Playtest feature added to Steam

This summer, people found a new playtest button on the Total War: Elysium Steam store page. This was not mentioned in Valve. Now, they have officially released details of a new playtest feature that developers can use as a new way to run a limited time test period without having to interact with a special Steam key. They say this feature is still in beta and is subject to change before it is officially released. Total War: Elysium is certainly running its playtest if it suits your taste.

According to Valve, the playtest feature aims to standardize an approach for developers who want to give a group of players temporary access to early versions of the game. They created a tool to help developers set test start and end times and accept a certain number of applicants. You can also manually invite players if desired. For players, it’s as easy as pressing the “Request Access” button on the game’s store page (if playtests are available) and waiting for access.

In the past, developers have distributed specific keys used to unlock the beta version of the game, or posted a demo version as a replacement for the open beta. Playtests can be managed and participated within Steam, so you won’t have to tinker with all of this in the future. According to Valve, this feature does not replace release override keys or demo options, so developers can continue to use these methods as needed. Playtest doesn’t support monetization like Early Access, so it doesn’t replace it either. Developers can also use both features at the same time.

Sounds pretty painless, but there’s a laugh at the absolute wall of blocks and banners that appear on the store page of the demo version of the Early Access game, which is also running playtests. Golly I know there must be a “About This Game” section somewhere here!

Here are the rest of Valve’s notes about the playtest feature: For developers in the room, you can find a more detailed version for use in the Steam documentation. Developers who want to use this feature now should contact Valve as it is still in beta.

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Steam is playtesting its official playtesting feature

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