What is the alpha stage in video games and their testing
I hear its the final product ("Patch 1.0"), but I've also heard it's another phase of testing like beta? Is it just when the developers go over everything one final time before release? This is just out of curiosity! ^^
according to Yahoo!answers: "For new games they have Alpha stages where things are totally raw. Then a beta stage where they usually release to the public and let them play to find more bugs, then the game gets released after that."
In simple, general development terms, typically the alpha stage is testing internally (within the company) and the beta stage is released to the public (or testing externally). From my knowledge, the alpha stage is just more testing from the very early development of the game through to beta or release but strictly internal. They find all the bugs they can and polish the game up until they feel comfortable releasing it for beta or as a final product. Hope this helps!
It does, aye! I often see people say "I've played since alpha" and wondered what it meant. Perhaps they meant open/closed beta, but it's hard to believe regular forum posters and the like say they've played since non-public testing ^^
Ya I'm sure there's exceptions to the definitions I gave. Like major supporters might get access to an alpha or an alpha might be leaked or a version of a game might be incorrectly called an alpha. Nothing enforces these definitions on devs.
While development teams test throughout the entire development process. Alpha is only the first stage of "final testing". After alpha, there is "beta testing" which is what most people hear about. Typically, the product goes for general availability release after "beta testing".
The alpha is a pre-beta phase of testing and construction. The alpha essentially the earliest version of the completed project that's available to be played, and is where the biggest tests for glitches, errors, etc are done. Sometimes it is available in a limited sense to the outside public, but usually the alpha testing is done strictly by testers associated with the company.
The development process goes something like this:
Alpha: Early version, buggy.
Beta: More stable than Alpha.
RC (Release Candidate): Used by Microsoft mostly. Just prior to production version.
And after that, comes the public release (/production) version.
Alpha is not the final product. Hope this helps.
Answered this, and then noted that it is already answered.
You needn't worry about this already being answered - the more the better, so I can get as much info as I need (but with this question it's just curiosity) ^^
Alpha - is usually raw and usually tested internally while Beta is open to a more wider audience in other to catch bugs that the alpha phase miss
In independent games, or just "Indie" Games, The alpha stage is a low cost release to gain popularity before the game is released as a retail copy. Players go into testing understanding that the game is still in testing, and not a finished release. It also allows Indie game companies to receive bug reports from potentially thousands of testers, that they do not have to pay to do so. In fact, many indie game development companies charge for the Alpha copy.
In normal development, (Your more famous, and big game development companies) Alpha is the phase where paid employees test and release early videos and screenshots for marketing and bug fixing purposes. Beta is the final phase of testing, this is where the game has been more defined as far as gameplay and graphics go. It allows the company to continue to do bug fixes and patches to fix such bugs, while focusing energy on better defining, graphics, sound, and story lines. It also allows them to work on additional gameplay fixes and bells and whistles.
The Patch numbers are different from game to game. It depends on how the outline for the game has been pitched. The numbers are more or less meaningless. They are just bookmarks for where and when something happened in testing. Generally there will be an Alpha 0.1 - 3.0, Beta 0.1 - 3.0 Retail release usually starts at 1.0.
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