Introduction

This section introduces the project and mentions its history.

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Hello and welcome to the Beta Testers Collective website

This homepage contains everything you need to know about the project, including how to apply to be a tester and how to get your mod tested.

Everybody involved in the project takes testing seriously and we provide honest and detailed feedback in a variety of formats.

After having read this page, if you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact Ade: betatesterscollective@gmail.com


History

Phillip has a terrible memory but, sometime around 2008, he made a post about how too many mods are not tested enough. This led to him suggesting the creation of a specialized team to perform those tests.

A few people showed interest and the project was born. Due to his other gaming commitments, Phillip never really had time to fully develop the project and a couple of failed leadership changeovers later we are in 2013. The project now has a new leader, Ade, and a new site and forum on their own domain, betatesterscollective.com

We are now actively seeking new testers and more testing assignments.


Future Plans

In the short term our objective is to simply do the best testing we can. That way we can build our reputation and help teams release better mods. Of course, at the same time we would like to become better known as that will increase the number of tests we could perform.

In the longer term, we may turn our attention to other engines and even indie games, as that is clearly going to be a huge market. Whilst we don't have any definite commercial plans, there could be a need for a paid services within the indie development world.

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The Process

This section describes how feedback is given.

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Initial Contact

Whether we contact a development team or they contact us, we ensure that they know how we can help and what we expect in return.


Test Protocol

It's important to clearly define exactly what the development team is looking for in terms of feedback. This can depend on the stage the BTC becomes involved.

There's little point in the testers providing video if the development team has created a simple feedback form. In addition, any account set up for SVN or other access-control protocols are discussed at this point.


Feedback Forum

Once a test has been agreed and the testing details confirmed, Ade creates a new sub-forum on the Beta Testers Collective forum. This sub-forum contains a sticky thread which contains all the details of the test protocol and download link. The name is a random string of three letters and three numbers. This is to ensure maximum privacy if the development team requires it.

We set it up this way so that users only have to remember their basic membership password and not one for each test etc.

Ade now sends an email out to all the testers, detailing the mod and type of tests required, asking for volunteers (those that skip too many tests will no longer be a part of the team but are free to come back whenever they feel they can dedicate more of their time). The testers then provide feedback in this sub-forum, by adding a new thread. The forum allows images to be uploaded, videos to be embedded (of course made private and requiring a password), compressed .dems can be uploaded as well as the usual text.

One last point about the forum. We feel that instead of sending feedback directly to the development, it's important for other testers to read and comment on other testers' feedback. This loop can provide additional perspectives that compartmentalized testing misses.

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The Contract

This section describes our "contract".

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What is the contract?

The contract is an agreement from the development team to credit the BTC, whether any of our feedback is used or not, in all the places the mod is promoted. This includes, but is not limited to, the ModDB profile, any social media pages (Facebook, Twitter etc), the mod's homepage (if they have one), the credits section of the readme.txt of the mod, the credits within the mod itself.


Why we use it

We work hard to help improve mods and feel that, like any team member who contributes to a mod, that work should be recognized and credited.

We acknowledge that our work is only a small part of a larger process but by crediting the BTC a mod helps other mods by getting our work and name known.


Is it compulsory?

No, it's not compulsory and if a development team came to us and asked for help but told us they wouldn't or couldn't credit us, we would still provide our services.

That said, there would have to be a very good reason why they wouldn't credit us and we may only do one test for that particular team.

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The Team and Testers

Admin Team

Ade

Ade is now the project's leader and has full control over all aspects of its work. She moved it to its own domain and is able to spend more time than Phillip on getting more tests.

Old admin members

Phillip

Phillip founded the project and, up til a few months ago, still took an active interest in it, including helping Ade with admin, promoting the project and even doing the occasional test.


Chris

Chris was the Community Manager and ran the Steam and ModDB groups. He also used to be a tester but since his defection to "Apple", he does not have the hardware to particpate.

Testers

Shaun Friend AKA Mman

Name and/or nickname:Shaun Friend AKA Mman
Testing Statement:I am very experienced and willing to test all kinds of mods.
Availability:I am generally available for all kinds of mods, but my commitment to mods longer than a few hours depends on my spare time and I may not always be open to doing them.
Playing Style:I can adapt to a wide variety of play styles, and always test on hard unless it is specified that that is not recommended.
Playing Experience:I have played countless games and mods (for multiple games) over the years.
Testing Experience:I have tested many mods, I have also worked on several and therefore know a lot about the technical/feasibility aspects of things.
Feedback Type Provided:Mostly screenshots and texts. I may be able to provide videos but that's rare and depends on multiple factors.
Development Experience:I have much experience with modding. Most of it is for non-Half-Life games, but a lot of knowledge is universal.
HL Games Owned:All relevant ones.
Additional Notes:
Steam Friends Username:Mman
Website:
Basic Hardware Specifications:
  • Windows 8.1
  • Intel® Core™i3-2120 Dual Core
  • 8GB RAM
  • Geforce GTX 750 TI

Ade

Name and/or nickname:Ade
Testing Statement:I'm a thorough betatester who's not afraid to speak her mind. I believe in testing early and testing often.
Availability:Weekday evenings and no restrictions for weekends.
Playing Style:Mostly run and gun on Normal, but I enjoy exploring for goodies. I sometimes re-play sections to see which approach leaves me w/ more hp/ammo.
Playing Experience:Extensive, mostly in the Half Life universe, sp/mp since 2000.
Testing Experience:Proud member of the BTC since may 2008.
Feedback Type Provided:Anything you need. If not specified, screenshots+demos and text. I'm also available for live playthroughs.
Development Experience:Little, in Hammer for HL2: DM mostly.
HL Games Owned:Half-Life, Opposing Force, Half-Life 2, HL2: Ep1, HL2: Ep2, Portal and Portal 2
Additional Notes:
Steam Friends Username:
Website:
Basic Hardware Specifications:
  • MSI 760GA-P43 (FX)
  • Windows 7 Enterprise SP1
  • AMD FX X4 4300, 3800MHz
  • 8GB, DDR3, 1600MHz
  • MSI nVidia GeForce GTX650

Joseph Williams AKA Dysprogue

Name and/or nickname:Joseph Williams AKA Dysprogue
Testing Statement:I test generally with two playthroughs: first playthrough I play as I would play normally, the second playthrough I basically try to break the map/mod however I can. If I am giving video feedback I will put only clips of this playthrough.
Availability:My availability is inconsistent, I am currently working on a temporary basis so some weeks I may have no work and some I may be very busy.
Playing Style:I explore a fair bit I like to go off the path that it looks like the mapper has set with the intention of returning to the area I was being led down, I don't tend to back track for things though. In combat I'm quite aggressive, I prefer slow, high damage weapons like the revolver, shotgun or crossbow (though the AR2 is probably the most powerful in terms of dps) and I have a tendency to advance too fast meaning I get killed fairly often.
Playing Experience:I have been playing Half Life 2 on and off for a while before I think steam recorded hours spent but since then I have spent a combined 128 hours on Half Life 2 single player games I also spent a fair bit of time on Half Life 2 Deathmatch around the time it came out though. Also a fair chunk of that time would have been spent testing as I do play around with Hammer.
Testing Experience:Aside from BTC I have tested a 2 MMO open beta's (APB and Elder Scrolls Online) in which feedback was offered about bugs and glitches through in game system. I also stress tested the online components of Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Assassins Creed: Black Flag for work which included following instructions given by test supervisors (through skype) keeping record of bugs, lag and crashes an online form about it at the end of the test.
Feedback Type Provided:I can give feedback in text, screenshots, screen share, video and demo format.
Development Experience:I have some experience, mostly just playing around with hammer but I have submitted a map for the Assassinateville map pack.
HL Games Owned:I own all of them except for half life source
Additional Notes:
Steam Friends Username:Jowo
Website:http://dysprogue.wordpress.com/
Basic Hardware Specifications:
  • PC specialist (modded)
  • Geforce GTX 650 Ti Boost
  • AMD FX 8320 Eight-core Processor
  • Windows 7 64 bit
  • 8 GB RAM

John-Paul Hartzsch AKA Rapowke

Name and/or nickname:John-Paul "Rapowke" Hartzsch
Testing Statement:I do multiple playthroughs, each time testing the map for something else. Be it Atmosphere, Gameplay, Balance or getting somewhere I am not supposed to.
Availability:Technically all the time. I would let you know if otherwise.
Playing Style:I take my time and try to get the most out of each map. At least on the first playthrough.
Playing Experience:I play Videogames for at least ten years now. I finished Half Life 2 and both episodes at least twice.
Testing Experience:So far I tested my own some friends maps. The most recent example would be "Lost at Sea" by Darren Weekes for the Ambushville Contest.
Feedback Type Provided:I would give feedback via text, demos and screenshot. I would be open for steam chats and email conversations as well.
Development Experience:I started mapping for Half Life and Counterstrike some years back, but never really finished something of note. The Defendville Contest was my first public release.
HL Games Owned:Half Life 2, Episode 1 and Episode 2
Additional Notes:Not much to say :)
Steam Friends Username:Rapowke
Website:I don't have one
Basic Hardware Specifications:
  • Laptop
  • Windows 7 64 Bit
  • Intel I7 QuadCore 2.20 Ghz
  • 8GB Ram
  • Nvidia Geforce GT 525M

Qwertyus

Name and/or nickname:Qwertyus
Testing Statement:I'm a regular beta-tester of Xash3D (GoldSrc based engine), also I have been a BT for Wolfram (indie game, remake of Castle Wolfenstein) and a bit for few Half-Life mods.
Availability:medium (I have some free time everyday)
Playing Style:I like to explore map and seek for hidden bonuses etc. I prefer to play Half-Life mods on Hard, for other games I mostly choose Medium difficulty. I'm always trying to find a way without cheats, but if I really get stuck, I can use cheats or walkthroughs to understand what exactly I need to do to solve a puzzle.
Playing Experience:I'm regulary playing PC games since 2000 year. Half-Life (GoldSrc) is my favourite game and I played all known for me singleplayer mods / maps for this game. I also played many singleplayer games on PC, preferring FPS & RPG.
Testing Experience:about 1.5 year (for Xash3D)
Feedback Type Provided:I prefer text commentaries, but I can supply screenshots of in-game video too.
Development Experience:HL modelling (Half-Life Overhaul Pack) and game resource editing (independent Russian localization for Cry of Fear)
HL Games Owned:HL, OF, BS, Gunman Chronicles, also I have HL2 series games, but I'm rarely playing them, and almost never playing mods for them. I can test GoldSrc mods using WON HL, Steam HL or Xash3D engine.
Additional Notes:I would like to test singleplayer Half-Life GoldSrc) mods / maps.
Steam Friends Username:
Website:-
Basic Hardware Specifications:
  • i7 870 (2.93 GHz)
  • GF 560 Ti 512 Mb
  • 4 Gb RAM
  • Windows XP SP3 32-bit

ESToomere

Name and/or nickname:Erik-Silver Toomere AKA ESToomere
Testing Statement:Regular playthrough, although when I see things I can exploit or break, I usually do; pretty brutal about design and logic.
Availability:I should have an hour or two Mon-Fri; usually have the whole weekend open.
Playing Style:Regular playthrough; sometimes attempt "speedruns" using map exploits and previous playthroughs.
Playing Experience:Been playing HL2 since it came out; been mapping for Source since 2005.
Testing Experience:HL2 maps and mods; CS:GO; Portal 2 co-op map.
Feedback Type Provided:.dem; text; screenshots; live playthroughs; videos (from most likely to least likely).
Development Experience:Mapping since 2005, no significant releases yet.
HL Games Owned:Everything Valve has ever released.
Additional Notes:
Steam Friends Username:ESToomere
Website:estoomere.net
Basic Hardware Specifications:
  • Dell Inspiron 3542 (laptop)
  • Intel i5-4210U
  • NVIDIA GeForce 820M
  • Windows 8.1
  • 8GB RAM

Greenman

Name and/or nickname:Greenman
Testing Statement:Methodically. If a level is frustrating me, I'll likely attempt to rush through it. Otherwise, I'm thorough, good attention to detail. As a level designer myself, I can offer more technical/engine related feedback.
Availability:Varies, but often.
Playing Style:Find the best way through, taking as little damage as possible.
Playing Experience:Been playing Half-Life mods and maps since first playing Half-Life 2, around the release of the Orange Box.
Testing Experience:Old Ville competitions from PP. Other random projects submitted to BTC.
Feedback Type Provided:Mostly via text. Happy to record in-game demos.
Development Experience:Lots of mapping experience. Submitted a couple of entries in PP competitions.
HL Games Owned:All.
Additional Notes:Bananaphone.
Steam Friends Username:Greenman
Website:
Basic Hardware Specifications:
  • Custom Clevo Laptop
  • Core i7-2670QM 2.2ghz
  • 4gb RAM
  • nVidia 555m
  • Windows 7 64 bit

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Testimonials

Here are some of the nice things people have said about us.

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Mark Romphf, Source Modder.

"The BTC provides concise, constructive and honest feedback. They offer encouragement and suggestions without hesitating to speak thier mind. It's clear that they have experience with quality assurance and anyone looking for constructive feedback on a project should have their email on their contacts list."


Miigga - Prolific Source Mapper

"The BTC gave more detailed and useful feedback than almost any other playtester for my recently released mod, Baryonic Predicament. I was so impressed I join the collective!"


David Lundvall - Spherical Nightmares

"BTC helped making Spherical Nightmares a quality release. The team, with their different backgrounds, provide really useful feedback. I was given demos, screenshots, detailed description, suggestions. There was an on-going discussion with the team and they helped me as long as I needed; reproducing bugs, testing if bugs were solved, taking additional screenshots. I will definitely use BTC for future projects."

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are your services free?

Yes, we make no charge for beta testing your work.


Are you trustworthy?

Yes. No work given to us has ever been released without the prior and express permission of the author. All beta testers have a long history of working with Phillip.


What kind of tests do you do?

Well, that depends on the state of the work. Some tests focus on gameplay aspects, others on more technical points.


Can I chose which testers I use?

Of course! The selection is entirely up to you.


Can I have more than one test?

Yes, but you must be sensible about it. Don't provide a very small change and expect us to test the whole mod again.


How do you provide feedback?

That depends on the testers themselves and you. Some testers make videos, others supply text and screenshots, others demos.


How long do the tests take?

We do our best to provide feedback quickly, but we make no guarantees. If you have a particular deadline please tell us.


I didn't use the feedback you sent, do I still have to credit you?

Yes, we think you should. We spent time working for you and feel that giving credit is fair.


The feedback you supplied is contradictory. What do I do now?

Use your judgment. If this is the case then it shows that some things are subjective and you can't please everybody all the time.


I have a question that is not listed here, what do I do?

Please email Ade at betatesterscollective@gmail.com and include as much information as possible.

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Contact us

To become a tester

We are always looking for more testers, whether they be experienced or new. What's important is dedication, attention to detail, an ability to effectively communicate your feedback and trustworthiness.

If you are interested in becoming a tester, please send the details below to the email address below.

We will review your application and if we like the look of you then we will send you a special map to beta test and feedback on. This will constitute your "first interview".

At this point we'll chat with you and take it from there.

If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact us at the above email address, or feel free to register on our forums and post there (once your account has been activated).

TESTER DETAILS

Guidance in brackets

Where you heard about the BTC (Forum, website, podcast etc.)
Name and/or nickname: (You can use either you real name or your nickname)
Testing Statement: (A brief note about how you approach testing)
Availability: (Are you availablle at all times or only at weekends etc.)
Playing Style: (Explain a little how you like to play maps.)
Playing Experience: (A brief note about how long you have been playing. Don't exagerate. We need new players as much as experienced ones)
Testing Experience: (Have you beta tested before? if so, please tell us about it)
Feedback Type Provided: (How can you provide feedback? We assume via text, but can you supply private videos with commentary, live playthroughs (via screen share) or annotated screenshots, DEMs?)
Development Experience: (Do you have any development experience? Mapping, modeling etc)
HL Games Owned: (Please list the HL games you own. Currently we only test maps and mods for HL games but we may expand later in 2013, in which case we'll ask for an update then)
Additional Notes: (Please write anything you want to add here)
Steam Friends Username: (Please specify if you want this made public, either way, we need it)
Website: (Your website, if you have one)
Basic Hardware Specifications: (Make and model of your PC, your processor, graphics card, operating system and RAM)


To have your mod tested

Please contact Ade and provide as many details as possible. She will then reply and suggest an appropriate way forward.


By Email

For email, please use betatesterscollective@gmail.com. Ade will respond within a few days.


By our Steam Group

Chat with us via our Steam group.


By our ModDB Group

Chat with us via our ModDB group.