How to Setup & Manage a Multiplayer Event using Discord

Use of Discord and our Platform to make the Process Pain Free

Jonny avatar
Written by Jonny
Updated over a week ago

Prelude: When is it right to run a Multiplayer Playtest?

If you have a game in development that will experience a multiplayer environment when released, it will be important to conduct iterative, live event multiplayer testing to get a feel for how your game is impressing the Participants that you are targeting. Ensuring that the live environment is always being pulsed with Participants is key to succeeding in an online environment, as in a shared world/experience, a solo playtest/Participant experience will not always paint a clear picture of the sentiment across your entire audience.

Conducting a multiplayer playtest allows you to simulate an online environment where Participants are going to experience all aspects of the live experience in your game. You can view how Participants experience the game for the first time, how other Participants affect each other's experience and how the Participants interact with each other in the game based on your design decisions.

Security First Approach with Go Testify

Firstly, we recommend hosting your game exclusively through the Go Testify platform: Our platform is specifically designed to ensure that your game remains safe during the playtesting process. With the Go Testify Platform, you can rest assured that your game's assets are kept safe and secure.

When using the Go Testify Platform, your game is stored safely on our platform, and only authorised testers can access the game via the Playtest link. All invited testers are required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before participating in the playtest. This ensures that your game's assets remain confidential and that you have full control over who can access them.

Our platform can also accommodate your own NDAs being signed via adding them to our playtest flow. More information on that to come!

In addition to protecting your game's assets, the Go Testify Platform also provides tools to help you manage your playtest effectively. You can control who has access to your game, track feedback, and export feedback data in real-time. This allows you to analyse Participant feedback quickly and make informed decisions about your game's development.

Step 1: Define Your Objectives

Before starting your playtest, you need to define your objectives. What do you want to achieve from the playtest? What aspects of the game do you want to test? What will the feedback being captured achieve for your development goals? Having a clear set of objectives will help you stay focused during the playtest and ensure that you achieve the desired results.

Step 2: Identify Your Participants

The next step is to identify your participants. You need to find people who are willing to play your game and provide you with feedback. Go Testify are happy to provide you with some Recruitment Providers to consult with. You can also use social media platforms or gaming forums to recruit playtesters. Make sure to select playtesters who are representative of your target demographics.

What we also need to identify is the level of security clearance required for these testers. While Go Testify does offer an internal NDA before taking part, it is important to visualise where your own security processes or NDAs will be included in your user journey and what form it will take.

Step 3: Create Discord Server & Calendly

Once you have identified your playtesters, you can create a fully privatised Discord server to communicate with the participants and organise your playtest. Discord is the leading platform for gaming communities and multiplayer gaming on both PC & Android . It provides a range of features such as voice and text chat, screen sharing, and more. This makes discord a prime candidate for hosting your multiParticipant playtest, as we can utilise a range of tools to safely and efficiently manage our playtest & our Participants.

You can also use Discord to collect feedback from your playtesters and answer any questions they may have. Make sure to set up the server in advance and test it to ensure that it is running smoothly. Steps to do so are below!

Effectively Setting up a Discord Server

  1. Firstly, if you haven't already, Install Discord onto your PC and create an account if you do not have one.

    • Discord can be used on either your browser or downloaded as a standalone app. We recommend the App itself to keep discord segmented from your other work/tabs in a browser. However the functionality of both versions is the same.

    • See our associated article for further information on How to Effectively Setup a Discord Server

  2. We advise that you use an anonymous or company username as well as your company logo - this will allow Participants to identify you as the moderator of the test. As an example, we would identify ourselves in discord as "Go Testify" and use our branding as our profile picture.

  3. Following this, select the "+" Icon to the left of your screen, this will allow you to create a discord server, when presented with your options, select "Create my own" followed by "For a club or community"

  4. Next, we need to establish Roles - You want to ensure that your moderators have the powers to manage the server in its entirety, and you want to ensure that Participants have no permissions to make changes to the channel, only participate. To create roles, select the dropdown at the top left of the screen and select "Server settings" then move to roles.

    • Moderator - Select "Create Role" > Enter Role Name, Color etc. > Permissions > Advanced Permissions > Enable "Administrator" > Save Changes.

      1. The moderator of a server will be anyone responsible for managing the events themselves, such as a project manager within the company.

      2. Anyone assisting this manager will also be granted the role of Moderator to assist with Participant issues.

      3. We would recommend 1 moderator per 10 participants

    • Participant - Select "Create Role" > Enter Role Name, Color etc. > Permissions > Remove all permissions, except "Speak" & "Send Messages"

      1. The Participants must only be able to communicate to you, therefore remove all permissions besides this, to reduce risk, improve security and simplify logistics management.

    • Observer -Select "Create Role" > Enter Role Name, Color etc. > Permissions > Remove all permissions.

      1. Observers should have no permissions, Observers will take the form of people who may want to watch Participants as they submit feedback.

  5. Voice Channels - If you need Participants to communicate during the test, select the "+" next to the "Voice Channels" heading on the left of the servers home screen - Select "Voice" and name the channel. Repeat these instructions as required if completing a team based activity.

    • Tip: We recommend that you create separate channels for private conversations should Participants need any technical support!

  6. Finally, you will need to invite people to the server to take part - You can send a discord invite via right clicking on your Discord server icon and selecting “Invite People” More information on how to distribute these invites will come later in the article.

    • We recommend that invites are only sent out a few hours maximum prior to the Playtest beginning, this reduces the amount of administrative work required within the server and also allows Participants to enter the discord with ample time prior to the actual event.

    • We advise editing the invite link to have it expire after 6 hours - this will mean the server is inaccessible following the playtest, and Participants will be unable to rejoin the server once removed.

Setting up a Calendly

Since the test will take place at a set date and time - we recommend scheduling Participants for the test using Calendly. Calendly is an online scheduling tool that offers a number of benefits for individuals and teams looking to streamline their scheduling and appointment booking processes

  • To set up a Calendly event - Login/Create an account firstly.

  • Following this - Select the "+" icon to the top right of your screen.

  • Select Event Type > Group

  • Input Event Name, description and any instructions required

  • Assign the "Max Invitees in a spot" to the amount of Participants you wish to have partake in your event.

    • We recommend a healthy amount of backfill to account for technical issues & no-shows. A 40% excess on the targeted amount of feedback will assure good results.

  • Following this, input all information relevant to the test date + time.

  • Next, collect any Participant queries via the "Invitee Questions" tab, this will allow you to gather any questions the Participant has ahead of time and ensure their experience is as smooth as possible

  • Finally, we navigate to the "Notifications & Cancellations Policy" and select "Email Reminders"

    • Here, we will personalize an email message to go out to the Participant - we recommend setting the reminder to 1-2 hour prior to your event!

    • Attach the link to the discord server invite to this reminder email to provide your Participants with access.

    • Attach a link to any NDA documents that may also be required for the playtest.

Step 4: QA your Participant Journey

Before the event begins, we want to run a QA check of the participant journey. We recommend taking the following precautions before scheduling any Participants:

  • QA Live Calendly booking link to ensure times are correct and enough slots are available

  • Check Discord Invite is working as intended, check the correct link has been attached to your Calendly email

  • Do a QA run of your test link - ensure Participants are guided through the Participant onboarding as intended

  • Ensure the Participants are able to follow all tasks and instructions provided for the test

  • Check any surveys etc. are appearing as intended.

  • More information on QAing a participant journey can be viewed here

Step 5: Managing your Participants

When running a multiplayer event, it is important to have a running tracker of the status of each participant, internally - we utilise Google Sheets to create a “Central Document” that tracks Participant status

Google Sheets is a powerful tool for tracking Playtesters' attendance to a playtest and their status on an NDA signature. Firstly, it allows for easy collaboration with multiple team members who can view and edit the sheet in real-time, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and the document is always being updated.

Additionally, Sheets can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, making it convenient to update and check on the status of Playtesters' attendance and NDA signatures. Sheets also allows for custom formatting and conditional formatting, which can make it easy to identify which Playtesters have not signed the NDA or missed a playtest.

Here is an EXAMPLE link to investigate further

Step 6: Curate a Test “Script”

Bringing a script to a live multiplayer playtesting event has several benefits, especially in terms of streamlining the work for moderators. A script allows moderators to have all the necessary information prepared ahead of time, including game objectives, testing procedures, and the data to be collected.

This helps reduce the amount of work required on the day, ensuring that moderators can focus on monitoring and facilitating the playtesting experience. Furthermore, a script can help to keep the playtest running smoothly, ensuring that all relevant information is covered, and the necessary data is collected. This can be especially important in large multiplayer playtesting events, where there may be many different Participants and variables to manage. Overall, a well-prepared script can help to maximise the effectiveness of a live multiplayer playtesting event and make the moderators' job more manageable

Here is an EXAMPLE script for your consideration.

Step 7: Conduct Your Playtest

It's now time to conduct your playtest. During the playtest, observe your playtesters carefully and take note of any issues or bugs that they encounter. We recommend staying as hands off as possible during the event to ensure the Participants feedback is captured without interruption.

  • As instructed earlier in the article, Participants will have a link to enter the discord server from the Calendly reminder.

  • Once all Participants are in the channel, we recommend a welcoming message in the #general text channel, such as:

    • "Welcome everybody, thank you for taking the time to take part in this playtest, we will be getting started shortly"

  • Following this, distribute the test invite link to the channel - this can be done via selecting the vertical ellipsis on your playtest and selecting "invite participants" - this will attach the test link to your clipboard so it can be pasted into the #general channel

  • From here, use the #general channel to instruct all Participants that they may enter the voice channel or drag and drop all Participants into the voice channel.

  • The moderator can then debrief the Participants and talk them through the installation process and what will occur during the playtest

  • If individual Participants begin to experience technical issues, we recommend having a separate voice channel named #technicalsupport that you can bring Participants into to debug their issues.

  • Once all Participants have installed the recorder, ask each Participant to start their recordings and begin play.

  • Once play has begun, the moderator can then mute themselves and keep themselves available for enquiries from the Participants.

  • We also recommend muting the server if the Participants are not required to speak with one another. This can be done by right clicking the voice channel and selecting "Mute channel"

  • NOTE: It may be worth noting to the users to leave the server all together, to ensure that there is no issue with Participants audio/video recordings on the Go Testify platform.

Once the test concludes, instruct all Participants to end their recordings, thank them for their time, let them know about details such as compensation - then remove them from the discord server by right clicking on the individual Participants profile.

  • Finally, we recommend duplicating the text channels used for the playtest - this will remove all the text that was used in the previous playtest so the server is ready for repeat use. The old text channels can be privatised to only the moderators for archival use.

  • To do this, right click on the affected channels > edit channel > permissions > private channel > remove playtesters role from viewing

Step 7: Analyze Your Feedback using the Go Testify Recorder

After the playtest, it's crucial to analyze the feedback collected from your playtesters. Using the Go Testify Recorder, you can watch and review the recorded playtest sessions and see what your playtesters experienced. You can also take notes and categorize the issues by their severity, frequency, and impact on gameplay. It's essential to prioritize the issues based on their severity, and address the most critical issues first.

We would recommend using your Central Doc to organise your Participants by teams or groups depending on the nature of your test, then you can use this organised list to analyze Participants based on their experiences in those environments

In addition to the recordings, you should also review the feedback collected from any surveys that you distributed to your playtesters. Look for common issues that multiple playtesters encountered, and analyze any trends that may have emerged. This feedback can help you identify patterns and address larger-scale issues that impact your game's overall experience.

If you need any further assistance from us, feel free to reach out to us via our Support line, or contacting

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