Distributing a protected Beta

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by Phil Steinmeyer, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. Phil Steinmeyer

    Original Member

    Mar 1, 2005
    Likes Received:
    OK, so I want to send a beta version of my game to a bunch of people, and I'm moving beyond the 'friends and family' stage to a moderately large group, so I'd like to protect this beta in some way.

    I own a pro copy of SoftwarePassport and have accounts setup with Plimus and BMT.

    I also want to make it relatively painless for the beta testers. Obviously, I don't want to make them pay anything or submit credit card info.

    Should I set it up as a product in Plimus, and then send each tester a one-off coupon for a free copy (is this possible?). If I do that, will they still need to submit credit card info?

    I guess I could just generate a standard version with a single key, but set up to time out on a specific date - maybe 2 weeks hence or so.

    What do you guys do?
  2. Hiro_Antagonist

    Original Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Likes Received:
    I did an expiration timer in Land of Legends beta, and that worked well. If the expiration date had passed, they were directed to download the newest version. I had no user complaints, and very little out-of-date feedback. This is easily the cheapest low-hanging-fruit solution, and it's pretty effective.

    The big-hammer approach I want to use in the future is to have a little login box when the player launches the beta. They enter their account info, and there's some internet validation w/ the central server. (You can use sockets, web services, http requests, or any other easy technology). If the user account is valid, the game launches. It also does a version check and requires that they're using the newest version.

    This is drawn from what another big casual games company does now, but I think it's the just natural evolution of keeping things tight and controlled.


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