Game Development Reference
By the end of Alpha, the development team should have very clear idea of the game
they're creating. The development team has, for the most part, stopped creating new
code and new artwork, and will now shift their focus to perfecting what they've
already created. It's time to identify and fix the remaining bugs.
Although the term “Beta testing�? frequently refers to any outside testing, it is only at the
early stages of the Beta phase that final gameplay testing should take place with people
outside the design team. The majority of testing done by outside Beta testers during
true Beta is bug reporting and load testing. Gameplay feedback and suggestions should
continue to be recorded for possible post-release implementation in a patch or sequel.
Beta Phase Entry Criteria
The following Beta phase criteria are typical for a console game:
1. All features and options are implemented. The game is “feature complete.�?
2. The code passes at least 100% of platform TRC. Toward the end of Beta,
the game should be ready for a “pre-certification�? submission to the plat-
form manufacturer. This process allows the platform manufacturer's QA
team to test the game against the latest TRC and warn of any potential
3. The game can be navigated on all paths. Any bugs that may have closed off
portions of the game are eliminated.
4. The entire user interface is final.
5. The game is compatible with all specified hardware and software configu-
6. The game logic and AI is final. Programming is complete on the “gameplay�?
of the game. The game knows its own rules. All AI profiles are complete.
7. All controllers work. Those third-party peripherals that have been chosen
by the development team (and the publisher) to be supported function with
8. Final artwork is implemented. There should be no placeholder artwork
left. Beta is the phase when most screenshots, trailers, and running footage
will be taken to use in the packaging and to market the game.
9. Final audio is implemented. All placeholder audio is has been replaced
with final assets of the voice talent. (There may be a few do-over, or “pick-up�?
lines that have yet to be integrated, but these should not have an impact on
in-game event timing or level scripting.)