How to build community through beta testing

Alexandru Carbunariu is the CEO at Lava Games, which is working on web3 game Banksters.

The beta phase is a challenging time for anyone who has ever developed games, but it’s probably normal for those working on web 3.0 games.

The creators of Banksters by Lava Games are no strangers to creating a game from scratch and not just waiting for the stable release, but also staying mentally and physically fit. I know this firsthand, as I have lost 20 kilograms during this time! 

How to prepare for the launch of a beta version?

Timelines: The only stressful thing are the timelines. It’s important to hit certain milestones and include them in the timeline. However, technical difficulties can occur and delays are present. The only thing we recommend is to be transparent with the community and your audience and update the timeline. 

Legal framework. It depends on how you want your Web3 project to be. There is something ‘’hidden’’ in the Web3 space, and that is the fact that not all projects can market themselves in certain countries or they do market themself in countries in which they are not allowed to do so. Having a proper legal framework and contracting or hiring the right people can be beneficial in the long term, no matter the costs. That’s why Banksters can market the product in certain countries that without a proper legal framework it wouldn’t have been possible. 

KPI. Don’t forget about KPIs. It’s possible that some projects keep these metrics to themselves, however, KPIs are important to be shared with the community as well, this will show transparency, focus as accomplishment. 

During our live sessions and newsletters, we always inform our Banksters Community about what we achieved in terms of KPIs. For every step, we remind our community and user base when we can hit the 1,000 registered users, and 5,000 users and make a big event on the 10,000 and 15,000 registered users in our game. At the moment we have more 29,000 registrations. 

It’s optimal to share this with the live community. Team KPIs are crucial since the team efforts will need to be checked or on track. Without KPIs it will be close to impossible to successfully launch a game. They represent the result of the team’s efforts. 

Building and managing a community

This is highly important and many gaming projects have not yet understood that this is more important than financial contributions. The role of the gaming community is paramount but often overlooked. Banksters, however, place immense importance on the community. At the moment we have 16,500 more people in our community. 

The way Banksters sees this is different, and we have build our brand, product, and community following these steps: 

  • First, a project requires a so-called ‘’product acceptance’’ – meaning the gaming storyline and features are attractive to the players
  • Secondly, implementation of feedback. If the players identify new development opportunities in the game, they should be implemented straight away. Their feedback will require less funding than a professional testing team. 
  • Active users keep the ‘’wheel spinning’’. Every stakeholder will ask how many users play the game. If there is no traction, there is no future for the game. 
  • Provide empowerment of the players, with roles, incentives, and prizes that will make them take part in the project. 

In conclusion, non-monetary contributions players represent an important part of any web or web3 ecosystem, it will save time and funds, and the product will be much better. The developers of the game should: listen, act, and empower these users as much as possible. 

It’s important to mention that we understand our players are diverse, coming from different countries, speaking different languages, having different senses of humor, and sometimes even different time zones. That’s why, in addition to our main large community, we manage several local regional groups where our moderators also operate.

Unconventional tools essential for promotion

Games often fail due to premature launches without community support. Promoting your beta version with the backing of the professional community provides a solid foundation for future development.

Key strategies for promoting the beta version within the industry include:

  • Building an international community.
  • Creating multicultural audiences with local Telegram groups.
  • Meticulous planning and a gradual rollout.
  • Utilizing all available marketing channels for organic growth.
  • Leveraging established platforms like Facebook alongside emerging platforms like Zealy and Discord.
  • Introducing your product to both novice and seasoned professionals for a balanced audience.

In the world of beta testing, simplicity often trumps complexity. Industry professionals appreciate the following engagement strategies:

Forge connections between your product and existing real-world communities where your target audience already congregates. This fosters the development of a vibrant professional community. For example Game Space or GGEM. We strive to explore different markets. Currently, we are particularly interested in the Indian market, the Asian market, and many others. That’s why we are delighted to collaborate with gaming communities from different countries and organize special events for them. 

Host informative Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions to facilitate direct and transparent feedback from industry professionals. We typically combine these sessions with our live streams. This allows us not only to answer questions but also to showcase the gameplay.

In fact, live-streaming events (featuring PvP gameplay) are one of our favorite tools. We conduct these streams regularly – once every two weeks. Without exaggeration, the community eagerly anticipates this event each time. Participating is not only an opportunity to win real money (the prize pool is small, but it exists) but also to compete with other players (typically, 25-30 people participate in one round) and be among the first to learn about game news.

Organize engaging contests and flash events to capture the attention of diverse professionals and conduct tournaments to reward the most active industry participants. We often host in-game competitions, create leaderboards, and give social media tasks. For example, recording a video and posting it on TikTok. We always reward the winners with small prizes. Even a $10 prize brings a lot of joy to many. 

Staying resilient

As cliché as it may sound, it’s actually a rational control. Before launching the main activities of the team meeting (managers, community team), daily meetings are held. This provides an opportunity to quickly address urgent issues, review tasks prepared for launch, provide feedback, and initiate new processes.

Since the team isn’t very large yet, we primarily use Telegram and Notion for communication, along with specialized tools for community managers. We plan to transition to a more comprehensive task manager in the future.

Seeking assistance

Some of our main helpers are our ambassadors and mentors. We’re not shy about seeking advice from those who have been working in the fields that interest us for a long time. For example, in classic gaming or in NFTs. Specifically for this purpose of educating ourselves and others, we have launched expert days sessions with specialists from the gaming and web 3.0 industries. Not being afraid to ask questions is one of the most important skills when you start working in a new field.

Find out more about Banksters via its website.

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