Creating & Running an Early Access Test

Simplifying Early Access Testing

Jonny avatar
Written by Jonny
Updated over a week ago

As a game developer, getting feedback from Participants is an essential part of the development process. And one of the most effective ways to gather this feedback is by setting up an early access playtest.

However, with the rise of digital distribution platforms, protecting intellectual property (IP) has become a crucial concern for game developers. Especially in the early stages of development.

With this article we are going to be bringing you through how you can effectively manage a secure Early Access playtest with the Go Testify Platform.

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.

Step 3: Install NDA processes for enhanced security

Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are a crucial aspect of running an early access test. With games being one of the most victimized industries when it comes to leaks and security breaches, NDAs play a vital role in protecting intellectual property, trade secrets, and other confidential information. NDAs ensure that all parties involved in games testing, including testers, developers, and publishers, are bound to keep confidential information private.

At Go Testify, we believe Adobe Sign and Docusign are both excellent solutions to implementing NDAs with a large number of participants. These tools provide a secure, efficient, and user-friendly way to sign and manage NDAs online, simplifying the process for all parties involved.

To provide an NDA on Adobe, follow the below instructions

  1. Sign in to your Adobe Sign account and navigate to the "Send" tab.

  2. Click on the "New Form" button, then select "Send an Agreement."

  3. Choose the document that you want to use and upload it to Adobe Sign.

  4. In the "Add Recipients" section, select "Add Recipient."

  5. In the "Add Fields" section, select "Signature Field" and drag it to the location where the recipient should sign.

  6. In the "Message" field, you can customize the message that the recipient will receive along with the document.

  7. In the "Options" section, click on the "Access" tab.

  8. Click on the "Enable Access Control" checkbox.

  9. Choose "Require a password" and enter a unique access code.

  10. Click on the "Send" button.

  11. On the "Send Agreement" page, copy the URL link under "Copy Link."

  12. Share the URL link with the people who need to sign the document. They will be prompted to enter the access code and then sign the document using their mouse or touchscreen.

To provide an NDA on Docusign, follow the below instructions

  1. Sign in to your DocuSign account and click on the "New" button.

  2. Select "Send an Envelope" and choose the document that you want to use.

  3. In the "Add Recipients" section, select "Add Another Recipient" and choose "Not in Template" option.

  4. In the "Add Fields" section, select "Signature" and drag it onto the document where you want the recipient to sign.

  5. In the "Message" field, you can customize the message that the recipient will receive along with the document.

  6. In the "Options" section, click on the "Advanced Options" button.

  7. In the "Access Code" field, enter a unique access code that will be used to access the document.

  8. Click on the "Save" button and then click on the "Send" button.

  9. On the "Send Envelope" page, copy the URL link under "Access Documents".

  10. Share the URL link with the people who need to sign the document. They will be prompted to enter the access code and then sign the document using their mouse or

Step 4: Create a brief for the Participant to attain information on the playtest

We recommend writing the Participant out a brief on what information they will need prior to testing.

Writing a Participant brief prior to a playtest is an essential step in ensuring the success of the testing process. A Participant brief is a document that outlines the objectives, guidelines, and expectations of the playtest, as well as any specific tasks that the tester should perform.

By providing clear instructions to the tester, a Participant brief can help ensure that the test results are accurate and meaningful, and that the tester is able to focus on the aspects of the game that are most important to the development team. In addition to this, the brief should also include the date range during which the game will be accessible to the tester. This information is important to help the tester plan their testing schedule, and to ensure that the results collected are valid and up-to-date.

Overall, taking the time to write a clear and comprehensive Participant brief is an essential step in conducting effective playtests and developing high-quality games.

A Participant brief could be hosted in a number of ways, such as:

  • Your Website

  • A bespoke email message using a service such as Front or Intercom

  • A custom Landing Page using services such as Leadpages or Webflow

An example is seen below:

Step 5: Create a Calendly to Schedule Participants into your Early Access Event & Collect Whitelisting Information

To ensure that we keep this test secure, we want to host the early access period as a sort of "event" we want the users to access the title in an enclosed period of time over a few days. - therefore we recommend scheduling Participants for the test using Calendly.

Calendly will allow you to send Participants a schedule of when they will have access to the early access title and then you can send them any related documentation automatically upon booking in.

To setup a Calendly event, use the below steps:

  • 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

  • Next, 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 hours prior to your event beginning!

    • Attach the playtest link to this section to deliver Participants into the test when it is time to begin play

    • Attach a link to any NDA documents that may also be required for the playtest. Along with any access codes they may need as per the prior NDA instructions.

Finally, to allow our Participants to brief as mentioned earlier in the article, we want to redirect the Participant to the brief in question upon booking into the Calendly event.

To do this, navigate to "Confirmation Page" and select "Redirect to an external site" this ill redirect all Participants to your brief once they've booked in, allowing them to get all the information they require prior to testing.

Step 4: QA your Participant Journey

Before the early 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

  • 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: Manage your Participants

When running a early access event, it is important to have a running tracker of the status of each participant, internally - we utilize 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, whitelisted status etc. 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.

Step 6: Set your Playtest Event Live!

Now that Participants are able to schedule in for the event - all that needs to happen is let the event play out!

When the time comes. Enable early access from your side and watch the Participants recordings arrive into the Go Testify platform!

Participants in your test will be supported by the Go Testify Support line if required.

If you have any questions or would like to chat with someone, feel free to reach out to us via the chat function at the bottom right of this page or via

Did this answer your question?