Learn how to flight your games with the Xbox Insider Program

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Xbox Wire.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog or just happen to have taken a casual glance throughout our various authors’ contributions, you’ve noticed that much of our content has been aimed at arming our Xbox Insiders with knowledge about what’s happening on the platform, new features and content upon which we seek feedback, and even spotlighting individual contributions across the Xbox Insider community. Today I want to pivot on that, just a little bit, and focus on the partners, producers, publishers, and developers of that very content that our Insiders get to experience. To our regular and casual readers, this will be a little peek through the curtains of the game release business, and to game-makers, if you’ve never seen this before let me be among the first to say… Welcome to the Xbox Insider Program!

It is the Xbox Insider Program team’s mission to help content publishers release high-quality, world-class gaming experiences to a diverse and global audience of gamers by enabling feedback channels and flexible distribution of pre-release content to Xbox Insiders. It’s a win-win(-win!) for our shared customers, partners, and platform, and I’d like to quickly break that down:

  • Our shared Xbox customers, those engaged fans willing to volunteer a little bit of extra time to send feedback, problem reports, and suggestions; get to be among the first to experience new content and share their views.
  • Xbox benefits by ensuring protection of the service, and can signal publishers and developers when service calling patterns are outside normal levels before a full scale release.
  • Your studio benefits by gaining access to a wealth of knowledge about how real-world users are engaging with your product. Bug reporting, constraint testing, and qualitative analysis options from a broad audience become available.

When you flight content through the Xbox Insider Program, you can guide who sees your content and when they see it through dynamic audience creation. This audience creation opens a broad range of possibilities, meant to satisfy different and changing goals along the development process. For example, studio-only flighting allows your studio the ability to internally flight builds as you evaluate them for release candidates. Want to do an internal playtest among the Devs, PMs, and your marketing counterpart? Selective, internal, or studio-only flighting are options we can help you manage.

As you get ready to involve external players in your newest game, your community managermight suggest inviting a large focus group of 100 of the franchise’s top players to get their feedback under NDA. It’s not difficult to join the Xbox Insider Program, and the most heavily engaged users are recognized by Level and XP within the app. If any one of those 100 top players are not already Xbox Insiders, they would simply download the Xbox Insider Hub app from the store, accept the terms of use, and they can be made a part of that focus group audience. Acquisition is secure, too – through use of hidden token management, no one needs to enter a 5×5 code or risk losing it. Later on, as you’re preparing release candidates and want to test concurrency limits of your multiplayer solution, the broader group of Xbox Insiders becomes a viable pool of open play testers from which you can learn how your service performs under load.

The Xbox Insider Program becomes a flexible and customized managed flighting solution, and we’re introducing additional self-servicing options to complement these functions in the future. You may see, or perhaps already have seen us at events in London, Bellevue, or Seattle, and allowed us to share with you our passion for gaming. If you’d like to hear more directly from the team, look for our logo pictured above at an Xbox booth. If you’d like to start flighting, contact your Microsoft Developer Account Manager to get set up. If your studio doesn’t have an Account Manager, or you’re an indie- or self-publisher, we’d love to help you onboard too! https://www.xbox.com/Developers/id has more information, contacts, and tools to help you get started.

Happy Flighting!



See the rest of the story on Xbox Wire

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