As I’m writing this post, the closed beta testing period is over, having thrown invaluable feedback from players. From errors (exceptions, mostly) and other hard-to-find bugs, to design suggestions, everything was valuable.
Use Steam as soon as you can to share the game with testers. You could consider it so widely installed that most of your target market will already have it. So, you do not need to explain anything: send a code and update the build whenever you need. Steam is quick to use once you set up everything, so once the version is compiled, uploading and distributing an update is a matter of a couple of minutes. You have total control over the executable, but also, all the flexibility to share it once you have the steam keys -which is fairly quick.
Keep in mind that Unity’s log is stored locally. It may be useful in case you wanted to log some particular bits of data, quickly. This requires cooperation from the other side, as the tester will have to send you the log. It is located in the “_Data” folder where it is installed. We used it for logging the seed used to generate some buildings procedurally generated, so it could help spotting some problems during its creation.
This is a really useful tool. You may relate it to ASO and other web-development terms, but you can apply it to your game too: it allows to catch exceptions, report data and, with the web client, analyze it after that, gathered in one single place. You get to know where is people playing the game, which languages, and other demographics -just for free!
There is a specific section dedicated to exceptions and errors, if you have enabled exception logging (just one click) in the prefab in Unity. They are basically the same red messages that appear in the console. Neat, isn’t it?
On top of that, you could send your own metrics and dimensions -it is worth a full post on its own-, so you could then analyze how much time do they spend on level X, or how much money do players have at some point. With the proper data, you could generate custom metrics. In our case, we can visualize the average character level in every mission played, just to get a glimpse of player’s status when facing challenges.
As I would like to acknowledge everyone involved for their time during the beta, here is a list of people taking part (and many of them prior to that) that I’m grateful for their time. In order when I first met them:
- Ulises – Friend, former teammate and fellow gamedev from Nuberu Games
- Álex & Miguel – Fellow gamedevs from Milkstone, who provided really valuable feedback based on their vast experience
- Some of my former students – They have been very passionate both as my students and as fans/followers of the game, saving some of their time to test the game.
- Jony, Menti, Hernán – Another developer/developer/musician, former teammates in projects at WhootGame.
- Julián Quijano – Another developer, from Barcelona, which has always been supportive with the project, and has his own ones (like Monster Prom)
- Marcos Sueiro – Another fellow developer, which even from another country, was following the progress and reaching out from time to time.
- Dani Jerez – Student (a professional right now!) who has kept in touch debating topics around this and other games.
- “Êbrium el sereno”, “Pito Poderoso”, “Mr Parca”, “Me llaman Ori” – Supportive gamers that decided to keep in touch with us and help beta testing the game.
- People not listed – sorry, blame my bad memory!
Aside from these people, special thanks to everyone who tested Trespassers in one of the many events we have gone to (CometCon, FIMP, Metropoli, Gamelab, Madrid Games Week, Barcelona Games World). We get some great fans there too!
Not only they have helped in technical terms, but their support was extremely importante, encouraging. Thanks also to all the people that have come across the project in the last years, be it 5 minutes playing or several hours. I would like to wish the best to everyone involved with their current and future projects, for they help and support.
There are more people properly credited in the game, that took part in different stages of the development, but you will need to end the game to find out more 😉