Alright, I'm skipping the last 3 pages of this thread since skimming it seems like a lot of chatter/noise about how we're going to pick people.
I'll re-explain how we're picking people, and give a more thorough explanation of what will be involved.
The first batch of people will help with a "closed" beta, and they'll be doing the mundane work of clicking from page to page, making sure links work, that games load, achievements and activities work, etc. as we roll out those changes. The "closed" beta period will probably last a few weeks. These people will be hand-selected by employees of Armor Games, and we'll likely choose family and immediate close personal friends, and some (or all) of the moderators since they'll also have new tools to test. It may be as few as a couple of dozen people, tops.
While that closed beta is ongoing, we'll have an "open" beta signup page at beta.armorgames.com where you as users can give us your Email address, letting us know you're interested. We will not manually add any users who post "pick me" or "here's my Email address" etc. in the forums. It will be up to you alone to go to beta.armorgames.com to give us your Email address. I'm actually building the underlying database/code for the sign-up process this week, but that's not necessarily indicative of the start of our beta process.
Once some of that core functionality is proven to be working by the closed beta group, then (and only then) will we begin sending out small quantities of invitation codes to the people who signed up at the open beta signup page. I don't know yet how many users we'll invite at a time, it might be as few as batches of 100 per day.
The invitation code will likely write a Flash cookie on your system so you can visit the site in every browser on your system without having to re-use your invitation code. We'll only give you a limited number of uses on the invitation code so that you can also activate another computer (ie, at home, work, school, whatever). Once your invitation code is used up, it's used up. We need to throttle the number of users on the system and SLOWLY ramp up the number of people on the site at a time, so sharing the code with friends won't prove very fruitful.
Those open beta users will help us more in load testing, to give us some idea of how many users a feature can support before we need to bring additional servers online. During this open beta phase, I believe games will be playable, comments and achievements and activities will be shown on the site, etc., and of course we'll love to hear feedback (good and bad) from everyone.
The open beta stage will be crucial to let us hear what you like and don't like about our implementation. Depending on the feedback we get, we may tweak things, or move things on the layout, or remove features, or work on new features, etc. so we expect the open beta to last at least a few weeks as well, if not overlapping into 2011.
As the open beta progresses, we will likely increase the number of daily invitations we send out, mostly for more load testing, but by that point, we'll likely "lock" our feature list and focus only on bugs. Ideally, the final stage of open beta will be as perfect as we want the site to be, and then we flip the switch and AG3 goes live and we let everyone in at the same time.
The only reason we're not giving AG3 beta users access to AG2 forums is because the two systems are not backward-compatible. If you want to post in the forums, you will need to leave the beta site to do so. If/When we get around to implementing a new forum system, it will be one of the last things we add to the site before we go live, since there's such a small fraction of users who post anything here.
All that said, I'm locking this thread to avoid any other speculation or misinformation. If something changes, I'll re-open the thread, post my update, and re-lock the thread.
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