interface should be much more polished (from feedback on this closed beta).

User Testing Plan

As always, each group will get 15 minutes to show off their release. However, this time we are going to ask for something a little different. For this release, we want a formal presentation with slides outlining a user testing plan. This is a (closed) beta release, and it is time to start playtesting. We do not expect you to have done any formal playtesting before this presentation. The purpose of this presentation is to tell us what you plan to do with this beta release now that it is completed.

In outlining your testing plan, you should answer the following questions:

How are you going to get playtesters?

What are you recruiting methods? People down the hall? Passers-by on Hoy Plaza (it is getting warmer)? We would like to know exactly what demographic you are trying to target for playtesting.

How will playtesters access your game?

Cna playtesters only work with your devices, or can they get the game on their own computer or mobile device? If you have to provide the devices, what are the logistics for doing this? Are you planning on using TestFlight? Or will you make an APK available for download?

What types of things will you be testing?

The game is not finished, so some things will need to be overlooked. What types of things will you be focusing on in your tests? Please give us a somewhat detailed list of the things you will be looking for.

How will you be recording the outcomes of the tests?

Are you just going to do user surveys? Or will there be more complicated data collection? Sophisticated data collection is not necessary, but we will talk about it later in the semester.

Presentation Schedule

Despite the importance of the user testing plan, the slides are not the primary focus of this presentation. Indeed, the vast majority (up to 75%) of your presentation should consist of someone playing the game and showing it off to the class. You should have one person playing it while another team member narrates the play; the narrator and player should not be the same person (so that the player can concentrate on playing). The narrator should point out game play elements, challenges, and strategies as the player encounters them. We expect this to be somewhat rehearsed. You should develop a script for this presentation and stick to it (to the best of your player's ability at the game).

As before, this presentation will take place all week long. So that you are prepared, the presentation schedule is as follows:

Monday (April 18)

  • Flame-ingos (G. M. P.)
  • PuppyCloud (Project Mainframe)
  • 6SumStudio (Toya)

Wednesday (April 20)

  • Irrelevant Turtle Presidents (Dragon's Breath)
  • Sounds Gouda (Squeak & Swipe)
  • Spectrum Studios (Inari)

Friday (April 22)

  • Groop (Shade)
  • salt & paprika (Para)
  • Fission (Breeze)


Due: Saturday, April 23rd at 11:59 pm

As before, you are not submitting any software to CMS. Instead, we want you to create a release in GitHub. This is the policy that you will use to submit software for the remainder of the semester.

In addition, you should not forget to turn in your two week report. This will allow us to see how you are organizing you time, and make suggestions for future milestones.