[dropcap]M[/dropcap]ojang drops snapshots, or betas, of their updates and lets the community test them.
Community Minecraft Xbox 360 Update System On Xbox LIVE
4J Studios on the other hand, has to do all of the testing for Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition completely on their own.
What if 4J were allowed to release a beta version of their latest update to say a select number (the more the merrier) of existing Xbox 360 Minecraft players to test for them?
Having a beta version on Xbox Live should be no different than having a demo version. No doubt that the bean counters and IT nerds at Microsoft can be persuaded.
The beta or demo could be limited to approved XBLA gamertags.
This would use Microsoft built system for software “purchases” so all the technology to do this already exists on Xbox Live.
Read the credits on any major game and you will find an army of beta testers listed. Contrary to other opinions out there, having a bunch of free beta testers always reduces the time between updates, because releases are actually feature releases and the post release bug fixes are largely eliminated.
4J Studios spent 6 weeks fixing the bugs after the Christmas update last year. Most Minecraft Xbox 360 players would prefer not to build a new world and constantly have to deal with bugs.
Top 5 Advantages:
5. Enthusiastic Free Labor.
4. Minecraft reputation is improved.
3. 4J Studios and Mojang reputation is maintained.
2. Far fewer miffed customers.
AND #1. Quality is improved — Time to market is decreased.
It always takes less time to do things right the first time. This is why Japan kicked American car companies in the woo hoo for such a long time, until they got with the Quality Control program. It’s been proven in business over and over again.
Quality matters. Minecraft has an amazing community (as evidenced Youtube and so many other sites). They really can leverage that on the Xbox 360 just as Mojang already does by releasing beta versions for the PC.
Self-published Minecraft sales in the millions and status as the most successful indie title ever, means Mojang is no longer a small company, and are flush with cash. While the development teams at Mojang and 4J Studios seem relatively small, most games are pioneered by small talented teams. What they’ve achieved is amazing. They can and should use this amazing community to beta test.
Considering the daunting task of translating Minecraft Java into Minecraft Xbox 360 port C++, making appropriate interface changes, and shoehorning it all into a 4 year old inadequate system. They have done a great job.
Just don’t make an update like TU9 again and everyone will be happy to wait a few extra weeks and avoid the aggravation.