Steam official rolls out its Playtest feature to all game developers

09 November 2020 - 11:46 By Craig Risi
Steam is a video game digital distribution service by Valve.
Steam is a video game digital distribution service by Valve.
Image: Supplied

There is nothing more frustrating than spending close to (or even above) R1000 on a game that is supposed to keep you entertained for months, only to run into a constant stream of bugs or quality issues while playing it on your PC. Quality control on PC gaming can be a difficult thing to get right because there are so many different types of machines out there and gamers who are willing to do break the game in a way that playtesters haven’t thought of.

So, why not playtest these games yourself and be assured that when it finally releases it meets the quality you deserve? Or maybe you’ll realise it sucks and can save yourself a few bucks in the process. Steam is adding a new feature, appropriately titled Steam Playest, that allows developers to invite people into their games right from the Steam client without needing to obtain a beta key.

The feature will let interested testers click a button on the game’ Steam listing to request access and be added to a queue where the developers can gauge your worthiness. This was the same feature that was on trial with Total War: Elysium Project before but is now officially being rolled out for all developers.

 
 

The tool provides developers with information to see how many people currently have access to the test, how many people are waiting for access, and how many of theme have been manually invited. Developers will also be able to add more testers from the Playtest status screen, and when they feel they have all the input they need to end a test, the button to request access to it will be removed from the game’s Steam store page and the game will be pulled from user libraries.

The playtest feature isn’t expected to replace the traditional Steam Early Access feature. The difference is that playtests won’t support any commerce or monetisation, and that access is determined purely at the whim of the developers. So, if you think you have what it takes to be a good games tester and want to improve the quality of the titles you play, your time could be coming up.


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