Cyningstan DOS Games

Games for Early PCs

Ossuary Development Retrospective: Testing and Release

The Ossuary high score table
The Ossuary high score table

Saturday, 13th February 2021

During development I was constantly playing the game myself. But there came a time to let other people try to break the game. I tend to prefer closed beta testing, where I know who is plaing the game and can keep in touch with them to get their impressions. I did advertise publicly though, as I knew few people willing to put time into testing an early DOS game.

I set up the Discord server initially as a way for beta testers to keep in touch. Beta test versions were made available here, and we had a place to discuss the game with each other. It was my intention that the discord server would eventually open up as a general discussion forum for the released game.

With a team of active beta-testers I like to work on a week-by-week schedule. I put out a beta test version that expires after a week. If I get bug reports or requests for changes, I'll put out another beta test version that expires after another week. This ensures that beta test versions don't find their way into the wild. Once no more changes are necessary, then a release version can be prepared. Ossuary went through about five weeks of beta testing before it was ready.

Ossuary's first release was through my personal web site, as this was before the DOS games web site existed. This was advertised in the Discord server, as well as in a few other Discord servers that allow self-promotion. A message was put out on Twitter linking to that page. The game was then uploaded to Itch and to Dos Haven.

In the final retrospective post I'll talk about promotion of the game and where its future lies.


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